Roland looking into Muro Blanco Basin, Kings Canyon NP


I don't have any job openings for Summer 2014. However, the following job description (from 2009-2010) provides an indication of the sorts of opportunities that I have available in some years.

I will be hiring one or more assistants for the Summer 2010 field season. Successful applicants will work as part of a team on a study of the role of an emerging amphibian disease, chytridiomycosis, in driving declines of the mountain yellow-legged frog. Specifically, we will be testing hypotheses regarding why most frog populations are driven to extinction following disease outbreaks but some persist despite ongoing chytridiomycosis. Hypotheses to explain these different disease outcomes include (1) density-dependent disease dynamics, (2) differences in frog susceptibility, (3) differences in disease virulence, and (4) differences in environmental conditions.  This research is part of a 5-year project funded through the Ecology of Infectious Disease program of the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health.

To be considered for these positions, you MUST have extensive backpacking experience at high elevations, be able to navigate across difficult trail-less terrain, be comfortable working alone in remote areas for hours at a time, and have a passion for conducting field research. Previous employees have typically been advanced undergraduates pursuing degrees in ecology or wildlife biology, or those having finished undergraduate or master's degrees in these fields. Assistants will be paid $14.43/hr (returnees from previous field seasons are paid $16.73/hr). Housing is provided in modern facilities at the Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory near Mammoth Lakes, CA. Assistants are also provided $25 per diem to cover food expenses, and are reimbursed for use of a personal vehicle. The field season is expected to run from early June to mid-September.

In 2009, we will be (1) continuing mark-recapture studies of mountain yellow-legged frogs across an elevational gradient in Yosemite to quantify the effect of temperature on frog-chytridiomycosis dynamics, (2) initiating a replicated whole-lake experiment to test the hypothesis that different disease outcomes (extinction versus persistence) are a consequence of density-dependent disease dynamics, and (3) resurveying mountain yellow-legged frog populations in Sequoia, Kings Canyon, and Yosemite. Experience capturing and handling amphibians, inserting PIT tags, and conducting visual encounter surveys are all important skills relevant to these positions.

The application period is January 1-31, 2009. Applications should include (1) a cover letter that details your backpacking and research experience and states why you would be an asset to the project, (2) a resume that includes contact information (email addresses and phone numbers) for three references who are familiar with your research and/or backpacking experience, and (3) transcripts from undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) institutions. Unofficial copies of transcripts are fine. To apply, email applications to Roland Knapp ( by January 31, 2009.

Additional information on the mountain yellow-legged frog is available at Publications related to this research can be downloaded from the Publications page on this site.