Smithsonian Great Plains Science Program is offering research technician opportunity in the grasslands of northeast Montana. Our research program is focused on understanding how restoration (anthropogenic or species reintroductions) influences the biodiversity and climate resilience of temperate grasslands. We work closely with many regional partners including state and federal agencies, NGOs and private landowners.

This position will be the fieldwork and coordination lead for a project aiming to understand how restoration activities influence microclimates and biodiversity in small riparian systems embedded within a matrix of temperate grassland and sagebrush steppe. Duties and desired qualifications are listed below.

Compensation is $3,000 per month with a term of 12 months. It is possible that there will be additional opportunities associated with this project after the conclusion of the 12mo term.


1)      Program, deploy and monitor microclimate and bioacoustic sensors in mesic and riparian habitats embedded with temperate grasslands.

2)      Conduct in-person trainings for staff of partner organizations on site-selection, deployment and data download from microclimate and bioacoustic sensors.

3)      Receive training and participate in low-tech processed-based restoration.

4)      Data management and preliminary analysis of bioacoustic and microclimate data.

The selected technician will also have the opportunity to work on secondary projects occurring in the same ecosystem, including projects focused on avian ecology and tracking and arthropod community sampling.


1)      Experience with project and data management, particularly in the context of large-scale field research or monitoring.

2)      Experience working outdoors in remote and challenging environments and/or rural agricultural communities.

3)      Experience working with autonomous recording units and/or microclimate sensors.

4)      Experience providing training or assistance to partner organizations as part of a large-scale research project.


1)      BS/BA or MS in Ecology, Conservation Biology, Rangeland Management, Climate Science or other relevant field.

2)      Valid Drivers license and ability to pass a background check.

This position is an excellent opportunity for BS/BA graduates with substantial field experience, or a recent MS graduate seeking additional experience with field-based conservation ecology. The position will be an excellent platform from which to pursue a career with regional conservation NGOs and management agencies, or to pursue a PhD or MS in the field.

LOCATION: Fieldwork will take place primarily in Phillips & Blaine Counties in northcentral Montana. Off-season work will be based at the University of Montana in Missoula. Remote work will be considered in the off-season (Nov-Mar), but the selected intern must be willing to live and work in or near the study area during the field season. Potential locations during the field season include; Malta, MT, Glasgow, MT or Lewistown, MT.

COMPENSATION: $3,000/month

HOUSING: None. Field housing *may* be provided depending on desired location.

TERM OF APPOINTMENT: 12 months from start. Desired start date is June 1, 2024.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Rolling review. Final deadline is April 1, 2024.

TO APPLY: Please send a cover letter and CV/resume to Dr. Andy J Boyce at Your email subject must include Riparian Technician or it will not be considered.