Vegetation and Soils Monitoring Internship in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management

Employer
Rocky Mountain Youth Corps
Location
Various locations across Northwest Colorado (Silt, Meeker, Craig, and Kremmling, CO)
Salary
$560 - $735/week + $52/wk for food. AmeriCorps award between up t $4441.50 upon completion of season
Closing date
Jan 14, 2022

AmeriCorps Member Technicians and Leads will work together to help collect soil and vegetation data. The crew will visit randomized points across range and forested lands and follow specific monitoring protocols using the BLM Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM) methodology. More information on the BLM’s AIM Core Methods can be found at: http://aim.landscapetoolbox.org/.

Typically each crew samples a minimum of 50 plots during the field season. At each plot, the crew will collect data using the following AIM Core Methods: Line-Point Intercept, Species Richness, GAP and Soil Stability measurements. Additionally, plot characteristics will be recorded on plot, which includes digging a 70 cm soil pit and texturing all the layers to identify soil type. Data is entered electronically at the plot using Esri’s Collector and Survey 123 apps on a tablet.

Data collected using the AIM Core Methods is used locally to renew grazing permits, assess sage grouse habitat, inform new oil and gas leases, and aid in writing Environmental Assessments for the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). At the national level, AIM data is used for a broad suite of scientific research, which includes creating remote sensing products and monitoring trends in land health across BLM lands.

Service will be completed in remote areas on BLM lands. Member-Technicians will be required to drive long distances, often on rough roads, in the field office and district. Crews will usually serve a four day week for ten hours a day. Crews will often camp overnight, hike several miles a day, and return to the office every Thursday to maintain equipment and manage data. Crew members are expected to provide their own camping equipment for use while in the field unless otherwise informed by their host field office.

Applicants should be aware that there are multiple partnerships between organizations involved in their employment. While applicants are hired and paid through RMYC, the office and field work takes place on Bureau of Land Management property. Because of this, member-technicians are required to pass a background check and take government specific training to access government buildings and computer networks. The member-technician’s supervisor and crew lead is a full-time BLM employee, and the member-technicians will spend the entire summer serving directly under this person. The member-technicians’ administrator (who handles food stipends, pay checks, job injury paper work, etc.) is a RMYC employee, who the member-technicians will see very occasionally.

Public Land Corps

The Public Land Corps program provides the opportunity for young people between the ages of 16 and 30 years to serve on conservation projects on public lands. Participants must successfully complete 640 hours that include at least 120 hours on federal lands during their PLC service.  PLC members are not federal government employees, but those who successfully complete the PLC requirements are then eligible for noncompetitive hiring status for consideration when applying to competitive service positions with the federal government. These jobs are otherwise only open to current permanent government employees or people with special applicant status, such as veterans. The noncompetitive status will last for two years after the PLC is awarded.  For more information you can follow this think https://www.blm.gov/careers/students-and-grads/public-lands-corps

General Duties

  • Drive safely on rough 4WD roads and on major highways
  • Navigate to plots using quad maps, GPS units, and the Esri Collector app
  • Collect data using  AIM Core Methods (visit: http://aim.landscapetoolbox.org/) in Survey 123
  • Assist crew lead in plant identification at each plot and in the office by using dichotomous keys
  • Press and document unknown plant species to be identified during office hours
  • Dig holes to a depth of 70 cm and record soil layers, textures, effervescence and color hues
  • Carefully record data and meticulously perform data checks throughout the season
  • Calibrate on data collection with the crew once a month or each time a new ecosystem is visited
  • Hike long distances across uneven terrain with a heavy pack, often in uncomfortable environmental conditions (hot or cold weather, insects, steep slopes, etc.)
  • Endure long periods of standing, bending, crouching, or stooping
  • Perform regular office work that includes entering data and preparing materials for the field
  • Take required BLM trainings that includes topics such as cybersecurity, sexual harassment, and defensive driving
Qualifications

        For duties of job:

  • College graduate with a degree in ecology, botany, range science, soil science, wildlife biology, environmental science, natural resource management, conservation biology, or a related field
  • Ability to attend AIM Core Methods Training on May 19th-22nd  in Grand Junction, CO
  • Familiarity with one or more Esri products, such as ArcMap, ArcGIS Pro, ArcPad, Collector, Survey 123, and ArcGIS Online
  • Experience with plant identification and taxonomy with ability to understand and navigate dichotomous keys, which includes knowledge of plant morphological traits terminology
  • Ability to stay focused on data collection in adverse weather conditions including extreme heat, monsoonal rains, snow and hazardous wildlife (i.e. gnats, mosquitos, rattlesnakes, scorpions, etc.)
  • Skilled at communicating and staying calm during tedious tasks while working in challenging environments, that includes keeping a close working relationship with the crew
  • Comfortable with driving trucks on 4WD roads in unpredictable conditions
 

* Familiarity with AIM Core Methods, range science or botany, soils taxonomy, and familiarity of

   Rocky Mountain Flora is highly preferred!

Supporting Documents for Vegetation and Soils Monitoring Internship in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management

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