Americorps Member Technicians will serve with an experienced Bureau of Land Management (BLM) crew lead to help collect soil and vegetation data. The crew will visit randomized points across range and forested lands and follow specific monitoring protocols using the BLM Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM) methodology. More information on the BLM’s AIM Core Methods can be found at: http://aim.landscapetoolbox.org/.
Typically each crew samples a minimum of 50 plots during the field season. At each plot, the crew will collect data using the following AIM Core Methods: Line-Point Intercept, Species Richness, GAP and Soil Stability measurements. Additionally, plot characteristics will be recorded on plot, which includes digging a 70 cm soil pit and texturing all the
layers to identify soil type. Data is entered electronically at the plot using Esri’s Collector and Survey 123 apps on a tablet.
Data collected using the AIM Core Methods is used locally to renew grazing permits, assess sage grouse habitat, inform new oil and gas leases, and aid in writing Environmental Assessments for the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). At the national level, AIM data is used for a broad suite of scientific research, which includes creating remote sensing
products and monitoring trends in land health across BLM lands.
• Drive safely on rough 4WD roads and on major highways
• Navigate to plots using quad maps, GPS units, and the Esri Collector app
• Collect data using AIM Core Methods (visit: http://aim.landscapetoolbox.org/) in Survey 123
• Assist crew lead in plant identification at each plot and in the office by using dichotomous keys
• Press and document unknown plant species to be identified during office hours
• Dig holes to a depth of 70 cm and record soil layers, textures, effervescence and color hues
• Carefully record data and meticulously perform data checks throughout the season
• Calibrate on data collection with the crew once a month or each time a new ecosystem is visited
• Hike long distances across uneven terrain with a heavy pack, often in uncomfortable environmental conditions (hot or cold weather, insects, steep slopes, etc.)
• Endure long periods of standing, bending, crouching, or stooping
• Perform regular office work that includes entering data and preparing materials for the field
• Take required BLM trainings that includes topics such as cybersecurity, sexual harassment, and defensive driving
For duties of job:
• College graduate with a degree in ecology, botany, range science, soil science, wildlife biology, environmental science, natural resource management, conservation biology, or a related field
• Ability to attend AIM Core Methods Training on May 19th-22nd in Grand Junction, CO
• Familiarity with one or more Esri products, such as ArcMap, ArcGIS Pro, ArcPad, Collector, Survey 123, and ArcGIS Online
• Experience with plant identification and taxonomy with ability to understand and navigate dichotomous keys, which includes knowledge of plant morphological traits terminology
• Ability to stay focused on data collection in adverse weather conditions including extreme heat, monsoonal rains, snow and hazardous wildlife (i.e. gnats, mosquitos, rattlesnakes, scorpions, etc.)
• Skilled at communicating and staying calm during tedious tasks while working in challenging environments, that includes keeping a close working relationship with the crew
• Comfortable with driving trucks on 4WD roads in unpredictable conditions
• Familiarity with AIM Core Methods, range science or botany, soils taxonomy, and familiarity of Rocky Mountain Flora is highly preferred!