[ECOLOG-L] Stream Habitat Assessment Technicians (15 positions): Based in Utah traveling to BLM lands across the West

Stream Habitat Assessment Technicians (15 positions): Based in Utah traveling to BLM lands across the West

BLM/Utah State University National Aquatic Monitoring Center

Logan, UT


$10-15 per hour depending on experience and/or education

Start Date
May 18th (approximate)

Application Deadline
March 1st

Job Description
Technicians will work on the BLM’s Western Rivers and Streams Assessment (WRSA). The WRSA is a survey of the chemical, physical and biological condition of BLM streams and rivers throughout the contiguous western U.S. (http://ift.tt/1HtURs6). This project is in collaboration with the EPA’s National River and Streams Assessment. Technicians will be employed by the National Aquatic Monitoring Center (NAMC), a joint partnership between the BLM and Utah State University located in Logan, UT (http://ift.tt/1yNJyAr).

Hired personnel will sample streams and rivers throughout the contiguous U.S. for water quality, physical habitat and biological indicators. Technicians will gain experience working with multiple agencies and will receive training on EPA, USFS, and BLM stream sampling protocols. Work schedules will typically consist of 8 consecutive ten-hour days, followed by 6 days off. However, due to the extensive travel required for some sites, technicians should be prepared to work longer periods of up to 14 days, with 1 day off in the middle at a hotel and 10 days off after the trip. Trip schedules and locations can be somewhat flexible prior to the start of the field season, but once the field season begins technicians are required to work all trips that they are scheduled for in their entirety.

Most technicians will be based out of Logan, UT but will travel extensively across the west seeing some of the most spectacular public lands in the country. For example, crews will be sampling streams throughout the red rocks of Southern Utah, Pacific Northwest, Front Range, Sierra Nevada, and Wind River Range. Select individuals (1-2 technicians) may be based in Nevada or Alaska for most of the summer; however, work in Alaska is limited to these select positions. Positions will begin Monday, May 18th and extend through August 28nd, with the opportunity to work through September 30th. If arranged prior to hiring, start and end dates can be flexible to accommodate students’ academic calendars.

Most crews will consist of 2 people. For sites that require backpacking into remote wilderness areas, crews will consist of 3 people. Crew leaders should have additional field/stream ecology experience and will be chosen at the end of training. Crew leader positions may rotate throughout the season and pay rates will be based on experience rather than crew lead position. Crew leaders will have additional responsibilities such as submitting data, planning routes, and interacting with BLM field office biologists and landowners to coordinate sampling efforts. Members will rotate through crews as schedules and personalities allow. Select individuals that have boating experience (kayaking, rafting, and motorized) may be eligible for specialized boating crews that will sample major rivers throughout the west such as the Colorado and Snake Rivers.

Technicians should be prepared for strenuous hiking and primitive camping in all kinds of weather throughout the eight-day trips. Some streams sampled will be near a road, while some trips may include 8 consecutive days in a backcountry setting. Bushwhacking is often a common part of the job and good GPS/navigational skills will be useful. All camping gear and food during trips will be provided. Housing is not provided, but seasonal housing is available at minimal cost during the summer in Logan. Successful applicants may be able to coordinate with other field technicians to share cost of housing.

* Course work in natural resources/ecology or other scientific fields.
* Field experience collecting scientific data.
* Critical thinking and problem solving skills, as applying the stream protocols to diverse systems across the west can be challenging.
* An excellent attitude, work ethic, and willingness to learn.
* Ability to work closely and amicably with another field technician for extended periods of the time alone in remote conditions.
* Ability to interact professionally with multiple stakeholders.
* Willingness to travel extensively for long periods of the summer.
* Comfortable wading and working in streams that may have slick boulders or fast water.
* Ability to work outdoors in extreme climatic conditions and carry loads exceeding 40 lbs for up to 8 miles.
* Outdoor/field experience (job requires camping and hiking in remote locations for extended periods of time).
* GPS and navigational skills.
* Valid driver’s license is required.

Additional Qualifications:
* Applicants with coursework in stream ecology, hydrology or geomorphology and field experience collecting macroinvertebrate and stream habitat data will be given preference, especially for crew leader positions.
* Wilderness First Aid certification is not required but is a plus.
* Swift water rescue and rafting/boating experience is also not required but is a major plus!

To apply email a cover letter, resume, and 2 references with e-mail address and phone numbers to: usubuglab@gmail.com by March 1st. In your cover letter, please explain your field experience and aquatic ecology knowledge and list any extended periods of time (>3 days) that you will require off throughout the summer. If you are not available to start work on May 18th, include the earliest possible date you can be available to start work.

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