Job Type: Temporary
Salary Details: $17.43/hr + per diem
Deadline: May 17, 2023

The Institute for Natural Resources (INR) in Portland, Oregon, an independent research institute, is partnering with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to implement its Aquatic Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM) strategy, targeted at collecting standardized data from streams across BLM Districts in the western U.S. INR is hiring 1 Field Technician to conduct this work for the Aquatic AIM program. Potential candidates looking to assist in this effort with INR and the BLM will work helping assess the health of BLM lands on crews consisting of one crew lead and one field technician working in California

The work will focus on wadeable streams and rivers ranging from a few inches deep to fast-flowing small rivers across California. Crews will collect aquatic data following the AIM National Aquatic Monitoring Framework: Field Protocol for Wadeable Lotic Systems (TR 1735-2) to assess the surface water hydrology and geomorphic conditions for the 2023 field season.

Start Dates and Locations: 

  • California statewide crew, based in Sacramento, CA or Portland, OR
  • Start Date: 5/22/23
  • End date: 8/30/23 

As part of an AIM crew, the work is entirely field-based and requires camping in typically isolated areas with few amenities in the surrounding area. During this fieldwork, crews work a 10-hour-a-day hitch-based schedule with 8 days (Wed-Wed) on and 6 days off, working in all kinds of weather. Crews must be prepared for conditions such as extreme heat, sun exposure, long hours in the vehicle, nearby wildfires, smoke, driving on rough gravel and 4×4 trails, carrying 40-50lbs packs over steep and uneven terrain, and encounters with wildlife. INR provides Crews with a two-burner stove, propane, table, sampling gear, and other crew essentials. Crew members are responsible for arranging their housing in between hitches and their personal camping equipment.

All positions will have the opportunity to conduct sampling in vast and unique habitats with a history of wildfires, settlers, and indigenous people. Crews will also gain experience learning a protocol implemented across the Western U.S., identifying plant and animal species native and invasive to the location, and monitoring surface water hydrology and its geomorphic features during the fieldwork in remote landscapes. 


  • All Crew members are required to have Full vaccination status with proof of vaccination ( for more information)
  • A Bachelor’s Degree in Aquatic Ecology, Fisheries, Hydrology, Water Resources, or a related subject. Experience may be substituted for up to two years of education on a one-to-one basis.
  • A minimum of one season of field data collection. Several lab courses with extensive fieldwork can satisfy this requirement. However, preference will be given to people who have collected aquatic or hydrologic data in a work setting. 
  • Experience following established field protocols to conduct sampling and field data collection on new and existing monitoring sites.
  • Experience with data entry and management using Microsoft Office (Excel, Access) and/or GIS
  • Experience navigating and collecting coordinates with hand-held GPS units or other electronic devices such as Survey123.
  • Experience driving and maintaining 4WD trucks, especially in off-road situations. Valid driver’s license with a clean driving record. Experience driving UTV/side-by-side vehicles is preferred. 
  • Demonstrated ability to work productively as part of a team to accomplish mutual goals, and to work independently as required.
  • Experience in and willingness to spend multiple days camping in the field where hazards (snakes, bears, deadfall, lightning, poison oak, flash floods, fires, etc.) may be encountered.
  • Willingness to work irregular hours in harsh environments and challenging weather, and carry 40-50lbs in a backpack over uneven terrain.
  • Wilderness First Aid is a plus; CPR and First Aid Certification are preferred.

In addition to the above qualifications, we expect crew members to commit to the entire field season, to practice safety awareness, including vehicle safety procedures, to communicate regularly with INR support staff and BLM agency staff, to participate in INR and BLM training, and to contribute to building a healthy and fun work team environment. Due to the nature of the work and required driving between sampling areas, work days over 10 hours are possible, with the expectation of a total of 80 hours/hitch as crews strive to complete points assigned for the given hitch.

These positions are ideal for people who are committed to ongoing learning and development. You will receive extensive paid training on the AIM protocols and associated methodology.  You will also have the opportunity to interact with seasoned staff scientists from both the BLM and INR throughout training and fieldwork.  Mandatory 1-week in-person paid training will occur shortly after hiring (before the start of the regular field season).


  • Aquatic Monitoring Field Technicians are paid $17.43 an hour.
  • Receive a total of $224 per diem for food costs for each hitch. 
  • Receive up to $175 per diem for camping for each hitch.

Please submit the following in a single pdf to Matthew Foli (Project Manager at INR): Please copy Eleanor Gaines (INR DIrector) on your email: For position information not found in the listing or additional links below, you may contact the email listed above. Start and end dates are not flexible. 

  • Letter of interest. In this letter, please describe your background, including any military and volunteer service; professional experience, recreational interests, or hobbies that help demonstrate your suitability for work in harsh and challenging conditions, as well as your reasons for pursuing this opportunity. 

  • Resume, including all degrees and related coursework.

  • Names and contact information for three (3) references.  Professional references who can attest to your work ethic and technical abilities should be prioritized due to the nature of the work.

Application review will continue until all positions are filled.