Project: USVI mosquitoes in cistern project

Location: St. Croix or St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands

Job type: Temporary Part Time Contract

Estimated duration: Approx.  6-8 weeks

Expected start date: April 12, 2021

Salary: $14/h


Position Overview: The Field Technician is responsible for surveillance activities to aid the Puerto Rico Vector Control Unit (PRVCU) and U. S. Virgin Islands Department of Health in the project “USVI Mosquitoes in CisternsSurvey”. Its goal is to determine the role of cisterns as breeding sites for the mosquito Aedes aegypti, the vector of dengue, chikungunya, zika and yellow fever.  The information gathered during this study will help US Virgin Islands Department of Health to identify solutions for more effective and targeted vector control efforts.

Work will be conducted primarily in the field. The Field technician will be exposed to indoor and outdoor environmental conditions, noise, close proximity to moving parts, working in high places, exposure to chemicals, fumes, odors and oils. He/she will be required to wear a facemask at all times during field work and maintain proper distancing when interacting with the public, and will be required to travel by vehicle as part of assigned duties. The incumbent at times will be expected to perform heavy labor (exerting approximately 50 lbs. of force to carry, lift, push or otherwise move objects).  Such work shall be conducted in accordance with all applicable Federal, State and local laws, and in accordance with PRVCU’s policies and procedures established by PRVCU’s management.

Training will be provided on mosquito breeding site identification, mosquito collection, data gathering, equipment use, and any other technical procedure necessary for the project.

Reports to: PRVCU Team Lead

Key Responsibilities and Duties:

  • Conduct surveillance of immature and adult mosquitoes in areas of interest, including deployment and servicing of mosquito traps, adult counts, larval dip counts, and any other method as directed by his or her supervisor.
  • Conduct site inspections to locate and map mosquito-breeding sites. Perform basic source reduction activities, if necessary.
  • Collect and handle mosquito samples, properly label samples, and maintain pertinent records. Input data in assigned electronic devices. Basic mosquito identification might be required and if so, the necessary training will be provided.
  • Responds to citizens’ complaints or questions in a respectful manner. Inform supervisor on any situation encountered in the field. Advise citizens of mosquito problems, if necessary and as instructed by supervisor.  Request written consent to enter onto property to provide inspections and carry out vector surveillance activities.
  • Use basic tools (traps, scissors, plyers, etc.) and electronic devices (ex. cell phones, tablets, etc.) in a safe manner. Keep equipment in a clean and professional condition; may be assigned to assist in simple maintenance and repair.  Perform general labor and safely operate equipment used in vector surveillance activities.
  • Attend all assigned training sessions, read required documentation, and standard operating procedures (SOPs).
  • Adhere to all policies and procedures and maintain awareness of pertinent scientific advances.
  • Keep supervisor(s) informed of all work-related progress and problems.
  • Assist in community engagement, education, and other PRVCU/Trust service programs as required.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.
  • Visit assigned number of households to promote project and schedule appointments.

Since changes might be required to meet the needs of public health, environmental conservation, and the PRVCU, you can expect, anticipate, and assume that your job description will change to meet these challenges. 

Education, Training and Experiences (minimum requirements):

  • High school diploma or equivalent. Degree in biology, entomology, environmental science, or related field preferred, but not necessary.
  • One to two years’ experience in vector control preferred, but not necessary. On the job training will be provided.
  • Preferred knowledge of equipment used for sampling adult and larval vector populations or willingness to learn on the job.
  • Ability to work independently with minimum supervision.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with other PRVCU employees and members of the public.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with technical and non-technical individuals or audiences in both written and verbal formats regarding work performed and the results of work performed. Must be able to maintain diplomacy in interactions with agitated members of the public.
  • Need to have a USVI valid driver’s license.
  • Need to use own personal vehicle to conduct house visits, when required. Millage and gas will be covered accordingly.
  • Must be able to work outside normal business hours; must be able to travel regularly throughout the territory.
  • Must follow all safety precautions and guidelines as instructed, particularly those related to work in high places, using ladders or working on difficult access areas.
  • Must be able to lift/carry objects with a maximum weight of fifty (50) pounds.
  • Must be able to learn, understand, and apply required skills relate to biology, mathematics, numerical data, and policies and procedures for data collection, sample collection, preparation, and interpretation of survey and technical reports, and progress reports.
  • Must be willing to work in fluctuating and unfavorable weather conditions.
  • Must possess ability to read and interpret correspondence, policies, procedures, and technical, legal, and administrative documents related to field surveillance activities.
  • Must possess ability to create and write correspondence, technical reports, and administrative documents related to field surveillance activities.
  • Must possess ability to make accurate observations and to keep simple, but detailed records.
  • Must be able to evaluate situations accurately and adopt an effective course of action.

If interested in this position and meet the minimum requirements, please send your resume to [email protected]

Overview of the organization

The Puerto Rico Science Technology and Research Trust is a private non-profit organization created in 2004 to encourage and promote innovation, transfer and commercialization of technology and creation of jobs in the technology sector. We are responsible for Puerto Rico’s public policy for science, technology, research and development. The Trust’s mission is to invest, facilitate and build capacity to continually advance Puerto Rico’s economy and its citizens’ well-being through innovation-driven enterprises, science and technology and its industrial base. Our vision is that by 2022, Puerto Rico is a globally recognized innovation hub that develops, attracts, and retains scientists, technology entrepreneurs, and enterprises to unlock world class creativity and competitiveness

The Puerto Rico Vector Control Unit (PRVCU) main responsibilities is to develop, lead, and deploy an effective integrated vector management (IVM) strategy to reduce the Aedes aegypti population and the burden of Zika, chikungunya, and dengue. PRVCU will carry out vector surveillance, community engagement and IVM for effective mosquito control.