GSA Online Application System



Public Land Name:
Huron-Manistee National Forests [Cancelled]

Position Title:
Environmental/Civil Engineering Assistant [Cancelled]

Agency: USFS

Position Type: GeoCorps

Position ID Number:

Michigan, Cadillac

Accepting Applications? No

# of current Applicants: 0

Position Description:
The GeoCorps program participant will be assisting the Huron-Manistee National Forests engineering staff with various projects involving hydraulics, hydrology, and soil science as related to environmental and civil engineering. Projects will include both field and office work. The following is a list of projects that the participant will be assisting with throughout the duration of employment: • Assist with soil investigations for roads, trails, culverts and recreation sites within the Huron-Manistee National Forests. • Set up soil analysis protocol and analyze soil samples in existing US Forest Service soils lab. • Assist with hydraulic assessment, analysis and design for culvert replacement projects intended to improve aquatic organism passage (AOP). • Assist with planning, investigation, design, and construction oversight for projects such as soil stabilization, riverbank stabilization, road-stream Crossing projects, trail improvement and boardwalk projects, roadway stabilization and reconstruction projects, as well as other miscellaneous projects as assigned. • Work with USFS engineers in coordinating work with contractors and counties to ensure that projects are constructed as designed while minimizing negative impacts to the USFS lands (including soils, waterways, roadways, vegetation, etc). This position is offered through the Geological Society of America's GeoCorps America Program, in partnership with the Minerals and Geology Management Program of the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Goals, outcomes, and deliverables:
By the end of the project, the participant will have assisted with at least three different environmental/civil engineering projects involving initial field analysis, survey, design, and/or construction oversight. They will work directly under licensed professional engineers to gain an understanding and work toward completing small designs independently.

Agency involvement (project oversight, mentoring, team building, etc.):
Oversight and guidance of the participant will primarily be taken by the HMNF engineering staff which includes four licensed professional engineers and two engineering technicians. The first half of the project will be spent in training working directly with one of the licensed engineers. The goal is for the participant to gain a greater understanding of the engineering processes and design concepts throughout the duration of the project and work toward achieving small projects/goals independently as their experience allows.

Professional development & learning opportunities: (trainings, certifications, networking, etc.):
Professional development opportunities may include GIS and AutoCAD training, through online classes and hands on project experience. We understand and believe in the need for professional development for young engineers, therefore other engineering related training will be allowed and included as they become available.

Leadership Development:
The participant will participate in rigorous projects that focus skills and reveal the work qualities of the individual. The project provides the opportunity for the participant to develop or apply personal responsibility in their work. The rigorous schedule of the project helps develop project management skills. The participant will also work with multiple stakeholders in their project, which will help the participant develop/demonstrate communication skills, and experience navigating organizational hierarchies.

Presenting Project Results:
The participant may be asked to present the outcomes from their project to the supervising mentor and Forest Service staff near the conclusion of the position. The participant is also encouraged to present the results of their work at a GSA Annual Meeting or GSA Section Meeting.

Physical/Natural Environment:
The Forests of Northern Michigan are rich in history. Glaciers shaped the landscape and formed many beautiful lakes and streams. In the late 1800’s, logging was in its heyday and the result was cut over lands that nobody wanted. The Huron National Forest was established in 1909 and the Manistee National Forest was established in 1938. These two Forests have operated as one administrative unit since 1945. The Huron-Manistee National Forests cover nearly one million acres of land in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. Sixty-one million people live within a 500-mile drive to the forest boundaries. These are the first national forest system lands people encounter when traveling north from major population centers such as Chicago, Indianapolis, Detroit, and Cleveland. Many people vacation on or have second homes near national forest lands, giving them an opportunity to get away from their everyday world and to enjoy all the national forests have to offer. Recreation use on the Huron-Manistee National Forests spans all seasons. People visit the Forests for camping, horseback riding, swimming, picnicking, biking and hiking opportunities. They also enjoy fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing, fall-color tours, skiing, snowshoeing, and off-road-vehicle, motorcycle and snowmobile riding. The Forests represent different recreational experiences through one wilderness; five nationally designated wild and scenic rivers; two nationally designated trails, one National Forest Scenic byway, and one visitor information center. The Huron-Manistee’s proximity to the Great Lakes and its many rivers, lakes and streams defines the Forests as “United by Rivers.” We are very proud of the wide variety of recreational opportunities we are able to provide the American public.

Work Environment:
The project is based out of the Supervisors Office, with most work taking place in the field. The participant will work on roads, streams, trails, and wetland/soils projects throughout our forest boundary. Field work is typically not strenuous activity, but will include some hiking/walking during surveying/site analysis activities as well as construction oversight. The projects may include physical labor on in-house projects as well. Project will include some (<30%) office work including GIS, AutoCAD design, documentation of analysis and construction oversite, etc. Participant will need a sturdy pair of hiking or work boots, as well as a back pack for field days. Work typically takes place Monday through Friday, with no work on the weekends.

We are seeking motivated, detail-oriented individuals that are currently enrolled as an engineering student with a minimum of 1 year of college education. The participant should be able to work well as a team, yet be able to complete individual tasks independently. Applicant should be comfortable working outdoors in remote areas. Applicant must be able to work for 12 weeks, start and end dates are negotiable based on college schedules. The applicant must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent legal resident (“green-card-holder”). Prior to starting this position, the participant will need to pass a background check either with the host agency, Aerotek (GSA’s staffing partner), or both. Applicant must have a valid driver’s license and a good driving record.

Vehicle / Driver's License Requirement (If applicable):
A personal vehicle will be required for perdonal errands, travel between housing and work-site, and exploring the area independently during off time. There is minimal public transportation options in Cadillac, MI. A valid driver’s license and good driving record is required. A Forest Service vehicle will be utilized for all work related travel to project sites. Participants will be expected to take an off-road driver's training course as well as an online safety course prior to utilizing Forest Service vehicles.

Position Dates:
05/04/20 to 08/28/20; start/end dates are flexible

Position Duration: 12-14 weeks

Hourly Wage: $15.00/hour (wage set to help offset housing costs)

Housing Details:
Cadillac is a small community of approximately 12,000 people and is an “up north” vacation destination for many from more urban areas in southern Michigan. It is within 1-2 hour’s drive to Traverse City, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Grand Rapids, and Lake Michigan beaches. Cadillac and is surrounded by hiking/biking trails and a lot of outdoor opportunities. Government housing is not available, so the participant will be responsible for finding her/his own housing. A higher-than-normal wage of $15/hr (which includes housing stipend) is provided to help cover some of the housing costs. Previous GeoCorps participants have had success finding short-term rentals through Craigslist or by renting a room from Forest employees. Rentals range from $400-$600/month typically.

If you have questions about the application and selection process, please contact GSA's SIP or GeoCorps managers.  If you have questions about any aspect of the position — description, qualifications, housing, dates — please direct them to the contact(s) listed in the project description. Remember, application materials can only be submitted online. The project contact(s) will not accept application materials sent to them via e-mail, mail, fax, etc. See the full program details at the SIP homepage or the GeoCorps homepage.

Karen Middleton, P.E.
Transportation Engineer
Huron-Manistee National Forests, Supervisor’s Office, 1755 S. Mitchell Street
Cadillac, MI 49601
 (231) 942-4980

Scott Peedle, P.E.
Forest Engineer
Huron-Manistee National Forests, Supervisor’s Office, 1755 S. Mitchell Street
Cadillac, MI 49601
 (231) 942-4951