Crews will conduct vegetation monitoring using the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Terrestrial Assessment, Inventory, & Monitoring (AIM) methodology. Crews will consist of two crew members and one crew lead. Together, following a training period, they will 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.
Within all plots, the crew will identify vegetation to species, gather species density data using line-point intercept and gap measurements, measure soil stability, and describe the site and soil pits (50%). All data will be georeferenced using a GPS unit and stored in an ArcGIS geodatabase. Data are entered into a database on site with tablets, later synthesized into various reports for future land management planning.
Fieldwork will be in remote areas across a diversity of ecotypes. Crews will be required to drive a company or government vehicle to several different areas of the Field or District Office and hike several miles per day carrying equipment (25%) throughout a “four on, three off” or “eight on, six off” structure of a work week (colloquially, a “hitch”). They will usually camp multiple nights sharing camp meals and chores. They will return to the office for equipment and data management, unknown plant identification, hitch debrief and further field work planning (20%). Camping is expected whenever, as safety allows, it is more efficient to do so. Certain crews camp out more than others, due to varying risk factors and the layouts of the sampling areas. An unconventional schedule, a level of flexibility, and long hours are necessary.
College graduate (Bachelor’s, at minimum) with coursework in ecology, botany, range science, soil science, wildlife biology, natural resource management, conservation biology, environmental studies, or a related field
Aged at least 21 years upon hire
Excellent judgment in assessing physical, mental, and emotional risk
Previous experience conducting field work to collect ecological data
Capable of standing and walking off-trail (1-8mi/day on rough uneven terrain using a handheld GPS for navigation), 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 extreme heat while maintaining attention to detail and overall good morale
Experience with plant identification, preferably with the use of a taxonomic key and/or experience working in regions with high floristic diversity
Experience working as part of a small team and able to work well with others
Experience working or recreating in rangeland or desert systems
Experience with ArcGIS Online interface
Experience identifying soil horizons and hand texturing various types of soils
About Southwest Conservation Corps
It is the mission of the Southwest Conservation Corps (SCC) to empower individuals to positively impact their lives, their communities, and the environment. For more information, visit www.sccorps.org.