Overview

Summary

American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests (GMUG NF), is seeking one Soil Science Technician to contribute to watershed projects alongside GMUG NF Staff.

For more information about ACE, please visit: www.usaconservation.org.

Start Date: June 10th, 2024

Estimated End Date: August 31st, 2024 *12 weeks after the start date*

Location Details/Description: Delta, CO

The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests (GMUG) are comprised of three individual national forests that are administered as a single unit from the Forest Supervisor’s Office in Delta, CO. However, this was not always the case. The Grand Mesa and Uncompahgre were joined in 1954, and the Gunnison was added in 1973. The earliest segment of the Forests, dubbed the Battlement Mesa Forest Reserve, was established in 1892. Today, the three forests total almost 3 million acres and are managed by 5 Ranger Districts.

For more information about The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests, please visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/gmug

Position Overview: The member, with other technicians, will serve as part of the GMUG watershed crew and team program under mentorship and guidance from USFS hydrologists, soil scientists, ecologists, and other renewable resources specialists. The Soil Science Technician would perform field data inventory for soil and water resources and data analysis following Geographical Information System techniques by Forest Service standard procedures, protocols, and regulations. This opportunity is intended for enthusiastic professionals, with a deep interest in advancing their career goals in natural resource management and conservation.

Members would be part of the watershed field crew for position duty objectives and accomplishment but overall mentorship with the Renewable Resource specialists’ team. This is a casual work environment where employees typically carry out some field work related to their duties regularly. The position will include approximately 80-90% field work. About 10-20% of the work will be carried out in a climate-controlled office. The member will be provided office space, a desk, and a computer equipped with the relevant software. Equipment may be shared equipment as well as a shared office area. The Watershed field crew member will be provided with field experience in a forest ecosystem under tasks such as water resources inventories (such as fens, wetland, and other groundwater-dependent ecosystems) watershed restoration assessments, wetland restoration assessments, best management practices (BMP’s) inventories, soil health and monitoring protocols (soil disturbance monitoring and Proper Functioning Condition assessment), mining restoration sites analysis related to watershed features, other duties include data quality analysis and review. Geospatial (geographical) field data collection would be performed using ESRI mobile applications and tablet hardware. Knowledge and skills in Geographic Information System (GIS), ArcGIS Online, Avenza, Survey123, Collector, etc. would be helpful but training and mentorship would be provided. After field data collection, office time will be spent developing GIS products, entering field data (data entry), managing databases, writing reports, and organizing photos and other imagery. As part of the Watershed field crew members would follow guidance and provide all requested deliverables for any other projects as determined but the GMUG watershed program manager and/or GMUG watershed field crew leader. the participant will be exposed to working with volunteers, nonprofit partner organizations, and hands-on restoration projects. As part of the Renewable Resource department, crew members could be tasked with projects and working experiences in the ecology, fisheries, timber/forestry, fire/fuels, and cultural resources fields, upon some’s. Field work will often involve strenuous physical activity, such as hiking in steep terrain at high altitudes, carrying heavy equipment, and/or working in uncomfortable weather (from hot to rainy), for many hours a day. Participants will be trained with communication by radio and expected to follow pertinent protocols for safety. Participants will need a backpack, a sturdy pair of hiking boots, and personal camping equipment (upon the potential of overnight situations). Other backcountry equipment will be provided. Potential hazards include inclement weather, wildlife, riding ATVs, and working at abandoned and active mine sites.

This individual placement is meant to facilitate professional development and promotes exposure to land management agencies and networking with professionals. This could include gaining experience in different conservation fields and shadowing different work groups.

Schedule: Typically Monday – Friday between the hours of 8am – 5pm MST. Occasional weekend and evening shifts may be necessary for project needs. In general, schedules are described as flexible in an open conversation and guidance environment.

Position Benefits

Living Allowance: The ACE Member is expected to contribute ~40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $700/week to offset the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly. The living allowance is a fixed rate determined by the GMUG NF and ACE and is not flexible.

Public Land Corps Hiring Authority: Members serving under this agreement may be eligible for a federal hiring authority upon completion of their term of service. PLC projects also include specific eligibility requirements such as age and citizenship. Please contact ACE staff with questions about eligibility, or view general information online https://www.usaconservation.org/epic/#eligibility-requirements.

Housing: Housing is the responsibility of the member and not provided by ACE or GMUG NF.

Housing Assistance: ACE Members will be eligible for reimbursable housing assistance up to $100 per week. The ACE Member will only be reimbursed for approved and demonstrated housing expenses.

Relocation Assistance: ACE members will have access to up to $500 to be used for eligible relocation expenses. Further details regarding distribution of these funds will be provided during the interview process.

Provided Training/Orientation: ACE members will receive position specific training and an orientation outlining ACE policies and procedures, clear guidance on prohibited activities, and networks for support. Specific training from the GMUG NF is as follows: As part of the 12-week season all watershed field crew personnel would go through a 1 to 1 ½ weeks training and be provided with all applicable protocols and field’s needs. During the job tenure members would participate in all required training and safety briefings. The soil science technician would be under the Forest Soil Scientist’s direction for specific training and projects to collect technical information (soil disturbance protocols and soil health conditions) for all programs (timber, fuels, range, wildlife, recreation, lands, engineering, and others). The incumbent will be provided with field experience in forested ecosystems doing soil description inventories for systems such as fens, wetlands, and other groundwater- dependent ecosystems, Erosion control best management practices (BMP’s) inventories, soil health and monitoring protocols (soil disturbance monitoring and Proper Functioning Condition assessment), and mining restoration site analysis. Other duties include data entering, data quality analysis, and review.

Qualifications

Required:

Members must be a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident, as required by U.S. government contracts
Willing and able to represent ACE and the partner organization in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner.
Ability to be both self-directed/work alone, and be a positive, contributing member of a group.
A valid driver’s license and an insurable driving record (documentation to be provided upon request).
Willing to undergo and must pass the required two-part criminal history check
Ability to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.
ACE Members will need to complete bi-weekly timesheets, beginning of term feedback forms, end of term evaluations and for longer terms, a mid-term evaluation.
To learn more about eligibility requirements, please visit our website https://www.usaconservation.org/epic/#eligibility-requirements.
Applicants must have an interest in soil science, natural resource management, environmental science, ecology, or other related disciplines appropriate to the position.
Relevant education and/or appropriate experience, or a combination of the two is required.
Resumes must contain enough information to show that the applicant meets the experience as defined in the announcement.

Preferred:

Experience in various field data collection methods using standard protocols.
Experience in data entry and database management concepts.
Experience using and collecting data using handheld GPS units, tablets, and others.
Experience in hiking and navigation in steep terrain.
Familiar with GPS, Map and Compass use, and reading Topo maps.
Skills in geographical information systems (GIS) and modeling are desired, though not required.
Physical Demands, Work Environment and Working Conditions:

Physical Demands: Requires frequent sitting, standing, walking, hiking, carrying, using hands to handle or feel, reaching with hands and arms, talking and hearing. Manual dexterity required for use of various tools, computer keyboard/mouse and other office equipment. Required to stoop, kneel, climb stairs, and/or crouch. Ability to hike over rough terrain, and camp overnight under field conditions.
Vision Requirements: Requires close, distance, peripheral and depth perception vision as well as the ability to focus.
Weight Lifted or Force Exerted: Frequently moves up to 25 lbs., ability to move up to 50 pounds.
Environmental: Outdoor and indoor conditions. Work environment conditions can change frequently; working under adverse weather conditions and in various climates.
Noise Environment: Moderate to high noise such gas-powered chainsaws and other hand and power tools.
Travel: This position may require domestic travel.
Environmental Conditions/Hazards: The ACE member(s) may encounter environmental conditions/hazards including extreme heat or cold, rocky terrain, swamp or wetland conditions, biting insects, and potentially dangerous wildlife. The member is expected to conduct duties in a safe and orderly manner so as not to endanger self, fellow staff/members or resources. Potential hazards include inclement weather, wildlife, riding ATVs, and working at abandoned and active mine sites.

Vehicle and Equipment Use/Safety: If a vehicle is required for the accomplishment of the duties, one will be provided by the GMUG NF or ACE. Any tools required for the accomplishment of the duties will be provided by the GMUG NF. Use of personal protective equipment (PPE), typically provided by the GMUG NF, will be mandatory for any activity that requires it. Strict adherence to GMUG NF and ACE equipment training, certification and safety protocols is required.

To Apply: Please submit your resume, a cover letter demonstrating your interest and experience, and contact information for three professional/academic references to the online application page for this position here: https://usaconservation.applicantpool.com/jobs/. Early consideration will be given as resumes are received. This position may close at any time. If you have any questions regarding this position please feel free to contact Recruitment and Member Support Coordinator, Sheana Ward, at 772-529-8143 or sward@usaconservation.org

EEO: Employment with ACE is based upon ability, qualifications, attitude, and job-related factors. Every qualified employee or applicant has the same opportunity for recruitment, hire, training, transfer, promotion, compensation, demotion, termination, benefits, employee activities, and general treatment without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, gender, national origin, pregnancy, ancestry, citizenship status, genetic information (including of a family member), veteran or military status, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, medical condition, marital or parental status, political affiliation, ethnicity, hair texture or style, arrest record, caste, hereditary status, endogamy, or any other classification protected by applicable local, state, or federal law.

Tagged as: GIS, hydrology, resource management, watershed

About American Conservation Experience

American Conservation Experience (ACE) is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing rewarding environmental service opportunities for young adults and emerging professionals of all backgrounds to explore and improve public lands while gaining practical professional experience.