Minimum Qualifications Candidates must have a Bachelor's Degree and two years of professional research experience in an appropriate scientific field (e.g., wildlife pathology, wildlife disease ecology/epidemiology, wildlife ecology, biological sciences, physiology, animal science or laboratory science); or a Master's Degree in the appropriate field and one year of such experience. Candidates with Doctor of Veterinary Medicine or PhD are encouraged to apply.
Previous experience with necropsy or human autopsy techniques and strong knowledge of native NY wildlife ecology and wildlife disease are desirable assets. The specific skills and experience needed for this position include: knowledge and understanding of animal anatomy and physiology, sample collection techniques for virology, bacteriology, and histology and knowledge of common wildlife diseases. Candidates should also have experience with scientific research design and data collection, the ability to analyze data and make defensible decisions and recommendations, strong scientific writing skills, and the ability to review the work of others in a constructive manner. Candidates must provide full documentation of their qualifying background including course work and record of practical experience.
Duties Description The NYSDEC Wildlife Health Program (WHP) is a multi-disciplined approach to addressing diseases that threaten wildlife health, human health, and livestock health. The WHP is a partnership between NYSDEC and Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine.
The Wildlife Health Unit (WHU) provides wildlife disease and necropsy expertise to the WHP. The Research Scientist 1 will conduct postmortem examinations (necropsy) on wildlife for diagnosis and surveillance of morbidity and mortality factors at the DEC's Wildlife Resources Center in Delmar. The Research Scientist 1 will assist with wildlife disease monitoring, surveillance and data collection in support of Wildlife Health Program partners at the Animal Health Diagnostic Center at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, NYSDEC Bureau of Wildlife staff, NYS Department of Health (NYSDOH), and NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM).
The objective of this position is to support wildlife disease diagnosis, surveillance and response.
Under the supervision of the Wildlife Health Program Coordinator (Biologist 2 Wildlife) and working in conjunction with other professionals, the incumbent will be responsible for the following activities:
Gross Necropsy 60%
Perform gross necropsies on free-ranging native birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles, record biological data (species, age, sex, morphometric data, ingested food identification, parasite numbers and identification), collect tissues for ancillary testing, review case data and diagnose the cause of morbidity and mortality.
Perform routine and targeted disease surveillance for viral, prion, bacteriologic, fungal, parasitic and toxicological diseases including rabies, canine distemper, Chronic Wasting Disease, botulism, West Nile Virus, white nose syndrome, snake fungal disease, ranavirus, avian influenza, bovine tuberculosis, chytrid fungus, epizootic hemorrhagic disease, pesticide poisoning, lead poisoning, and others.
Report necropsy findings to DEC Wildlife Managers and submitting field staff and record data in WHP database.
Provide necropsy support for DEC Law Enforcement wildlife forensic investigations.
Research Assistance 25%
Coordinate activities and support research with Wildlife Health Program partners at the Animal Health Diagnostic Center at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, NYSDOH, NYSDAM, and others.
Maintain and expand current knowledge and awareness of wildlife diseases and toxicants through continual literature review, attending training classes/seminars, participation in professional Societies/Organizations, and interactions with other disease investigators.
Respond to requests for information from DEC staff, other State Agency staff, FOIL response, and the general public.
Laboratory Management 10%
Coordinate and supervise sample collection for annual statewide Chronic Wasting Disease Surveillance.
Supervise subordinate WHU staff and oversee specimen management, maintenance of necropsy suites and supply inventories, radiograph equipment operation, and operation and maintenance of pathological waste incinerator.
Assist with statewide staff training related to wildlife diseases, zoonotic diseases, personal protective equipment, field investigations, specimen collection and preservation, and submission procedures.
Public Outreach 5%
Assist with preparation of protocols, reports, permits, and manuscripts.
Prepare and present educational lectures to colleges and universities, and the general public on the subjects of wildlife diseases and necropsy techniques.
Additional Comments Must have valid driver's license or demonstrate the ability to meet the transportation needs of the position. Use of personal protection equipment, including a respirator, will be required.
Must be able to negotiate difficult terrain, work in remote areas and in adverse weather conditions. Travel may be required.
Must be able to lift and move objects up to 70 pounds. Must obtain NYSDEC Crematory Operator Certificate.
State Of New York