Functional Summary: The field technicians (up to 7 technicians) are field researchers who need to be effective in field data collection, including trapping and monitoring of Franklin’s ground squirrels and ospreys. Field technicians know how to operate and adjust, when necessary, various instruments for data acquisition and are required to communicate effectively the research notes. Successful candidates also need to have excellent interpersonal skills for working effectively with different stakeholders and partners. Hourly Faculty/Clinical Research Positions.
Survey or Trapping: Conduct survey or trapping of Franklin’s ground squirrels at multiple study sites. Use 60 to 100 Tomahawks for trapping daily depending on the configuration and size of the trapping area. Check traps every other hour on foot throughout the day. Record vegetation structure and major plant species at individual trap sites. Record locations of the captured squirrels with the GPS units.
Observations: Observe osprey chicks at the hacking site to ensure that each osprey is eating properly and there is no aggression toward each other. Make notes of all behaviors observed of each osprey as well as presence of other potential predators or competitors in the vicinity of the hacking sites.
Tracking: Track ospreys once they fledge; make notes of their locations with the GPS units as well as the surrounding vegetation/habitat characteristics, including the perch conditions. Make notes of their behaviors and well-being, in particular their attempts to hunt.
Food Preparation and Feeding: Prepare fish food for the osprey chicks and feed them daily. Make notes of the amount of fish provided each meal, the amount consumed, and the amount of left-over. Cut fish into small chunks for feeding early on and graduate small chunks into bigger pieces that allow ospreys to exercise grabbing fish with their talons and tearing fish for feeding. Continue to provide fish until all ospreys have migrated.
Planning and Coordination: Plan and coordinate with the Illinois River Biological Station (IRBS) or Kaskaskia Biological Station (KBS) for obtaining fish for feeding ospreys. Conduct regular pick-ups of fish from the IRBS or KBS.
Daily Reports: Submit daily reports on the surveying and trapping of Franklin’s ground squirrels at the end of each survey or trapping day. Update the GPS points to the GIS database of Franklin’s ground squirrels. Submit daily reports regarding the behaviors and fish consumption by ospreys, as well as make notes of any other notable events related to the ospreys on that day. Upload the GPS points into the GIS database for ospreys.
Maintenance: Assist with the maintenance, clean-up, and inventory of the field gears and equipment for trapping, tagging, and tissue collection of Franklin’s ground squirrels. Assist with the maintenance and clean-up of the hacking tower before and after the hacking season, as well as the maintenance and inventory of the field gears and equipment.