[Taxacom] job announcement: database/GIS assistant in Chilean Patagonia

Vreni Häussermann v.haussermann at gmail.com
Mon Jan 13 11:12:52 CST 2014


we want to extend the job announcement for a database/GIS assistant in
Chilean Patagonia towords the following description (with lower computer
skill requirements)*. *We are looking forward to your applications asap.

Greetings from Chile,


*Job Announcement for a GIS/data base technicial assistant at the Huinay
Scientific Field Station*

*DEADLINE: until we found a qualified person, or 15.2.2014 *

*TIME FRAME*: *2 years starting ideally mid March 2014 with possible

*Key abilities:*

-        GIS and data base experience

-        fluent English

*Computer skills:*

-     Database experience would be desirable. Knowledge of, or willingness
to learn SQL, Postgresql and PostGIS.

-        Knowledge of or willingness to learn a programming language to set
up a database frontend. This could be web based or desktop based and there
are many possible languages (HTML 5, JavaScript, Python etc). Knowledge of
python would be of advantage since an existing database interface could be

-        System administrative skills (hard ware installation and network
configuration in LINUX and Windows) are very desirable.

*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)

-     Spanish knowledge is of advantage

The technicial assistant will be in charge of maintaining a database
containing data collected during field work and other projects of the
scientific field station. He is expected to create a frontend (forms) for
the database that allows easy data input, quality control and editing which
can be used to manage the stations data on a daily basis as well as during
expeditions. The database includes geographic data in the PostGis format.
The frontend should be able to display this data and enable geographic
queries. For this purpose GeoServer could be used. The assistant will
further be in charge of maintaining computers and a server at the field

He/she will also participate in 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.[1] <#_msocom_1>

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

*We offer:*

-        competitive salary (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.

Besides the database, there will be various aspects of statistical
analysis, the largest project being the following:

*Project summary *

*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.

*Information on the Huinay Foundation:*

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)


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 (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 searching for interns starting
February, for 6-8 weeks.


Bitte schaue doch das mal durch und ergaenze

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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