Position Vacant

Field Botanist/Ecologist (terrestrial flora/fauna); Weipa, Queensland
Contracted full time position finishing December 2019

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Position Description


We are seeking a highly motivated and capable field botanist/ecologist to join our team in Weipa, Cape York Peninsula to undertake field surveys in the area. The position is initially through to the end of 2019 with potential for a subsequent permanent appointment subject to performance and demonstrated skills during the initial appointment. This is a flora focussed position and the botanist/ecologist will have at least 2 years’ professional experience working with Australian flora and vegetation communities including substantial amounts of field time, and a tertiary qualification in Botany, Ecology or similar. While previous consulting experience is not essential, a strong record in field ecology and working in the bush is absolutely essential. Availability to commence the position by the start of March 2019 will be advantageous.

The successful applicant will have an established high level of fitness and endurance to be able to hit the ground running, and the ability to work in the difficult conditions presented by this area including high temperatures and humidity and rough terrain and vegetation. This is not a position for an office oriented person but will be highly rewarding for a suitably fit, robust and motivated botanist/ecologist who has a true passion for field ecology in a remote part of Australia. The successful applicant will possess the ability and commitment to work within the Ecotone and clients’ safety systems, and also have demonstrated experience and abilities to operate 4WD vehicles and work safely within remote bush landscapes, including from bush camps if necessary.

The Role

The role comprises on-going field work throughout the year, interspersed with office time to manage and analyse data, compile reports and manage fatigue from field work. The focus of the role is undertaking vegetation and floristic surveys and monitoring related to Projects such as pre-clearing surveys, management of threatened flora populations, mine site revegetation, and baseline biodiversity surveys. The role will also include some fauna related field work comprising mainly non fauna handling tasks such as camera surveys for mammals and systematic searches for breeding habitat of threatened birds (red goshawk, palm cockatoo, masked owl).

You will be working as part of a small team based in Weipa that has an excellent work ethic and safety record and is focussed on safely delivering high quality Project outcomes for our clients. You will be responsible for a field assistant during field work and will report to the senior Weipa ecologist. Your work will be primarily within the Weipa area but you may also be asked to work in the wider Cape York Peninsula area or other locations across Queensland.

The role is a contracted fixed term full time position through to the end of 2019 with potential for a subsequent permanent appointment subject to performance and demonstrated skills during the initial appointment.

Ecologist duties include:

  • Work within Ecotone and client safety systems to ensure safe work practices.
  • Contribute to the development of Job Safety Analyses and other trip documents for work tasks.
  • Conduct field surveys of flora and fauna using a variety of techniques and methods.
  • Conduct remote work including some based from bush camps.
  • Assist in managing and monitoring Project budgets, administration and outcomes.
  • Maintain and prepare field equipment prior to and following field surveys.
  • Compile and manage data as per Ecotone data management systems.
  • Prepare written reports, memos, emails and verbal reports on works.
  • Conduct literature/internet reviews.
  • Assist in preparation of permit applications and reporting.
  • Liaise and interact with clients and potential clients with respect to actual and potential works.
  • Assist in day to day administration of the business including purchasing or maintenance of equipment in Weipa, and general assistance to the broader Ecotone team.

The Successful Applicant

In order to successfully carry out this role you must have a passion for field ecology and be motivated to undertake large amounts of field work in challenging tropical conditions. You must have a high level of physical fitness and mental resilience to enable you to safely carry out extended survey programs typically requiring walking long distances each day in difficult conditions.

Essential requirements:

  • Tertiary qualification in Botany, Ecology or similar.
  • Familiarity with Australian flora genera derived from hands on field survey work.
  • Familiarity with the Regional Ecosystem scheme of the Qld Government.
  • Experience in mapping vegetation communities based on collected field data
  • Australian Drivers Licence
  • Commitment to working within the Ecotone safety systems and client safety systems where necessary.
  • High level of physical fitness and endurance to enable you to safely undertake successive days of walking at a productive pace.
  • Ability to work in a co-operative team environment working toward common goals.
  • Ability to prepare concise, factual and relevant written and verbal reports to a high standard.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with fellow team members and client representatives.


  • GIS capabilities, especially MapInfo or ARC GIS
  • Familiarity with digital data capture using GPS enabled handheld devices and data entry apps
  • Familiarity with the specific floristics of Cape York Peninsula
  • Experience in being out bush, including demonstrated competency (not just a 4WD certificate) in operating 4WD vehicles off-road, navigating in bush environments.
  • Experience working with Traditional Owners
  • Ecologist or other experience in the mining industry
  • Hold current Senior (Apply) First Aid and Advanced 4WD competencies
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office, particularly compilation of large MS Word documents with imagery and maps
  • Familiarity with Dropbox or other cloud storage utilities
  • Experience with using satellite phones and personal satellite trackers and EPIRBs

Remuneration and Conditions:

The position will be appointed under the Professional Employees Award 2010. The base salary is $75,000 to $84,999 per annum (inclusive of leave loading entitlements) plus employer compulsory Superannuation payments (currently 9.5%). A three month probationary period will apply to the appointment.

A standard working week for both office and field based work comprises 45 hours. Any additional time worked beyond 45 hours in a week will be remunerated by time in lieu equivalent to the additional hours worked.

We will assist the successful applicant to secure accommodation in Weipa.   Assistance in relocating to Weipa will also be provided plus one return flight from Weipa to your home base during the term of your engagement.