The University of Montana invites applications for Ecological Monitoring Technicians for the Ecological Mapping, Monitoring and Analysis (EMMA) group at the O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West.
Ecological Monitoring Technicians will participate in implementing the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Riparian and Wetland Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM) strategy in Nevada and Idaho. This protocol focuses on collecting standardized inventory and monitoring data to determine condition and trends of target resources on BLM lands in the Western U.S. Field Technicians will work in a team of 3, under the leadership of a Crew Lead, to collect quantitative vegetation data using line-point-intercept, as well as detailed soils, hydrology, water quality, and surrounding land use data. Successful candidates will be trained by Wetland Ecologists from the Colorado Natural Heritage Program and the BLM’s National Operations Center to properly implement data collection procedures.
Crews work eight-day hitches: 10-hours/day, from Tuesday-Tuesday with a six-day break between hitches. All positions are field-based and require working and camping in isolated regions. Applicants should understand that this is physically demanding work. Crews often work and camp in inclement weather conditions, frequently navigating rough, unpaved roads in 4x4 vehicles, and carrying heavy loads (40 lbs) by foot over rugged desert and mountainous terrain. Sampling locations are occasionally near towns, but these towns often have few amenities or opportunities for entertainment. Cell phone service is limited in many areas. We ask seasonal staff to commit to the entire field season, practice safety awareness (including vehicle and COVID-19 safety procedures), and contribute to building a healthy, productive, and enjoyable work environment.
UM supplies all necessary monitoring equipment, including vehicles, to carry out the work. We provide some group camping gear (stoves, coolers) but individuals are responsible for their personal camping gear (tents, sleeping bags).
The University of Montana is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and has a strong institutional commitment to the principle of diversity in all areas.
• Position is full time, 1.0 FTE, temporary (3.5 months) with the possibility of extension depending on project need
• Compensation for the position is $16-17/hour
• Benefits include $30.50/day, per diem for all travel days
How to Apply
Priority Application Date: January 14, 2022
Applications received by this date will be guaranteed consideration. Application review will begin immediately and continue until positions are filled. Consideration of applicants will continue to be accepted until the position is filled or until March 1, 2022, whichever comes first.
Please submit the following materials to Jennifer Jones at email@example.com, with the subject line “2022 Riparian and Wetland AIM Technician Application”:
• Letter of Interest – addressing the stated required skills for the position
• Detailed Resume – listing education and describing work experience
• Names and contact information for three (3) professional references
• Unofficial Transcripts
o What is your preferred Base Location?
o Have you applied for any other positions with the O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West?
• Enter data using electronic field surveys
• Describe sites following established protocols
• Dig soil pits (50 cm) and describe soil horizons and textures
• Assist with the identification of plants using a dichotomous key
• Assist with the management of soil and vegetation samples and quality control of data
• Work as a team member to collect field data in a safe and efficient manner
• Maintain good working relationships with crew members and managers
• Effectively represent UM to partners, information users, and landowners.
Education and Experience
• Bachelor’s degree in botany, soil science, wetland ecology, natural resources management, or related subject.
• A minimum of one full field season collecting scientific data, specifically vegetation sampling, soil profile descriptions, water quality sampling, and/or other environmental data. Knowledge of wetland ecology and experience working in wetlands and/or riparian areas preferred.
• Coursework and experience in plant taxonomy or systematics OR in soil morphology and soil classification.
• Experience using dichotomous botanical keys and field guides, familiarity with the major plant families, and knowledge of western flora and/or wetland species preferred.
• Experience entering data using electronic devices preferred.
• Experience following established field protocols to conduct sampling and field data collection.
Previous experience working on a BLM Assessment, Inventory and Monitoring (AIM) crew, either Terrestrial or Aquatic AIM, preferred.
• Careful attention to detail and strong written and organizational skills to complete lengthy field forms is required.
• Strong oral communication skills for professional interactions with UM staff and private landowners.
• Demonstrated ability to work productively as part of a team to accomplish mutual goals and to work independently as required.
• Willingness to commit to an entire field season.
• Experience with aerial photography (Google Earth), navigating with a topographic map, and use of a GPS.
• Experience driving 4x4 vehicles on unpaved, rough roads. A valid driver’s license and clean driving record required for all positions.
• Wilderness First Aid or other field safety training preferred.
• Willingness and ability to work irregular hours in harsh environments, travel extensively during the field season, spend multiple days car camping, and potentially backpack and hike long distances (up to 10 miles/day) while carrying a heavy pack (up to 40 lbs) over uneven terrain.
• Willingness and ability to maintain a positive attitude in field conditions that include exposure to inclement weather, hot or cold weather (30–110° F), rugged terrain, mosquitos, and poisonous plants, all while maintaining a strong commitment to team safety required.
• Ability to dig soil pits (50cm deep)
• Willingness to work irregular hours in harsh environments and challenging weather conditions.