AIS Early Detection & Monitoring Technician- North - #19529209

State of Montana

Date: Feb 23, 2021
City: Great Falls, MT
Contract type: Full time
State of Montana


Please remember to attach the required documents (Resume and Cover Letter) listed in this announcement. Applications missing the requested documents will be considered incomplete and may not progress further in the process. Documents not requested will not be considered in the recruitment process. This position closes at 11:59 PM Mountain Time on March 14, 2021. You must apply through the State of Montana Career site.

Special Information: Identity of applicants who become finalists may be released to the public if the Department deems it necessary. Employees who exceed 1,040 hours in a calendar year are also provided health, dental and life insurance. Other benefits include retirement, paid vacation, sick and holidays. This position may be covered by a VEBA (Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association).

A successful applicant will be subject to a background investigation.

Women and minorities are under-represented in this job category and are encouraged to apply.

The Fisheries Division develops programs and budgets to manage for aquatic resources. The Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Bureau is managed and coordinated by staff within the Department headquarters. Implementation of programs are accomplished by the respective AIS coordinators. Monitoring technicians assist the AIS Monitoring Coordinator in carrying out specified AIS management and research activities. Management decisions will often have local, statewide and national effects on resource status and conservation.

This announcement looks to fill one position that will be located in Great Falls. This seasonal monitoring technician position will work from May through October (weather dependent). Schedules will consist mainly of four 10-hour work days Monday-Thursday.

This position travels extensively throughout their designated area of the northern half of Montana east of the Continental Divide. The crew will cover FWP Regions 4 and 6. This position offers a great opportunity to explore and experience Southern Montana throughout the changing seasons. A typical work week includes reporting to their designated duty station on Monday and then using a FWP-provided pickup to follow a predetermined schedule. Applicants should expect to travel to semi-remote and remote locations with limited services on a weekly basis. While traveling, crews should expect to camp with their own equipment while following leave-no-trace principles. Applicants will receive a per diem for each night of camping and the state food per diem rate.

Physical and Environmental Demands: The technician works with minimal or no direct supervision, but will work with a partner who may be the lead worker in charge of daily plans and work schedules. Work will involve field research activities that require planning, prioritization, and often require a change and re-organization of work schedules, and overnight travel. Primitive camping is required while traveling overnight. Working conditions are routinely hazardous. Technician will work in/around water on lakes, rivers, and streams that may be dangerous. Exposure to chemical agents for equipment decontamination and specimen preservation, and offensive sights and sounds are possible. Extreme caution and safety protocols need to be followed to prevent exposure to serious health hazards indoors and outdoors. Frequent exposure to outdoor hazards such as severe weather, water hazards, and extreme terrain is expected. Requires lifting up to 40 lbs. on uneven terrain or in water, which may expose the employee to slick walking surfaces. Occasional lifting in excess of 40lbs would be required to move equipment or supplies such as rafts, boats, or items such as 55-gallon barrels of vinegar or water. In addition, work in and around watercraft is expected

Job Duties: The early detection and monitoring technicians will perform early detection surveys for aquatic invasive plants and macroinvertebrates. In addition, the crews monitor existing locations of known populations to assess current status. Crews will identify all aquatic plants and macroinvertebrates to species when possible and feasible.

In coordination with the supervisor, the technicians follow field work schedules with AIS Monitoring Coordinators and other co-workers to collect a variety of scientific data associated with prioritized AIS projects using established protocols and guidelines; The crew will follow and revise (as necessary) field schedules and perform aquatic invasive species sampling.

Crews will need to evaluate each sampling location and situation to determine the best approach for data collection and sampling. Sampling methods may include kick nets, plankton net samples, plant rakes, rock picking, snorkeling, and substrate sampling. The applicant will complete basic management of samples collected; enters, records, summarizes, and manages ecological/biological data. Conducts the maintenance, purchase, repair, assembly, and testing of a variety of field equipment such as boats and motors, vehicles, and nets. Cleans and decontaminates boats and equipment to prevent the spread of AIS into other waterbodies.

The crew will do most work at high use areas such as boat ramps but will operate equipment such as motorized boats, rafts and other non-motorized watercraft to perform sampling. Four-wheel drive vehicles and trailers will also be used during the sampling season. Individuals may serve as a lead worker for day-to-day operations; May represent FWP in public education and outreach.


  • Basic knowledge and understanding of or ability to quickly learn sampling and field operations will be required.

  • Ability to prioritize and carryout project processes and act as a co-lead worker.

  • Identification of native and non-native aquatic plants and macroinvertebrates including but not limited to bivalves, crustaceans, fish, and aquatic insects.

  • Ability to use a dichotomous key for identification of species.

  • Knowledge and experience with computer applications such as word processing, spreadsheets, and database applications are required.

  • Map reading skills and familiarity with map coordinate systems are required.

  • Good organizational and time management skills

  • Ability to accurately collect, record, and summarize data.

  • Ability to work with professional biologists, other research assistants and the public.

  • Communication skills, both written and verbal.

  • Be knowledgeable and familiar with motorboat operation with training

  • Be knowledgeable and familiar with non-motorized watercraft operation with training

  • Be able to operate four-wheel drive vehicles with training.

  • Ability to handle trailers in unique settings.

  • Able to work with little or no direct supervision in potentially hazardous conditions is expected.

  • Experience with mapping software and the use of GPS units are preferred.

Minimum Qualifications (Education and Experience): The knowledge, skills, and abilities of this position are normally attained through combination of education and experience equivalent to a High School Diploma and 2 years of related experience/education. Other combinations of education and experience will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please include unofficial transcript that shows classed taken if using education in lieu of experience.

Application Requirements: To be considered for this position, please submit a Resume and Cover Letter.

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