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15 Dec 2020

Temporary Aquatic Ecological Monitoring Crew Member

Southwest Conservation Corps – Posted by Southwest Conservation Corps New Mexico, United States

Job Description

Lotic Ecological Monitoring

with the Bureau of Land Management

and Southwest Conservation Corps


Position Title:  Crew Member

Position Type:  Full-time, temporary

Number of Positions:  3

Location:  2 positions in Taos BLM Field Office, New Mexico; 1 position in Las Cruces BLM District Office, New Mexico

Program Dates:  Approx. mid-April 2021 to mid-September 2021 (23 weeks)

Salary:  $520/week

Benefits:  Paid training; camping food allowance ($15/day via company credit card); AmeriCorps Education Award of $3,097.50 upon satisfactory completion of term

Hiring Benefit:   Public Land Corps hiring authority: eligible to use, for two years upon completion of term, a noncompetitive hiring status for consideration when applying to competitive service positions for a federal agency; see below. 

Southwest Conservation Corps’s Mission

It is the mission of the Southwest Conservation Corps (SCC) to empower individuals to positively impact their lives, their communities, and the environment.

Bureau of Land Management’s Mission

The Bureau of Land Management’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

Program Overview:

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the National Aquatic Monitoring Center (NAMC) have developed the National Aquatic Monitoring Framework to fulfill the Aquatic Assessment, Inventory, Monitoring (AIM) initiative.  The National Aquatic Monitoring Framework (NAMF) uses the most common indicators within the land health standards (and to functioning stream systems).  The NAMF promotes integrated data collection throughout BLM lands by providing guidance for selection of sample reaches within streams, electronic data capture and storage, tools for consistent data analysis and interpretation to inform management questions.  The NAMF is a standardized approach for how the BLM can meet multiple monitoring requirements in a consistent, quantitative and credible manner.

One Crew Lead and one (in Las Cruces) or two (in Taos) Crew Member(s) will work together to sample wadeable streams and rivers on BLM land using the National Aquatic Monitoring Framework and Aquatic AIM methodology.  They will collect water quality data, stream habitat data, and benthic macroinvertebrate samples, entering all appropriate data into Survey123, a tablet-based data-recording program, while on site.  All data will be georeferenced using a GPS unit and stored in an ArcGIS geodatabase.  Work will be completed in remote areas on BLM lands.  Unconventional work hours, including 10 (sometimes 10+) hour days, are expected.  Using a BLM- provided vehicle, crews will drive to several different areas of a vast sample area throughout a four- to eight-day work week (colloquially, “hitch”), camp overnight, hike several miles per day, and return to the office for equipment and data management.  The crew may also have the opportunity to assist with other public land management projects involving fisheries, wildlife, range, forestry and others.

Crew Member’s Responsibilities

Assists and collaborates with the crew lead when planning fieldwork, managing equipment for the team, collecting data and controlling data quality.  Consistently exercises discretion and good judgment.

Is interested in learning from the Crew Lead and BLM Project Lead throughout the field season.  Provides/asks for feedback to/from crew lead regarding performance.  Maintains a positive working relationship with the Crew Lead and BLM project lead.  Takes an active role in their personal and professional development goals throughout the season.

The crew member should be passionate about monitoring aquatic resources and sound science principles, respectful of the equipment and methodology, an advocate for the AIM program in the Field or District Office, and willing to learn about how AIM data could be used in range, forestry, fire, and wildlife programs within the BLM.

Minimal Qualifications:

  • College coursework (2 years, at minimum) coursework in hydrology, fisheries, water resources science, ecology, biology, natural resource management, or a related field,
    • OR previous college- or professional-level experience in the above fields, plus familiarity with data collection and sound science principles
  • Eligible to accept a 900-hour service term with Americorps:
    • Aged between 21 and 30 (civilian) or 35 (veteran) years upon hire
    • With U.S. citizenship or Lawful Permanent Residence and associated identification, including an image of a signed social security card AND another acceptable primary form of documentation
  • Able to produce identification as stipulated by I-9 upon hire
  • Valid US driver’s license and insurable driving record
  • Able to pass Conservation Legacy’s and the Department of Interior’s background checks
  • Experience working as part of a small team and able to work well with others
    • Excellent communication, organizational, and planning skills
  • Experience with Microsoft Suite Software (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) or other similar software
  • Experience collecting data
  • Experience using navigation systems of any kind
  • Interest in large scale, spatially-balanced monitoring designs, and how extensive sampling can assist in understanding dynamic aquatic systems
  • Self-motivated and able to work independently with limited supervision after the initial training period, with excellent discernment of when to ask for help. The applicant must be able to maneuver and operate in a mixture of office and field work.
  • Capable of standing and walking (at a minimum 6 miles/day on rough, uneven terrain), bending, crouching and stooping for long periods of time while taking precise, repetitive measurements, and lifting/carrying items that weigh up to 40 pounds, in upwards of 100 degree (F) heat while maintaining a professional demeanor
  • Willing and demonstrably capable of spending multiple days (1-8 days at a time) car-camping in remote areas
  • Familiarity or willingness to learn and adhere to best practices for field safety and Leave No Trace principles
  • Willing to spend several hours per day and/or per week riding in, navigating, and driving an agency-provided four-wheel drive pick-up truck on- and off-highway, sometimes over/around tricky or unexpected obstacles. If little prior off-road driving experience, then willing to learn.
  • Sound and fair physical and emotional risk assessment
  • Ability to work in and respond to adverse weather conditions including extreme heat, monsoonal rains, and hazardous wildlife (i.e. rattlesnakes, scorpions, biting/stinging insects, horses)
  • Current (or able to obtain) CPR, Wilderness First Aid (compensated), and Defensive Driver Training certificates

Preferred Qualifications: 

  • Familiarity with the dynamic nature of streams and river systems dependent on monsoonal precipitation
  • Experience determining bank-full in dynamic stream systems
  • Experience with handheld GPS units and External GNSS GPS antennae and basic troubleshooting
  • Experience with ArcMap, ArcCatalog and ArcGIS Online interface
    • Knowledge of downloading, using, and syncing ArcGIS Online Maps
  • Experience safely operating four-wheel drive trucks on paved and unpaved roads, often in remote areas on unimproved roads, and driving for extended periods (2-6 hours at a time).
    • Willing to constantly teach and demonstrate best driving practices
  • Field safety and risk management training
  • Experience working or recreating in desert or rangeland ecosystems

Public Land Corps:

The Public Land Corps (PLC) program provides the opportunity for young people between the ages of 16 and 30 (civilian) or 35 (veteran) years to work on conservation projects on public lands. Participants must successfully complete 640 hours that include at least 120 hours on federal lands through the PLC. PLC members are not federal government employees, but those who successfully complete the PLC requirements are then eligible to use, for two years, a noncompetitive hiring status for consideration when applying to competitive service positions.

How to Apply

To apply, go to position announcement here and click "New Application" at bottom. Or, go to:, and follow the link to the above.  Application involves cover letterresume/CVat least two academic or professional (non-peer) references, and screening questions.  Incomplete applications are given less weight.   SCC offers several Ecological Monitoring crew positions across Colorado and New Mexico, mostly performing the terrestrial AIM methodology.  If interested in multiple locations, please mention and rank locations of interest.  Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.   We anticipate beginning the interview process in late January.  Apply now for advance consideration.  Feel free to reach out to Ecological Monitoring Manager Cassandra Owen at with questions.

Job Categories: Equal Opportunities. Job Types: Temporary. Salaries: Less than 20,000.

Job expires in 52 days.

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