Wilderness Fellow, Society for Wilderness Stewardship

Locations Vary

Job Title: Wilderness Fellow

Organization: Society for Wilderness Stewardship

Location: Nationwide (11 Positions are available, located in the following)

  • Medicine Bow Route and Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forests, CO
  • Tonto National Forest, AZ (2 positions)
  • Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, NV (2 positions)
  • Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, CA
  • Siuslaw National Forest, OR
  • Okanogan-Wenatchee and Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forests, WA (2 positions)
  • Tongass National Forest, AK (2 positions).

Reports To: National Program Director

Classification: Hourly

Duration: May 18, 2020 – November 6, 2020 (Tongass National Forest positions will start in March)

Time: Full Time (40 hours), Seasonal

Salary: $15 hourly

Benefits: 1 earned personal day per month (vacation is not eligible to be cashed out at any time) and federal holidays; Forest Service housing provided.

Closing Date: January 31st, 2020

Program Overview: The Wilderness Fellows Program is a collaborative of the three organizations above, and was created in order to complete Wilderness Character Baseline Assessments, thereby continuing important assessment work that has been underway since 2001, and fulfilling the USFS Wilderness Stewardship Performance (WSP) element “Wilderness Character Baseline”. The Wilderness Character Baseline requires that steps be made to determine a baseline and provide the foundation for evaluating trends in wilderness character. These trends indicate the outcome of management actions and success at preserving wilderness character as directed by the Wilderness Act.

As stated in Keeping It Wild 2: An Updated Interagency Strategy to Monitor Trends in Wilderness Character Across the National Wilderness Preservation System (Landres et. al, 2015), “the results of wilderness character monitoring provide [agency staff who manage wilderness day-to-day, and regional and national staff who develop wilderness policy and assess its effectiveness] some of the key data they need to improve wilderness stewardship and wilderness policy.” The report goes on to say that, “Implementing this monitoring strategy does not guarantee the preservation of wilderness character, but it informs and improves wilderness stewardship, and ensures managers are accountable to the central mandate of the 1964 Wilderness act – to preserve wilderness character.”

In 2001, the USFS Wilderness Monitoring Committee developed the first national framework for Wilderness Character Monitoring (WCM). Progression was attained by the USFS in 2006 with WCM pilot testing occurring in every USFS region and the publication of the Applying the Concept of Wilderness Character to National Forest Planning, Monitoring, and Management in 2008.

After years of testing different monitoring protocols, the USFS and Aldo Leopold Research Institute published the Wilderness Character Monitoring Technical Guide in May of 2019. This document provides a national framework and detailed protocols to monitor trends in wilderness character in the Forest Service. Wilderness Fellows will apply the tools in the Technical Guide to complete wilderness character baseline assessments.

Position Overview: The Wilderness Fellow Program is seeking qualified candidates to fill Wilderness Fellow positions. Fellows are based in locations around the country, with a significant amount of travel within their base region. Work is roughly 80% office based and 20% field-based and is performed at USFS offices to directly support the goals of a collaborative wilderness character monitoring initiative currently underway in the USFS.

Primary Wilderness Fellow Responsibilities:

  • Attend one-week training in Granby, Colorado (travel provided).
  • Work out of remote USFS locations, residing in USFS housing.
  • Coordinate meetings with USFS resource specialists and line officers to gather information regarding wilderness character.
  • Research, compile, and analyze legislative and administrative historical data per wilderness area.
  • Travel to and into wilderness areas.
  • Select indicators relevant for each wilderness area to monitor wilderness character over time.
  • Compile and analyze data for selected monitoring indicators and complete a baseline assessment for wilderness character monitoring.
  • Implement inventory and monitoring strategies for tracking wilderness character.
  • Write a wilderness character baseline assessment for each wilderness area worked in.
  • Participate in weekly conference calls.
  • Set and meet benchmarks and deadlines for data collection, meetings, and draft and final reports.

Essential Functions: Employee may be required to sit, stand, and lift objects up to 50 lbs. Employee may be required to travel and camp in the backcountry, and to drive or fly to remote project locations.

The Society for Wilderness Stewardship is an equal opportunity employer.
All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, marital status, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, or any other protected status.

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field, Master’s degree preferred.
  • Educational background in Wilderness Management, Protected Area/Natura
  • Resource Management, Recreation Resource Management, Conservation Social Science, Environmental Policy, Natural, Biological and/or Physical Science.
  • Deep interest in wilderness/resource management and the U.S. Forest Service.
  • Outstanding written and oral communication skills.
  • Research skill and attention to detail and organization.
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively on projects, a high degree of initiative.
  • Understanding and ability to use GIS is a plus.
  • Results-oriented with the ability to set and follow realistic goals and objectives
  • Flexibility to adapt when faced with changing needs and priorities.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office, comfort with technology.
  • Ability to travel to training and remote field locations (travel provided), and to relocate if necessary (assistance not provided).
  • Must have a valid driver’s license and a clean driving record (documentation to be provided upon request).
  • A personal vehicle is highly suggested for travel to the location and for off-day travel. 

Start/End dates: May 18, 2020 to November 6, 2020

Salary/pay: $15 hourly

How to apply & application deadline: To Apply: E-mail a resume, cover letter, a one-to-two page writing sample, and three professional or academic references to Jacob Wall at: hiringmanager@wildernessstewardship.org