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 serves as a research landscape ecologist who plans and conducts research to address a wide range of cross-cutting research needs for the stewardship of wilderness and similarly protected areas. The scientist develops impactful and relevant lines of research to investigate wilderness stewardship issues at multiple spatial (landscape, regional, and national) and temporal (annual to multi-decadal) scales with an aim to better understand how to maintain and restore resilient landscapes subjected to multiple stressors such as changing climate and an increasing human footprint. The scientist develops and applies research to address questions related to ecological restoration, biodiversity, wildlife, climate change, and disturbance ecology. The scientist may use statistics, simulation modelling, geospatial analyses, spatial data, and field data to characterize and predict current and future natural resource status, investigate the causes and impacts of disturbance agents and how they interact in a changing environment, and develop information on wilderness visitors and ecosystem function. 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 three overarching lines of research: 1) evaluating the biological diversity of the National Wilderness Preservation System (110 million acres), 2) land use change impacts and how climatic change will impact wilderness managers ability to protect wilderness characteristics, and 3) current and future connectivity of plant and animal populations. The scientist collaborates with researchers from other disciplines and institutions (e.g., universities, federal agencies, NGOs). A large proportion of the scientist’s research is conducted within wilderness and similarly protected areas, but research findings are applicable both within and outside such areas. The scientist disseminates research results through multiple avenues including peer-reviewed scientific journals and conference presentations. The scientist regularly works with wilderness managers and wilderness leaders in the four NWPS agencies (e.g. NPS, FS, BLM, FWS). 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-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

The Institute is the only federal research group in the United States dedicated to the development and dissemination of knowledge needed to improve management of wilderness, parks, and similarly protected areas. Research at the Institute focuses on five problem areas: 1) Recreation – recreation experiences and the impacts of recreation, 2) Relationships – relationships between people and protected lands, 3) Disturbance, including fire, climate and land use change 4) Larger systems – wilderness in the context of larger ecological and social systems, and 5) Science delivery – the delivery and application of scientific knowledge and tools. Furthermore, the Institute conducts and produces wilderness relevant science using a three-pronged approach: i) Science for wilderness – informing effective stewardship and management of wilderness, ii) Wilderness for landscape sustainability – improving understanding of the roles of protected lands to the ecological, economic, and social processes, services, and integrity of larger landscapes, and iii) Wilderness for science – using wilderness as laboratories and benchmarks to understand the causes and consequences of environmental change, minimally confounded by other influences. The Institute focuses on the interface between landscape and community ecology with an emphasis on bridging the gap between ecological theory and conservation management and policy.

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.