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Range Technician Crew Leader- Montana

Range Field Crew Leader (1) needed May 6, 2019 to Aug 9, 2019 (start and end dates are somewhat negotiable) for a greater sage-grouse study near Roundup, Montana, USA (50 mi north of Billings).  The study assesses demographics and resource selection of greater sage-grouse in response to grazing. The study also evaluates the direct effects of grazing on vegetation in sage-grouse habitat.  This collaborative project is led by Lorelle Berkeley, Ph.D., Research Wildlife Biologist with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP); Mark Szczypinski, Conservation Technician, FWP; and Victoria Dreitz, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Wildlife Biology Program and Avian Science Center Director, University of Montana, College of Forestry and Conservation.
The crew leader will supervise (and assist) a crew of 3 range technicians who have been hired to collect detailed vegetation data at sage-grouse nests and random points among grazing treatments across the study area.  The crew leader reports directly to and works very closely with the Conservation Technician on the project who oversees the entire field crew. Crew leader responsibilities include daily organization of the crew, their tasks, and the locations in which they are sampling. The crew leader also oversees data entry and management of the range technicians, including collecting data forms on a regular basis and ensuring the crew keeps up with data entry and proofreading, and will do a lot of data entry and proofreading themselves. The crew leader will use ArcGIS to upload waypoints to maps and print maps for field technicians daily. Microsoft Access is used for database entry and maintenance. In addition to regular field duties with the crew, the crew leader is responsible for supervision of the range crew and ensuring that their field gear and vehicles are properly maintained. Regular field duties will include collecting vegetation data but may also include duties associated with sage-grouse such as capturing and marking hens or chicks, monitoring hens or chicks via radio-telemetry, or other miscellaneous tasks as assigned.  The successful applicant must be able to work in remote locations alone and as part of a team, and must be able to live in a communal, rustic setting. Preference will be given to applicants with experience in supervising a field crew, vegetation ID in Montana, range science data collection metrics, operation of 4WD trucks and ATVs on low-maintenance roads, ArcGIS v 10 (uploading and downloading points from a GPS unit, making maps), database management with Microsoft Access, entering and manipulating data in Microsoft Excel, and current First Aid/CPR certification. If you do not have current First Aid/CPR certification, you must become certified before arriving to begin work. The range crew works alongside our sage-grouse field crew and helps with sage-grouse capture and monitoring when needed.  The range and sage-grouse technicians are considered one field crew with slightly different designations of daily duties, but they will each help each other with duties when necessary. Regular communication and coordination of range crew activities with the sage-grouse crew is imperative; thus, the range crew leader must have excellent communication and inter-personal skills along with top notch organizational skills. The work schedule is extremely dynamic and demanding, including late nights, early mornings, some long days during the peak of nests hatching, and unpredictable days off—applicants must be willing to work when needed and take days off when the opportunity arises.  Applicants must enjoy working and living in a remote rural area with a diverse group of people including private landowners and livestock producers.  Conditions include extreme temperatures, rain, snow, “gumbo” roads, wind, rattlesnakes, and abundant prickly pear.  The rewards include the endless vistas of central Montana, abundant recreation opportunities within a short (1-2 hour) drive, calf branding and roadside chats with ranchers, phenomenal wildlife viewing, and field research experience. A strong work ethic, good physical condition, and sense of humor are a must.  The position will require hiking up to several miles each day through sagebrush, over uneven terrain, and in very hot temperatures to reach some sampling sites. Successful candidates will be hired through the University of Montana’s Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit and the position has a monthly stipend of $2,214/month plus free shared housing with internet provided.  No benefits are associated with these positions. Applications will be accepted until March 1, 2019 however the position will be filled earlier if a suitable candidate is found.   To apply, email a cover letter, résumé, and 3 references all within a single PDF or MS Word attachment to Mark Szczypinski at:  The subject heading of your email should read “Range Field Crew Leader”. Include your last name as the beginning of all files (ex: Smith, John-Range Field Crew Leader). Failure to follow these instructions may result in your application being disqualified. Please mention whether or not you are currently certified in CPR/First Aid and direct any questions about the position to Mark via e-mail or by phone at 406-320-2529.
ADA/EOE/AA/Veteran's Preference Reasonable accommodations are provided in the hiring process for persons with disabilities. For example, this material is available in alternative format upon request.
As an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer, we encourage applications from minorities, veterans, and women. Qualified candidates may request veterans’ or disabilities preference in accordance with state law.