Great Lakes Fish Ecology Technician FILLED

Employer: Ben Martin (

Description:  NOTE: A passport is required. 

The body form (morphology) of fishes can be greatly informative of their ecological function; “form is function.” We are interested in the adaptive radiation of Coregonus (cisco spp.) in the Great Lakes. Ciscos in the Great Lakes have been coined “Darwin’s finches of the Great Lakes” for their incredible speciation taking shape in different body forms. In theory, these body forms exploit different resources and therefore could reveal important relationships into functional morphology studies. Further, understanding how the adaptive radiation of ciscos could be important to explain how resource partitioning contributes to ecosystem resiliency and stability.

To study these questions, ciscos are being collected from across each of the Great Lakes. In the summer of 2020, we will focuse on collecting fish from Lake Superior in collaboration with the USGS. Extended time will be spent on the USGS research vessel collecting and processing fish alongside USGS researchers.

Responsibilities (training provided):

  • Safe operation of UW boats and vehicles
  • Launching and towing of boats
  • Careful data collection and sample processing
  • Deploying and retrieving fish sampling equipment
  • Collecting, rearing, and dissecting fish
  • Collecting, identifying, and quantifying zooplankton
  • Preparing fish samples for stable isotope analysis
  • Use digital morphology techniques on fish and zooplankton


  • Eager to learn new fish ecology techniques
  • Willing to spend time in the field and in the lab
  • Willing to work in all safe weather conditions
  • Experience handling fish is preferred
  • Must be able to swim
  • Be able to lift and carry a moderate amount (~30 lbs.) of gear over short distances
  • Valid driver’s license which meets UW Risk Management standards is preferred
  • A passport is required.


  • Number of positions1 – FILLED
  • Start datemid to late May 2020
  • End datelate August 2020
  • Pay:  $11.25-no experience; $11.50-some experience; $11.75-very experienced


These positions will spend much of the summer on the USGS research vessel cruising between sites all across Lake Superior. Cruises are approximately 1-3 weeks at a time and housing is provided on the ship. Time that is not spent around Lake Superior may be spent at Trout Lake Station in Boulder Junction, Wisconsin or an alternate location that can be discussed.

How to apply:


The CFL is an equal opportunity employer and is dedicated to an inclusive and positive working environment for all.