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Job opportunity (two posts): Gough Island Field Assistants

John Kelly, January 28, 2017

Field Assistant - Gough Island - 2 roles

Reference number: A6230117/A6240117

Location: Gough Island, Tristan da Cunha

Two Field Assistants will be recruited to carry out eradication of Sagina procumbens, seabird monitoring and other field work on Gough Island. The post holders will work along side a Senior Field Assistant. All three posts will be for a period of 15 months, consisting of two months pre-deployment training and 13 months deployment on Gough.

Gough Island (6,500 ha) is located in the South Atlantic and is part of the Tristan da Cunha archipelago. These posts are funded through the collaborative Gough Island Restoration Programme, which aims to eradicate both Sagina and house mice from Gough Island. The collaboration involves the RSPB, Tristan da Cunha Island Council and DEFRA.

The primary rationale for these positions is to support the restoration of Gough Island. See for more information. We wish to attract committed candidates who will adapt to the requirements of this restoration programme and remain focused on the outputs needed to progress this globally important effort. This positions will offer a unique opportunity for highly motivated and disciplined individuals with relevant fieldwork skills and a keen interest in wildlife, who will adapt well to small island living in a challenging sub-Antarctic environment.

Work in the wildlife breeding season at Gough Island is very intensive, with frequent long hours of fieldwork and data preparation, so it is important to be well organised. Data are collated using databases and by submitting reports, observing deadlines at frequent intervals. The results underpin efforts to restore the Gough Island World Heritage Site.

The candidates will be joining and living with the South African National Antarctic Programme (SANAP) over-wintering team of 6 people, bringing the total team size to 9 people. They will be required to work within the requirements of SANAP's over-wintering teams, including sharing cooking and cleaning duties on the base. It will be an asset if the post holders have prior experience of working with one or more other team members.

The learning curve is very steep and so all candidates must have previous experience of handling appropriate wild animals, but RSPB will provide a finishing school (at the Lodge and on Gough Island) to hone these skills. Two recent blogs provide excellent resources on what it is like to live and work on Gough Island:

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Please review the candidate information pack for more information on these posts.

The starting date for these positions can not be any later than the 30th of May 2017 due to the pre-deployment training requirements.

Pre-deployment training provided by the RSPB will take place in either the UK or South Africa. A final decision will only be taken once the entire team has been appointed. All applicants must therefore be available to depart their home country to attend this training on or near the starting date, if required.

No candidate will be permitted to travel to Gough without satisfactorily completing the pre-deployment training.

No candidate will be permitted to travel to Gough without satisfactorily passing a medical.