Montana Ecological Monitoring Data Specialist: Montana

Great Basin Institute
Job Category
Temporary/Seasonal Positions
Last Date to Apply
The Great Basin Institute (GBI) partners with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) throughout the western United States to implement vegetation monitoring programs such as the BLM’s Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM) program. The AIM program is a BLM initiative to collect field data on rangeland indicators characterizing soil, vegetation, and hydrologic resources with an overarching goal to inform land management decisions and conservation actions. The BLM manages approximately 8.3 million surface acres of land within the states of Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The BLM is mandated to conduct land health monitoring to document effectiveness of the decisions established in its Resource Management Plans, to determine treatment effectiveness, to evaluate habitat conditions, and for other related land management purposes. GBI seeks to fill a qualified data specialist to work at a BLM office within Montana to assist BLM staff with review and completion of Quality Assurance (QA) / Quality Control (QC) procedures for AIM datasets, provide technical support and training to field staff in the use of ArcGIS Collector and Survey123, work with BLM staff on data management and storage issues for AIM and related datasets, and complete basic analysis and reporting using AIM data as needed for completion of BLM business. All processes shall occur in accordance with the most recent versions of information posted on the BLM website ( The data specialist will work with the BLM Montana State Office Monitoring Coordinator for identification and completion of day-to-day tasks, as well as daily work directly with BLM staff and periodically participate in data analysis meetings led by Headquarters and/or the National Operations Center AIM team to share ideas and for additional support. This position offers fulltime in-person work at one of the BLM State or Field Offices or a combination of in-person and remote work with at least one day at a BLM office in Montana once every 1-2 weeks. Additional travel will be required for training, to support field crews, and for workshops on incorporating AIM data into BLM decision making processes. Specific tasks may include the following: *Collaborate and engage with AIM leads at 11 field offices across Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota and provide support for data collection, data management, and data use; *Conduct analyses and generate reports that may include aggregation of data provided in two or more databases, summaries of indicators for a given project area, including calculation of confidence intervals, comparisons of indicator values by stratum, and production of basic maps using ArcMap (ESRI); *Data may be summarized for NEPA projects at the field offices throughout Montana. The data specialist may be asked to create standard summary templates or tools, such as a standard summary tables to be used for land health assessments, biological assessments, and NEPA. The data specialist can use BLM Technical Note 453 and 455 as workflows to use AIM data with other lines of evidence to inform land health evaluations; *Coordinate requests for analysis and reporting through the BLM Montana Monitoring Coordinator and the GBI project manager or delegate as needed to manage the data specialist’s workload; *Assist terrestrial AIM field crews with mid-season data quality checks and provide further assistance with data quality control at other times as needed; *Independently perform quality control checks on the data, organize it in a standardized way as coordinated with the BLM state office staff, and assist in submitting the data to BLM’s national operations center for ingestion to TerrADat database; *Periodically retrieve data from TerrADat, Landscape Monitoring Framework (LMF) and/or DIMA databases, complete analysis tasks, and requested reports or summaries; *Attend a Train-the-Trainer course, usually held in Las Cruces, NM, to provide support and training for data collectors in the Montana AIM Terrestrial Core Methods training. The training will require travel for five (5) days and four (4) nights; *Maintain government-owned tablet computers for training purposes; *During the field season, be available to provide technical support to BLM staff and/or other contractors regarding data entry and management, particularly with regards to TerrADat or other AIM Databases; *The data specialist may be required to stay overnight at field locations for up to three (3) days and two (2) nights at each location to assist BLM staff in the office as needed. Additionally, the data specialist may be required to camp overnight with AIM field crews for up to three (3) days and two (2) nights to assist with data collection as needed; and, *The data specialist may help with Arc GIS Online Account management (making sure the correct people are added to the data collection groups); assist with updating Survey123 and FieldMaps forms such as maintaining a list of data collectors names and a list of plant names and codes, and communicate with the BLM National Operations Center (NOC) about the status of these lists The Data Specialist must be able to pass a federal background clearance and complete all required security trainings (FISSA) needed for federal building and computer network access.
Education: Bachelor’s degree in ecology, botany or related natural resources field. Experience: Minimum 2 years specialized experience or related graduate work. Ability to work with multiple field and district office leads in complex work environments, interest and ability to learn and grow professional skills. Applicant must have valid state-issued driver’s license. Preferred: Master’s degree, previous Terrestrial AIM monitoring experience, proficiency with ESRI products (e.g., ArcMap, web maps), and experience and/or training in using software (R, Python) to conduct basic statistical analyses, with the ability to clearly instruct others in technical material.
Contact Person
Lauren Steinkamp
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