Sage-Grouse Research Technician-Montana

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, University of Montana
Roundup, MT
Job Category
Temporary/Seasonal Positions
$2038.00/ Month. Housing, Utilities and internet provided
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
Sage-Grouse Research Technicians (3) needed from Apr. 9 – Aug. 3, 2018 for a greater sage-grouse study near Roundup, Montana, USA (50 mi north of Billings). The study assesses demographics and resource selection in greater sage-grouse in response to grazing. The study also evaluates the direct effects of grazing on vegetation in sage-grouse habitat. This collaborative project is led by Lorelle Berkeley, Ph.D., Research Wildlife Biologist with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP); Mark Szczypinski, Conservation Technician, FWP; and Victoria Dreitz, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Wildlife Biology Program and Avian Science Center Director, University of Montana, College of Forestry and Conservation. Duties potentially include, but are not limited to, conducting early morning lek counts (before sunrise; March through May), night-time spotlighting capture of sage-grouse hens and/or chicks and marking them with radio transmitters, capture of hens using rocket nets, monitoring nest success and hen and chick survival via radiotelemetry, collection of vegetation data, data entry and proofreading, maintaining field vehicles, and other miscellaneous duties as needed. Successful applicants may be asked to help collect vegetation data with the range field technicians as needed. The range and sage-grouse technicians are considered one field crew with slightly different designations of daily duties, but they will each help each other with duties when necessary. Conditions include extreme temperatures, rain, snow, “gumbo” roads, wind, rattlesnakes, and abundant prickly pear. Hiking up to several miles a day through sagebrush, on uneven terrain, and in hot temperatures may be necessary to monitor grouse, as well as driving several hours a day in a pickup truck. Work schedule is extremely dynamic and demanding, including late nights, early mornings, some long days during the peak of nests hatching or chick tagging, split work shifts, and unpredictable days off—applicants must be willing to work when needed and take days off when the opportunity arises. The rewards include the endless vistas of central Montana, abundant outdoor recreation opportunities within a short (1-2 hour) drive, calf branding and roadside chats with ranchers, phenomenal wildlife viewing, and wildlife research experience. Successful candidates will be hired through the University of Montana’s Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit. The position has a monthly stipend of $2,038/month plus free shared housing with internet provided. No benefits are associated with these positions. Applications will be accepted until March 2, 2018 however the positions will be filled earlier if suitable candidates are found. To apply, email a cover letter, résumé, and 3 references all within a single MS Word attachment to Mark Szczypinski at: The subject heading of your email should read “Sage-Grouse Research Technician Application”. Include your last name as the beginning of all files (ex: Smith_John-Sage Grouse Research Technician). Failure to follow these instructions may result in your application being disqualified. Please mention whether or not you are currently certified in CPR/First Aid and direct any questions about the position to Mark via e-mail or by phone at 406-320-2529. Project Summary: The greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) is a sagebrush-obligate species that was recently up for ESA listing. The loss and degradation of the sagebrush habitats has led to extirpation of this species from over half of its historical range. Due to large conservation efforts and cooperation by multiple agencies and private landowners to conserve and manage sage-grouse habitat, the sage-grouse was not listed, but USFWSD will re-evaluate its status in 2020. To maintain populations and habitat for this species, these conservation efforts need to continue. Our study evaluates how conservation efforts through managed grazing directly affect sage-grouse vital rates (hen survival, nest success, chick survival—the 3 most important drivers of population growth in greater sage-grouse) and habitat. Findings will inform federal and state grazing management programs as well as other landowners that incorporate wildlife interests into grazing management around the West.
Preference will be given to applicants with experience in radiotelemetry, operation of 4WD trucks and ATVs on low-maintenance roads, operating GPS units and who have First Aid / CPR certification. If you do not have current First Aid / CPR certification, you will need to become certified before arriving to begin work. A strong work ethic, the ability to work alone all day in remote areas, self-motivation, good physical condition, and a sense of humor are a must. Field technicians must have great interpersonal and communication skills. Applicants must enjoy working and living in a remote rural area with a diverse group of people including private landowners and livestock producers. ADA/EOE/AA/Veteran's Preference Reasonable accommodations are provided in the hiring process for persons with disabilities. For example, this material is available in alternative format upon request. As an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer, we encourage applications from minorities, veterans, and women. Qualified candidates may request veterans’ or disabilities preference in accordance with state law.
Contact Person
Mark Szczypinski
Contact Phone
Contact eMail
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