Small Mammal Research Fellowships

Job Description

USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station invite applications for research fellows. Fellows will be part of a research project examining relationships between small mammal communities, coastal meadows and grasslands, and the federally threatened Oregon Silverspot Butterfly.

These are full time, fixed term, seasonal fellowships administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), with starting dates of July 15, 2018, and an ending date of September 15, 2018. This project will have 4 team members—based out of Lincoln City, OR area.  The selected applicants will be ORISE fellows and mentored by the USDA Forest Service.

Participation in this program requires driving federally-owned vehicles on Forest Service and private roads and navigating difficult terrain on foot to access live-trapping grids. Fellows must be able to conduct duties independently following established protocols to safely capture, handle, ear tag, and release a variety of small mammal species including mice, voles, shrews, chipmunks, ground squirrels, and skunks. The work is physically strenuous and involves working and hiking and transporting backpacks with traps in rain, heat, wind, and on steep, brushy slopes typically without established trails. Fellows must be able to work as team members and will live and work in shared living space at the headquarters at Cascade Head Experimental Forest (Otis, OR).

Job Duties

Capture, handle, tag, and release small mammals. Collect accurate field notes, care for field equipment and government vehicles. Measure habitat characteristics at each trapping location. Perform office work including data entry, maintaining field notes, and coordinating work with crew mates and mentor. Complete all required in-person and online training. Perform other duties as assigned.

Most duties will be performed during daylight hours. All duties must be performed with a high degree of quality, uniformity, and timeliness. This is a full-time appointment which requires 40 hours per week. The fellow will work varying time schedules throughout the season.

Required Qualifications

Previous field experience should include orienteering skills including the use of maps, compass, and handheld GPS units.

    • Above average physical fitness, willingness to work irregular hours.

    • Good driving record and ability to operate a 4-wheel drive vehicle.

    • Strong attention to detail.

    • Ability to conduct work independently or as part of a team as the situation demands.

    • Ability to work in adverse weather conditions.

    • Ability to work collaboratively as part of an ecological research team.

    • Experience/interest in small mammal ecology, demographics and habitat use.

Recent bachelor's degree in wildlife or a closely related field preferred. Bachelor’s degree in progress will also be considered.


$2,200/month. Employer-provided health insurance is available for fellows at an additional cost.


Project Title: Coastal Meadow Small Mammal Abundance and Ecology

Dates: July 15, 2018 through September 15, 2018.

Location: Work will primarily be performed on the Siuslaw National Forest, as well as adjacent federal and private lands. 

Housing: There is housing available free of charge at the Cascade Head Experimental Forest headquarters in Otis, OR.  

Transportation: Federally-owned work vehicles will be provided to perform job duties. Fellows are responsible for transportation to Otis, OR.


If interested, please send a letter of interest, a resume that includes names, phone numbers and email address of at least 3 references, and unofficial college transcripts as email attachments (preferably in a single PDF) to Dr. Todd Wilson ( by April 30, 2018. These positions will be filled as suitable candidates are found. Please contact Dr. Wilson with any questions about the position.