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Hydrologist Resource Assistant


Individual Placement/Internships

Job Location

Phoenix, Arizona

Tracking Code

3613 - 984

Position Type


Tonto National Forest – Watershed Program


Term of positions is 32 weeks; full-time 40 hrs/wk


Phoenix, AZ

Living Allowance:

$12.50/hour plus $1000/month housing allowance

Start Date:

9/19/2022 (preferred), negotiable based on candidate

Due Date:

Preference will be given to applications received before 8/19/2022

Title of Position

Hydrologist Resource Assistant


Tonto National Forest:

The Tonto National Forest (TNF) is located directly adjacent to the Phoenix Metropolitan Area and is one of the most heavily visited in the nation. It is a unique forest because it was created in 1905 specifically to protect the water supply for the Phoenix area. From the desert to tall timber, the TNF contains a spectacular 2.9 million acres of cactus, chaparral, ponderosa pine, and mixed conifer country north and east of Phoenix right up to the edge of the Mogollon Rim. The Forest is the fifth largest in the United States and has six Ranger Districts operating in a complex, sensitive political atmosphere. Streams on the forest range from the large (and well known) Verde and Salt Rivers that are the water supply for the City of Phoenix, to the small desert perennial streams such as Cave and Camp Creek. Overall, there are almost 700 miles of perennial streams on the TNF. The Tonto holds 12 instream flow water right claims and has pending applications for 10 more.


Position Summary:

Stewards Individual Placements (Stewards) provides individuals with service and career opportunities to strengthen communities and preserve our natural resources. Participants work with federal agencies, tribal governments, and nonprofits building institutional capacity, developing community relationships, and supporting ecosystem health.


Stewards in partnership with the Tonto National Forest Watershed Management program seeks one Hydrology Resource Assistant (RA) for an eight-month appointment to assist with all aspects of the watershed program. The position will involve approximately 50% field work and 50% office work. The Hydrology RA will be responsible for maintaining the forest's network of stream gauges (5 gauges), assisting with the monthly review for water resources of categorical exclusions for the forest, conducting wet/dry mapping and riparian photopoints for 4-8 streams, completing data entry for the streams database, and generally participating as a full member of the watershed team on our other projects including water quality monitoring, water rights administration, and putting together essential projects for watershed restoration action plans. Many of the streams and springs on the Tonto are in remote areas, therefore, applicants must be willing to hike for up to 8 miles per day and camp for multiple days at a time in undeveloped camping areas. Training on spring and stream survey techniques will be provided, however, previous experience or education in hydrology, geology, ecology or natural resources management is desirable. The RA will be trained and supervised by the Forest Hydrologist and will be based out of the Tonto National Forest Supervisor Office in Phoenix, AZ.


Position Responsibilities will include:

  • Stream Gauge Maintenance
    • Visit each gauge, download the data, and take flow measurements
    • Upload/clean data using HoboWare
    • Update/maintain HEC-RAS model for stream flows
    • With assistance from Forest Hydrologist/Asst. Forest Hydrologist install new gauges and build new HEC-RAS models if necessary.
  • Categorical Exclusion Review
    • Use GIS layers of water resources to determine what/if any impact proposed project may have
    • Suggest Best Management Practices to mitigate any potential impact.
  • Wet/Dry Mapping and Riparian Photopoints
    • Walk streams and record where water flows start and stop
    • Take photos of established riparian photopoint spots
    • Upload data to AZ Department of Environmental Quality database (Wet/Dry) or provide data to Friends of the Tonto (Riparian Photopoint)


Minimum Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in hydrology, geology or other related field.
    • Must be able to qualify for the GS-1315 series (i.e., have six credit hours in calculus and six credit hours in physics and a physical sciences degree)
  • Enthusiasm for working in the outdoors and sharing with others.
  • Ability to get along well with others.
  • Ability to communicate orally and in writing
  • Be comfortable driving in all conditions on highway and dirt roads
  • Be able to travel up to 10 miles a day on trail and camp for up to 2 nights at a time.
  • Driver’s License and ability to pass MVR through Conservation Legacy (must be over 21 years old or have had license for 3 years)


 Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in hydrology or geology
  • ArcGIS skills
  • Previous experience with field collection of hydrologic data



  • Compensation Package:
    • $12.50/hour (pre-tax)
    • $1000/month housing allowance, paid out weekly at $230.77/week (pre-tax)
  • Other Benefits:
    • $50/monthly commuting reimbursement, requires documentation. (pre-tax)
    • Professional Development and Training funds
    • Eligible for health care after 60 days
    • USFS Direct Hire Authority after successful completion of 960 hours of RA service*


  • Training:
    • Field hydrology techniques such as stream survey, stream flow measurements, and water quality sampling.
    • Hydrology model/computer programs training – HEC-RAS, HEC-HMS and HoboWare
    • National Environmental Policy Act analysis for watersheds training (both through online classes and experience)
    • Application/use of best management practices to protect water quality
    • Riparian photopoint procedures and wet/dry mapping procedures
    • Orientation to local hazards (weather, terrain, bugs and plants) (applies to all work plan activities)



How to Apply
Apply on-line at:  In addition to your resume, please submit a one page cover letter highlighting why you are interested in this position and how your background and experience will help you succeed in this position.


For Application Questions:

Please contact Roddy Cobb, Program Coordinator at


Stewards Individual Placements Program does not and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, age, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all.

This position is located in Phoenix, AZ. View the Google Map in full screen.