Sagebrush Meadow Research Technician – Montana State UniversityJob Type(s): Programs / Services, Other
Deadline: January 15, 2021 12:00 am
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When: May 31st through the end of September 2021 (applicants must be available for the entire season)
The sagebrush ecosystem is one of the most threatened in the nation with only around 56% remaining from historical ranges. Here in Southwest Montana (SWMT), a collaborative effort between scientists and land managers has been formed in order to help conserve sagebrush landscapes. This position is a result of a science-driven approach to helping meet the needs of land managers and conservationists in SWMT.
Mesic meadows, characterized by areas with intermediate amounts of water, are critical to retaining soil moisture and are important drivers of productivity within sagebrush ecosystems. The goal of this project is to measure the efficacy of low-tech rock restoration structures aimed to retain and spread water/snowmelt in sagebrush systems. There are three project components– 1) forage production for cattle and wildlife, 2) describe the water regime and soil moisture patterns, and 3) assess benefits to sage-grouse brood food resources (insects). Technicians will conduct vegetation surveys, collect soil moisture measurements, sample insects, enter data, and sort camera trap images. There will be opportunities to experience other conservation-based projects taking place throughout the Centennial Valley addressing topics such as sage-grouse brood survival, sagebrush-obligate songbirds, and treatment of invasive plants.
The study locations are located in the Centennial Valley and Medicine Lodge Valleys of SWMT. Applicants will work out of and live in a remote field camp approximately 1.5 hours from the nearest town and 3 hours from Bozeman. Housing will be provided in wall tents or camper trailers.