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Associate Res Specialist - Animal Behavior Technician

Hiring Organization:
Wisconsin National Primate Research Center

Date Posted:

Position Description:
A position is available in the WNPRC Behavioral Services Unit, performing a variety of tasks related to behavioral projects involving nonhuman primates. The Behavioral Services Unit supports the WNPRC research mission by promoting and ensuring the psychological well-being of the nonhuman primates. This is accomplished by increasing the foraging opportunities for the animals, facilitating socialization, conducting individualized well-being assessments, and implementing an Environmental Enhancement Plan (EEP), amongst other activities. The WNPRC EEP follows the recommendations outlined in the Animal Welfare Act and The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. The candidate will report directly to the Behavioral Services Coordinator, and will work closely with members of WNPRC Colony Management, Veterinary Services, and research staff.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:

40% Execute and coordinate socialization of compatible nonhuman primates:
-Manage new and existing social groupings;
-Conduct and monitor social introductions of caged primates to ensure compatibility;
-Identify and report any animal with behavioral problems to supervisor and implement a treatment plan as specified;
-Conduct regular observations of behavior and communicate with Colony Management staff to monitor behavioral changes;
-Monitor implementation and efficacy of prescribed enrichment;
-Other duties as assigned.

40% Develop evidence-based strategies regarding the application of the enrichment and enhancement plan:
-Provide technical expertise and assistance in the development of new techniques and methods;
-Assist in the collection of behavioral and physiological data;
-Assist in literature review, data management, analysis, and summary for use in writing scientific publications, grants, reports, and presentation of research results;
-Maintain documentation of enrichment program implementation for generation of progress reports;
-Maintain organized and up-to-date records of enrichment implementation, assessments, behavioral interventions, and social introductions in the electronic health records system;
-Other duties as assigned.

15% Work as a member of the Behavioral Services team to fulfill the enhancement and welfare needs of nonhuman primates in accordance with evidence-based practices:
-Facilitate the daily implementation of enrichment procedures in all areas as per standard operating procedures;
-Direct assembly, repair, and distribution of foraging devices, puzzles, and enrichment objects, and other supplies necessary for daily implementation by Colony Management staff;
-Work with Colony Management staff to ensure all devices and/or toys are in or on cages as specified in the Environmental Enhancement Plan;
-Monitor condition of devices and toys and ensure replacements are available as necessary;
-Assist Colony Management staff with filling foraging devices when necessary;
-Other duties as assigned.

5% Work with all units of the WNPRC Animal Services Division in the training of personnel to ensure compliance with prevailing regulations and requirements for animal care and welfare with respect to behavioral management and enrichment, and assist supervisor and the Behavioral Services Unit Head with other projects as needed.

Degree and area of specialization:
Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree from an accredited university in Animal Sciences, Anthropology, Biology, Psychology, Zoology, or related field required.

Minimum number of years and type of relevant work experience:
Minimum of one year of hands-on experience working with nonhuman primates is required, with training in behavioral observation preferred. Experience with shaping behavior and positive reinforcement training, as well as understanding of experimental design, and cognitive and motor testing, highly desired.

The ideal candidate will have experience with literature review, data collection, statistical analysis, and preparation of data graphics for publications. Must be able to independently resolve issues, troubleshoot problems, and work as an integral part of a team. Excellent oral and written communication skills, consistent attention to detail in performing job duties according to standard operating procedures, and strong organizational skills are required. Must be comfortable working with both Macintosh and PC computers, as well as complex electronic databases. Knowledge and competency in word processing, Excel, SPSS or other statistical software, highly preferred.

Term of Appointment:

Application Deadline:
November 2, 2017

For more information and how to apply, please visit:

Contact Information:
Rachael Buss
1220 Capitol Court
Madison, WI 53715

Telephone Number:

Fax Number:


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