Login Register
Home » Jobs » Terrestrial Monitoring Crew Lead/Botanist

University of Montana - O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West

  • 32 Campus Drive, Missoula, MT
  • https://www.umt.edu/center-rocky-mountain-west/emma/employment_opportunities/default.php

Contact the employer

Make sure to include valid contact details when reaching out to an employer.

Email Me Jobs Like These

Create a job alert now and get notified when new jobs are posted.

Alert Frequency

Apply by May 10, 2024

Terrestrial Monitoring Crew Lead/Botanist


min experience

salary range

$20 - $22 / hour

Additional Job Details

International Applicants Allowed?
Work Visa Sponsoring Available

Job Overview

The University of Montana (UM) O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West (OCRMW) is partnering with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to implement their Terrestrial Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM) strategy. This protocol is targeted at collecting standardized inventory and long-term vegetation and soils data at multiple scales across BLM Districts in the Western U.S.

We are currently recruiting Crew Leads/Botanists with experience in botany, ecology, and soil science for data collection in Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, and Wyoming from mid May through August/September (exact dates vary by project).

The Crew Lead/Botanist will lead 1-2 technicians to collect vegetation and soils data in desert, sagebrush-steppe, and grassland ecosystems. Crews work eight-day hitches: 10-hours/day, from Tuesday-Tuesday, with a six-day break between hitches. All positions are field-based and require working and camping in isolated regions. We ask seasonal staff to commit to the entire field season, practice safety awareness, safe driving policies, and contribute to building a healthy, productive and enjoyable work environment.

Applicants should understand that this is physically demanding work. Crews often work and camp in inclement weather conditions, frequently navigating rough, unpaved roads in 4×4 vehicles, and carrying heavy loads (40 lbs.) by foot over rugged desert and mountainous terrain. Sampling locations are occasionally near a small town, but these towns often have few amenities. Primitive camping is required. Cell phone service is limited.

UM supplies all necessary monitoring equipment, including vehicles, to carry out the work. We provide some group camping gear (stoves, coolers). Individuals are responsible for their personal camping gear (tents, sleeping bags) but UM has camping gear available to borrow.

The University of Montana is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and has a strong institutional commitment to the principle of diversity in all areas. Applicants with diverse backgrounds, experiences, ability and perspectives are encouraged to apply.

Position Details 

  • Position is full time, temporary (< 4 months).
  • Compensation is $20-$22 per hour, based on qualifications and experience.
    • All positions include (tax-free):
      • $268 meal per diem per 8-day hitch
      • Field/Camping Equipment (kept by employee upon completion of field season, up to $600 value)
  • Benefits include Worker’s Compensation coverage, three paid holidays and accrual of sick leave.


Education and Experience  

  • A bachelor’s or master’s degree in biology, botany, soil science, range ecology, natural resources management, or related subject.
  • A minimum of two full field seasons or one full year collecting vegetation and soils data in desert, sagebrush-steppe, grassland or similar plant community (BLM Terrestrial AIM experience preferred). A completed master’s degree with field work can satisfy this requirement.

Preferred Technical Skills

  • Experience identifying rangeland plants to species in the field using a dichotomous key (e.g., Flora of the Pacific Northwest, Hitchcock and Cronquist), including challenging taxa, such as Poaceae and Asteraceae. Crews may encounter 60-90 plant species in a single plot, in various phenological states.
  • Familiarity with commonly accepted plant nomenclature and taxonomy.
  • Experience preparing and organizing voucher and herbarium specimens.
  • Ability to describe soil horizons, textures and stability and collect soil samples for analysis.
  • Careful attention to detail.
  • Experience carrying out data quality checks.
  • Experience following established field protocols to conduct sampling and field data collection.
  • Experience with data entry and management using electronic devices.
  • Experience navigating off-trail with compass and GPS.
  • Experience with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel) and preferably with Collector for ArcGIS and Survey123.
  • Experience driving 4WD trucks, especially on rough and unmaintained roads. Valid driver’s license and clean driving record (DUI or other serious convictions need not apply).
  • Certification in CPR and Wilderness First Aid.

Professional Skills 

  • Experience supervising technicians, volunteers or undergraduate students. Leadership in a volunteer or community organization, or in the military, can satisfy this requirement.
  • Demonstrated ability to resolve interpersonal conflict during stressful situations.
  • Ability to interact with stakeholders and partners in a professional manner.
  • Experience managing gear and equipment for a crew, lab class, team, etc.
  • Demonstrated ability to work productively as part of a team to accomplish mutual goals and to work independently as required.
  • Commitment to an entire field season.

Physical Requirements 

  • Ability to carry 35 pounds in a backpack over rugged mountainous terrain, off-trail, for up to eight (8) miles a day, gaining up to 2000 ft. of elevation per day.
  • Ability to dig soil pits in rocky and dense clay soils (70 cm deep).
  • Willingness and ability to maintain a positive attitude in field conditions that include exposure to inclement weather, cold or hot weather (20°F–110°F), rugged terrain, mosquitos, venomous snakes, bears and other wildlife, lightning, wildfire, etc., all while maintaining a strong commitment to team safety required.
  • Willingness to work irregular hours in harsh environments and challenging weather conditions.


These positions are ideal for people who are committed to ongoing learning and development. You will receive paid training on AIM protocols and associated methodology. UM ecologists will also provide additional training on safety protocols and plant identification for the area in which you will be working, and ongoing field-based support and training from specialists during the field season. You will have the opportunity to interact with seasoned staff scientists from both the BLM and UM throughout training and field work.


Base locations:

  • Missoula, MT (working in ID or MT)
  • Bozeman, MT (working in MT or WY)
  • Helena, MT (working in MT)
  • Cody, WY (working in WY)
  • Boise, ID (working in ID)
  • Pocatello, ID (working in ID)

Employment Eligibility. All New Employees must be eligible and show employment eligibility verification by the first date of employment at UM, as legally required (e.g., Form I-9).

How To Apply

Applications review will begin December 4 and will continue until the position is filled.

Please submit the following documents to [email protected] . The subject line of the email should read “2024 Terrestrial AIM Application”.

Please combine all application materials into 2-3 documents.

  1. Letter of Interest – Please ensure it addresses the following:
    1. Your ability to meet the stated required skills for the position.
    2. Your preferred location.
    3. Your earliest start date.
  2. Detailed resume listing education and describing work experience
  3. Names and contact information for three (3) professional references
  4. Transcripts (Unofficial Transcripts are acceptable)

Application review will be ongoing and will continue until all positions are filled. All applicants will be notified of receipt of their application and the results of the preliminary review (rejected due to failure to meet minimum qualifications or transmitted to hiring team). If you qualify for an interview, you will have the opportunity to speak with staff who worked as AIM crew members in previous years.

About UM and O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West 

The University of Montana is a flagship, research institution with approximately 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West, a regional studies and public education program. OCRMW staff are engaged in mapping wetlands across the western US and in carrying out inventory and monitoring projects for federal, state and tribal agencies.

Criminal Background Investigation is required prior to Offer of Employment. In accordance with University policy, finalists for this position will be subject to criminal background investigations. ADA/EOE/AA/Veteran’s Preference. Reasonable accommodations are provided in the hiring process for persons with disabilities. For example, this material is available in alternative format upon request. As an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer, we encourage applications from minorities, veterans, and women. Qualified candidates may request veterans’ or disabilities preference in accordance with state law. References *References not listed on the application materials may be contacted; notice may be provided to the applicant.

Related Jobs

all about us

About Adventure Job Board

We have worked and lived in some of the best places on earth. The experiences that come with seasonal and full time work in adventurous settings are life changing to say the least. We built this job board to share those opportunities with passionate job seekers while connecting employers to the best possible candidates.

More about us

Give us a shoutout

Contact Us

Have a question about a job or a place? Need a little extra encouragement? Know of a great place that we haven’t discovered yet? Send us an email, tag us with #AdventureJobBoard on Social, or release the courier pigeons. Contact us. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Contact us now

You’ve got email

Newsletter Signup

Please sign up here to receive a newsletter listing all our latest jobs, offers and updates.

    communitY dedicated to jobs in great places

    Fueled by a passion to help people redefine how they see their careers

    © 2016 - 2022 Adventure Job Bord - All rights reserved.