Biology Research Wildlife Biologist - USDA Forest Service

USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station

Research Scientist Position – Wildlife Biology Research Wildlife Biologist (GS-11/12) SRS-4353; Duty Station: Aiken, South Carolina

The Center for Forested Watershed Research of the Southern Research Station (SRS-4353) plans to fill a full-time, term post-doc Research Wildlife Biologist position. The position will be filled at either the GS-11 ($61,218/yr) or GS-12 ($73,375/yr) level, plus standard Federal benefits. The duty station is located at the Savannah River Site, New Ellenton, SC. The mission of the Center is to conduct basic and applied research on the ecological functions and management of forested watersheds. The mission of the Forest Service, Savannah River is to support the management and policy objectives for the Department of Energy's Savannah River Site and to facilitate the National Environmental Research Park functions.


The scientist conducts research aimed at enhancing restoration and conservation of the wildlife species characteristic of pre-settlement Coastal Plain ecosystems within the context of modern multiple use landscapes. The scientist’s research is not limited to a single taxa but primary focus is on birds and mammals. The scientist disseminates research information through publications in both peer-reviewed and general literature and through invited and offered presentations to academic, professional, and lay audiences.

The scientist will work as a member of a team studying invasive wild pig ecology and approaches for control. Objectives of the team include assessing impacts of pigs on native wildlife, gaining a better understanding of aspects of wild pig ecology that would inform control efforts, development of improved population estimation methods, determining population parameters to improve predictive population models, and evaluation and improvement of control strategies. The scientist will use camera trap data to model spatial abundance of wild pigs across the SRS landscape and will use GPS location data from satellite telemetry to estimate utilization distributions of individual deer. The scientist will then model the potential effect of pigs on space use by deer using these data. The scientist will assess the effect of pigs on resource availability for native wildlife by evaluating acorn abundance in sites occurring along a gradient of pig density.

The scientist is co-leader of a team investigating relationships between population fitness of the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker (RCW) and its foraging habitat, with the objective of improving management efficiency in achieving population recovery. The scientist will use long- term population monitoring data coupled with LiDAR data on vegetation structure and field data on RCW foraging to re-define thresholds in habitat variables that describe optimal foraging habitat to maximize productivity. In addition, the scientist will plan and implement an

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experiment incorporating these new thresholds to assess the combined effect of foraging habitat quality and group density on occupancy success of recruitment clusters.

The scientist assembles, interprets, and disseminates data and information to provide basic direction and priorities for managing wildlife in conjunction with other land management activities. The scientist assembles technical information, performs analyses, prepares technical reports, participates in writing peer-reviewed journal papers, and participates in professional conferences.

The scientist will interact with US Forest Service biologists at the Savannah River Site and biologists in agencies such as the US Geological Survey and the US Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as colleagues from the University of Georgia, Clemson University, North Carolina State University, the University of South Carolina – Aiken, and others.

Requirements The position requires: (1) a Ph.D. in wildlife biology, ecology, zoology, or related field; and (2) excellent oral and written communication skills. The position is a full-time 2-year term post-doc. Applicants must be a U.S. citizen. The anticipated starting date is June 1, 2019. The position is within the Forest Watershed Sciences Unit (SRS-4353) of the Southern Research Station.

How to be considered The purpose of this outreach is to determine potential applicants who may be interested in the position. If you are interested in this position, please go to and click “respond” to complete the online form by February 28, 2018. For more information, contact Dr. John C. Kilgo at or (803)725-0561.

The USDA Forest Service is an Equal Opportunity Employer

The Forest Service provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or outreach process, please notify Cheryl Jefferson at 828-259-0562, email:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs). Persons with disabilities who require alternate means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotapes, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

To file a complaint of discrimination write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202)720- 6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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Local Area Information

USFS-SR is located in the Central Savannah River Area, which includes the cities of Aiken, S.C. (15 miles from USFS-SR) and Augusta, Ga. (20 miles from USFS-SR). The 2010 United States Census has the Central Savannah River Area’s total population at 709,433. Because the missions of the Site are international in scope, the local communities include people from all races and cultures. The average temperature is 65 degrees and average annual rainfall is 47.5 inches. Recreational opportunities abound in the area and include fishing, hunting, hiking, swimming, and biking. Atlanta, the Appalachian Mountains, and the Atlantic Ocean all offer excellent recreational opportunities, and are each only two – four hours away by car. The area is rich with Revolutionary War and Civil War historic sites.

The Aiken Area Aiken is the seat of Aiken County and is known throughout the world for its top class equestrian races such as Aiken’s Triple Crown, Steeplechase and polo events. With 94 historic locations, Aiken is home to signature gardens such as Hopelands Gardens, a 14-acre estate with 100-year-old cedars, meandering trails and ponds; Hitchcock Woods, one of the largest urban forests in the nation with about 2,100 acres of forest habitat; several museums and venues for recreation, arts and entertainment; and myriad of annual events. A past winner of the nationwide All American City competition, Aiken, is a full-service community with one hospital; two higher education institutions: University of South Carolina-Aiken and Aiken Technical College; and an award winning public school system. An influx of retirees and a continued passion for the equestrian sporting life are credited with making the Aiken area “the hottest real estate market in the state.” Aiken has the aesthetic beauty and charm of a small Southern city with a cosmopolitan flair.

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The Augusta Area Nestled along the banks of the Savannah River, Augusta is the second largest and oldest city in Georgia with a population of over 200,000. You will enjoy the historic charm of the classic South with its tree- lined streets and majestic antebellum mansions. Local attractions include the historic Augusta Canal National Heritage Area, Augusta Museum of History, Clarks Hill Lake, Enterprise Mill, Lake Olmstead Stadium, Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History, The Morris Museum of Art, Sacred Heart Cultural Center, Riverwalk, and Woodrow Wilson’s boyhood home. Columbia County neighbors Augusta and is the second largest metropolitan area in Georgia and includes Evans, Martinez, Grovetown, and Harlem. Columbia County is a fast growing suburban area with a diversified job market, premier school system, and economical land for the purpose of residential and commercial development. Within the Augusta and surrounding areas there are five major hospitals, several universities, colleges, and technical schools, an orchestra, a minor league baseball team, and the Augusta Regional Airport. Concerts, plays and major events are enjoyed at the James Brown Arena, Bell Auditorium, Imperial Theatre, and Lady Antebellum Pavilion. The famous Masters Golf Tournament, high-speed power boat races and a major rodeo are also annually held in Augusta.

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