Summer field technologists work with us from May to the end of August. The position is intense, satisfying and never boring. The field season offers many opportunities to experience nature and learn about our biodiversity. It’s an adventure you won’t forget.
Our field season typically runs from the beginning of May until the end of July or August and consists of a number of different phases. Crews typically work a 5 to 11 day shift followed by 2 to 5 days off. Once hired, summer field technologists receive a tentative schedule of the shifts and days off for the duration of the summer. Field work is often unpredictable, with weather and wildfires driving changes to our schedules. We require technologists be very flexible and adaptable to the ever changing schedule and tasks. Even if the schedule may change while on shift, we do our best to maintain the dates of days off. Training occurs at one of our central base locations, whereas field work occurs across the province by teams of two. Technologists can expect to have some long drives to travel to different stations and to sites. Crews are often isolated during their field shifts where they are provided basic accommodation in university residences, travel trailers, or tents. All equipment required to access the sites (4X4 trucks, ATVS, etc.) and complete field work (backpacks, radios, etc.) is provided.
Conditions vary according to where in the province sites are situated. All crews have the potential to work in relatively remote areas of the province, from grasslands to boreal. This sort of field work exposes technologists to a variety of levels of difficulty among sites: some sites may involve overgrown thickets of alder or very wet conditions while others are open and pleasant. This tends to even out over the course of the season and among all sites, but in general, field work is difficult.
The month of August usually consists of either lab work at the University of Alberta or additional field work. Technologists situated at the University of Alberta work to identify samples collected throughout the field season, providing the opportunity for technologists to expand on their invertebrate or moss identification skills. This is completed under the supervision of Royal Alberta Museum taxonomic staff (an ABMI partner organization). These technologists are based out of Edmonton for the month with accommodation provided. Field work for some crews could be extended into the month of August. Details for August are provided near the end of summer field data collection.