Subterranean Technician

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Deadline to Apply:

Friday, August 27, 2021, 5:00pm


Austin, TX
United States

Job Category:


Job Type:


Job Description:

Bat Conservation International (BCI), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to ending bat extinctions worldwide, seeks a part-time Subterranean Technician to join BCI’s Conservation Department. Multiple positions may be filled through this announcement. The Subterranean Technician will work as part of the Subterranean Team in the Habitat Protection & Restoration Program.

This position requires an experienced, highly motivated individual willing and able to conduct fieldwork above and below ground safely, efficiently, and professionally in various environments throughout the western United States. The successful candidate will perform multiple conservation activities that benefit bats and other wildlife that depend on subterranean habitat, with a primary focus on conducting internal surveys of abandoned mines and caves. Project work occurs in partnership with land management agencies, including Bureau of Land Management, Department of Energy, National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, and others. Subterranean field surveys are used to assess habitat quality and determine bat and other wildlife use of subterranean sites to inform management recommendations to protect important habitat. Additionally, this position may assist with project management duties, including report writing, data and photo management, and other pre- and post-fieldwork tasks. On-the-job training will occur, and opportunities for additional safety/medical certifications may be available.

Work Schedule:

This is a part-time, intermittent position that will fulfill as-needed field project duties. As such, work is not guaranteed and is likely to be sporadic in nature. When work is available, advance notice of 1-3 months is generally provided. Available project work requires travel to project sites and living and working on-site, in or near field locations. Field projects are typically five weekdays in length, including travel days, though some projects may require more extended deployments and may include working weekends. Field weeks may consist of travel and field days ranging in length from 8 hours to 12 hours or more. Typical field projects occur in remote, mountainous terrain, based out of local towns (often small communities with limited services). Overnight lodging is provided in shared house rentals or hotel rooms, with private bedrooms for each team member, though some projects may require camping. Meals and other travel costs are also covered. Office work, when available, is flexible in nature and will occur remotely from a home office.


Position Description (Major Duties):

Surveying and assessing abandoned mines and caves for bats and other wildlife, primarily using internal surveys, following standardized BCI protocols.
Assisting with writing professional-quality reports, managing data and photos collected during fieldwork, and communicating survey results and assessments with project partners.
Assisting with planning and managing logistics for field projects, including travel reservations and gear maintenance.

Ideal Candidate Qualifications:

Required Knowledge/Experience:

  • Experience working in remote environments, utilizing off-trail navigation techniques, and following field safety protocols.
  • Experience living and working in small-team settings, including close and frequent contact with team members, while cooperating to pursue shared project goals and objectives.
  • Familiarity with basic computer operating systems/software and digital data entry using field devices.
  • Knowledge of scientific rigor, survey methods, field techniques, and technical writing ability.

Desired Knowledge/Experience:

  • Experience in underground environments, such as caves and/or abandoned mines.
  • Knowledge of bat biology and ecology and/or general knowledge of western U.S. wildlife.
  • Experience in single-rope techniques (SRT), including advanced rappelling, ascending, rigging, and training in self-rescue and hauling; and/or experience in other technical ropework disciplines (e.g., climbing, canyoneering, mountaineering).
  • Knowledge of surface and underground abandoned mine hazards and hard rock mining history.
  • Experience and knowledge in 4x4 off-road driving.
  • Certifications in first aid, CPR, and wilderness medicine.
  • Bachelor’s degree in Biology, Wildlife Management, Natural Resource Management, Environmental Science, or other similar degrees.
  • 2-3 years professional experience.

Work Characteristics & Competencies:

  • Resourceful problem-solving skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills.
  • Superior organizational skills and ability to handle a multitude of tasks and deadlines.
  • Ability to handle confidential information with sensitivity.
  • Ability to work independently with limited supervision and high motivation.
  • Good reasoning abilities and sound judgment.
  • Ability to work well with others and within a team.