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Desert Tortoise Biologist for Biological Assessment Support
Position Type: Non‐Student Hourly, 9‐month appointment
Hourly Wage: $50‐$75/hour, depending on experience and budget
Number of Positions Available: 3‐4
Description of Need: Desert tortoise (DT) habitat is found within the Nellis Air Force Base (NAFB) lands. As such, the Air Force has a Biological Opinion (BO) with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for DT management on these lands. The current BO expires in June 2022. Prior to issuing a new BO, a Biological Assessment (BA) will need to be completed for the Nellis Natural Resources Program (NNRP). This BA will require habitat modelling to identify tortoise habitat on NAFB lands. The new BA needs to be completed by early 2022. There are 3‐4 hourly positions available with the Center for Environmental Management of Military Lands (CEMML) at Colorado State University (CSU) to support the development of a new BA for the NNRP. These positions will require travel to Las Vegas for site visits and coordination, qualified Nevada‐based and remote candidates will be considered. Biologists will be required to coordinate with the CEMML and NNRP teams, which are both located in Las Vegas.
Position Description: The Desert Tortoise Biologists will form a team that is responsible for developing a new BA for the NNRP. Prior experience preparing Biological Assessments is a requirement for this position. Experience with geospatial modelling is also required. The Desert Tortoise BA team will be required to coordinate with the CEMML Desert Tortoise Conservation Specialist, the CEMML Lead Wildlife Biologist that is responsible for herpetology projects, the CEMML Principal Investigator (stationed in Colorado), and the NNRP team. It is expected that the Desert Tortoise Biologists will draw on previous experience writing BA’s and working with DT to write and complete the new BA within the 9‐month appointment, this timeline is non‐negotiable. It is expected that each Desert Tortoise Biologist will work with the other Desert Tortoise Biologists in a professional and respectful manner to keep work moving forward and on‐schedule. Any deviation from this expectation may result in termination from the team.
The effort will include the following tasks:
- Review of the current BO, the last BA, all available data for DT on NAFB lands, and a literature review for recent DT publications
- Habitat modelling to develop new habitat maps which are based on approved scientific methods and models
- Coordination with the CEMML and NNRP teams for guidance and some support
- Write a new BA that will successfully assist the NNRP through the Section 7 consultation process