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Aquatics Monitoring Project Manager

Expiration Date: 

The Great Basin Institute is an interdisciplinary field studies organization that promotes environmental research, education, and service through the west. The Institute’s mission is to advance applied science and ecological literacy through community engagement and agency partnerships, supporting national parks, forest, open spaces and public lands.

The Aquatic Monitoring Program at GBI serves as an excellent professional development opportunity for natural resource professionals looking for experience in aquatic, riparian, and rangeland surveys. This Program is a component of our well-established Research Associate Program, which focuses on the conservation and management of natural, cultural, and recreation resources in the Intermountain West while providing emerging professionals opportunities to begin or enhance their careers.

GBI’s Aquatic Monitoring Program is dedicated to providing college graduates and emerging professionals with hands-on survey, inventory, monitoring, and reporting experience in natural resource management. Extensive training and technical field skills development provides employees a unique opportunity to obtain valuable experience in executing monitoring protocols that will increase their employment success.  


The Great Basin Institute is recruiting a committed Aquatic Monitoring Project Manager to work with agency staff, GBI staff, and GBI field crews to assist in the implementation of the National Aquatic Monitoring Framework (NAMF) for Assessment, Inventory, Monitoring (AIM) of lotic and lentic ecosystems in multiple western states (position to be located in Reno, NV). Within GBI’s Ecological Monitoring Program, the overall objective of the AIM program is to provide quality land management assistance by producing consistent, landscape-scale monitoring data in support of the BLM national strategy for standardized resource monitoring. 

More information about AIM and AIM implementation can be found at

The Assistant Project Manager will work closely with the Aquatic Monitoring Project Manager to manage multiple projects and multiple field crews (10+) across the western U.S. and to oversee all aspects of implementation including planning, recruitment, training, deployment, logistics, and crew safety; project budgeting and responsible fiscal management; building and maintaining project partner relationships; and ensuring data quality and accuracy. 

This position requires both office and field work, with frequent travel during the field season. Qualified applicants will have a background in aquatic ecology or a closely allied field, GIS, a broad suite of aquatic inventory/assessment methodologies, relational database concepts, project management and excellent written and oral communication skills. Extensive field experience including 4x4 navigation on backcountry roads, knowledge of GPS units and tablets for data collection, and well-developed observational skills are required. 

The Aquatic Monitoring Assistant Project Manager will work collaboratively with GBI Program Managers, Data Specialists, field crews, other GBI staff, and BLM partners to fulfill the goals and objectives for Aquatic AIM projects in the western US. 

Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Supervision, management, training, and coordination of Aquatic AIM field crews;
  • Supporting recruitment for the Aquatic AIM field crews;
  • Acting as liaison to BLM staff and other project affiliates;
  • Implementation planning, equipment organization and maintenance, vehicle coordination, field protocol and data QA/QC standardization, and team deployment;
  • Promoting a culture of safety and maintaining safety communication and best practices with AIM crews during the field season;
  • Planning and coordinating with regional and state BLM staff on current and future AIM projects, including seasonal planning and generating sampling points within strata as designated by district staff;    
  • Utilizing ArcGIS to produce mapping products, maintain geodatabases, and perform spatial analysis and produce mapping products;
  • Supporting data collection, organization, processing and QA/QC while ensuring consistency across crews; 
  • Conduct formal and informal trainings remotely and in-person on data management, QA/QC procedures, GIS basics, and navigation using a GPS;
  • Reviewing, processing, and managing timesheets, time off requests, and other standardized paperwork;
  • Travel, camping, and site visits, particularly during the field and shoulder seasons, to BLM districts/offices and field sites in designated western states to ensure crews are collecting data accurately and efficiently and to meet with agency personnel; 
  • Conducting interim AIM reporting and drafting summary AIM reports;
  • Participating in GBI or partner-sponsored training opportunities, and/or facilitating GBI workshops for Research Associates and technicians; and
  • Performing additional duties, as needed.

Contract Timeline: Position runs from 3/1/2021 to 11/30/2021.

Location: Position will be based in Reno, NV and will require frequent travel to Eastern Oregon for field visits.

Compensation and Benefits:

  • Bi-weekly salary $1,703 to $1,921 depending on experience and qualifications.
  • Health insurance including vision and dental at no cost to the employee.
  • Paid federal holidays and paid personal time off.

Job Qualifications:

  • College degree majoring in Aquatic Ecology, Fisheries, Hydrology, Geomorphology, Natural Resources, or related field and at least three years of experience; those with an advanced degree are encouraged to apply;
  • 2 years of experience in a leadership position overseeing personnel, budgets, and project deliverables;
  • Experience in project management strongly preferred;
  • Experience working with federal land management agencies, members of the public, and/or non-profit organizations;
  • Understanding of principles related to a combination of the fields of aquatic ecology, hydrology, fisheries biology, riparian vegetation, and spatial a analysis;
  • Applicant should possess relevant or related field experience – knowledge of and/or experience in aquatic monitoring methodologies preferred;
  • Awareness of best practices for field safety, communication and risk management;
  • Ability to coordinate and manage the collection of field data according to protocol guidelines; preference for those possessing experience and confidence analyzing geospatial data and creating map products;
  • Willingness to travel for multiple days at a time to field sites in support of field crews;
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both written and orally, with a diverse audience;
  • Physically fit to work outdoors, carry personal and field equipment, and withstand working and camping in inclement weather during late winter, spring, and summer;
  • Possess a clean, valid, state-issued driver’s license and the ability to safely operate a 4WD vehicle on and off paved roads; and
  • Meet requirements of federal agency security background checks (e.g., FBI criminal and National Sex Offender Public Registry, Department of Interior Security Screening).

To Apply: