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Wetland (Lentic) Monitoring Field Technicians

Expiration Date: 

POSITION TYPE:         Full-time, temporary, 3 positions available 
WORK LOCATIONS:         Montana and Idaho 
COMPENSATION:     $14.00–$16.00, depending on experience, $30.50/day per diem when traveling beyond base location
DURATION:     May/June–August/September 2021 (Dependent on training dates and COVID restrictions)    


The Ecological Mapping, Monitoring and Assessment (EMMA) group of the O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West at the University of Montana is currently recruiting WETLAND MONITORING FIELD TECHNICIANS for the 2021 field season. In partnership with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Colorado Natural Heritage Program (CNHP), we will implement the BLM Wetland and Riparian Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM) strategy in Montana and Idaho. The 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 2-3, 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.

Principal duties include: 1) Entering data using electronic field surveys; 2) Describing sites following established protocols; 3) Digging soil pits (50 cm) and describing soil horizons and textures; 4) Assisting with the identification of plants using a dichotomous key; 5) Assisting with the management of soil and vegetation samples and quality control of data; 6) Working as a team member to collect field data in a safe and efficient manner; 7) Maintaining good working relationships with crew members and managers; 8) Effectively representing UM to partners, information users, and landowners.


  • 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 in botany, ecology, natural resources, soil science, range management, or related field is required, a completed B.S. degree in one of these fields is preferred.
  • Careful attention to detail and strong written and organizational skills to complete lengthy field forms is required. Experience collecting data electronically using tablets or other devices preferred. 
  • Previous experience working on a BLM Assessment, Inventory and Monitoring (AIM) crew, either Terrestrial or Aquatic AIM, preferred.
  • 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 with aerial photography (Google Earth), navigating with a topographic map, and use of a GPS 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. 
  • Strong oral communication skills for professional interactions with UM staff and private landowners. 
  • Willingness to commit to an entire field season.
  • A valid driver’s license required for all positions. Experience driving 4x4 vehicles on unpaved, rough roads preferred. 
  • Wilderness First Aid or other field safety training preferred.

Please submit a letter of interest, CV and three (3) professional references (with emails and phone numbers) to Jennifer Jones at Consideration of applicants will begin January 8, 2021. Consideration of applicants will continue to be accepted until all positions are filled or until April 15, 2021, whichever comes first.

Additional information on the AIM strategy, including the protocols, can be found at: