[Taxacom] JOB ANNOUNCEMENT: data base assistant in Chilean Patagonia (with text in mail)

Vreni Häussermann v.haussermann at gmail.com
Tue Nov 26 08:16:56 CST 2013

we are offering a 2 year job as database assistant on a scientific field
station in Chilean Patagonia starting 1.4.2014
I hope you can distribute the job offer.
Vreni Häussermann

Now I copied the text into the mail-it obviously did not arrive.

 *Job Announcement for a GIS/data base technicial assistant for 2 years
starting for the latest 1.4.2014*

 The work will be carried out at Huinay Scientific Field Station within a
3-year project we earned (it started April 2013), called “*Zoogeography of
the Chilean fjord region (42ºS - 56ºS) based on selected taxa with a wide
range of ecological, reproductive and dispersal characteristics”*

The selected candidate will also continue working on the database, species
distribution simulations and MARXAN analysis of the Pew project “*A rapid
assessment project for mid-scale biogeographic pattern analysis for the
development of a MPA network plan in the Chilean Patagonian Fjord Region
and action for its implementation*” which has been going on for 3 years by

The Huinay Foundation is a private Foundation that is operating a
scientific field station in Chilean Patagonia. Huinay Scientific Field
Station was inaugurated in 2001 and is situated 100 km south of Puerto
Montt, in the fjord Comau; it is the only scientific station in a Chilean
fjord. The surroundings are characterized by steep mountains and volcanoes.
Almost 6000 mm annual precipitation gives rise to extremely lush vegetation
characterized by extra-tropical rain forests.

The small village Huinay with its approx. 25 inhabitants can only be
accessed by a 1-1.5 hour boat-trip (speed boat) from Hornopiren. Most
infrastructure - except some small shops and a rural hospital in Hornopiren
- is located in Puerto Montt, a 3 to 4 h drive or bus trip from Hornopiren.

Knowledge on organisms and ecological functioning of the fjord ecosystems
is very poor in Chilean Patagonia especially in the marine environment. The
goal of the station is-besides carrying out some own projects- to attract
national and international projects which help to fill the existing gaps.

To accomplish this, the field station has basic infrastructure: a dry and a
wet laboratory, diving and lodging facilities (8 rooms for up to approx. 16

Projects involve all kinds of terrestrial and marine base-line research but
main focus is on the marine environment and counseling for the
establishment of a network of marine protected areas. In this context we
are mainly promoting inventory studies of the fjord ecosystems and we
generally organize one expedition to remote areas of the fjord region each

We recently finished a major project, a scientific field guide for marine
benthic fauna of Chilean Patagonia (see www.PatagoniaMarina.info).

We have telephone and internet access via satellite and power supply by a
hydroelectric plant. We have two permanent technical-scientific assistants,
this job is an additional assistant within the mentioned project. The
assistants are supervised and report to two biologists in charge of the
scientific operation who are approximately a third of the time on the
station, but can be contacted practically at any time. Besides these two
scientists (the scientific director and a research coordinator) the
permanent staff consists of the two scientific-technical assistants, an
administrator, his wife (and assistant), a replacement of the
administrator, two boat captains, 1-2 persons in charge for cooking and
cleaning, and approx. 3 auxiliary administrative workers. We try to have
1-2 interns at any time at the station who help the scientific-technical
assistants. Scientists can visit throughout the year, but mostly come
between December and April (in the last years we had approx. 15 groups with
a total of 40-50 scientists yearly)

We are looking for an *GIS/data base technicial assistant* for 2 years,
beginning in April, 2014.

*Key abilities:*

-        GIS and data base experience

-        fluent English

-        good Spanish knowledge

In addition he/she should:

-        be an open, communicative, easy-going and nature-loving person who
has no problems or rather enjoys to live in an isolated and rainy place
(surrounded by lush forests) and be able to adapt to new situations

-        be self motivating and able to deal with difficulties of living in
a small remote place with few people

-        be organized and have organisatorial skills

-        have a general scientific, biological (taxonomical) and ecological
background or interest (ideally knowledge of or at least interest in

-        be flexible, patient and should be able to improvise (experience
in developing countries or better in South America is of advantage)

Computer skills:

-                    Candidate should have working knowledge in R to be
able to apply Species Distribution Models and to carry out standard
statistical tests.

-                    Knowledge of statistical packages PRIMER and Minitab
of advantage.

-                    Advanced in GIS methods and familiar with (at least
one) ArcGIS, QuantumGIS or GRASS. Familiarity with different data formats
and transformations.

-                    Familiarity with databases and SQL, preferably
PostgreSql. Knowledge of PostGIS of advantage.

-                    Programming knowledge in Python of great advantage
since a lot of past work has been done in python and could be carried on.

-                    Linux and Bash skills of advantage.

-                    Experience working with satellite images and aquaMODIS
processing desirable.

-        Experience in using MARXAN or similar software is desired.

-        System administrative skills (hard ware installation and network
configuration) are of big advantage.

The technicial assistant will be in charge of database work and GIS mapping
(adding older and newly sampled data mainly on species locations, in a
database), run species distribution models and a MARXAN analysis with the
aim to propose a network of marine protected areas. For the zoogeography
project, he/she will generate presence/absence matrices, run tests for
nestedness and tests for negative co-occurrence (segregation) to do a null
model approach, do statistical analysis with Minitab etc. For analyses of
faunal similarity, a similarity matrix will be constructed, using a
Bray–Curtis index based on the presence/absence data; standard clustering
routines using GRASS  will be used to establish the major biogeographic
regions. He/she will also carry out Rarefaction analysis and multivariate
statistical analysis.

He/she will also participate in presenting the analysis to the authorities,
training and supervising interns (who can help adding data), and, if he/she
is an experienced diver (>150-200 dives and experience in cold water) and
willing to bring his/her own equipment, can also participate in diving
surveys of expeditions if time allows. Other tasks can, among others,
involve all daily activities at the station which are generally carried out
by two scientific-technical assistants. He/she can and should work quite
independent, but follow the guidelines given by the scientific
director/managing scientist and ask for feed-back when necessary.

 The selected candidate will get a two week training from the former data
base assistant.

*Project summary *

*1)      **Pew fellowship project:*

Fast economic development and in particular salmon farming have
considerable impact on the marine environment in the Chilean fjord region.
Extreme deficiencies in our understanding of the marine ecosystems even on
the most basic taxonomic and biogeographic levels make sustainable
development difficult. Irreparable large-scale management mistakes are
highly probable. The creation of a network of MPAs provides the most
realistic measure to prevent major ecosystem degradation. But to date there
is only one marine reserve of considerable size and most MPA proposals have
been made on the basis of political feasibility or personal preferences.

Planned Project: With an innovative approach MARXAN will be used
“reversely” to detect the most problematic data gaps by simulating
improvement of data sets and evaluating their influence on the resulting
patterns. The results will be used to selectively carry out biogeographic
expeditions and studies on proxies.  In this context an innovative method
for rapid and reliable benthic assessment will be applied. All data will be
GIS geo-referenced and publicly-distributed. A MARZONE analysis will be
used to identify priority sites for an MPA network in the Patagonian fjord
region. Key information will be disseminated to, and discussed with
decision makers, NGOs and the general public.


   - Filling knowledge gaps that impeded establishment of MPAs or that were
   used as arguments against the establishment of MPAs
   - Increase awareness and appreciation of fjord biodiversity and the
   importance of sustainable management, conservation and in particular MPAs
   - Get MPAs to be an inherent part of spatial planning

*Activities: *

   - Compilation of existing data
   - Data gap analysis through innovative approach
   - Generation of identified key data
   - Workshop on decision support tools in Chile
   - Data analysis and identification of priority sites for a MPA network
   - Communication of results to: Decision makers, NGOs, wider public,
   stakeholders, spatial planning boards; presentation and publication of
   results on topical meetings and in peer-review journals


   - Improved understanding of marine biogeographic patterns in Chilean
   Patagonia as basis for systematic conservation planning
   - Data and material for improvement of existing ID-tools and data bases
   - Raise of acceptance and application of decision support tools
   - Creation of an optimized MPA network plan
   - Increased awareness of decision makers and broad public of unique
   Chilean fjord biodiversity values
   - Increased acceptance of MPAs as a management tool among stakeholders
   and local communities

*2) Zoogeography project (funded by Fondecyt) *

*Zoogeography of the Chilean fjord region (42ºS - 56ºS) based on selected
taxa with a wide range of ecological, reproductive and dispersal

Despite various publications the zoogeography of the Chilean fjord region
between 42° S and 56° S in great portions remains undefined or
controversially discussed. One of the main reasons for this situation is
the enormous size and remoteness of the region and the resulting logistic
difficulties and scarcity of data. Nevertheless, clarity on the
biogeography of this marine region is urgently needed for marine coastal
spatial planning, resource management and conservation efforts. In
addition, the revelation of actual biogeographic patterns can help to
reconstruct species migration processes after glaciation and help to
predict migration processes and displacements of biogeographic units due to
climatic changes. The knowledge of the biogeography of an area also helps
to predict the spread of invasive species and this way helps to apply
control mechanisms.

The data of most of the existing biogeographical studies have been sampled
for other purposes. Thus a systematic approach, especially designed and
dedicated to address the fundamental biogeographic questions for the area
will be much more efficient in detecting the existing patterns and thus
being able to formulate the correct questions to understand the underlying

We will be using 59 species from all major phyla which were chosen based on
the possibility for *in situ* identification and their reproductive and
dispersal mode to create presence-absence lists from each study site.
Anthozoans are conspicuous sessile marine invertebrates which are present
in almost all marine habitats; especially in higher latitudes they can be
abundant or even dominating. The order includes species with different
reproductive modes and dispersal characteristics as well as short and long
living species. These features make them an excellent taxonomic group for
short as well as long-term monitoring and detection of general
zoogeographic patterns and trends. Chilean anthozoans however are among the
most neglected groups of benthic invertebrates; very little information is
available, especially for Chilean Patagonia. Records and the taxonomic
status of many eastern South Pacific species are doubtful and need
revision. Taxonomic expertise in Chile is being lost due to the lack of
young taxonomists. Therefore main focus will be on anthozoans (an
additional 50+ species) of which all species will be recorded, and selected
and unknown species collected.

In the planned study, species from comparable, steep rocky substrate
habitats will be recorded from data-poor regions to address and test
hypotheses on the zoogeography of Chilean Patagonia. In particular the two
latitudinal faunal breaks that have been hypothesized for the Taitao
Peninsula/Golfo de Penas and for the Straits of Magellan and that divide
the region into the Northern, Central and Southern Patagonian Zone will be
tested on the base of existing data and specifically generated new
information. Other fundamental hypothesis that will be tested refer to the
longitudinal subdivision of the fjord region into three major units, the
inner (continental) fjords, the channel area and the exposed Pacific coast.
For this purpose study sites will be placed along east-west (continental
coast-Pacific coast) transects that are distributed systematically over the
region. Apart from generating important biogeographic information it is
expected to significantly contribute to the taxonomic knowledge of the
Anthozoa of this region, augment the existing species records and to
upgrade the known distribution ranges. *Bunodactis *and* Anthopleura* are
common intertidal sea anemone species which would be ideal to address
biogeographic questions. However, poor knowledge on the existing taxa, old
and un-complete descriptions and contradicting information in the
literature have led to a lot of confusion about species identities and
delimitations within these genera. A PhD thesis within the project will
dedicate to the taxonomic revision and biogeographic analysis of these
actiniid genera. Our approach will combine traditional with up to date
methods including DNA sequencing and microsatellite analysis to adequately
train a Chilean student.

*We offer:*

-        550.000 CLP/ month (1056 US$) for the first 6 months, 650.000
CLP/month (1248 US$) from month 7 to 12, and possibility of another raise
after one year  -10% tax -7% health insurance -3% retirement insurance, the
latter one can partially be reimbursed for foreigners when leaving the
country (remark: general health insurance is pretty good in Chile and there
is an additional health insurance for work related accidents and diseases)

-        Free lodging and food on the station and free transport from and
to Hornopiren on regular boat trips (there arise no expenses during the
stay on the station). You can also take the ferry that runs twice a week
for approx. 3 US$

-        trip/flight back to the place of origin (if outside of Chile)
after termination of the work contract (if you stay for the 2 years)

-        4 days off for every 11 days of work (flexible handling is
possible and necessary; but days off cannot be accumulated for more than 1
month) and 15 days of vacation days (Monday through Friday) each year

-        flexible handling of daily work hours

You can find more information on the website http://www.huinay.cl

We are looking forward to your applications consisting of a cover letter
explaining your personal incentive to apply at Huinay Scientific Field
Station, and why you think you are qualified for the job, and a CV (not
longer than 4 pages). Applications that do not include the asked documents
cannot be considered. Please already list 2-3 possible references, which
will be necessary for applicants on the short list (these referees should
know you personally and mainly describe your abilities to deal with
difficult and unknown situations, rather than pure professional abilities);
please do not send them now! Please send the application to
v.haussermann(ad) <research at huinay.cl>gmail.com –

 replace (ad) with @ in the e-mail addresses!

It is necessary that the successful applicants apply for their work visas
prior to arrival at the station. The successful applicant will be sent copy
of the work contract which needs to be signed and returned for confirmation
by a legal representative in order for you to apply for a work visa. This
process can take up to 8 weeks.

*DEADLINE: until we found a qualified person, or 15.1.2011 *

*We are always looking for intern, too (6-8 weeks)*


Interns help in all daily activities of the research assistants and do a
mix of computer (e.g. literature and specimen databases), lab (aquaria,
stereomicroscope work, assisting visiting scientists) and field/outside
work, depending on season (monthly sampling, giving guided tours to
tourists)*. *Divers are welcome but you need to have >> 50 dives and dry
suit and cold-water experience, plus your own equipment. We are looking for
interns starting in April.

Marine Benthic Fauna of Chilean Patagonia - illustrated identification guide

Dr. Vreni Häussermann
Director of the Huinay Scientific Field Station, www.huinay.com
Websites: http://vreni.anthozoa.info/homepagevreni/, www.anthozoa.com,
Field of work: taxonomy and biogeography of Chilean Anthozoa, especially
sea anemones
Present address: Casilla 1150, 5502822 Puerto Montt
Phone: 0056-65-2280368

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