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Shedd’s Urban Freshwaters program is researching which fish species are spawning where and when within the Chicago River. This project is helping to inform which species spawn in urban environments, as well as potential conservation benefits of habitat enhancements such as artificial floating islands in urban ecosystems. The Technician will support the project primarily through assisting in field work as well as supporting laboratory analysis. Field work occurs primarily between the hours of 8pm and 1am, either on or near flowing waters, as well as travelling between field sites via car. It is expected that the Technician will develop and execute an independent research project within the scope of the larger project in conjunction with the lead Biologist.
This position will occur June through August, requiring commitments to the following:
- Position will work approximately 16 hours per week, but some weeks may be under or over that depending on workload
- Field work occurs 3 nights a week, specifically on Monday, Tuesday, and either Wednesday or Thursday nights
- Field work shifts are each typically 3.5 hours occurring between 8pm and 1am
- Lab work shifts occur at Shedd Aquarium at least once a week, exact hours and days are dependent on Technician’s schedule
Duties & Responsibilities:
- Demonstrate commitment to Shedd’s vision, mission and values
- Assist in the deployment and retrieval of larval light traps within the Chicago Area Waterways from riverbanks as well as boats
- Assist with equipment loading and unloading
- Isolate, enumerate, and photograph larval fishes using a dissecting microscope
- Assess water quality through handheld and benchtop devices
- Develop and complete a research project under the guidance of Shedd Research experts
- Other duties as assigned
- Currently enrolled in, or a recently graduated from, an environmental sciences, biology, or chemistry degree program.
- Basic chemistry and biology courses at a college-level are preferred
Skills & Characteristics:
- Comfortable working safely from a small floating vessel or in and around waterbodies
- Ability to walk along riverbanks and uneven terrain in low light conditions
- Comfortable working outside, at night, in various weather conditions
- Enthusiasm and critical thinking skills to take ownership of a research project
- Ability to transport self to and from field work sites along the North and South branches of the Chicago River or to a central location near Downtown Chicago
We strongly encourage people of color, LGBTQ+ community, veterans and active duty military, parents, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from all cultural backgrounds to apply. Shedd Aquarium is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes everyone to our team.
If you need a reasonable accommodation at any point in the application or interview process, please let us know. In your application, please feel free to select which pronouns you use (For example – she/her/hers, he/him/his, they/them/theirs).