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Research Ecologist, Biologist, Geographer, Social Scientist, or Biological Scientist

The Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS) is advertising a key scientist position at the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute in Missoula, Montana. The position is open to federal and non-federal employees. Applicants must be US citizens.

This scientist’s expertise may come from a variety of disciplines. The scientist’s assignment is to discover and synthesize knowledge to understand how wilderness lands fit into the context of larger ecological and social systems as well as in the context of all public lands. The scope of the research assignment spans multiple disciplines and geographic regions. Although there is substantial flexibility in research topics (due to funding opportunities and Institute’s science agenda), the scientist primarily focuses on developing a better understanding of the varied dimensions of wilderness experiences and relevancy. In addition, the research assignment should integrate the spatial and temporal variation in wilderness use, recreation, and relevancy, and the effective integration of these findings by managers. Focus of some work will be on develop planning frameworks and management applications that contribute to the preservation of natural and untrammeled conditions and quality visitor experiences in wilderness. The unusual breadth of this assignment means that the scientist must have knowledge of the ecological, forestry, biology, geography, and social sciences, as well as be capable of integrating the ecological and social sciences. This integrative need is particularly critical to recreation management, the problem area to which the scientist devotes much of her/his time. The scientist develops and applies recreation planning frameworks and monitoring techniques for wilderness and other protected areas. Providing information about conflicts among user groups and how to reduce conflicts is also important. The scientist develops and applies knowledge about factors that influence the nature and magnitude of biophysical and social impacts of recreation as well as effective strategies for dealing with specific management problems. Understanding how wilderness users respond to burned and insect damaged landscapes, invasive species, non-native fish, over-crowding, and trail closures is also an important area of study. Technology transfer (workshops and field visits) is a major part of this effort. Much of this effort is focused on helping agency wilderness leaders and recreation managers deal more effectively with visitor capacity, something they are required by law to do. Persons currently at GS-12, 13, or 14 are encouraged to express interest in this opportunity. This position is open to federal and non-federal employees. Applicants must be US citizens. Those who are interested must meet the qualification requirements for the GS-101 or GS-150 or GS-401 or GS-408 series that are covered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Group Coverage Qualification Standards for Administrative and Management Positions. The OPM Qualification Standards Handbook Manual is available for review on the Internet at

DUTY STATION:  The duty station is Missoula, Montana.  For information about the ALWRI, the website is Missoula, Montana is a full service community nestled on the east side of the Bitterroot Mountains where the Blackfoot and Bitterroot Rivers join the Clark Fork River. The community is surrounded by public and private timberlands and is the home of the University of Montana.  This scenic city is bustling with activity, as western Montana’s regional source for business, culture, medical services, retail, and entertainment. There are opportunities for fishing, thousands of miles of trails, and plenty of guides and shops to clue you in on the hot spots. Within 20 minutes of Missoula, you will discover a ski area that receives more than 300 inches of snow per season. With an area population of more than 80,000, Missoula has what you’d expect to find in a city–a wide range of hotels, restaurants, shops and galleries, several museums, a ballet company, live theater and a symphony. Missoula is home to a College of Technology and the University of Montana.

More information on the Missoula area can be found on the internet at For additional information regarding Missoula, MT and the surrounding communities, please visit the following webpages at: or call the Missoula Area Chamber of Commerce at 406-543-6623.

Primary Contacts: Susan Fox, Director, Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute 406-542-4193, [email protected]

If you are interested, please send Susan Fox your contact information, which position you are interested in, a brief statement of why you would be a quality candidate, and a resume no later than June 1, 2019.