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Biological Technician - National Key Deer Refuge

Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuge Complex

Job Field:
Job Type:
Seasonal, Temporary, Internship
Location Detail:
Big Pine Key
Job Description:

The Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuge Complex (FKNWRC) is hiring a Biological Technician through the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. This position will be based at the National Key Deer Refuge in Big Pine Key, FL, although work will also be conducted at other refuges in the complex, including Key West, Great White Heron and Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuges. The technician will work primarily with the refuge biologist and will assist with a wide variety of tasks related to wildlife and habitat management and refuge operations within the unique ecosystems of the Florida Keys. The pay is $15/hour (~ 40 hours per week) and includes bunkhouse style co-ed lodging ~5 minute drive from office. Health benefits are not provided.


Duties consist of tasks common to natural resource management including: human-wildlife conflict, habitat restoration, invasive species control, inventorying and monitoring of endangered species; and assisting in other wildlife management and refuge operations activities as assigned. This position requires strenuous physical activity that includes mammal capture and trapping, exotic plant eradication, ongoing hurricane/natural disaster recovery operations, and conducting field work independently or as a part of a group to support refuge programs. In addition to field work, up to 30% of the position's time may include data entry including use of Excel, Access and ArcGIS.


Work will be conducted on both the larger islands (e.g., Big Pine Key) and backcountry islands (e.g. the Marquesas islands) in many types of habitats including pine rocklands, tropical hardwood hammock, mangrove, marine and disturbed/urban sites. A number of endangered and threatened species are encountered in the Florida Keys such as the Key Deer, Lower Keys Marsh Rabbit, Green Sea Turtle, Miami Blue Butterfly, American Crocodile, Key Largo Woodrat, Keys Tree Cactus and Key Largo Cotton Mouse as well as numerous migratory, wading and shore bird species. The FKNWRC is an ideal system for those looking to start a career in wildlife and habitat management or endangered species monitoring because of the many complex conservation challenges.


Job Responsibilities include assisting with:


• Key deer captures and responses to sick, injured or dead deer

• Invasive plant species mapping and control

• Equipment, facilities and signage maintenance

• Removal of marine and other debris from refuge lands and islands

• Hurricane recovery efforts

• Herp and invasive invertebrate monitoring and control

• Population and disease monitoring of key deer including necropsies

• Invasive predator monitoring and control

• Marsh rabbit, bird, crocodile, python, meso-mammal and woodrat research

• Visitor services and public outreach activities as needed

• Office duties: File management and data entry as needed




Required Qualifications


• A bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Biology, Natural Resources Management, or a related field

• Self-starter with an outgoing and positive personality and get along well with others

• Willingness to be flexible and adapt to ever changing conditions including inclement weather, unpredictable animals and shifting management needs

• Ability to communicate well with the public, staff both orally and in writing

• Ability to work independently on daily tasks and good observational skills

• Time management and problem-solving skills

• Ability to walk in extreme temperatures for long distances, carry/lift equipment (up to 50 lbs), tolerant of biting insects and aware of nearby poisonous plants

• Skills in using Microsoft Word, Excel, and Access

• Schedule flexibility (8 to 12 hours daily) including occasional evening and weekend shifts

• Valid driver's license


Helpful Qualifications


• Experience with ArcGIS

• Experience navigating with GPS units

• Experience with firearms

• Experience capturing deer or other large mammals

• Experience with trailering

• Motorboat operation and marine navigation




Job Benefits


• Experience with wildlife capture, handling, and human-wildlife conflict

• Experience in natural resource management and endangered species conservation

• Experience working with a federal agency and many other federal, state and NGO partners

• Living in a unique sub-tropical environment. Leisurely activities during days off may include kayaking, paddle boarding, diving, snorkeling, windsurfing, fishing, photography, and birding


The start date will be flexible, preferably around January 9th and the position will be six months; extensions to one year may be possible.




Additional information on the Lower Keys refuges and life in the Lower Keys:

$15 per hour plus housing

Housing; no health benefits


How to Apply:

Application materials must be received by Monday, December 5, 2022 (11:59 p.m. EST). Applications will be reviewed as they are received, and the position may be filled prior to the deadline. Please send cover letter, resume, and contact information of 3 references, in a single email attachment with the filename Yourlastname_Application.pdf to Jennifer Feltner ( Only complete applications can be considered. Feel free to contact via email with any questions.

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