Range Ecologist, Department of Game, Fish, and Parks

Custer State Park, South Dakota

Organization: Department of Game, Fish and Parks; Division of Parks and Recreation

Duties: This position plans research studies and implements management practices pertaining to habitat, production, distribution, and natural balance to ensure sound management and conservation of park natural resources. The most important duties are those related to the study and management of the vegetation resource in Custer State Park (CSP). The incumbent will be responsible for developing, implementing and maintaining a program of research and evaluation of vegetation (both rangeland and forest understory) in CSP which encompasses 71,000 acres and maintains herds of bison, elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer, bighorn, pronghorn as well as a diversity of small game and non-game birds and animals; and is a member of an integrated resource management team composed of wildlife, forestry and bison professionals.

Duties include arduous field work in sometimes harsh conditions.

The successful applicant will be required to become certified and maintain certification in pesticide application within three months of employment; and will be encouraged to become certified in wildland fire fighting and serve on the park’s fire guard.

Desired qualifications: A bachelor’s of science degree in range management or similar field of study is required. An advanced degree is preferred.

Applicants should also possess experience in multiple use management. Knowledge of the use of pesticides and biocontrol agents for noxious weed control is essential.  Applicant should have a working knowledge of global positioning systems (GPS) and geographic information systems (GIS) technology.

Knowledge of:

  • rangeland species and plant science;
  • the scientific method as it applies to field investigations and analyses;
  • environmental science and research methods and procedures;
  • plant diseases and pests;
  • rangeland growing seasons, production and condition;
  • soils, water and nutrient cycling;
  • riparian function;
  • herbivory of wild ungulates;
  • grazing systems and forage utilization;
  • prairie dog management and control;
  • seed, fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides;
  • grounds keeping methods, equipment, and maintenance;
  • human resources skills sufficient to interview, train, and evaluate temporary employees;
  • purchasing processes such as ordering from contracts, contacting local vendors for bids, writing specifications, and preparing requisitions and vouchers;
  • noxious weeds;
  • weed spray, methods of application, and spraying equipment;
  • safe-operating guidelines for equipment;
  • fence-building;
  • applicable federal and state laws, rules, policies and procedures.

Skill to:

  • use and apply biological control agents for noxious weeds.

Ability to:

  • set-up and conduct scientific rangeland inventories and studies;
  • select, compile and analyze scientific information to identify, substantiate and solve scientific and technical problems;
  • plan and implement rangeland restoration projects;
  • organize and prioritize projects on a long- and short-term basis and calculate time, equipment, and manpower needs;
  • clearly provide work direction to others;
  • delegate work to others based on evaluation of their capabilities;
  • handle chemicals safely;
  • communicate effectively with staff, the public, outside agency personnel, and landowners;
  • prepare and present technical reports to a variety of groups and organizations with varying levels of expertise.

How to apply:

To be considered, attach your responses to the questions below. Your responses must be clear, concise, and numbered.

  1. Describe any experiences you have in range management, grazing systems, and range restoration including any experience in inventory and evaluation of vegetation.
  2. Describe any experience you may have in control of noxious weeds.  Please be specific about what techniques were used (i.e. chemical, biological, mechanical) and weeds controlled.
  3. Describe any experience you have working as a member of a management team.  Include experience in planning and your role in the operation of the team.
  4. What is your experience with ArcGIS, GPS, and hand-held data recorders?


The State of South Dakota offers paid employee health insurance plus ten paid holidays, generous vacation leave accrual, and medical, dental, vision, and other benefits. For more information visit http://bhr.sd.gov/workforus/workbenefits.aspx

Apply at: http://bhr.sd.gov/workforus
South Dakota Bureau of Human Resources
500 East Capitol
Pierre, SD 57501-5070
Telephone: 605.773.3148 Fax: 605.773.4344

“An Equal Opportunity Employer”