Project Paleontologist/Field Supervisor, Utah
SWCA Environmental Consultants is an employee-owned consulting firm specializing in environmental regulatory compliance, cultural resource management, and related research. We
are a company of biologists, geologists, archaeologists, paleontologists and planners with 27 years of experience and with more than 600 employees located in 26 offices throughout the western contiguous United States, Alaska, Hawaii and Guam. We have a growing paleontological resources program with full-time staff based in California, Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, and with projects located throughout the western United States. We offer a casual work environment and a generous benefits package, including a stock ownership plan.
We are seeking an experienced and motivated paleontologist to join our paleontological resources team and oversee paleontological projects in Utah (and assist with projects in adjacent states as needed). This position will be based in either our Vernal or Salt Lake City Office (subject to negotiation). Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience, and the successful candidate will be a full-time, hourly or salaried employee (subject to negotiation).
The purpose of this position is largely to assist our clients with obtaining paleontological clearances for their projects. In summary, this involves the discovery, documentation, identification, collection, assessment, and analysis of paleontological resources. It includes the mitigation of adverse impacts to scientifically significant fossils via surveys, monitoring, salvage, avoidance, screenwashing, and other techniques in compliance with Federal, Tribal, State and or
local regulations protecting paleontological resources.
The Project Paleontologist/Field Director will perform all aspects of paleontological work for projects located within the state of Utah, the majority of which are situated in the Uinta Basin. Assistance with projects in other states may also be required. Specific responsibilities are listed below, but will generally include planning, undertaking and oversight of paleontological projects, and will involve a combination of field, lab and office work.
Administratively, this position will report to the Salt Lake City or Vernal Office Program Director, but the scientific and technical aspects of the position will be overseen by the Paleontology Principal Investigator, with whom the Project Paleontologist/Field Director will coordinate and communicate with on a regular basis. The Project Paleontologist/Field Director will also interact with clients, agencies and museums, and will work closely with other SWCA paleontologists and SWCA staff in other offices as needed. For larger and more complex projects in Utah, the Project Paleontologist/Field Director will be responsible for coordinating and directing the activities of paleontological staff who may be required to assist.
Duties and Responsibilities:
- Plans, conducts and oversees paleontological projects
- Undertakes literature searches, geologic map reviews, museum and agency paleontological record searches as needed
- Writes technical reports documenting the results of projects including survey and monitoring reports, assessments, mitigation plans, research designs, and NEPA document sections as assigned
- Conducts paleontological surveys, mitigation projects including construction monitoring, fossil excavations and salvages, and other field activities as needed with an emphasis on stratigraphic data collection
- Laboratory preparation of fossils
- Analysis of stratigraphic and paleontologic data (including fossil identifications), depending upon the specific expertise of the successful applicant
- Effectively coordinates with clients, land management agencies, museums, and other paleontologists as required, including visiting paleontological staff that are assisting with Utah projects
- Project Management: manages logistical and financial aspects of projects as assigned
- Assists with the preparation of project budgets, scopes of work, and proposals as needed
- Works closely with the Salt Lake City and Vernal Office staff, the Paleontology Principal Investigator, and other paleontological staff to promote SWCA’s interests in adherence to its mission, vision, and values
Applicants shall be evaluated on the basis of the following criteria:
- Education and professional experience in paleontology: possession of a graduate degree with an emphasis in paleontology or demonstrated equivalent experience is required
- Knowledge of the sedimentary geology of the western interior of the United States with paleontological field experience in the intermountain west. Must meet the criteria to be approved as a “Field Agent” on BLM Paleontological Resource Use permits.
- Field skills including ability to locate, document, excavate, and identify fossils and their stratigraphic context. Prior experience with paleontological mitigation projects including construction monitoring is highly desirable.
- Fossil preparation and museum curation experience
- Supervisory experience, effective written and verbal communications skills, organizational and data management skills, problem solving and critical thinking skills, and ability to work independently
- Ability to undertake field work that includes hiking and working in rough terrain in extreme temperatures; possession of a drivers license and good driving record
- Ability to be able to work closely with paleontological staff in other offices under the oversight of the Principal Investigator
- Ability to work in an interdisciplinary team with cultural and natural resource specialists, coordinate with land managers, and communicate with clients. Must be self-motivated and maintain a positive and professional approach.
- Project management experience: ability to effectively design project scopes of work, develop associated tasks, cost proposals, and successfully manage projects through completion
Application Deadline: December 15th, 2008.
Candidates must have current eligibility to work in the United States. SWCA does not provide sponsorship for work visas at this time. SWCA is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages women and minorities to apply.
Email a cover letter, curriculum vitae, two writing samples, and contact information for three
references to Jason Gerster, Recruiter (firstname.lastname@example.org). Address cover letter to: Paul C.
Murphey, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, Paleontology.