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Job opportunity (three posts): Gough Island Overwintering Team

John Kelly, May 18, 2016

Research Assistants (2 positions) and Senior Research Assistant (1 position) for island restoration on Gough Island, Tristan da Cunha, South Atlantic Ocean

A long-running research and conservation management project requires three people to work on Gough Island in the central South Atlantic Ocean for 13 months, with an additional month for training prior to departure. These contract positions are designed primarily to conduct annual monitoring of breeding seabirds (2 positions), and control an invasive plant, Sagina procumbens (1 position, although all staff will take part in all activities and will be trained in rope access).

The seabird monitoring positions are responsible for annual monitoring of breeding success, survival, population counts, and other field work for 14 breeding species throughout the entire year.

The Sagina position is responsible for control and eradication work on Sagina from the steep cliffs adjacent to the weather station on Gough Island. If required, training in rope-access techniques (IRATA level 1 or equivalent) will be provided prior to departure to Gough Island for team members.

The candidates will be joining and living with the South African National Antarctic Programme (SANAP) over-wintering team of 8-9 people, and will also be required to work within the requirements of SANAP’s over-wintering teams. It will be an asset if the post holders have prior experience of working with one or more other team members.

Requirements–Monitoring (2 positions) The successful applicants should have experience in: • Bird banding/ringing, safe handling of birds • Conducting surveys and censuses for breeding seabirds • Managing large amounts of data • Abseil rope-access techniques, and/or climbing experience • Undertaking fieldwork in a mountainous environment and inclement weather conditions

Additional skills that would benefit a candidate include • Banding/ringing permit • Blood sampling, attaching biologging devices • Post-graduate research degree

Requirements – Sagina eradication (1 position) The successful applicants should have experience in: • Abseil rope-access techniques, and/or climbing experience • Undertaking fieldwork in a mountainous environment and inclement weather conditions • Working on remote islands (or equivalent remote locations) • Undertaking plant eradication projects and firm understanding of eradication principles.

Additional skills that would benefit a candidate include • Alien plant eradication techniques

Requirements – all positions Applicants must demonstrate • An ability to live and work in a very small team on one of the world’s most remote islands for a prolonged period • High levels of physical fitness, adaptability and a strong work ethic • Aptitude and/or proven experience in successfully undertaking unsupervised fieldwork, with safety as a first priority.

The successful applications will have skills/qualifications in: • A degree or equivalent qualifications or experience in a science/conservation discipline, ideally with some work experience in conservation/wildlife related fieldwork and research

Details of the jobs • Conduct fieldwork according to a work-plan devised by the project managers • Assist biological research, Sagina control, fieldwork and monitoring as required • Make day-to-day decisions about work priorities and fieldwork protocols • Maintain accurate records of the work and computer databases of the work • Regularly report to & update the project managers on progress • Be responsible for data quality & reporting, and on-site training as needed (Senior Research Assistant only)

Salary: £16,000 - £18,000 (Research Assistant), £19,000 - £21,000 (Senior Research Assistant) per annum, plus transport, food, and accommodation.

Starting date: 04 July 2016 – 25 October 2017

Please note, due to the preparation requirements needed for training, the start date is fixed.

Employer: Tristan da Cunha Conservation Department

How to apply: Send a cover letter outlining your experience and qualifications, CV, and contact information (including telephone numbers) for 3 references as a single PDF document to John Kelly ( by midnight BST on 31 May 2016.

Interview date (by Skype or in-person): TBC.