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Research Assistant - Geltsdale

Reference: JAN20224747
Expiry date: 2022-02-12 23:59:00.000
Location: Geltsdale
Salary: £18,100.00 - £20,080.00 Per Annum
Benefits: Pension, Annual Leave, Life Assurance
Duration:4 months
Attachments: CandidateGuidanceNotes2021.pdf

About Geltsdale

RSPB Geltsdale is one of RSPB’s largest and most spectacular upland nature reserves, situated in the North Pennines close to Hadrian’s Wall and the Scottish border. It comprises over 5000 hectares of blanket bog, heathland, acid grassland and enclosed farmland, supporting a huge range of habitats and species, including breeding waders, black grouse and birds of prey.

What's the job about

This is an amazing opportunity to work with the team at RSPB Geltsdale. We are looking for an enthusiastic and experienced research assistant, to support our monitoring programme during the 2022 breeding season. You will be spending your days surveying, walking the fells and mapping the many special bird species found here.

This role involves working with the Monitoring Warden, the wider Geltsdale team, volunteers and tenant farmers. The purpose of the post is to undertake ecological surveys assessing bird abundance and breeding success, as well as basic habitat surveys. You will be assigned a number of plots across the reserve to survey using standard methodologies, which will include upland, inbye and possibly woodland transects. The terrain is hard going, off paths, and on heather moorland.  Flexibility is sometimes required to ensure all essential surveys are completed within the dedicated period, which can be a challenge regarding the weather! There may be an opportunity to locate Curlew nests if time allows; your survey work will be key, allowing others to find nests on your plots.  Good communication will be essential, to ensure efficient nest finding which will contribute to the wider Curlew Life Project which Geltsdale is part of.

The accommodation will be on the reserve or in a shared house with other RSPB staff in Brampton (a few miles away from Geltsdale) and we will be offering the use of a hire car.

Data entry work can be carried out at the accommodation (on bad weather days) or maybe the reserve office if there is room.

What we need from you

  • A sound knowledge of natural history in general (ornithology in particular) especially in regard to upland habitats and species.
  • Ability to identify upland bird species by sight and sound.
  • Experience of territory mapping.
  • Experience of any vegetation monitoring.
  • Must be capable of working independently and be prepared to spend whole days working alone on remote parts of the reserve on difficult terrain and be comfortable using a map/compass/GPS.
  • Able to work flexible and unsociable hours and occasionally weekends to ensure survey period deadlines are met when faced with bad weather.
  • Verbal and written communication skills to develop and maintain good relations with other RSPB team members, landowners and members of the public.
  • Full Driver license valid for use in the UK and the use of own vehicle.
  • Ability to consistently and accurately record data in the field.
  • Be prepared to enter your own data onto Merlin (RSPB’s in-house GIS system) after every survey period. Training will be provided - previous use of other GIS software will be beneficial.

For all application/role enquiries please contact – Jen Selvidge (Monitoring Warden) jen.selvidge@rspb.org.uk

Please note that you will be required to upload a CV and complete an application form where you will have the opportunity to tell us why you are best suited for this role.

Before applying to this role we would recommend reading through the candidate guidance notes attached to the top of our advert.

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