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Field Officer - Gough Island (Fixed-Term)

Reference: MAR20231284
Expiry date: 2023-04-30 22:59:00.000
Location: Gough Island
Salary: £25,723.00 - £27,614.00 Per Annum
Benefits: Pension, Life Assurance, 26 days Annual Leave
Duration:15 months
Attachments: Additionalinformation_FieldOfficer.docx

The RSPB is looking to recruit a Field Officer to carry out bird monitoring and other field work on Gough Island, including the control of an invasive plant Sagina procumbens and activities to underpin efforts to restore the Gough Island World Heritage Site. The post holder will work alongside and report to a Field Team Leader. The post will be for a period of ~15 months, consisting of ~ 2 months pre-deployment training and ~13 months deployment on Gough Island (please note, precise dates for training and shipping schedules vary from year to year).

Gough Island (6,500 ha) lies in the South Atlantic and forms part of the UK Overseas Territory of Tristan da Cunha, widely considered as one of the world’s most important seabird breeding sites.

This position offers a unique opportunity for a highly motivated and disciplined candidate with relevant fieldwork skills and a keen interest in wildlife, who can adapt well to small island living in a challenging and remote sub-Antarctic environment.

Work during the austral summer months when most of the island’s seabird species are breeding is very intense, with frequent long hours of fieldwork and data entry and management, so it is important to be well organised. Data are managed using databases and checked by creating and inspecting reports on a monthly basis, observing deadlines at frequent intervals.

The Field Team Leader and successful applicant for the Field Officer position will be joining the South African National Antarctic Programme (SANAP) over-wintering team consisting of three meteorologists and four support staff, bringing the total team size to nine people. The successful applicant will be required to work within the requirements of SANAP's over-wintering teams, including sharing cooking and cleaning duties in communal living quarters.

The ideal candidate will be able to cope with the above tasks and will be experienced in remote and challenging field conditions. Applicants should have good awareness of safety issues and be comfortable living in close quarters with other people from a diverse range of cultures. The successful applicant will be highly driven, self-motivated, and be able to get along with other team members.  

Essential skills, knowledge, and experience:

  • A science degree or equivalent experience in a relevant subject.
  • Wild bird/animal handling and monitoring experience in the field with a focus on bird identification, bird banding/ringing.
  • Seabird-specific ringing experience/permit (must have a valid BTO ringing permit for seabirds by the time of deployment).
  • Working on remote islands in challenging terrain and inclement weather conditions for extended periods (or equivalent remote locations).
  • Data collection/data management skills or a demonstrable ability to adhere to data collection and management standards.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with the tact, diplomacy, and respect to develop and maintain good relations with the team and relevant members of the Tristan Community.
  • Ability to live and work in a very small team from a diverse range of cultures at a remote location for a prolonged period.
  • Ability to adhere to health and safety policies and procedures at all times.
  • Ability to follow management decisions from your Team Leader.
  • Ability to understand and work within external partners’ communications and managerial protocols.
  • Proficiency in standard software packages (MS Office).

Desirable skills, knowledge and experience:

  • Practical/technical skills (e.g., carpentry, construction, radio telemetry etc.).
  • Willingness to generate materials for communications purposes (e.g., photography of wildlife / fieldwork, writing blogs).
  • Basic knowledge in R statistical software.
  • Data management skills (e.g., using Access).

This is a Fixed-Term, full-time contract for approximately 15 months. The RSPB reserves the right to extend or make this role permanent without further advertising dependent on business needs at the end of the contract term.

Please note that due to a current review of the maintenance of the living quarters on Gough Island, this post is provisional and dependent upon the review outcome.

We are looking to conduct interviews for this position in mid-late May 2023. For further information please contact 

As part of this application process, you will be asked to provide a copy of your CV and complete an application form including evidence on how you meet the skills, knowledge, and experience listed above.

We are committed to developing an inclusive and diverse RSPB, in which everyone feels supported, valued, and able to be their full selves. To achieve our vision of creating a world richer in nature, we need more people, and more diverse people, on nature’s side. People of colour and disabled people are currently underrepresented across the environment, climate, sustainability, and conservation sector. If you identify as a person of colour and/or disabled, we are particularly interested in receiving your application. Contact us to discuss any additional support you may need to complete your application.

The RSPB is an equal opportunities employer. This role is covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

Before applying for this role, we recommend reading through the information document attached to the top of this advert.