OPS Stranding Biologist

  • University of Florida
  • United States
  • May 12, 2022
Full Time - Fixed Term

Job Description:

Classification Title:

OPS Stranding Biologist

Job Description:

The UFMAR’s Stranding Biologists’ positions are supported by faculty and staff at the UF College of Veterinary Medicine (UF CVM) and Aquatic Animal Health Program volunteers. The stranding biologist will report directly to the faculty principal investigators as their main supervisors, while working closely with the current stranding biologist. The Stranding Biologist will also work in partnership with the UF/IFAS Nature Coast Biological Station and the Cedar Key Dolphin Project, as well as a host of other close partners. The successful applicant will continue to build the fairly new stranding program with volunteers, local personnel, training and public education. The position’s responsibilities will be based initially on the experience of the applicant hired and additional training will be provided where necessary. Additionally, this position is funded by a grant received from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) as part of the (NOAA NMFS) Southeast Stranding Network under the Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program.

The Stranding Biologist will be responsible for the following:

  • Coordinate stranding response, recovery and reports of cetaceans, manatees, and sea turtles within the designated response area.
  • Carry the UF MAR stranding hotline phone, alternating weekend calls with other stranding biologists
  • Partner in daily operations of the stranding program including, but not limited to monitoring and response to stranding calls and adhering to local and national laws and policies regarding protected species and habitats.
  • Collect data and complete required documentations (e.g. 24-hour report, Level A Data, Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network Report (STSSN)) for all stranded animals and complete required reporting to databases including GulfMAP and FWC’s STSSN.
  • Work with current stranding biologist in developing quarterly program activity reports
  • Coordinate and conduct or assist veterinarian in necropsies both in the field and at UF CVM, including coordinating the disposal of carcasses and waste materials.
  • Maintain inventory database for all samples and marine mammal parts in conjunction with UF CVM staff and proper NMFS, USFWS, and FWC permitting regulations.
  • Maintain equipment, vehicle, vessel, and trailers as well as required logs for vehicle usage.
  • Continue to develop and maintain a volunteer, partner, and enhance our public outreach network to assist in stranding response, public support, and necropsy.
  • Assist in the coordination UFMAR’s involvement in public outreach events, including organizing attendance at festivals, scheduling lectures, and developing school programs to increase awareness of the program and the species involved.
  • Conduct workshops and trainings for stranding program volunteers in conjunction with the PI, UF CVM faculty and staff.
  • Complete University required training including, but not limited to: PPE, hazardous and biological waste training, animal exposure, etc.
  • Assist in grant writing and development activities.
  • Assist and participate with research projects related to stranding events, local population studies with program participants and pursue drone certification with UF for field use.
  • Acquire FAA drone certification after hiring. A drone is available for practice and use.
  • Biologist may assist program partners such as the Cedar Key Dolphin Project (Dolphin Population Research) or Nature Coast Biological Station
  • Work with program PI, current stranding biologist, faculty and staff to continue to enhance the stranding response in a not previously covered and challenging environment
  • Increase time on the boat with the incumbent Stranding biologist to learn the local environment and map the coastline for access with a dedicated drone
Expected Salary:

$17.00 - $19.00 per hour

Minimum Requirements:

Bachelor’s degree in appropriate area of specialization and experience in stranding program(s) and procedures.

Preferred Qualifications:

3 years experience with stranding work (Cetaceans, manatees, and sea turtles). Team based work ethic and leadership capabilities. CPR and first aid certifications. Experience with dolphin photo ID.

Applicants should possess or develop the following qualifications:

  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite and related software programs, preferably including Microsoft Access.
  • Excellent organizational skills and the ability to work independently.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills to foster and maintain a professional network of partners, volunteers, and supporters.
  • Flexibility with regards to scheduling to accommodate the unpredictable nature of stranding response and requirement of 24/7 on-call status.
  • High level interpersonal communication skills.
  • Relevant experience in marine mammal stranding and necropsy (may be a combination of paid and unpaid work).
  • Ability to lift and carry 50 lbs. unassisted after proper training.
  • Ability to drive a large truck and boat including ability to trailer and tow vessel.
  • Ability to work under harsh weather conditions.
  • Grant writing skills are highly desirable.
Special Instructions to Applicants:

Please review our website for information about the program's history, stranding and response numbers, and the team (https://cdpm.vetmed.ufl.edu/services/marine-animal-rescue-program/).

In order to be considered, you must upload your cover letter, resume and list of references.

Application must be submitted by 11:55 p.m. (ET) of the posting end date.

Health Assessment Required:No