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Adventure Scientists on the American Prairie: Montana

Job Type: volunteer position

Location: Montana

Posting Date: 14 Jul 14

Closing Date: 6 Oct 14

The steppes of Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Patagonia and the Northern Great Plains of America are the four places left on Earth where vast, native grasslands have never been plowed. In 2014 Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation (ASC) and American Prairie Reserve (APR) are partnering on an adventure-science wildlife study on the prairies of northeastern Montana. Since 2001 APR has been working to create the largest protected wildlife area in the Continental United States. When complete the area will be larger than Yellowstone National Park and contain many of the species present when Lewis and Clark first crossed the plains, including the nation's largest herd of free-roaming bison. Currently the Reserve covers 270,000 acres and is visited by more than 60 mammal species and 250 species of birds. The Reserve is home to many of North America's native wildlife including bison, pronghorn, sage grouse, prairie dog, bald eagle and mountain lion.

To learn more about this diversity of life ASC is beginning a multi-year adventure-science study on the Reserve. Six-person survey crews will cover the grasslands in all four seasons collecting wildlife data. The collected data will establish trends over time and inform management decisions as the Reserve grows.

Responsibilities:
- maintain motion-activated camera stations in remote locations
- hike/ski 8-12 mile transects and conduct fence line monitoring on 30,000+ acres
- record field observations on wildlife using specific protocols
- record sage grouse mating locations (leks) and activity
- assist with season-specific projects on the Reserve (fence removal, bison calf counts, geocache maintenance and other TBD projects)
- download and organize GPS waypoints, digital photos, and wildlife observations
- work collaboratively with other Landmark crew members, APR and ASC staff

A 2-month service stint on the Reserve is an opportunity to pursue adventure in an iconic American landscape with a group of conservation-minded outdoor enthusiasts. Landmark crew members will have the opportunity to use their outdoor skills to contribute to the creation of a wildlife reserve on par with Yellowstone or the Serengeti, while developing valuable field technician skills.

Qualifications:
- interest or background in the natural sciences and conservation
- competent and self-sufficient in backcountry travel in all weather conditions
- able to hike 8-12 miles per day with a 20lb. pack
- self-motivated
- Wilderness First Aid certification
- experience working and living closely with others
- experience working on a team
- ability to thrive in a remote location with limited cell and internet service
- a hearty appetite for adventure

Volunteers receive a $300 stipend at the end of each month to help cover food and travel costs.

 

Contact Information:

Please visit www.adventureandscience.org/landmark for more information and to apply. Specific questions can be directed to Program Director Mike Kautz (mike@adventureandscience.org).

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