River and Stream Monitoring Crew Member in Southern New Mexico
Lotic Ecological Monitoring
(Stream & River Survey)
with Southwest Conservation Corps and
The Bureau of Land Management
Position Title: Crew Member
Position Type: Full-time, temporary
Location: Las Cruces BLM District Office in Las Cruces, New Mexico
Term Dates: April 1st-September 13, 2024 (25 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 or company vehicle most nights. Office days will occur regularly (~20%) throughout the season, with more near the end of the season.
Living Allowance: $600-$640/week DOE
Plus Housing Allowance: $140/week. Housing allowance may be lower if a member secures agency-subsidized housing.
- AmeriCorps Education Award of $3,447.50 (depending on term length and upon satisfactory completion of term)
- Paid attendance to Wilderness First Aid or Wilderness First Responder Recertification, or possible reimbursement
- $20/day food allowance while camping in the field with crew collecting data. Smaller allowance for day trips.
- Supplemental development opportunities and funds available throughout the term
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.
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: https://www.blm.gov/aim/
The crew consists of two individuals: one Crew Lead and one Crew Member. The crew undergoes extensive training for the first few 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. While on site, 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. 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 the 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 other departments.
Crew Member's Responsibilities:
The crew member actively contributes to data collection, management, and quality control. They assist with hitch preparation, planning, crew transportation using work vehicles, navigation to designated plots, equipment maintenance, and effective time tracking and management. Continuously, they expand their knowledge of hydrogeomorphology, the impact of their work, and the flora, ecosystems, and landscapes they encounter. The crew member takes the initiative to communicate and pursue their personal and professional development goals throughout the season.
We seek individuals who consistently demonstrate discretion and judgment, embracing the responsibility of identifying, communicating, and proactively addressing safety issues. Whether these issues are technical, logistical, or interpersonal, the crew member partakes in problem identification, communication, and resolution. Their proactive approach and active involvement are expected at every step. Furthermore, they complete mid-term and end-of-term written evaluations, both for self-assessment and for the crew lead. The crew member maintains effective and professional communication, fostering systems of feedback among their fellow crew members. We value crew members who are passionate about sound scientific principles and are genuinely curious about the potential applications of AIM data. These individuals are driven to explore the intricacies of our natural world, recognizing the immense value of their contributions to preserving and understanding our precious ecosystems.
- College-level coursework in hydrology, fisheries, water resources science, ecology, biology, natural resource management, or a related field
- Aged between 21 and 30 (civilian) or 35 (veteran) years upon start date
- U.S. Citizenship or Lawful Permanent Residence and associated identification, including an image of a signed social security card AND another acceptable primary form of documentation
- Able to pass Conservation Legacy's and the Department of Interior's background checks
- Valid U.S. driver's license and insurable driving record
- 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 scientific data collection
- Interest in large-scale, spatially-balanced monitoring designs and how extensive sampling can assist in understanding dynamic aquatic systems
- Self-motivated, with strong work ethic, and able to work independently with limited supervision and take direction and critical feedback.
- Capable of operating professionally both in an office and the field, demonstrating adaptability and versatility
- Capable of standing and walking (at a minimum 6 miles/day on rough, steep, off-trail uneven terrain using a handheld GPS for route-finding), bending, crouching, and stooping for long periods 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
- Willing to spend multiple days (1-8 days at a time) car-camping in remote areas
- Willing 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 similar hardware and software (Like Field Maps, GAIA, Avenza)
- Can spend several hours per day and 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
- Excellent judgment in assessing physical, mental, and emotional risk
- Able to safely and effectively work in and around adverse conditions, including extreme heat, sun exposure, monsoonal rains, and hazardous wildlife (i.e., rattlesnakes, scorpions, biting/stinging insects, cattle, and horses)
- Current (or able to obtain) CPR, Wilderness First Aid, and Defensive Driver Training certificates
- Excited for the chance to have a close experience with the land while based in a federal land management agency
- Previous scientific fieldwork
- Experience working in a close team, navigating challenges and interpersonal dynamics
- 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 with inputting data into any digital data collection software
- Experience utilizing online and digital mapping tools for planning and navigation
- Experience with handheld GPS units and External GNSS GPS antennae and basic troubleshooting
- 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 complete 640 hours, which include at least 120 hours on federal lands through the PLC. PLC-certified alumni are not federal government employees, but they are then eligible to use, for two years, a noncompetitive hiring status for consideration when applying to competitive service positions. https://www.blm.gov/careers/students-and-grads/public-lands-corps
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
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. We give incomplete applications 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 you are 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 contact Ecological Monitoring Program Coordinator Michaela Grubb (she/her/hers) at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Keywords: Rivers, Aquatic, streams, reclamation, management, navigation
This position is located in Las Cruces, NM. View the Google Map in full screen.