Seeking current or recent student for summer field research

Student needed for rewarding fieldwork in remote mountain areas of the western USA

Despite a late start to the field season owing to the pandemic, I am seeking to hire another student to assist with fieldwork investigating numerous factors and hypotheses relating to the distribution and abundance of mountain-dwelling species in managed and conservation areas across the western USA, and understanding spatio-temporal patterns of adaptive capacity vs. vulnerability to contemporary global change. Focal areas this summer include Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton NP, Custer and especially Gallatin National Forests, and perhaps the Columbia River Gorge in OR and WA. The work involves retrieving and downloading data from microclimate sensors in remote locations across these research theaters, and performing surveys of talus-associated birds and mammals (especially American pikas). These systems have not only been considered as models for much ecological theory (e.g., metapopulation dynamics, Island Biogeography Theory, stepping-stone and extinction dynamics), but have also inspired monitoring across >60 federal and state management units across western North America and were the focal point for considerations for species listing under the Endangered Species Act.  The work involves hiking 6-18 miles per day (often off-trail), walking systematically across rocky talus patches, orienteering to find patches and sensors, careful collection of species and covariate data at each focal patch, greatest movement near the beginning and end of daylight hours (with midday rests), and, on most days, vistas so scenic that even poor photographers produce postcard-like images. The ideal candidate will enjoy hiking up and down (or backpacking in) mountains each day, and be a strong hiker (with both physical endurance and resilience), motivated, intellectually inquisitive, attentive to detail, a savvy decision-maker in backcountry situations, and work well either alone or in team settings. The candidate will receive extensive resources for training (both hands-on field methods and analytical approaches, background and rationale for our questions, etc.), competitive salary, and a new ecological tapestry each day. I expect the work to go from early July through mid-September at the latest.

For interested U.S. citizens that are current students or have graduated within the last year, please send a CV or resume, names of 3-5 persons that can speak of your fit to the position, and a cover letter that also outlines your fit to the position, to or call Erik at (530) 410-9631 for more details, after an initial email. I will be reviewing applications on a rolling basis, so if interested, please submit your well-crafted materials ASAP.


Erik Beever, Research Ecologist & Research Affiliate Professor

USGS Northern Rocky Mtn. Science Center & Montana State University

Bozeman, MT 59715

cel: +1 (530) 410-9631