(Vegetation & Soil Survey)
Southwest Conservation Corps
in partnership with
The Bureau of Land Management
Position Title: Crew Leader
Position Type: Full time, temporary
Number of Positions: 1
Location: Taos, NM
Program Dates: ASAP (after 2-4 weeks of onboarding) through April 2023, with the possibility of extension into 2023 field season
Health benefits package that comes into effect on the 1st of the calendar month after the first 60 days
Paid days of personal leave and sick leave
If contract is extended through 2023 field season:
Wilderness First Aid, Wilderness First Responder Recertification, reimbursement if course was paid personally and taken after March 2022)
$15/day food allowance while camping in the field with crew collecting data
Hiring Benefits: Public Land Corps Hiring Authority:a noncompetitive hiring status for consideration when applying to competitive service positions for a federal agency. Eligible to be used for two years upon completion of term. Must be under age 31 upon issue of certificate.
Southwest Conservation Corps’s Mission
It is the mission of the Southwest Conservation Corps (SCC) to empower individuals to positively impact their lives, their communities, and the environment.
Bureau of Land Management’s Mission
The Bureau of Land Management's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.
This contract is offered through April 2023. It is focused on creating data reports, performing analysis, and presenting data collected from 2022 and earlier field seasons of the the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Terrestrial Assessment, Inventory, & Monitoring (AIM) initiative. More information on the BLM’s AIM strategy can be found on the AIM website: http://aim.landscapetoolbox.org/. This position is office-based (partially remote-eligible), with the chance for occasional field work outdoors. Through January, there is management of a similarly office-based Americorps Crew Member, with the assistance of BLM and SCC staff.
Preference is given to applicants who expresses interest and capacity in being extended through the field season and April 2024, upon review of performance. Preference is also given to applicants whom will relocate to Taos area. During the field season, crews conduct vegetation monitoring upon many plots using the AIM methodology. Crews consist of three individuals: two crew members and one crew lead. Together, they monitor land health (i.e., soil and vegetation) on BLM lands. Within all plots, the crew identify vegetation to species, gather species cover and composition data using line-point intercept and gap measurements, measure soil stability, and describe the site and soil pits. All data are georeferenced and stored in an ArcGIS geodatabase.
The crew lead will continuously learn the local flora and build botanical knowledge. The crew lead should be curious about the soils, botanical, and other natural systems and have a passion to grow and share that curiosity and knowledge with fellow crew member(s).
Housing is not provided, but we are glad to talk through your options with you in the interview and onward.
We require proof of full vaccination against SARS-COV-2. We have also developed and successfully implemented protocols in precaution against COVID-19 transmission between crew personnel. Protocols address mask-wearing, cleaning, sanitation, and paid isolation/stand-down if necessary.
As we are a partnership with a federal agency, we are subject to halting work and pay in the case of a government shutdown, and backpay is not typical.
Crew Lead’s Responsibilities
The Crew Lead will analyze, interpret, or make deductions for varying data, and will report data to various BLM offices and stakeholders. Written reports are completed and involve the presentation of scientific data and pre/post treatment analysis. The Crew Lead should be passionate about sound science principles and plant identification, be an advocate for the AIM program in the Field Office, and have a willingness to learn about how AIM data could be used in range, forestry, fire and wildlife programs within the BLM. The crew lead should be passionate about facilitating the crew members‘ experiences similarly.
During the field season, the Crew Lead takes ownership of, supports, and manages the field crew’s risk management, schedule, scientific integrity, efficiency, and professional development. Plans accordingly to reach sampling volume target by end of field season. Consistently exercises discretion and judgment. Coordinates and delegates field logistics, hitch plans, food budget scheduling, crew tasks, debriefs, and management of the crew’s equipment. Provides and asks for feedback to and from crew members regarding performance.
The Crew Lead is the primary contact between the crew and the SCC supervisor and the crew and BLM staff. They will need to be self-directed and motivated, while maintaining active communication. Completes administrative tasks. Holds a company credit card and documents spending. Before, during, and after field data collection, the Lead is responsible for the organization and quality control of all AIM data collected in Field Maps for ArcGIS.
To apply, go to our SilkRoad position announcement here and click "New Application" at bottom.
Application requires cover letter, resume or CV, at least two academic or professional (non-peer) references’ contact information, and screening questions. We do not need letters of recommendation. Incomplete applications are given less weight. Please apply with your full legal name, preferred name, and pronouns.
In the cover letter, please describe how your prior experiences demonstrate how you might be a good fit, even if the connection is not immediately apparent. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. We may only contact applicants whom we would like to interview.
We anticipate beginning the interview process in early November. We will be hiring for AIM crews across Colorado and New Mexico for the 2023 field season in mid-November as well. Feel free to reach out to Ecological Monitoring Program Coordinator Rylee Hostrawser (she/her/hers) at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
College graduate (Bachelor’s, at minimum) with coursework in ecology, botany, range science, soil science, wildlife biology, natural resource management, conservation biology, environmental studies, or a related field
Aged at least 21 years upon hire
Able to produce identification as stipulated by I-9 upon hire
Valid US driver's license and insurable driving record
Able to pass Conservation Legacy’s and the Department of Interior’s background checks
Experience with (digital, preferred) data collection and Microsoft Suite software, or similar
Basic statistics knowledge
Experience with ArcMap, ArcCatalog, and ArcGIS Online interface
Experience with mobile data collection using Field Maps for ArcGIS and Survey123 apps
Proficient knowledge of statistical principles and programs, especially R
Knowledge of creating maps, performing basic analysis, and organizing data
Excellent communication (including in-person, email, and phone), organizational, and planning skills
Self-motivated and able to work independently with limited supervision after the initial training period, with excellent discernment of when to ask for help
Willing to empower crew members to improve in performing their duties and developing personally and professionally
Excellent judgment in assessing physical, mental, and emotional risk
Possessing or able to cultivate: self-awareness, desire for a positive crew culture, and excitement at the chance to have a close experience with the land
In order for contract to be extended:
Physically capable of standing, walking (at a minimum 6 miles/day on rough, uneven terrain), bending, crouching, and stooping for long periods of time, and lifting/carrying items that weigh up to 40 pounds, in upwards of 100 degree (F) heat while maintaining attention to detail and overall positive attitude
Experience navigating and hiking steep, challenging, off-trail terrain
Able to rapidly learn and organize the names of dozens of plants per week, especially in the beginning of the season
Experience spending multiple days (up to 8) making day trips and car-camping in remote areas
Willing to learn, teach, and adhere to best practices for field safety, comfort, and Leave No Trace principles
Able to safely and effectively work in and around adverse conditions including extreme heat, monsoonal rains, wildfire smoke, and hazardous wildlife (i.e. rattlesnakes, scorpions, biting/stinging insects, cattle, and horses)
Willing to spend several hours per day and/or per week riding in, navigating with, and driving a four-wheel drive pick-up truck on- and off-highway, sometimes over/around tricky or unexpected obstacles
Preferred Qualifications, especially in the case of extension:
Experience in leadership, facilitation, teaching, or conflict management
Experience in vegetation or rangeland health assessments, botanical inventory, or standardized ecological monitoring
Familiarity with local flora or identifying plants to species in the field, from photos, taxonomic keys, and/or pressed specimens
Experience texturing soil by hand, characterizing soil pits, and identifying soil series or ecological sites based on observational and quantitative data
Experience safely operating 4WD trucks on paved and unpaved roads, often in remote areas on unimproved roads
Experience navigating with handheld GPS units
Field safety and risk management training or experience
Experience working or recreating in desert or rangeland ecosystems