Crews conduct vegetation monitoring using the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Terrestrial Assessment, Inventory, & Monitoring (AIM) methodology. More information on the BLM’s AIM strategy can be found on the AIM website: http://aim.landscapetoolbox.org/. Crews typically consist of three individuals: two crew members and one crew lead. Together, they monitor land health (i.e., soil and vegetation) on BLM lands including National Monument lands, vegetation treatments, burn scars, rangeland allotments, or reference areas using AIM methodology.
Crews undergo extensive technical training and orientation to SCC culture for the first 4+ weeks in the Field Office and at sites on the CO western slope. The rest of the term is typically routine, with the goal to sample a target number of plots using the AIM methodology.
Within all plots, the crew identify vegetation to species, gather species cover and composition data using line-point intercept and gap measurements, measure soil stability, and describe the site and soil pits (50%). Data are georeferenced and entered into an ArcGIS database on site with ruggedized tablets, to be later synthesized into various reports for future land management planning.
Crews will maintain and track botanical specimens of known and unknown species throughout the field season and keep records updated as needed. The crew member will continuously learn the local flora and build botanical knowledge. The crew member should be curious about the natural systems they encounter and have a passion to grow and share that curiosity and knowledge with their teammates.
Crews are based out of BLM Field Office buildings, and will be under the direct mentorship and technical guidance of BLM staff personnel. This position uniquely provides the opportunity to develop relationships within and become familiar with the workings of the agency.
Fieldwork is in remote areas across a diversity of ecotypes. Crews are required to drive a company or government vehicle to several different areas of the Field Office and hike several miles per day, off trail, carrying equipment (25%) throughout a “hitch”. Hitches are typically 10 hour days, either 8 days on/6 days off or 4 days on/3 days off. They usually camp multiple nights and share camp meals and chores. One should be personally prepared to occasionally visit the field only for a day trip, returning to town that night in preparation for the next work day. Camping out as the default is expected. Some crews camp more than others due to various factors.
Crews return to the office for equipment and data management, unknown plant identification, and field work planning (20%). The crew may also assist with other public land management projects involving wildlife, range, recreation, rare plant monitoring, or forestry (5%), contingent on sampling productivity and BLM staff availability.
College coursework (2 years, at minimum) in ecology, botany, plant ecology, plant biology, plant systematics, soils science, geology, horticulture, natural resource management, environmental science, or a related field;
OR previous college- or professional-level experience in the above fields, plus familiarity with data collection and sound science principles
Eligible to accept 900-hour service term with Americorps
Aged between 21 and 30 (civilian) or 35 (veteran) years upon start date
About Southwest Conservation Corps
Southwest Conservation Corps (SCC) is a program of the non-profit service organization, Conservation Legacy, that is built on the legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) that operated from 1933 – 1942. SCC provides youth and young adults opportunities to complete conservation projects on public lands. While serving with SCC, members receive training on job skills, conflict resolution, leadership, teamwork, and environmental stewardship. Programs are developed using a step ladder approach to provide a progression of skill development based on a member’s needs.