Montana Jobs

We’ll be posting position announcements from our members or from agencies as we hear about them.

Do you have a position you need to post with us?

Please send it to: info@mttws.org

Montana FWP Wildlife Biologists (3 Positions, Region 2-Missoula)

In addition to the State Application, please remember to attach the required documents: Resume, Supplemental Questions and Cover letter listed in this announcement. Applications missing the requested documents will be considered incomplete and may not progress further in the process. Documents not requested will not be considered in the recruitment process. The State Application is not a substitute for a Resume. This position closes at 11:59 PM Mountain Time on April 18, 2022. You must apply through the State of Montana Career site.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ANNOUNCEMENT AND APPLY

Supplemental Questions:

  1. As a wildlife biologist for Fish, Wildlife and Parks you will have the responsibility of being a steward of Montana’s wildlife.  What does good stewardship mean to you and how would you work toward building credibility as a wildlife professional.  
  2. Local hunters have begun expressing concern about a mule deer herd that you will be managing as the new Wildlife Biologist.  They are seeing fewer mule deer and believe that mountain lion predation is the main cause of decline.  How would you go about addressing these concerns?
  3. Please indicate which positions you would be interested in:  Missoula based (Missoula valley, west to Lookout Pass), Seeley Lake based (Blackfoot watershed), Anaconda based (Upper Clark Fork), or all three.

Special Information:
Identity of applicants who become finalists may be released to the public if the Department deems it necessary.  Employees who exceed 1,040 hours in a calendar year are also provided health, dental and life insurance. Other benefits include retirement, paid vacation, sick and holidays.   This position may be covered by a VEBA (Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association).  

A successful applicant will be subject to a background investigation.  
Women and minorities are under-represented in this job category and are encouraged to apply.

There are 3 wildlife biologist positions being filled:  the Blackfoot, Upper Clark Fork, and Missoula positions.  A variety of wildlife species including elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, grizzly bears, black bears, mountain lions, wolves, upland game birds, furbearers and numerous non-game species occupy these areas. Each of these positions have similar expectations with different management responsibilities as determined by local conditions/needs.  The following descriptions give some additional detail about the work duty expectations for each position.

Blackfoot (Seeley Lake)

The Blackfoot biologist’s responsibility area includes all of the Blackfoot watershed in Region 2 to include the communities of Seeley Lake, Potomac, Ovando, and Lincoln and deer/elk hunting districts 280, 281, 282, 284, 285, 290, 291, 292, 293, and 298; an area encompassing over 2,500 sq miles. The responsibility area includes a diverse mix of private and public lands, including numerous working cattle ranches, as well as portions of the Bob Marshall and Scapegoat wilderness areas.  The biologist is expected to work closely with landowners on game damage and other wildlife management issues, and with stakeholder groups such as the Blackfoot Challenge, a nationally recognized collaborative.  The biologist is responsible for habitat management on three Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs):  the Blackfoot-Clearwater, Aunt Molly, and Nevada Lake WMAs and will work collaboratively on WMA management issues with staff from the Parks and Outdoor Recreation division.  Annual wildlife surveys include but are not limited to: aerial elk surveys in the winter and spring; aerial mule deer surveys in the spring, and white-tail deer ground surveys in the spring.  The biologist is responsible for running a game check station at Bonner for 6 weekends during the general rifle hunting season every year.  The biologist works closely with the non-game biologist and assists with annual non-game surveys as needed.

Upper Clark Fork  (Anaconda – Deer Lodge – Philipsburg)

The Upper Clark Fork biologist’s responsibility area includes the Flint Creek and upper Clark Fork valleys to include the communities of Drummond, Deer Lodge, Philipsburg, and Anaconda and deer/elk hunting districts 210, 211, 212, 213, 214, 215, 216, and 217. The responsibility area includes a diverse mix of private and public lands, including numerous working cattle ranches, as well as a portion of the Anaconda-Pintler wilderness. The biologist is expected to work closely with landowners on game damage and other wildlife management issues, and organized stakeholder groups including local sportsman, livestock, and watershed collaboratives.  The biologist is responsible for habitat management on six Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs):  Garrity Mountain, Stucky Ridge, Blue Eyed Nellie, Lost Creek, Warm Springs, and Spotted Dog WMAs and will work collaboratively on WMA management issues with staff from the Parks and Outdoor Recreation division. Annual wildlife surveys include but are not limited to: aerial elk and mule deer surveys in the winter, aerial mule deer surveys in the spring, aerial bighorn sheep surveys in the spring (4 bighorn sheep herds), and some aerial mountain goat surveys.  The biologist is responsible for running a game check station near Anaconda for 6 weekends during the general rifle hunting season every year.  The biologist works closely with the non-game biologist and assists with annual non-game surveys as needed.

Missoula

The Missoula area biologist’s responsibility area includes the Missoula Valley and Lower Clark Fork to Lookout Pass to include the communities of Missoula, Frenchtown, Alberton, Superior, and St Regis and deer/elk hunting districts 200, 201, 202, and the northern portion of 260.  The biologist is based out of the regional office in Missoula and customer service and public interaction are an expectation. Missoula is a high-cost real estate market and applicants are encouraged to research the housing market before applying.  Normal office hours are 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, but hours will be varied depending on demands throughout the year. The work area includes large portions of the Superior, Ninemile, and Missoula Ranger Districts on the Lolo National Forest, including the Rattlesnake wilderness and Great Burn recommended wilderness, as well as the large urban/suburban area of the Missoula valley. The biologist is expected to work closely with landowners on game damage and other wildlife management issues, respond to urban deer/wildlife calls, work with organized stakeholder groups such as the Mineral County Resource Coalition and with a variety of city, county, federal and NGO staff working on natural resource issues around the Missoula valley.  The biologist is responsible for habitat management on two Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs): Fish Creek and Mt Jumbo and works closely with the City on managing recreation/wildlife issues on Mt Jumbo.  The biologist will work collaboratively on WMA management issues with staff from the Parks and Outdoor Recreation division.  Annual wildlife surveys include but are not limited to: aerial elk and mule deer surveys in the spring, aerial mule deer surveys in the winter, aerial bighorn sheep surveys in the spring (2 bighorn sheep herds), summer ground surveys for mountain goats in the Great Burn, and a spring/summer aerial survey of mountain goats in the Rattlesnake wilderness.  The biologist is responsible for running a game check station near Fish Creek during the general rifle season every year.  The biologist works closely with the non-game biologist and assists with annual non-game surveys as needed.

Job Duties:

The Wildlife Biologist is responsible for the implementation of the Department’s wildlife management program, including the State Wildlife Action Plan, in their assigned work area in Region 2.   This includes developing and implementing adaptive wildlife and habitat management strategies; preparing wildlife management recommendations including hunting season regulations; working with various private landowners, various government agencies, other organizations and stakeholders to increase public enjoyment of natural resources; represent the Department on wildlife, habitat and access management matters; and maintain proficiency of a professional wildlife scientist.

This is accomplished by: Designing and conducting ground and aerial field investigations and surveys; recording and analyzing survey data, species information statistical models and data from Department databases; formulating management strategies and plans that benefit wildlife populations and habitats; obtaining public support for proposals and submitting proposals through a public process which are often highly visible and controversial, involving the entire spectrum of interests and stakeholders in wildlife conservation issues; identify habitat conservation and access needs; utilize population models to predict adaptive harvest and changing environmental factors influencing wildlife conservation; establish hunter check stations and collect pertinent biological data to assist in evaluating population trends and status; respond to wildlife damage complaints following legal statutes and department policies;  collaborate with Department staff to design, implement and interpret findings of wildlife and wildlife habitat related studies to further understanding and management of specific species; oversee and conduct habitat maintenance and improvement projects on department Wildlife Management areas; work with land management agency staff to identify and improve habitat management plans and actions on public lands; demonstrate the ability to safely capture, restrain and immobilize a variety of wildlife species; provide data and information to mitigate habitat development on private and public lands, maintain professional status through literature review and trainings, present findings and information to public and scientific audiences at various setting; and develop and maintain working relationships with Department staff, other agency staff, and the public to foster communication, cooperation and collaboration on projects.   

This position requires a creative and energetic person who is a life-long-learner, and capable of pioneering new approaches to wildlife conservation that address issues of the day, and issues of the future.  A demonstrated interest in – and working knowledge of – the natural history of a broad array of wildlife species is important.  The position also requires proven “people skills” (interpersonal relationships, communications, networking, team-building, coaching, facilitation), an ability to maintain good working relationships with the breadth of stakeholders in wildlife issues (agricultural interests, conservation community, industry, state and federal agencies, and Tribes) and skills in conflict management and collaborative problem solving.  Patience and persistence are necessary traits.  Leadership, and collaborative skills and ability to pioneer data management systems are just as important to this position as an aptitude and ability to conduct fieldwork.  Good organizational skills and the ability to manage multiple projects concurrently are important.

Physical and Environmental Demands:

Survey, capture, and handling methods frequently involve stressful and dangerous situations.  Surveys require use of low-level fixed wing and helicopter flights in mountain valley, foothill and high mountain habitats at low altitudes in hazardous flying conditions and sitting in confined spaces with exposure to high noise levels.  Capturing and handling big game animals involves the use of controlled substances and potentially lethal immobilization chemicals and handling big game animals such as deer, elk, bears, lions, moose, and sheep.

Work schedules are variable including weekend and nights when necessary, requiring the wildlife biologist to exhibit flexibility in daily, weekly and annual work schedules.  Self-motivation is an important part of this position.  Heavy lifting, up to 40lb, and the ability to work in remote and difficult terrain is necessary under varying and occasionally extreme weather conditions. Travel via 4-wheel drive, ATV and snow machines is a necessary aspect of this position.

Qualifications

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

Required for the first day of work:

Knowledge and ability to integrate the arts and sciences of wildlife population biology, plant and animal ecology, soil science, research techniques and the principles of wildlife management.  Knowledge and skills to determine management parameters that must be inventoried.  Knowledge of the biology, behavior, and ecology of a diversity of wildlife.  Knowledge of animal anatomy and physiology.  Knowledge of appropriate and accepted wildlife survey techniques and the ability to select and utilize technical equipment essential for wildlife management operations.

Ability to conceptualize wildlife problems, design projects to test hypotheses, conduct field studies, compile and analyze wildlife data, interpret results, present conclusions and recommendations, communicate complex issues and ideas to diverse audiences.  Ability to enter, analyze, and summarize data, as well as correlate complex data sets and analyze and reconcile conflicting and often unclear relationships. 

Ability to quickly learn a variety of specialized wild animal capture and handling techniques including chemical immobilization, helicopter drive nets, net guns, rocket propelled nets, clover traps, corral traps and foot snares and radio telemetry equipment including aerial and ground relocation techniques.

Knowledge of the habitat requirements of important endemic and introduced wildlife species and how those requirements vary across a broad range of ecotypes.  Familiar with and be able to implement a variety of habitat and vegetation survey techniques.  Knowledge of plant identification and physiology and ecology. 

Ability to quickly learn FWP’s habitat program including:  land conservation tools like conservation easements, grazing system design and management, upland game bird and waterfowl enhancement program, and approaches to evaluating habitat impacts by wildlife, livestock and human activities. 

Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships and communicate verbally and in writing with employees, other agencies, corporations and various public and private factions.  Ability to collaborate with others (researchers, managers, specialists) internal and external to the Department. 

Ability to learn necessary skills for high-visibility public processes that are controversial and involve the entire spectrum of interests and stakeholders in wildlife conservation issues.

Ability to prioritize and manage a range of tasks.  Ability to work independently with little to no daily supervision.

Minimum Qualifications (Education and Experience):

The knowledge, skills, and abilities of this position are normally attained through combination of education and experience equivalent to a Master’s Degree in Fish and Wildlife Management, Wildlife Biology, Range Management, Zoology or Biology, including completion of a field research project presented in a successfully defended thesis.   Other combinations of education and experience will be considered on a case-by-case  basis.

Equivalent experience is defined as five (5) years of progressively responsible experience as a wildlife biologist or senior wildlife technician that includes examples of:

  1. Literature review and development of a problem statement and or hypothesis for a particular issue.
  2. Development of a detailed study plan or sampling protocol for a field-oriented project based on the above-noted hypothesis.
  3. Data collection and the effective management of data with an appropriate application.
  4. Interpretation and analysis of data, including a quantitative assessment of that information.
  5. Completion of a final report in a peer-reviewed publication or a publication comparable to a refereed journal.
  6. If appropriate to the project, formulation of any recommended changes in management prescriptions and or actions.
  7. Oral presentation on results of investigation to agency staff or public audience.

Other combinations of education and experience which could provide such knowledge, skills and abilities will be evaluated on an individual basis.

APPLY AT https://mtstatejobs.taleo.net/careersection/200/jobdetail.ftl?job=22140963&tz=GMT-06%3A00&tzname=America%2FDenver