Natural Resource Specialist 1 (Marine Habitat Mapping Assistant) | Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife |Newport, OR
CLOSING DATE/TIME: 09/16/16 11:59 PM
SALARY: $3,045.00 - $4,423.00 Monthly
JOB TYPE: Limited Duration
Duties & Responsibilities
The Marine Habitat Mapping Assistant will conduct scientific work to develop and test protocols for technical data collection with acoustic remote sensing equipment to analyze the bathymetry and characteristics of habitats in estuaries and shallow marine waters along the Oregon coast. The primary purpose of the position is to deploy and operate scientific echo-sounders and associated equipment in the field, analyze and evaluate acoustic data to derive seafloor habitat characteristics and bathymetry, compare acoustic-derived habitat typing with paired video ground-truthing of habitat classification, and draft portions of the final report that assesses the spatial accuracy and substrate type resolution from the echo sounder deployments relative to existing habitat spatial information and techniques. Major duties and responsibilities are to:
• Participate in the design and testing of deployment infrastructure and protocols for advanced acoustic, GPS, and video equipment. Assess potential component compatibility and cost. Participate in the purchasing of components, fabrication and assembly of the equipment mounts and connections. Learn existing protocols for basic data acquisition. Identify new protocol requirements imposed by the intended study design and deployment environments. Test new protocols during trial deployments.
• Work at-sea to collect acoustic data and acquire technical information for mapping bathymetry and classifying substrates, along with video images to verify substrate typing. Assist with design of field surveys. Operate and help maintain a 25 foot ocean research vessel. Conduct field surveys within representative estuarine and marine habitats to characterize bathymetry and substrate types. Deploy, operate, and recover acoustic and video instruments during field trials at sea. Generate and maintain accurate records and a logbook of field operations and data collection activities. Evaluate project efficiencies and make recommendations for improvements to the design of the sensor system and operational protocol based on at-sea trials.
• Analyze and evaluate acoustic data to extract high quality bathymetry and substrate type profiles. Post-process and analyze raw acoustic data using proprietary substrate classification software to classify habitats. Evaluate classification results and use ArcGIS to produce geodatabases of bathymetry and habitat typing. Explore development of alternate custom programming-based algorithms for processing raw acoustic data. Evaluate alternate methods to determine how to maximize the resolution obtained in classifying habitat types. Review videos and record quantitative assessments of bottom type. Conduct an evaluation of acoustic-derived habitat typing datasets and habitat data derived from video images to quantitatively compare results of the two methods. Conduct spatial analyses using ArcGIS to assess the spatial accuracy and substrate type resolution achieved during at-sea trials under different deployment conditions and habitat types. Use ArcGIS to incorporate acoustic survey data into the existing spatial data management framework, and compare survey results with previously existing spatial information.
• Prepare sections of the final report based on research results. Review scientific literature and published reports on utility and accuracy of acoustic-based habitat mapping techniques. Report the results of the at-sea trials of all candidate field methods, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the different approaches based on the spatial accuracy and resolution results, and make recommendations for improvements to the design of the sensor system and operational protocol based on at-sea trials. Prepare additional sections of the final project report with assessments of the accuracy and overall utility of the acoustic habitat mapping approaches selected.
• A Bachelor's degree in Fisheries or Wildlife Science or a closely-related Bachelor's degree with at least 45 quarter (30 semester) hours of biological/ecological coursework; OR
• Three years of biological experience performing studies, research, or resource management activities in a fish or wildlife program.