Temporary Field Technician - NEON Program- D12 - Montana (Libby)

Employment Type

: Part-Time


: Miscellaneous

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Application Instructions: ONLY apply to the one (1) Temporary Field Technician (TFT) position and location you would consider as your first choice. During the application process, you will provide additional domains/locations you would be willing to work at if your first choice is not available. All TFT locations will be posted on the website by mid-January 2020. Locations are: D1- MA, D2-VA, D3- FL, D5- WI, D6- KS, D7- TN, D8- AL, D9- ND, D10/13- CO, D11- TX, D12- MT, D15- UT, D16- WA, D17- CA, D18/19- AK, D20- HI.

Battelle manages and operates the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) project, which is solely funded by the National Science Foundation. A 30+ year project dedicated to understanding how changes in climate, land use and invasive species impact ecology, the observatorys scientists and engineers are collecting a comprehensive range of ecological data on a continental scale across 20 eco-climatic domains representing US ecosystems. Our teams use cutting-edge technology, including an airborne observation platform that captures images of regional landscapes and vegetation; mobile, relocatable, and fixed data collection sites with automated ground sensors to monitor soil and atmosphere; and trained field crews who observe and sample populations of diverse organisms and collect soil and water data. Once structures are completed, a leading edge cyberinfrastructure will calibrate, store and publish this information. The Observatory includes more than 500+ personnel and is the first of its kind designed to detect and enable forecasting of ecological change at continental scales.

We are currently seeking Temporary Field Technicians. These positions are located in Bozeman, MT.


Start Date: March-May 2020

End Date: September-November 2020

Temporary Field Technicians perform seasonal and periodic sampling of physical, chemical and biological data at one (1)-five (5) field sites, while exercising good judgement and decision-making abilities to interpret protocol requirements. Temporary Field Technicians are assigned an area of primary responsibility within the scope of data collection: botany, entomology, mammalogy (except Puerto Rico and Hawaii), or limnology (except Hawaii).

Field observations and collection are conducted using approximately 30 different protocols and multiple Standard Operating Procedures with varying schedule requirements based on local ecosystem and current field conditions.

Daily and weekly work schedules will fluctuate. Workdays can be up to twelve hours long and may be split with both morning and evening work, with work, at times, beginning at dawn and going through to dusk. Workweeks can include weekends and occasionally may be up to 12 consecutive days.

Individuals are responsible for their own housing and transportation to primary work location.


The Domain 12 field site is within Yellowstone National Park and comprises a mosaic of forest and sage/grassland habitat that is typical of the northern Rocky Mountains. The Domain Support Facility is located in Bozeman, MT, with sweeping views of valleys, plains, and mountains that are as fun to live among as they are to work in.

NEON is seeking applicants interested in joining the Domain 12 Temporary Field Operations crew. The field season at the candidate site will be from approximately Mid-April through September. The terrain is moderately rugged requiring occasionally lengthy and challenging hikes. Field technicians will be expected to work in all kinds of weather conditions, from hot and dry to high winds and freezing precipitation. Crews will focus more than 90% of their work on a wide variety of field activities and can therefore expect highly variable schedules, including working 10+ hours each day for many days in a row as well as periods of less than 40 hours a week if dangerous field conditions impede sampling (e.g. extreme weather, wildfire, flooding). Sampling logistics will also require long day trips, with the crews usually driving to the site each morning from the Domain Support Facility and rarely staying overnight near the site. Lastly, hazards at the field site are generally minimal, but include some chance of encountering stinging and biting insects, rattlesnakes, falling trees, and potentially dangerous encounters with large mammals.

Technicians will be responsible for finding their own housing near Bozeman, MT, which is a haven for backcountry enthusiasts seeking hiking, bicycling, and fly fishing opportunities. Working on the Temporary Field Operations crew in Domain 12 is an exciting opportunity to join one of the newest teams at NEON and contribute to the initial implementation of multiple biological sampling protocols in the Northern Rockies.

  • Performs field assignments in a variety of conditions (e.g., weather, terrain, diverse assigned biomes, etc.).
  • Follows established, standardized field procedures for sample collection; records data from sample collection; and processes samples.
  • Records activities and completed work according to Field Operations protocol.
  • Follows safety and Field Operations policy and procedures.
  • Reports issues with implementation of procedures and coordinates resolution with manager and technicians.
  • Assists with routine administrative duties, special projects and other duties as assigned.
  • Carries, moves and lifts field supplies (pack weighing up to 40 lbs.) to assigned field site (which involves diverse and uneven terrain).
  • High School Diploma. Some post high school, specialized training or technical certificate may be required.
  • Knowledge of best practices for accurate and repeatable field and laboratory measurements across multiple scientific disciplines. Complex and variable systems require judgment and independent decision-making abilities
  • Technical skills using best practices in field and ability to identify aquatic or terrestrial flora and fauna to genus and species.
  • Due to the limited number of positions in each domain, technicians must be willing and able to learn and perform procedures and methods outside of the primary responsibility.
  • Willingness to perform maintenance and field sampling outdoors in sparsely populated, remote locations, with distances ranging from 1/2 hour to 6 hours from the domain office. Overnight travel, hiking off trail, and wading in water are typical in most locations.
  • Ability and willingness to work varied field operations schedules (up to 12+ hours per day), including split-shift, part-time, pre-dawn early mornings, evenings and weekends.
  • Ability to hike off trail, long distances, on uneven terrain, at remote locations, in all types of weather, carrying packs weighing up to 40lbs.
  • Ability to work on instrument towers ranging in height from 26 feet to 240 feet and at altitudes of up to 11,000 feet (depending on assigned Domain), involving the ability to ascend and descend multiple flights of stairs.
  • Ability to withstand exposure to fumes, dust, and noise. Field work may require frequent exposure to toxicodendrons (e.g. poison ivy and poison oak), ticks, biting insects and other natural hazards.
  • Proficiency with MS Office Suite (e.g., Excel, Word).
  • Ability to follow written and verbal instructions.
  • High level of attention to detail and accuracy.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Strong work ethic and enthusiasm.
  • Previous NEON Project field experience will be highly considered

    Applicants must have authorization to work in the United States.

    Employment is contingent on background screen, drug screen, motor vehicle records check and physical.

    Must possess a current and valid State issued drivers license with insurable Department of Motor vehicle record (parking violations, minor driving offenses excluded) as determined by Battelles insurance provider.

    LEGAL DISCLAIMER BENEFITS Battelle is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and supports diversity in the workplace. Applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, age, genetic information, disability, veteran-status, or any other characteristic protected under applicable Federal, state, or local law.

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