Two Working4Wildlife places are available at The Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA). You need to be fit – capable of carrying a 20kg backpack over uneven terrain for hours at a time – able to handle remote, self sufficient, outdoor living for weeks at a time – and you need to be ok with aspects of ecological research that involve safe live animal handling, captive breeding and (potentially) dead animal dissections that gather vital information on parasites, injuries and disease.
While the exact makeup and timing of the tasks will depend on external factors such as weather and logistics (sometimes helicopter transport has to be re-arranged at short notice due to weather conditions!), previous trainees have been involved in a range of projects which support and enhance the endangered artic fox recovery programme.
Trainees have learned Norwegian bird, plant and fungi identification skills and been closely involved with the safe trapping, extraction and handling of Arctic fox pups, identifying their condition and sex. They have also conducted bird and small mammal surveys, assisted with a camera trap project to understand Arctic fox/Red fox dynamics and had the opportunity to dissect red fox carcasses in order to understand mammalian internal anatomy & parasite loads. Simple ‘first step’ Norwegian language is also part of the training as is working closely with others as part of a team and entering research data from fieldwork into Microsoft Excel.
You will start your training in Trondheim at NINA HQ and you may spend time in a series of other locations – the map here shows some of them but, as is always the case with ecological research, things can change.