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Gnaraloo Turtle Conservation Program: Program Assistant

Job Type: full-time temporary position

Location: Western Australia

Posting Date: 30 Apr 14

Closing Date: 30 Jul 14

Gnaraloo is a wilderness tourism business and working pastoral station on the Ningaloo Coast in North Western Australia, next to the Ningaloo Marine Park and Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area. It abuts 60km of coastline, including southern parts of the Ningaloo Reef and four Marine Sanctuary Zones. The Indian Ocean borders Gnaraloo to the west.

GNARALOO TURTLE CONSERVATION PROGRAM (GTCP)
The Gnaraloo Station Trust commenced the scientific Gnaraloo Turtle Conservation Program (GTCP) on-ground in 2008 to identify, monitor and protect key coastal nesting rookeries of endangered sea turtles on Gnaraloo beaches, namely loggerhead (Caretta caretta), green (Chelonia mydas) and hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) turtles. The Gnaraloo Bay Rookery is the largest confirmed mainland nesting rookery for loggerhead sea turtles in Western Australia, with consecutive full season surveys since 2008/09. Together with the Gnaraloo Cape Farquhar Rookery, it supports and contributes to the third largest loggerhead turtle population in the world. The GTCP collects baseline data on sea turtle nesting activities along the Gnaraloo coastline to identify trends and required management activity to protect endangered marine species and critical coastal nesting habitat; engages the community and schools in conservation activity; trains young scientists for professional careers; builds capacity and knowledge shares its findings.

GTCP PROGRAM ASSISTANT
The GTCP will appoint a Program Assistant to be part of the program from 1 September 2014 to 30 May 2015. The Program Assistant manages the scientific GTCP field team and works as part of the field team to undertake required daily surveys of nesting turtle and feral predation activities in monitored rookeries, community and school participation with the program and scientific and other office work. The Program Assistant receives work instructions, direction and guidance from the offsite GTCP Project Manager, an experienced environmental scientist, who also manages Gnaraloo’s Environmental Office.

The program interprets and works mainly with turtle and feral animal tracks. Survey work includes daily turtle track monitoring with day and night patrols, turtle species identification, turtle nesting activity determination, data collection on turtle nest locations through use of GPS equipment, and turtle nest disturbance and predation by feral species and environmental factors. Feral animal tracks are also monitored daily to report on the presence of threats in monitored rookeries for adaptive management activity. Office work involves daily data entry, management and analysis; data QA/QC; preparation of the annual scientific report with GIS maps and other wide program responsibilities, including program promotion through web postings, media articles and hosting VIPs. The GTCP field team also hosts and interacts with community and school groups during onsite educational field excursions and through presentations at primary and high schools and community groups in various regional towns in Western Australia and the Perth metropolitan area.

The scope of work of the GTCP Program Assistant includes all things turtle, to manage the work by and undertake the same duties as the GTCP field team appointed under the GTCP Scientific Internship Program and to lend assistance to the GTCP Project Manager where required whether turtle or otherwise.

The GTCP Program Assistant works offsite (1 September – 12 October 2014), on Gnaraloo (13 October 2014 – 15 March 2015) and in regional and metropolitan locations in Western Australia (16 March – 30 May 2015).

See Facebook & www.gnaraloo.com.au for field diaries, photos, videos and reports of previous years.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE EXPERIENCE
Work with turtles on spectacular beaches
Contribute to biodiversity conservation in a world heritage area
Undertake field research of national and international significance
Gain interesting project experience and training
Network with professionals in your field of interest
Snorkel in spectacular coral reef systems full of marine life
Work with people from all over the world and from different backgrounds
Experience pastoral life

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS AND SKILLS
Candidates with at least a Masters degree in the scientific field and 3 – 5 years post degree commercial or project experience will be favourably viewed. Previous sea turtle tracking experience is highly desirable, particularly with loggerhead and green turtles.

You must have the following skills and traits (all, not only some) to suit the position: spoken and written English to a high professional standard; strong scientific, technical and analytical ability; accuracy with attention to detail; ability to follow work instructions; strong work ethic; ability to lead and manage teams; strong communication and interpersonal skills; high competency and proficiency in Microsoft Word and Excel; ability to work independently as well as in teams; maturity; patience; friendliness; passion; enthusiasm; commitment; problem solving ability; no nonsense attitude; perseverance; reliability and practicality.

The position is for someone with previous commercial experience away from home and university settings who can cope in a remote location without family, friends and urban delights. You must be available for the entire season’s work, not only part thereof.

Before arrival, you must have a current driver’s licence, a first aid certificate, police and working with children clearance, travel insurance (if applicable) and medical insurance, all of which is valid in Western Australia.

RESPONSIBILITY AND BENEFITS PACKAGE
The position is as an employee of the Gnaraloo Station Trust, on contract for a defined period. The position includes standard workplace entitlements, including superannuation and annual leave which will be taken at the end of the contract. The pay scale will depend on your level of commercial experience, the other benefits on offer and the unique opportunity to work in sea turtle conservation in a coastal zone in a world heritage area. Additionally, board, lodge and utilities will be provided whilst you are onsite at Gnaraloo from 13 October 2014 – 15 March 2015 and travelling in regional and metropolitan locations in Western Australia from 16 March – 30 May 2015. The program will also provide you with training in Western Australian turtle monitoring protocols, feral track identification, remote survey work and 4WDriving and required travel within Western Australia for program commitments.

You will be responsible for your own travel to Australia if required; any required entry visas into Australia and associated costs for travel to and from Australia. Travel expenses, including return airfares, may be provided upon application for an outstanding candidate who would otherwise not be able to apply to work for the program. We are currently working to have visas able to be processed under the GTCP’s proposed training and research sponsor status. Please note that successful visa applications under this category may take 3 months or longer.

APPLICATIONS
You need to submit the following in your application package:
1. A cover letter describing your previous commercial experience and other information which makes you suited to the position.
2. A resume including at least two referees of your most recent commercial or project experience.
3. Copy of scientific paper(s) that you have written.
4. Reference letters from your stated referees that describe why you would be able to lead and manage a field team with young scientists; work positively in a small scientific team who depends on each other; live happily in a setting that is remote and isolated; have work and personal life intertwined for months on ends; have the experience base to know when to communicate key information to the offsite GTCP PM; interact and contribute positively to the small permanent community at Gnaraloo.

Submit your application to gtcprecruit@gmail.com by 30 June 2014.

Gnaraloo Station is 1,055km north of Perth, via the town of Carnarvon, in Western Australia.

Direct any questions to:
Paul Richardson
++ 61 (0) 8 9942 5927

Facebook: Gnaraloo Turtle Conservation Program
www.gnaraloo.com.au

The Gnaraloo Turtle Conservation Program (GTCP) and the Gnaraloo Feral Animal Control Program (GFACP) are privately funded and managed by the Gnaraloo Station Trust. The GTCP and the GFACP are also supported by other partners and entities including the Australian Government, Rangelands NRM Western Australia, the Department of Parks and Wildlife (WA), Esri Australia and Animal Pest Management Services.

 

Contact Information:

Submit your application to gtcprecruit@gmail.com by 30 June 2014.

Direct any questions to:
Paul Richardson
++ 61 (0) 8 9942 5927

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