Riparian Botanist, University of Montana

location varies

Job Title: Riparian Botanist

Organization: University of Montana

Overview: The University of Montana’s Ecological Mapping, Monitoring, and Analysis group (EMMA) is currently recruiting Riparian Botanists to assist in implementing the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Aquatic Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM) strategy, targeted at collecting standardized data on streams and riparian areas across BLM Districts in the western U.S. As part of a 3-person crew, each riparian botanist will work along side two aquatic technicians to collect vegetation composition data along streams according to the BLM’s Multiple Indicator Monitoring (MIM) protocol. Successful applicants will be trained in data collection methods by BLM and University of Montana ecologists and will spend the summer implementing those protocols in stream reaches throughout the project areas. Sites range from remote mountain streams rarely visited by people to well-used rangeland watercourses. Botanists should expect to encounter a wide diversity of species and to gain experience in several different biophysical environments.

All positions are field-based and require primitive camping in isolated regions. Crews will typically work eight 10-hour days in a row, from Tuesday to Tuesday, followed by six-days off. We expect staff to commit to the entire field season and to contribute to maintaining a safe, productive and enjoyable work environment. Work will focus on wadeable streams and rivers in Nevada (crews based in Elko and Carson City) and Wyoming (crews based in Cody and Kemmerer).Crews will work closely with University of Montana and local BLM ecologists throughout the field season.

  • Collect data on riparian vegetation along wadeable stream reaches according to portions of the Multiple Indicator Monitoring (MIM) protocol.
  • Key all riparian vascular plants found along stream reaches to species while in the field.-Collect voucher specimens and track all unknown plant species encountered during the field season.
  • Enter data into excel spreadsheets using an iPad in the field. Manage and self-QC all data.


  • Coursework in botany, ecology, wetland science, natural resources management, or a related field. A completed B.S. degree preferred.
  • Field experience collecting vegetation data.
  • Ability to identify riparian graminoids, forbs, shrubs and trees to species using dichotomous keys.
  • Experience following established field protocols to conduct sampling and field data collection.
  • Experience with data entry and Microsoft Office (Word, Excel)
  • Demonstrated ability to work productively as part of a team to accomplish mutual goals and to work independently as required.
  • High degree of comfort wading in all types of streams which can feature fast-flowing water, slick rocks, unstable large woody debris, and other obstacles.
  • Willingness to spend multiple days camping in the field.-Willingness and ability to stay positive while working irregular hours in harsh environments and challenging weather, and to carry gear over uneven terrain.
  • Valid driver’s license. Experience driving 4×4 vehicles on rough roads preferred.

Location: Kemmerer WY, Cody WY, Elko NV, or Carson City NV

Salary/pay: $16-$19/hr, depending on experience

Start/end dates: April/May to August/September 

How to apply: Submit letter of interest, CV, and contact info for three professional references to Heidi Anderson ( The subject line should read: 2021 Aquatic AIM Application. Application review is ongoing until all positions are filled.