ENVIRONMENTAL OFFICER: MARION ISLAND (15 month contract, March 2018 – May 2019)

QUALIFICATIONS:  A post-graduate Degree in Biological/Natural Sciences (BSc Hons, MSc or PhD)

REQUIREMENTS:  Proven research expertise, ideally led by the candidate. Experience of working with small mammals; including trapping, handling and ideally working with captive rodents. Strong self-motivation and the ability to work independently and as part of a team, with minimal support and under sometimes stressful and physically challenging conditions.  Physically fit; able to hike long distances over rough terrain for 10-12 hours per day. Advanced computer literacy skills, with good verbal and written communication/report-writing skills. Ability to multi-task, with good organising and planning skills. Problem solver and strategic thinker.

DUTIES: Lead the two-person Environmental Conservation Officer (ECO) team on Marion Island for a period of 14 months (April 2018 to May 2019), as well as pertinent training preceding the voyage (March 2018). Conduct a large-scale bait uptake trial by mice at Marion Island in May 2018. Assess lethal doses of poison bait on captive mice. Conduct regular surveys of mouse breeding status over winter (April-October). Estimate crude densities of mice across an altitudinal gradient through the target baiting period (May-September). Monitor cloud heights over the baiting window using remote cameras. Implement ongoing control measures against invasive plants and invertebrates on Marion Island, in accordance with the Marion Alien Species Eradication Plan. Submit monthly ECO reports, as well as an annual ECO report within 30 days upon conclusion of the voyage. Implement the provisions of the Prince Edward Island Management Plan (PEIMP) and associated legislation. Monitor compliance to Environmental Authorisations issued under the EIA Regulations for activities at the Prince Edward Islands (PEIs). Assist in the development of environmental Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). Compile reports for management and advise the team on environmental issues. Assist the seabird research teams with routine monitoring work at the island.

 RECOMMENDATIONS:   A thorough and practical understanding of The Prince Edward Islands Management Plan (PEIMP), as well as relevant environmental legislation (including EIAs), pertaining to the Prince Edward Islands (PEIs). Proven experience of conservation management and/or other related work conducted in the Antarctic or sub-Antarctic sector. Experience of working with birds would be beneficial and experience in invasion ecology will be an added advantage. A valid code EB driver’s licence (light motor vehicle).

SALARY:  Approximately R183 000 per year (plus 37% in lieu of benefits).

NOTE:  The incumbent will execute duties at a sub-Antarctic Base and adhere to the health, safety and environmental requirements. The successful applicant will spend a full year (April 2018 to May 2019) at Marion Island. There is no option to return to South Africa before May 2019. The ability to work and live with small groups of people is thus essential. Although the base is well-equipped with e-mail, fax and satellite telephone facilities, the applicant has to be self-sufficient and self-motivated. The location may affect both the physical and mental well-being of the incumbent, their family and close relationships. Candidates must be physically fit, mentally strong and prepared for physically challenging and satisfying work. At times, the successful candidate can expect to work long hours in extreme conditions on duties not directly related to their function. Short-listed candidates will be subjected to screening and security vetting to determine their suitability for employment. Appointment to these positions is subject to a rigorous medical examination, which will be arranged for at no cost to the applicants.

TO APPLY: Send a letter of motivation (explaining in detail your prior experience working with small mammals) and a CV with contact details for three referees to Prof. Peter Ryan, University of Cape Town (pryan31@gmail.com) by 31 January 2018. Queries: phone 021 6502966


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