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River and Stream Monitoring Crew Lead in Southern New Mexico


Crew Leader Positions (21+ years old)

Job Location

Las Cruces, New Mexico

Tracking Code


Position Type


Lotic Ecological Monitoring  

(Stream & River Survey)   

with Southwest Conservation Corps and  

The Bureau of Land Management  


Position Title:  Crew Lead   


Position Type:  Full time, temporary   


Location:  Las Cruces BLM District Office in Las Cruces, New Mexico 


Term Dates:  March 25th-November 1st, 2024 (32 weeks)  


Weekly Schedule: Hitches are a mix of 8 days on/6 days off and 4 days on/3 days off, camping with a government vehicle most nights. Office days will occur regularly (~20%) throughout the season, with more near the end of the season. 


Salary:   $900-960 per week DOE 



  • $20/day food allowance while camping in the field with crew collecting data   
  •  Health benefits package that comes into effect on the 1st of the calendar month after the first 60 days   
  • Paid personal leave and sick leave in accordance with NM state law 
  • Paid attendance to Wilderness First Aid or Wilderness First Responder Recertification, or possible reimbursement  
  • Supplemental development opportunities and funds available throughout and upon successful completion of the season  

Hiring Benefits: Public Land Corps Hiring Authority: a noncompetitive hiring status for consideration when applying to competitive service positions for a federal agency. Eligible to be used for two years upon completion of term. Must be under age 31 upon issue of certificate.     


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 Lotic Assessment, Inventory, Monitoring (AIM) initiative.   The NAMF is a standardized approach for how the BLM can meet multiple monitoring requirements in a consistent, quantitative and credible manner.  

To dive deeper into the AIM methodology, visit the following websites: 

The crew consists of two individuals: one Crew Lead and one Crew Member.  The crew goes through an extensive training period for the first 4+ weeks of the position. This training will include the technical aspects of the position, led by the BLM, and an orientation to the SCC culture led by SCC. The rest of the term will be routine sampling processes and data management.  

The crew works together to sample wadable streams and rivers on BLM land using the NAMF and Lotic 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. The crew is based out of the BLM Las Cruces District Office in southern New Mexico and will be under direct mentorship and technical guidance of BLM staff personnel. Work will be completed in remote areas on BLM lands.  They will also have direct remote administrative supervision and mentorship under Southwest Conservation Corps. Unconventional work hours, including 10+ hour days and weekends, are expected.  Using an agency vehicle, crews will drive to several different areas of a vast sample area covering the southern half of the state 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.  The crew may also assist with other public land management projects involving fisheries, wildlife, range, forestry and others.  


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 members 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.  

The Crew lead is the primary contact between the crew, the SCC supervisor, and BLM staff.  Holds a company credit card and documents spending. 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. Completes summary reports of the data, coordinating with and presenting to the BLM Project Lead.  

 Once project work is completed, the crew lead may analyze, interpret, and deduce varying data that was collected throughout the season. The Crew Lead should be passionate about sound science principles, an advocate 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.  


  •  College graduate (Bachelor’s, at minimum) with coursework in hydrology, fisheries, water resources science, ecology, biology, natural resource management, or a related field,  
  •  At least 21 years upon date of 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  
  • Have excellent communication (including in-person, email, and phone), organizational, and planning skills  
  • Experience with Microsoft Suite Software (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) or other similar software as well as experience collecting data electronically in the field.  
  • 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 and when to make decisions on your own.  The applicant 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 a professional demeanor and a positive attitude  
  • Experience and willingness to spend multiple days (1-8 days at a time) car-camping in remote areas  
  • Familiarity with and willingness to adhere to best practices for field safety and Leave No Trace principles  
  • Experience navigating on steep terrain off-trail, utilizing a handheld GPS unit or a similar software (Like Field Maps, GAIA, Avenza)  
  • Can spend several hours per day and/or per week riding in, navigating, and driving an agency four-wheel drive pick-up truck on- and off-highway, on rough terrain, occasionally encountering unexpected obstacles.  If little prior off-road driving experience, there needs to be willingness to learn.  We need folks willing to constantly teach and demonstrate best driving practices  
  • Sound physical and emotional risk assessment  
  • Ability to work in and respond to adverse weather conditions including extreme heat, monsoonal rains, and hazardous wildlife (i.e. rattlesnakes, scorpions, biting/stinging insects, horses)  
  • Current (or able to obtain) CPR, Wilderness First Aid, and Defensive Driver Training certificates  


Preferred Qualifications:   

  • Six months’ experience in aquatic or terrestrial monitoring/inventory in a leadership capacity, or previous experience with the lotic or terrestrial AIM methodology  
  • Education and/or experience in hydrology, fisheries and/or water resource science  
  • Familiarity with the dynamic nature of streams and river systems dependent on monsoonal precipitation  
  • Experience in leadership, facilitation, teaching, or conflict management in the field   
  • Experience determining bank-full in dynamic stream systems  
  • Experience with handheld GPS units and External GNSS GPS antennae and basic troubleshooting 
  • Experience with ArcMap, ArcCatalog and ArcGIS Online interface  
  • Knowledge of downloading, using, and syncing ArcGIS Online Maps   
  • Knowledge of statistical principles and software, especially R.  
  • Knowledge of creating maps, performing basic analysis, and organizing data  
  • Field safety and risk management training  
  • Experience working or recreating in desert or rangeland ecosystems  

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, go to the position announcement    


and click "APPLY" at the bottom.  


We accept applicants with a range of backgrounds.  This entry-level position is part of a developmental program that receives plenty of support.  In your application, please write about how your experiences, personality, and motivations could make you a great fit, even if you don’t think you are a conventional candidate.   

 PLEASE make sure that your cover letter and resume are saved using the following format:  

 Lastname_Firstname_AIM_CoverLetter and Lastname_Firstname_AIM_Resume  

 Example: Smith_John_AIM_CoverLetter  

 Application involves 1) cover letter, 2) resume or CV, 3) at least two academic or professional, non-peer reference contacts, and 4) screening questions.    

No letter of recommendation is needed.  Incomplete applications are given less weight.  Please apply with your full legal name, preferred name, and pronouns.    

 SCC offers several Ecological Monitoring crew positions across Colorado and New Mexico performing the terrestrial AIM methodology.  If interested in multiple locations, please describe so in both the application questionnaire and cover letter. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.    

 We are accepting applications and offering interviews now.  Feel free to reach out to Ecological Monitoring Program Coordinator Michaela Grubb (she/her/hers) at with questions.  

Keywords: Rivers, Aquatic, streams, reclamation, management, navigation 

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