Research Associate - Juvenile Chinook Salmon (Noakes/Schreck)
Corvallis, OR
Job Description

The Department of Fisheries and Wildlife invites applications for a full-time (1.00 FTE), 12-month, fixed-term appointment Research Associate position. Reappointment is at the discretion of the Department Head.

This Research Associate position will work for a collaborative project researching juvenile Chinook salmon and steelhead life history tactics.

The incumbent will act as the project leader/manager and is responsible for overseeing all research and fish rearing for the project while working closely with facility managers at two research hatchery facilities and with multiple faculty research assistants and graduate students. The incumbent will also be responsible for representing our group with our funding agency and coordination with appropriate federal, state and other stakeholders who are associated with the project. The project entails research to (1) determine the morphological, physiological, genetic, and behavioral phenotypes of wild Chinook salmon and steelhead trout as it relates to juvenile migratory performance, and (2) develop strategies whereby such phenotypes could be produced through controlled hatchery rearing.

The Research Associate should drive new research ideas within the framework of the project and strive to seek additional sources of funding where available. This position requires strong leadership, organizational, and planning skills, to determine what is required to move the project forward, when the research needs to occur, and details of how to execute said research. A proven track record for conducting fish behavior-related research in the field and in the lab is required, including conducting relevant and cutting edge behavioral experiments. The incumbent is encouraged to supervise students in an official capacity and serve on graduate student committees. The incumbent will be responsible for data collection and analysis and appropriate dissemination of results including presentations to scientific and public groups, reports to the funding agency, and manuscripts for peer-reviewed journals. Additionally, project management experience is required, as the incumbent is responsible for staff supervision, writing project and budget proposals, and managing the project budget.

The Department of Fisheries and Wildlife is an academic unit that reports to the College of Agricultural Sciences. The Department is composed of approximately 300 staff - including academic faculty, research assistants, classified staff, graduate students, and temporary staff. We are a vibrant department that promotes a supportive "family" atmosphere for all students and employees.

Approximately $8 million of externally funded research grants/contracts are received each year. Major cooperator and funding sources include most state and federal resources agencies. Much of the research is field-based, requiring seasonal hires and frequent personnel updates. Cooperation is formalized through the department's participation in the Oregon Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit.

The mission of the Department is to discover, integrate and disseminate knowledge about wildlife and fisheries resources, as well as ecosystems and human communities with which they interrelate. It accomplishes this through an interconnected program of 1) undergraduate and graduate education 2) scholarly research and 3) extended education.

Position Duties

25% Experimental research: Responsibilities include designing and executing experimental research in the field and in the lab with both applied and basic applications, to answer questions about juvenile life history and to improve rearing of wild fish surrogates. As a project manager, these duties include lead work/supervision for faculty research assistants and graduate students.

20% Data management and analyses. Responsibilities include organization and management of data for research and monitoring of research projects and rearing of wild fish surrogates, and analysis of data and interpretation of results. Strong analytical skills required, with proficiency using R for analyzing both field and lab research data.

20% Project management and leadership. Responsibilities include determining project needs in terms of what type of research, when to conduct the research, and how. Organizing regular meetings both internally with project staff and externally with project end-users and funding agency. Additionally, duties include supervising staff on a daily basis, formulating job descriptions, hiring, project planning and long term oversight, ensuring appropriate animal care use, developing project proposals and budgets, and managing the project budget.

15% Reporting results to public and stakeholders, co-authoring papers for publication in peer reviewed journals. Responsibilities include writing reports for funding agency, writing peer reviewed papers, and presentation of results and findings to funding agency and appropriate fisheries management and scientific meetings.

10% Data collection at hatchery facilities and field sites. Responsibilities include fish sampling at research hatchery facilities, as well as sampling of fish in collaboration with state fish biologists at state hatcheries and at field sites. As project manager, these duties include lead work/supervision for faculty research assistants and graduate students.

10% Coordination of fish needs with agency and research point of contacts. Responsibilities include determining details necessary to produce wild fish surrogates for researchers within the Willamette Basin and ensuring that fish needs are adequately met.

Driving is required to travel to research sites. The position will require frequent travel to research hatchery facilities, state hatcheries, and field sites within the Willamette River basin.

Minimum/Required Qualifications
  • Ph.D. with a background in fish ecology, behavior, physiology, behavioral ecology, fishery science, or genetics (or some combination thereof), with an interest in the application of basic research to fisheries.
  • Proven track record for carrying out fish behavior research and controlled experiments.
  • Self-motivated, problem solver with good critical thinking and analytical skills.
  • Ability to work independently and as a productive, reliable team player and team leader.
  • Ability to supervise staff and students, including the formulation of job descriptions, participation in the hiring process, and daily supervision.
  • Ability to collaborate within and across disciplines with individuals at all levels of the academic and agency hierarchies (from work-study students to full professors and research center leaders).
  • Ability to prioritize multiple competing priorities, and confer with other project leaders.
  • Excellent command of the English language, including written and verbal communication skills.
  • Experience conducting cutting edge research and strong experimental design for both applied and basic research projects.
  • Current quantitative analytical skills, including experimental and field research analyses using linear and generalized linear mixed models and geometric morphometrics with proficiency in R.
  • Experience with data analysis and writing reports and peer-reviewed papers with both applied and basic research focus.
  • Project management skills, related both to research projects including developing and managing budgets, as well as to facility/laboratory management.
  • Experience working with vendors or contractors.
  • This position is designated as a critical or security-sensitive position; therefore, the incumbent must successfully complete a criminal history check and be determined to be position qualified as per OSU Standard 576-055-0000 et seq. Incumbents are required to self-report convictions and those in youth programs may have additional criminal history checks every 24 months.
  • This position requires driving a university vehicle or a personal vehicle on behalf of the university; therefore, the incumbent must successfully complete a motor vehicle history check, possess and maintain a current, valid driver's license in their state of residence, be determined to be position qualified and self-report convictions as per University Policy 05-030.
Preferred (Special) Qualifications
  • Strong publication record, a demonstrable commitment to seeking external funding, and research interests aligned with the Oregon Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and the Oregon Hatchery Research Center.
  • Knowledge of fisheries biology/management and prior experience working with salmonids; use of quantitative applications and statistical programming; proven ability to quickly learn new techniques and analyses; sound understanding of juvenile salmonid life history patterns.
  • Some fieldwork experience.
  • Demonstrable commitment to promoting and enhancing diversity.
Working Conditions / Work Schedule

Driving is required to travel to research sites. The position will require frequent travel to research hatchery facilities, state hatcheries, and field sites within the Willamette River basin.

Largely office/lab duties, but occasional research in possible inclement weather or conditions is required.

Ability to lift or pull heavy equipment (50+ lbs.).

This position requires a clear and unambiguous commitment to compliance of all National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) regulations for Division I (FBS) universities. No
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Job Type Full-time