Conservation HQ: Conservation Science Placement


WWT Slimbridge HQ

Volunteer • Full Time 01453891231 Sam Hodgkinson

Sectors: conservation & wildlife, water & hydrology

Closing date: Friday, 1st March 2019  

Why do we need you?

At WWT, we create and conserve wetlands and save species. As one of the UK’s leading wetland conservation organisations we have a long history of managing wetland sites and species as well as conducting research into wetland wildlife.

We are looking to recruit a full-time volunteer for a 12 month period who will be based at our Headquarters in Slimbridge, Gloucestershire and will help provide support in all of the work undertaken by our conservation science department. This will include desk and field based research, laboratory work and data analysis supporting us in our work to save wetlands for wildlife and people. This is a great opportunity for someone looking to develop a career in conservation. Accommodation for this role is provided locally.

Who will be responsible for your role? Principal Research Officer

Where will you be based? WWT Headquarters, Slimbridge Wetland Centre

How much time will it take? This is a full-time placement for 12 months, starting in August/September 2019

What will you be doing?

Duties may include some or all of the following:

  • Carrying out routine laboratory analysis of water/wastewater samples from our centres
  • Assisting with practical research and monitoring activities. For example river chemistry, morphology and biological monitoring, water bird catches/ringing.
  • Undertaking literature reviews to aid or infirm WWT’s conservation work.
  • Desk based collation, management and analysis of data. For example water quality data, camera trap footage, swan behaviour research, and large/complex water bird databases
  • Engaging with members of the public at our centres
  • Attending meetings and participating in workshops on current conservation issues
  • If volunteering as a student placement you will be able to carry out your own research project if required by your university as part of your assessment, supported by the expertise of WWT staff

Who are we looking for?

This is a mainly a laboratory and office and based role, with opportunities to participate in field based research activities. It would suit someone who would enjoy working in an applied research environment as part of an internationally renowned research team. We are looking for a passionate and rigorous scientist who loves wetland nature and supports the work of WWT.

This role will suit you if you are:

  • Have basic laboratory experience and health and safety awareness
  • Computer literate with a good practical knowledge of Microsoft Office. Some experience of R and/or GIS would be an advantage but not essential as development/training opportunities will be available as part of this role.
  • Experienced in both desk and office based research
  • The ability to develop scientific ideas and design a suitable student research project
  • Proactive and able to complete tasks with a minimum of supervision, or independently under the direction of the conservation science team
  • Able to follow instructions and manage time efficiently
  • Able to learn new skills and develop existing skills to support the work of conservation science
  • Able to work in a team of staff and volunteers in both conservation science and other departments
  • Confident in engaging with a range of people in order to engage with visitors at our centres
  • Able to participate in team and department meetings as appropriate

The following would be desirable but not essential;

  • A clean driving licence
  • Past work/volunteering in nature conservation or for like-minded organisations
  • Good GIS/statistical skills
  • The ability to manage small research projects

How will you benefit?

  • Accommodation including utility bills, will be provided locally (off-site)
  • Use of shared pool car for transport to/from work is provided
  • This is an exciting opportunity to contribute to the science and research activities within an internationally renowned and multidisciplinary research department.
  • Volunteer in an amazing environment with a vibrant research group
  • You may have the opportunity to visit other WWT Wetland Centres across the UK
  • If undertaking volunteering as a student placement, guidance for your personal research project is provided by friendly staff with significant experience in their field and strong links with students at a number of universities
  • Training, support and suitable uniform is provided
  • A discount is available in WWT café and shops
  • Free entry to all WWT centres throughout the UK on presentation of your WWT name badge

Please go to our website here to see details of this role and then complete and submit the application form. Please email if you have any problems with completing the application form.

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