Field Research Opportunity: Phenological monitoring of Okanagan winegrapes

Approximate start date: mid-late April 2021

Approximate end date: mid-late September 2021

Hours: Estimated hours are 20-30 per week until veraison (start of ripening; usually in mid-late August) and 10-15 hours thereafter

Pay: Starts at $16/hr (higher depending on experience); and mileage reimbursement. 

Position: The Temporal Ecology Lab is looking for an enthusiastic, detail-oriented and conscientious person (or persons) to monitor winegrape phenology in the Okanagan valley this spring to summer. 

This position entails collecting phenological data (budburst, flowering, veraison) and berries at 4-6 Okanagan Valley vineyards (ranging from Osoyoos to just north of Peachland). This includes visiting each vineyard every 3-4 days through August to record current phenological stage until 100% veraison, then collecting berries at four time points thereafter and mailing them to the Temporal Ecology Lab.

Hours vary depending on the phenological development — early and late season hours maybe <10 per week, but may be over 30 hours when learning the protocol and mid-season. Average hours are roughly 20/week. (Possibility for more consistent higher weekly hours, please inquire.)

Temporal Ecology lab members will visit at least once in April to set up data collection, and once in August to pilot berry sampling. Additionally, we  provide (1) field manuals of instructions to access vineyards, (2) specialized protocols and data sheets or a tablet for data entry, (3) coolers and ice packs for berry collection. The technician will be responsible for providing their own transport to each vineyard and be responsible for determining their daily and weekly schedule to collect the required data within their schedule and vineyard management schedules.

The ideal candidate will:

  • Have an interest in plant ecology, physiology or related area, as demonstrated through coursework or previous employment. 
  • Have the ability to work long days in an outdoor field setting.
  • Demonstrate attention to detail in monitoring plants, recording data, and entering data.
  • Good communication skills to contact growers and confirm weekly visit schedule each week. 
  • Live within a commutable distance to the vineyards and be available for the entire season — however, the lab can potentially cover some periods, and we can split the job across people, so please apply with a note if you can only do some months or hours. 

To apply: Submit a cover letter and resume (both as PDF files) to Lizzie Wolkovich, Applications considered on a rolling basis until position is filled but please apply by 19 March for full consideration.