Ecological Monitoring Program Director

Great Basin Institute
Reno, NV, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


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Job Description:

The Great Basin Institute is recruiting an Ecological Assessment, Inventory and Monitoring (AIM) Program Director for AIM and allied projects located in multiple western states. The overall objective of the AIM program is to provide professional development opportunities and quality land management assistance by producing consistent, landscape-scale monitoring data in support of the BLM national strategy for standardized resource monitoring. Sampling sites are predominantly located in sage grouse habitat, on public rangelands, and in riparian systems within designated priority areas. Field crews collect biotic, hydrologic, and soil qualitative indicators in conjunction with quantitative data to inform conservation planning and adaptive management decisions.

Please follow this link for a video that highlights the BLM’s national strategy for landscape-scale data capture across the western states using AIM:  

The GBI AIM Program comprises over 150 seasonal and other staff. In 2019, we have deployed over 50 field crews across seven western states. We seek a committed AIM Program Director to coordinate with AIM program staff to oversee, perform and support communication, safety assurance, planning, budgeting, scheduling, recruitment, training, field deployment and implementation, data procurement and management, and reporting. The AIM Program Director will work closely with Program Coordinators, Data Specialists and other GBI staff, and will report to the Executive Director in accomplishing this work. Specific duties include:
• Proactively maintain regular communication with agency partners to coordinate and promote adaptive management, development and budgeting, and compliance with agreement and contract terms;
• In collaboration with GBI staff, establish annual objectives and assess the program’s long-term strategies;
• Act as liaison to Bureau of Land Management (BLM) staff and other program/project affiliates to plan and coordinate current and future projects;
• Oversee and perform recruitment, management, training, and coordination of field crews working on monitoring projects;
• Support project planning, equipment organization and maintenance, vehicle coordination, and team deployment;
• Oversee data management and delivery, which includes executing quality-assurance measures, performing quality-control data checks periodically throughout the field season, and using GIS to provide spatial analysis for reports and other mapping products;
• Promote a culture and best practices for maintaining field safety;
• Travel to perform site visits, particularly during the field and shoulder seasons, to BLM districts/offices and field sites in designated western states;
• Collaborate with other GBI staff to ensure compliance with contract and agreement terms and conditions, including: budget management, financial reporting, payroll and invoice review and processing, and compliance with rules and regulations;
• Project reporting in accordance with programmatic and agency requirements;
• Engage in proactive and responsive personnel management;
• Participate in GBI or partner-sponsored training opportunities, and/or facilitate GBI training/workshops for AIM Program employees;
• Complete AIM program administrative support tasks including ensuring GBI and BLM policy compliance, maintaining personnel files, reviewing safety reports, and completing payroll bi-weekly; and 
• Complete other duties as assigned by GBI staff.

Contract Timeline:

• Renewable annually depending on performance evaluation, funding, and program needs.
• Expected start date: 01/06/2020


Based at GBI offices in Reno, NV. The “Biggest Little City in the World”, Reno has an estimated population of just over 230,000; the greater Reno-Sparks metropolitan area has a population of just over 435,000. The city sits in a high desert at ca. 4,500 feet in elevation, at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains along the Truckee River, as it flows from Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake. Weather is mild, but with a distinct four seasons. Reno offers easy access to world-class outdoor recreation, with a 3- to 5-hour drive to Yosemite and Death Valley National Parks, the Pacific Ocean, and California redwood forests. Closer to home, Nevada boasts more natural hot springs than any other state in the country, over 150 named mountain ranges, and 30 mountain peaks over 11,000 feet. In Reno, recreation and entertainment includes eight major ski resorts within 2 hours of the Reno-Tahoe airport; fishing and boating on Lake Tahoe, the Truckee River, and Pyramid Lake; minor league baseball with the Reno Aces (the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks); cultural festivals throughout the summer along the banks of the Truckee River; and a small but growing collection of craft microbreweries and micro-distilleries. For more, visit

Compensation and Benefits:

Compensation range is $64,900 - $82,600 DOE. This position is eligible for eight paid holidays, one week sick leave annually, and two weeks vacation leave annually. GBI’s health and retirement benefit package provides full medical, dental, and vision insurance at no cost to the employee, as well as fully vested 401K plan at 4% annual match.

Job Qualifications:

• Advanced academic degree and equivalent experience in the natural sciences or allied discipline; 
• 5 years minimum in a leadership and supervisory position, and substantive project management experience, including technical, personnel and budgetary management;
• Experience working with federal land management agencies, members of the public, and/or non-profit organizations;
• Understanding of principles related to a combination of the fields of botany, soil science, wildlife biology, geology, hydrology, and/or spatial analysis;
• Relevant or related field experience – knowledge of and/or experience in high desert and Great Basin ecology preferred;
• Strong background in plant community ecology and plant systematics preferred; those with familiarity with AIM implementation will be given preference (AIM experience alone will not be considered as a substitute for other qualifications);
• Ability to oversee and manage simultaneously running projects across multiple western states for collection of field data according to protocol guidelines and a detailed QA/QC process; 
• Experience analyzing geospatial data and creating map products with GIS;
• Familiarity with best practices for performing field work in a backcountry setting, with proactively maintaining field safety, and with low impact principles for conducting field work;
• Ability to communicate effectively, both written and orally, with a diverse audience, including members of the public, agency resource staff and management, and GBI program and administrative staff;
• Experience writing and editing technical reports;
• Willingness and ability to work in a fast-paced, dynamic office environment, and to consistently enact high performance standards and a strong work and team ethic in support of the goals and objectives of the AIM program and the mission of GBI;
• Possess a clean, valid, state-issued driver’s license and the ability to operate a 4WD vehicle on and off paved roads; and
• Meet requirements of federal agency security background checks (e.g., FBI criminal and National Sex Offender Public Website, Department of Interior Security Screening).