GSA Online Application System



Public Land Name:
Custer Gallatin National Forest, Hebgen Lake Ranger District

Position Title:
CLOSED Geology Interpretive Assistant

Agency: USFS

Position Type: GeoCorps

Position ID Number:

Montana, West Yellowstone

Accepting Applications? No

# of current Applicants: 60

Position Description:

Each project can accept up to 100 applicants. GeoCorps applicants can apply for multiple projects per season. Applicants must complete a cover letter for each project for which they apply.

For current applicants: You are considered a project applicant once you have successfully added the project to your profile while you are logged into your application form. The added project would appear under “POSITIONS YOU HAVE ADDED” for the GeoCorps America Program. You are encouraged to add projects before you complete your application components. In order to be fully considered for any position, you must complete all application components before the application deadline passes on 28 January. Login to your GeoCorps application profile to check the status of your application components, and make sure to complete any remaining items before the deadline passes.

The Custer Gallatin National Forest is seeking a GeoCorps participant to guide visitors through the displayed history of the 1959 Hebgen Lake earthquake at the Earthquake Lake Visitor Center and develop additional interpretive material to help the public better understand the geologic processes at work in the Earthquake Lake Geologic Area. The visitor center sits atop over 80 million tons of displaced rock that crashed into the narrow Madison River Canyon during the 1959 earthquake, damming the Madison River and forming what’s now known as Quake Lake. The position will provide informal interpretation at the visitor’s center, with the remaining portion of the participants time spent researching the regional and site geology, some field time exploring the fault scarp through the Madison Canyon, and the development of interpretation material. The Visitor Center is open 7 days a week and working on weekends may be required. Potential hazards include inclement weather and wildlife. Most of the District has poor to no cell phone coverage. The participant will be provided office space, a desk. Some walking, bending, or carrying of light items may be involved. This project is offered through the Geological Society of America's GeoCorps America Program, in partnership with the Lands, Minerals, and Geology Washington Office of the USDA Forest Service.

The program encourages participants to follow the same guidance provided to all USDA Forest Service employees and partners, which is to follow CDC guidance and stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and boosters that protect against the new and most prevalent variants.

Commitment to Inclusion:
The Custer Gallatin National Forest is committed to creating a work environment where everyone feels seen, heard, and valued regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual preference, age, or any other diversity factor. Specifically, we are dedicated to providing an experience where the participant feels respected and supported throughout the project. The USDA Forest Service believes that cultivating a culture of diversity, inclusion, and equality promotes empowerment of our workforce and creates a workplace that is physically, mentally, and emotionally safe.

Goals, outcomes, and deliverables:
Project goals for the participant includes: 1.) Represent the Forest Service at the Earthquake Lake Visitor Center 2.) Increasing forest visitor experience and understanding of the complex geology in the Madison River Canyon Geologic Area. Outcomes and/or Deliverables: 1.) Develop interpretation and guide sessions with assistance from reference materials provided by the Forest Service. 2.) Present results of education and interpretation efforts to Hebgen Lake District staff following closure of the Visitors Center for the season.

Agency involvement (project oversight, mentoring, team building, etc.):
The participant will receive oversight and supervision from the Hebgen Lake staff for day-to-day work at the Visitor Center, and will work closely with seasonal and volunteer staff. The project mentor will work with the participant to develop a work schedule and will be available for any needs/concerns or concerns throughout the summer. The participant will also work with the Custer Gallatin Minerals and Geology program manager for any questions or guidance and networking opportunities for completing the geologic interpretation materials. There will also be opportunities to learn more about the minerals and geology program on the forest by visiting caves and mining operations.

Professional development & learning opportunities: (trainings, certifications, networking, etc.):
This may include professional development opportunities, such as trainings, certifications, conferences, networking, etc. Please consider both “hard”, technical skills, as well as “soft” skills. The participant will have the opportunity to establish connections with a variety of different organizations in one of the most diverse and intact ecosystems in the US. The participant will have exposure to various types of projects and diverse geology, minerals, and recreation opportunities across the forest. As they become available and are pertinent to the project, the selected applicant will be encouraged to attend local workshops or trainings, particularly for interpretation. Trainings may include First Aid/CPR, computer security, safety procedures, defensive driving.

Leadership Development:
The participant will have the opportunity to network with multiple organizations, build relationships, and lead meetings to achieve the goals of the project. Problem solving to ensure visitor center operations run smoothly day to day. Strengthen public speaking skills when giving interpretive talks.

Presenting Project Results:
The participant will be asked to share their experiences and work products from their project with agency staff in our local resource group near the conclusion of the position, and provide management with recommendations for continued growth of the education opportunity and visitors center experience. The participant is encouraged to present their work products and results at a GSA Annual Meeting or GSA Section Meeting.

Physical/Natural Environment:
The Madison, Henrys, and Gallatin Ranges have large areas that are prone to mass wasting and high seismic hazards where the continental divide marks the boundary between the states. West Yellowstone is also a popular west entrance to Yellowstone National Park.

Work Environment:
The participant’s base is the Hebgen Lake Ranger District, with most of the work taking place in a climate-controlled visitor center. The participant will have access to office space at the visitor center as well as the District office. Visitor center will be staffed with one seasonal employee or volunteer. Less than 10% field work is anticipated.

An applicant with a degree in geology or geoscience is preferred. Optional course work or experience in education, interpretation, geomorphology, geohazards or engineering geology would make the applicant more competitive. The participant should be able to work well independently, both in the office and in the field with little oversight, have basic map reading and GPS orientation skills, and must be able to interpret aerial photos. Computer skills in Excel Spreadsheet and database management are required. Applicant must be able to start work in May or early June and commit to a full 12 weeks.

Applicants must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. legal permanent resident (Green Card holder). Applicants must have a valid driver's license from a U.S. state or U.S. territory (i.e., Puerto Rico) and a good driving record. Prior to starting this position, the participant will need to pass a background check either with the host agency, GSA’s staffing partner, or both.

Applicants must be eligible to participate in Public Lands Corps, which means applicants must also:

  • Be between 18-30 years old inclusive during the timeframe they would finish the project (military veterans are permitted to be up to 35 years old during participation)
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
Compliance with Public Lands Corps eligibility requirements is defined by the legislation supporting Public Lands Corps opportunities (16 U.S. Code § 1723 - Public Lands Corps program). Read more about the benefits and requirements of participating in Public Lands Corps with the USDA Forest Service.

Vehicle / Driver's License Requirement (If applicable):
Applicants must have a valid driver's license from a U.S. state or U.S. territory (i.e., Puerto Rico) and a good driving record. A personal vehicle may be needed while off-duty, for errands and recreation. A government vehicle will be provided for official, on-duty use. The selected participant will need to complete all requirements specified by the Forest Service Fleet Manager before driving a government vehicle.

Position Dates:
May–September 2024 (start/end dates flexible)

Position Duration: 12–20 weeks

Hourly Wage: $15.00/hour

Housing Details:
Government housing will be provided within the forest unit, at no cost to the participant. Housing will be in a rustic bunkhouse shared with up to three other people. There is a kitchen well-equipped with appliances (refrigerator, freezer, oven, stove, microwave), and a bathroom/shower.

If you have questions about the application and selection process, please contact GSA's 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 GeoCorps homepage.

Ellen Butler
Earthquake Lake Visitor Center Manager
P.O. Box 520
West Yellowstone, MT 59758

Sarah Hill
Minerals Program Manager
10 East Babcock Ave
Bozeman, MT 59715
 [Prefer Email]