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Jobs in Canyonlands Research Station

Moab and the Peaks



Soil scientist position – Soils, geomorphology, and ecosystem resilience on the Colorado Plateau

A soil scientist position (GS07) is available at the USGS Canyonlands Research Station located in Moab, UT. The successful candidate will work on a collaborative project examining how soils, geomorphology, and vegetation states interact to effect ecosystem resilience on the Colorado Plateau. This position offers an exciting opportunity to elucidate how climate change – predicted to be notably strong on the Colorado Plateau – will affect the plants, soils, and ecosystem function of the region. Moab, UT is a small town offering a variety of outdoor adventures, and more information about Moab can be found at t

This project includes analysis of existing coupled soil-vegetation data sets, collection of new data, and GIS analysis. The incumbent will work closely with USGS scientists and post-doc in project planning, data collection and analysis, and reporting results. The incumbent will have four general classes of major duties: 1) lead field data collection, 2) analyze historical ground photos, 3) data preparation and analysis, and 4) assist with the preparation of reports & scientific papers. The primary field location is in Canyonlands National Park where the incumbent will spend much 6-7 month field season away from duty station (Moab, Utah) for 8 days on, 6 days off, with frequent overnight and multiday camping trips. Field work involves heavy exertion; withstanding both extreme heat and potential hypothermia conditions; climbing; walking over rough, rocky, or uneven terrain; lifting and carrying equipment and supplies; long hours; driving a 4WD vehicle on unimproved roads.

Qualifications: Selective Factors and Specialized Experience apply, see usajobs posting for details. A Master’s Degree and background in rangeland ecology or soil science is preferred. Prior experience with range monitoring and assessment techniques, advanced statistical analyses, GIS tools and techniques, and preparation of tables and graphs for publication is highly desired. Incumbent also be in excellent physical condition to withstand the rigors of the environmental conditions and must pass a physical fitness test and a background check. A valid US driver’s license is required.

Salary and start date: Salary is $39,179/year plus full benefits.  A start date of Jan-Feb 2015 is preferred. 

Application: Applicants MUST be U.S. citizens. If you have questions send an email to job will be announced on



Ecologist or Soil Scientist position (GS-0408 or GS-0470)

The Canyonlands Research Station in Moab, Utah is recruiting for a term Ecologist or Soil Scientist position (GS-0408 or GS-0470). This is a full time position (one year with possibility of extension) with the US Geological Survey, Southwest Biological Science Center. Moab, UT is a small town offering a variety of outdoor adventures, and more information about Moab can be found at


Canyonlands Canyon Lands with Dust

Description of Duties: The incumbent will be responsible for carrying out data synthesis and field studies evaluating the impacts of energy development on Colorado Plateau ecosystems, with an emphasis on road networks, dust emissions, and best management practices for restoration. Incumbent will work as part of an interdisciplinary team that includes restoration specialists, geographers, community ecologists, and soil scientists.

The goal of this research effort is to quantify how energy-relate surface disturbances and vehicle traffic are effecting Colorado Plateau ecosystem processes, how sensitivity to those impacts varies across the landscape, and if those impacts can be mitigated with restoration. The project will use a combination of experimental manipulations, monitoring (dust, soils, and vegetation), and modeling. Major duties consist of 1) project planning and management; 2) leading field crews of 1-3 people; 3) collecting vegetation, ground cover, soil, and dust data; 4) using GIS to assemble layers, create random samples, and prepare maps; 5) performing statistical analyses; 6) conduct wind erosion modeling; and 7) preparation graphs, tables, and reports or scientific papers. The work is approximately 60% office and 40% field work. Field work involves withstanding both extreme heat and cold; walking over rough, rocky, or uneven terrain; lifting and carrying equipment and supplies (up to 50 lbs.); long hours; and driving a 4WD truck and all-terrain vehicles on unimproved roads.

Qualifications: See for the qualifications description. A PhD in ecology, soil science, or related field is preferred. Prior experience with dust erosion research, vegetation and soil measurements, and wind modeling is highly desirable. Additionally, familiarity with statistical analyses, GIS, and preparation of manuscripts for peer reviewed publications is preferred. The incumbent must be in sufficient physical condition to withstand the rigors of the field work. Incumbent also must pass a background check. A valid US driver’s license is required.

Salary and start date: Salary is ~$ 48k/year with full health and retirement benefits. A start date of March 2015 or earlier is preferred.

Application: Applicants MUST be U.S. citizens. If you have questions send an email to Application MUST be submitted through We anticipate posting the position in January 2015.





POSITION: Biological Science Aid, GG-0404-03

Note: This position has closed.

SALARY: $12.19

DATE OPENED: 1/15/2015

DATE CLOSED: 1/19/2015

TYPE OF APPT: Temporary, Not-to-exceed 180 working days

TOUR OF DUTY: Full-Time, with possible periods of part-time and intermittent work


LOCATION: USGS Canyonlands Research Station, Moab, Utah

The Canyonlands Research Station in Moab, Utah is recruiting for a seasonal biological science aid (GG-0404-03). This is a seasonal, 6-month, full-time position with the US Geological Survey, Southwest Biological Science Center.

Description of Duties: Incumbent will perform laboratory and field work. This position is in the Canyonlands Research Station, Moab, Utah. Work is performed over a wide geographic area requiring overnight trips and possibility of work in remote areas. Incumbent participates in a research program focusing on the ecology and physiology of plants and biological soil crusts, soil ecology, biogeochemistry, physical soil science, plant-soil interactions, and invasive plants. Course work in botany, plant physiology, chemistry, and soil science is optimal. Incumbent will perform routine laboratory and field work. Duties include long days of collecting field data under extreme conditions, processing vegetation and soil samples for chemical analysis or archiving, use of complicated scientific instrumentation, and use of excel and/or access for data entry and summary.

There are up to 4 positions to be hired from this announcement. Open dates are 1/15/2015 through 1/19/2015. All applications must be received by 5:00 PM MST on 1/19/2015.

THESE ARE TEMPORARY EXCEPTED SERVICES POSITIONS for which all qualified applicants, with or without Federal status, may apply and be considered. Appointment to these positions, however, will not convey permanent status in the Federal service. Appointment will only be for the duration of the position, normally 3-6 months. Temporary employees are covered by the Social Security Retirement System and annual and sick leave will be accrued except in intermittent status. Employees are ineligible for health and life insurance coverage.


Conducts field sampling of biological soil crusts, vegetation, and soils of the Colorado Plateau with accuracy and precision specialized techniques at pre-selected study sites under supervision of field crew leader.

Prepares samples and performs laboratory analysis of crust, plant, and soil samples to determine specific chemical, physical, and/or biological characteristics under supervision of a project lead.

Enters data on a Windows-based computer using spreadsheets.

Knowledge of processes, methods & procedures of biological science; knowledge of routine field data collection procedures; skill in operation, maintenance, and servicing of biological recording and measuring instruments; knowledge of procedures utilized in a biological lab. Work is physically demanding and may involve moderate or sometimes extreme exposure to discomforts of rain, cold/hot weather, etc. A pre-employment physical is required.

QUALIFICATIONS: To qualify for a GG-3 you need three (3) months of field party experience OR one (1) year of sub-professional experience OR six (6) months of college with courses related to the field of employment. Six months of college is equivalent to 15 semester hours. Sub-professional experience consists of working as a technician or aid in a laboratory or similar environment.

BASIS OF EVALUATION: All applicants will be evaluated on the basis of education and experience (including unpaid or volunteer experience). Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of this announcement.

First preference in referral will be given to eligible applicants entitled to 10-point veteran’s preference who have a compensable service-connected disability of 10 percent or more. All other qualified applicants entitled to veteran’s preference will be given preference over qualified applicants not entitled to veteran’s preference.

ALL APPLICANTS MUST BE UNITED STATES CITIZENS: Under regulations in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, employment in this position is limited to those persons who are authorized to work in the United States. Verification of employment eligibility will be required at the time of appointment.

As a condition of employment, all new employees reporting for duty with the Department of the Interior will be paid through direct deposit to a financial institution of their choice.

Applicants selected for Federal employment will be required to complete a Declaration of Federal Employment, OF-306, prior to being appointed to determine their suitability for Federal employment and to authorize a background investigation. Failure to answer all questions truthfully and completely or providing false statements on the application may be grounds for not hiring the applicant, or for firing the applicant after he/she begins work. Also, he/she may be punished by fine or imprisonment (U.S. Code, Title 18, Section 1001).

Prior to or at the time of appointment, male applicants born after December 31, 1959, will have to certify that they have registered with the Selective Service System in order to be appointed to a position with the United States Geological Survey, unless legally qualified for an exception.

Employees of the U.S. Geological Survey are subject to the provisions of Title 43, U.S. Code, Section 31 (a) and may not according to this legislation and related regulation: (a) have any personal or private interest, direct or indirect, in lands or mineral wealth of such lands or a region under survey and whose title is in the U.S.; (b) execute surveys or examination for private parties or corporations; or (c) have personal or private interest, direct or indirect, in any private mining or mineral enterprise doing business in the U.S. except where specifically authorized by the Director of the U.S. Geological Survey.

How to Apply: Read carefully and follow the instructions below. Please submit a cover letter, resume or CV, supporting documentation, and contact information for three references. Each document file name should be labeled with your last name and what it is (e.g., Jones resume, Jones cover letter).

Cover letter should include:

Resume or CV must include:





Supporting documentation may include:

College transcript or list of college courses, specifying title of course work, completion date, semester or quarter hours earned by course title, and grade earned.

To claim 5-point Veterans Preference, a DD-214 showing character of discharge is required. If claiming 10-point Veteran’s Preference, a SF-15 with proof of claim is required.


Supply the name and contact information for three professional or academic references (personal references will not be accepted).

Apply to:

Canyonlands Research Station

U.S. Geological Survey

Moab, UT 84532

Tele: 435.719.2347

Fax: 435.719.2350


Seasonal Technician/Intern

Note: This position has closed.

USGS in Moab UT is seeking to a student intern to assist with a variety of ecosystem ecology research projects. The incumbent will gain valuable experience conducting basic ecology field work and building a large global change experiment under the supervision of USGS ecologists and technicians. The primary study sites are located near Canyonlands National Park. Pay is $12.01 an hour. Housing will be provided in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park and/or the Canyonlands Research Center (

Position will remain open until filled. Preferred start date is mid-February and the position will go through mid-June, with a possibility of extension through the summer depending on work load.

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, possess a valid driver’s license, and must be a current student or recent graduate (less than 12 months out of school). Prior research experience and construction-related skills preferred. To apply, please send a resume, three references and copy of transcripts to