The British Antarctic Survey (BAS), part of the Natural Environment Research Council, aims to undertake a world-class programme of scientific research, and to sustain for the UK an active and influential regional presence and a leadership role in Antarctic affairs.
At Bird Island, South Georgia, Zoological Field Assistants will be recruited to help carry out fieldwork on seabirds and seals. Bird Island is small (7 km in length) and forms part of the South Georgia archipelago where it is buffeted by both prevailing westerlies and cold winds from Antarctica. It has a high annual rainfall and variable snow cover during winter. In summer tens of thousands of seals and hundreds of thousands of seabirds breed there (including 2 species of penguin and 4 species of albatross). Up to 10 staff live in a modern research station with a satellite link to the outside world and comfortable accommodation.
The successful applicants will work and live on Bird Island continuously, living with other residents and up to 6 summer only visitors. Whilst everyone is assigned duties to keep the research station running (including cooking and cleaning), the residents have extra responsibilities (after pre-deployment training), such as providing IT, communications and medical cover. They will each be partly responsible for one element of a long term monitoring programme. The learning curve is very steep and so all candidates must have previous experience of handling appropriate wild animals, but BAS will provide a finishing school (at Bird Island) to hone these skills.
Work in the wildlife breeding season at Bird Island will be very intensive, with long hours of fieldwork and data preparation, so it is important to be well organised. Data are collated using databases and by submitting reports, observing strict deadlines at frequent intervals. The results underpin key research into regional and global change processes based on seabird and seal life histories, reproductive success, behaviour and diet.
The position of Zoological Field Assistant offers a unique opportunity for highly motivated and disciplined individuals with relevant fieldwork skills and a keen interest in wildlife, who will adapt well to small island living in a challenging sub-Antarctic environment.
Qualifications: Degree in biology or zoology; experience of remote, unsupervised fieldwork and animal handling skills (i.e. of appropriate wild animals in their natural habitat). Applicants must be competent and efficient in managing, analysing and reporting on large data sets. Meticulous time management, attention to detail and effective communication are important attributes. Candidates should also be comfortable working in a small and vibrant science community.
Duration: Appointments will be for a period of approximately 18 months, with a possibility of extension.
Salary: Salary starts at £23,700 per annum, rising annually. Additionally, upon completion of a successful tour, you will receive a 10% bonus. BAS provides all training required, outdoor and work clothing, tools, and accommodation (whilst in the Antarctic).
On-line application forms and further information are available on our website at www.antarctica.ac.uk/employment. These are also available from the Human Resources Section, British Antarctic Survey, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0ET.
Tel: (01223) 221508.
Please quote reference: BAS 07/14
Closing date for receipt of application forms is 20th April 2014
Interviews are scheduled to be held on w/c 23rd June 2014
We welcome applications from all sections of the community. People from ethnic minorities are currently under-represented and their applications are particularly welcome.
You will need to be physically capable and medically fit to work in Antarctic conditions.