Each year, the Institut Polaire Français Paul Emile Victor (IPF) recruits 6 volunteers from the civic service (VSC) that it makes available to our research group (prog. 109 “Birds and marine mammals as sentinels of global change in the Southern Ocean” and prog. 394 “Diving birds – Energy strategy of marine predators and physical and trophic variability in the Southern Ocean” ).
They leave to winter for a period of 12 to 14 months in one of the four districts (Crozet: 1 post and 1 post over 6 months, Kerguelen: 2 posts, Amsterdam: 1 post, Terre Adélie: 1 post) of the French Southern and Antarctic Territories (TAAF) with no possibility of returning to mainland France.
Their mission is, mainly, to ensure the continuity of demographic monitoring of marine predator populations (birds and pinnipeds) studied in each of the districts, by means of ringing, recaptures, monitoring and population counts. In addition, they participate in the conduct of specific research programs on the ecology of these predators, which may relate to one or more of our group’s study themes. Fieldwork requires frequent travel to the many study sites scattered around the area.
Before leaving for the district to which they are assigned, VSCs receive training at the CEBC. During this training, they learn about the program to be carried out during wintering, the species they will be working on based on literature studies, become familiar with the work of monitoring animal populations, learn how to handle and band animals, how to enter the data that will be collected on computers, and how to use the equipment and apparatus necessary for carrying out research programs.
This training in the laboratory is supplemented in the field by an instruction session lasting about a month at the beginning of the winter with the predecessors who present the study sites, show all the work to be done and familiarize themselves with the handling (banding, weighing, etc.) of the animals.
On returning from wintering, the V.S.C.’s can generally have a contract also established by the I.P.E.V. during which they proceed to the analysis of the data acquired in the field (verification and analysis of the data collected).
The preparatory contract for the wintering, the wintering and the counting contract are paid by the IPF and therefore correspond to a total duration of 16 to 18 months of work within our team.
VSC positions are open to girls and boys, aged over 18 and having French nationality, that of a member state of the European Union or the European Economic Area or having proof of a legal stay in France for more than 1 year.
There is no level of education required, but successful candidates generally have a level of Bac +2 to Bac +5. We are mainly looking for people with good naturalist knowledge (ornithologist, mammalogist…) and having, if possible, already handled birds and mammals. Candidates should not be afraid to work for hours outdoors in often difficult climatic conditions (wind, rain, snow…) and in isolated situations. Mastery of basic computer tools (word processing, spreadsheet, …) is necessary. Given the increasing complexity of the equipment used in the various research projects (various recorders: diving, heart rate, temperature…, Argos beacons, automatic presence/absence or weighing acquisition station…) and the resulting large databases, skills in electronics and computing are appreciated. A good knowledge and mastery of geographic information systems or modelling can also be an important element for recruitment.
Selection of applicants
The selection takes place every year (departure in the TAAF in November or December); At the level of the laboratory, it is done in 2 stages: a 1st selection on the basis of the attached file (February) and a 2nd selection on the basis of an interview (March). Between these two stages, an application file must be submitted to the I.P.E.V..
Application forms are to be requested and returned by post only to: Marine Predator Team (mentioning ‘VSC application’)
CEBC, 405 Route de Prissé la Charrière, 79360 Villiers-en-Bois, France
Tel: +33 (0)5 49 09 78 23
Email : UMR7372.equipe_predmarins(at)cebc.cnrs.fr
Recruitment concerns the V.S.C. for the wintering of the following year (departure in the southern lands in November or December). The application form must be received no later than February 14, 2020.
The application form can also be downloaded in PDF format.
The application form can also be downloaded in PDF formatPDFConsulte the list of winterers since 2002
Centre of Biological Studies of Chizé, 405 Route de Prissé la Charrière, 79360 Villiers-en-Bois
+33 (0)5 49 09 61 11