Water Protection Resource Specialist – Department of Agriculture

Job Type(s): Programs / Services
Salary: $24.50
Deadline: August 14, 2019 12:00 am
Please click here to visit the job posting page

The mission of the Department of Agriculture is to protect producers and consumers, and to enhance and develop agriculture and allied industries.

The Agricultural Sciences Division provides, agricultural, environmental and public services and protection through program administration, cooperative agreements, enforcement, regulatory and compliance services and laboratory services, https://agr.mt.gov/.

The Agricultural Sciences Bureau is given broad responsibilities for providing technical and regulatory services to the general public, agricultural producers, industry groups, and Agricultural Sciences Division.

This position’s primary responsibilities include investigating the environmental fate and behavior of agricultural chemicals, performing environmental assessments, the implementation of agricultural chemical groundwater monitoring and sampling programs, the initial analysis and interpretation of data and  information, water resource investigations, data and database management, and monitoring the implementation of general and specific groundwater management plans. Duties include working with landowners, producers, agricultural groups, and other governmental agencies to coordinate activities and communicate results. This position also conducts training related to groundwater protection and related topics and develops education and outreach  materials in those subject areas.

The work can involve long working hours under adverse weather conditions in isolated areas. The employee works around pesticides, fertilizers, and other hazardous substances. Some work conditions may require use of personal protective equipment. The employee is expected to be cognizant and recognize potential physical and chemical hazards and demands associated with field work and investigations and to be familiar with appropriate actions/approaches to maintain personal safety of self and others. The position does require statewide travel, unaccompanied to remote and rural locations. During the field season travel requirements may exceed 3,500 miles per month.

For a more detailed job description, please contact Jen Downing at Jen.Downing@mt.gov.


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of hydrogeology, chemistry, soils, agricultural chemical characteristics and agricultural chemicals/soil/surface water and aquifer relationships.
  • Ability to evaluate the environmental behavior of agricultural chemicals as potential contaminant, and a knowledge of agricultural crops and cropping practices, and irrigation.
  • Knowledge of environmental investigative procedures.
  • Knowledge of principles, design and operation of various environmental (ground water, surface water and soils) monitoring and sampling technologies and methods.
  • Background in statistical, spatial, and other types of analysis and ability to apply completed analysis to address impairment or contamination of water resources as it relates to agriculture.
  • Organized self-starter who can work independently, execute quickly and move to the next task.
  • Able to work cooperatively and communicate effectively with members of the public, regulated community, and state/federal/local officials.
  • Ability to clearly and succinctly communicate technical information in a professional manner that is understandable to people of all levels of technical expertise.
  • Ability to function under working conditions involving deadlines without compromising integrity or quality of the data.
  • Working knowledge of data management systems such as Access, Excel, and GIS applications (ArcGIS).
  • Skilled in use of personal computers, word processors, spreadsheets, database use and management, graphics software packages, visual presentation media, various hydrological and GPS related software and equipment.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the Montana Agricultural Chemical Ground Water Protection Act and working knowledge of the Montana Pesticide Act and Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act and other environmental laws and regulations regarding ground water quality.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelors or equivalent in geology, hydrology, water science, soil science, environmental science, or a closely related biological or agricultural science.
  • Course work in specialized courses dealing with environmental topics such as ground water, water quality, agricultural chemicals, chemistry, soils, microbiology, agronomy, spatial modeling, statistical analysis, and communications is highly desirable.
  • 2 years job-related work experience.
  • Required to be licensed as a certified pesticide applicator in demonstration and research within six (6) months of employment.
  • Required to be certified for OSHA 40 hour Hazardous Materials Incident Response Operations within first year of employment.
  • Other combinations of education and experience will be considered on a case by case basis.

To apply for this position, please submit the following items through the State of Montana Careers site:

  • State of Montana Application
  • Resume – Detailing Work History and Experience
  • Cover Letter

 Successful candidate will need to pass a driving record check.