ISLAND CONSERVATION STUDY- GUAM KINGFISHER AND THE BROWN TREE SNAKE
1-2 Student Research Assistants will be hired ($15/hour) to work with a multidisciplinary team evaluating the likelihood of Guam kingfisher Todiramphus cinnamominus reintroduction success on the western Pacific island of Guam.
Since 1988, the critically endangered Guam kingfisher has survived solely in captivity. Now only ca. 140 birds remain in 23 US facilities. Because captive propagation selects for birds that do well in captivity, not necessarily in the wild, re-establishment in the wild is ideal. However, the invasive predator credited with driving the bird close to extinction, the brown tree snake Boiga irregularis, is still present on Guam. To aid development of successful reintroduction strategies, our team will evaluate previous reintroduction successes and failures alongside activities and outcomes associated with needed habitat restoration on Guam, e.g., kingfisher and snake population modeling, snake monitoring and control methods, and impacts of other invasive species.
Student Research Assistants will identify and summarize then thoughtfully interpret and report about outcomes of various captive propagation and invasive species control programs as they relate to reintroduction of the kingfisher and control of the brown tree snake. This position requires office work (10-20 hours/week) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. With timely and detail-oriented progress, employment will continue through 31 December 2020, and extension beyond December 2020 is possible.
Student Research Assistants will gain significant experience through participation in an ongoing, pressing conservation action involving a critically endangered species and a notorious invasive predator in an island ecosystem.
Working familiarity with scientific literature databases; skill in literature-based research and organization; ability to meet deadlines and to write clearly and scientifically (i.e., to produce summaries, progress reports, and draft text for refereed publications); competency in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint; willingness to work pleasantly and communicate regularly as part of a team; enthusiasm for digesting large amounts of information to solve problems in conservation biology
Submit as a single document: cover letter, 500- to 1000-word essay explaining how your qualifications match those of the position, resume or CV, and two references (name, title, affiliation, contact information, relationship, and length of relationship). Please also submit a copy of your transcripts (official or unofficial transcripts are acceptable). Email your application to Dr. Christy Leppanen, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Tennessee (cleppane [at] utk.edu) using the subject line: KINGFISHER POSITION.
Applications will be accepted until positions are filled.