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Conservation Legacy


Crew Lead: Lotic Ecological Monitoring (AIM)


Crew Leader Positions (21+ years old)

Job Location

Taos, NM

Tracking Code


Position Type


Lotic Ecological Monitoring  

(Wadeable Streams and Rivers)  


Southwest Conservation Corps  

in partnership with 

The Bureau of Land Management 


Position Title:  Crew Leader 

Position Type:  Full-time, temporary 

Number of Positions:  1 

Location:  Taos BLM Field Office, New Mexico 

Program Dates:   April 4, 2022 to November 15, 2022 (34 weeks)  

Salary:  $805-$845/week depending on experience

Benefits:  Paid attendance to training, including Wilderness First Aid and Swiftwater Rescue; uniform shirt; $15/day food allowance if camping); health benefits package that comes into effect on the 1st of a calendar month after the first 60 days; paid days of personal leave  

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, one SCC Crew Member, and one non-SCC Crew Member 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.  There is an extensive and intensive training period (paid) spanning the first two months of the term.  The crew may also have the opportunity to assist with other public land management projects involving fisheries, range, wildlife, and others. 

We require proof of full vaccination against SARS-COV-2.  We have also developed and successfully implemented protocols in precaution against COVID-19 transmission between crew personnel.  Protocols address mask-wearing, cleaning, sanitation, and limited paid isolation/stand-down if necessary.  Crews will ride in the same vehicle, run errands in public, and share camping and sampling equipment.  We ask crews to perform their periodic office tasks in the BLM Field Office if it is available, though remote accommodations may be necessary.  Crews may be asked to be flexible and accommodating in using their personal space when the physical BLM office is less available for any reason. 

As we are a partnership with a federal agency, we are subject to halting work and pay in the case of a government shutdown.  Backpay is not typical.  

Crew Lead’s Responsibilities 

Supports and manages the crew’s safety, wellbeing, and development.  Consistently exercises discretion and good judgment. Coordinates field logistics, scheduling, crew tasks, and management of the crew’s equipment.  Provides/asks for feedback to/from crew member regarding performance.  Facilitates a quality experience for the Crew Member via SCC’s program structure, and that the Crew Member is learning skills and competencies according to their development plan. 

Is the primary contact between the crew, the SCC supervisor, and BLM staff.  Maintains a positive working relationship with BLM project and data lead(s).  Completes necessary administrative paperwork. Before, during, and after field data collection, the Crew Lead is primarily responsible for the organization and quality control of all AIM data collected in ESRI ArcGIS suite including ArcGIS Online, Fieldmaps, and Survey 123.  

Completes summary reports of the data, coordinating with and presenting to the BLM Project Lead. 

The Crew Lead should be well-versed in sound science principles, an active representative 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 graduate (Bachelor’s, at minimum) with coursework in hydrology, fisheries, water resources science, ecology, biology, natural resource management, or a related field 
  • Aged at least 21 years upon hire 
  • Ability 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 team and able to lead and work well with others 
  • Excellent communication (including in-person, email, and phone), organizational, and planning skills 
  • Experience with Microsoft Suite Software (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) or other similar software 
  • Basic statistics knowledge and willingness to learn more 
  • 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 crew lead must be able to maneuver and operate in both the office and field. 
  • Willing to empower crew members to improve in performing their duties and all associated skills 
  • 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 attention to detail and overall good humor 
  • Experience and willingness to spend multiple days (1-8 days at a time) making day trips and car-camping in remote areas; willing to learn, teach, and adhere to best practices for field safety, comfort, and low-impact principles 
  • Willing to spend several hours per day and/or per week riding in, navigating with, and driving a 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 
  • Willing to constantly demonstrate and enforce best driving practices 
  • Experience navigating and hiking steep, challenging, off-trail terrain using a handheld GPS or maps and compass for route-finding. 
  • Excellent judgment in assessing physical, mental, and emotional risk 
  • Able to safely and effectively work in and around adverse conditions including extreme heat, monsoonal rains, and hazardous wildlife (i.e. rattlesnakes, scorpions, biting/stinging insects, cattle, and horses) 
  • Current (or able to be trained by SCC/BLM) CPR, Wilderness First Aid, and Defensive Driver Training certificates 
  • Willing to cultivate self-awareness, desire for a positive crew culture, and excitement at the chance to have a close experience with the land. 


Preferred Qualifications:  

  • Prior experience and/or education in aquatic or terrestrial monitoring/inventory, hydrology, or water resource science 
  • Previous leadership, facilitation, or conflict management experience 
  • Familiarity with the dynamic nature of streams and river systems dependent on monsoonal precipitation 
  • Experience determining bank-full in dynamic stream systems 
  • Experience safely operating 4WD trucks on paved and unpaved roads, often in remote areas on unimproved roads 
  • Willing to constantly teach and demonstrate best driving practices 
  • Experience with handheld GPS units 
  • Experience with ArcMap, ArcCatalog and ArcGIS Online interface 
  • Knowledge of creating maps, performing basic analysis, and organizing data 
  • Proficient knowledge of statistical principles and programs, especially R 
  • Field safety and risk management training 
  • Experience working or recreating in desert or rangeland ecosystems 
  • Experience operating inflatable whitewater craft such as inflatable kayaks, paddle rafts, and oar rafts in class II and III whitewater 

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. 


To apply to this position, click here. 


Or, go to:  Application involves cover letter, resume/CV, at least two academic or professional (non-peer) reference contacts, and screening questions.  Incomplete applications are given less weight.  Please apply with full legal name, your preferred name, and pronouns. 


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 location (dis)interest in both the application questionnaire and cover letter.  In the cover letter, please paint how your prior experiences demonstrate that you are a fit for the job, even if the connection is not immediately apparent.  Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. 


We anticipate beginning the interview process in January.  Apply now for advance consideration.  Feel free to reach out to Ecological Monitoring Program Manager Cassandra Owen (she/her/hers) at with questions. 


Click here to begin an application. 

This position is located in Taos, NM. View the Google Map in full screen.