GSA Online Application System



Public Land Name:
Custer Gallatin National Forest, Sioux Ranger District

Position Title:
CLOSED Field Geology Assistant

Agency: USFS

Position Type: GeoCorps

Position ID Number:

South Dakota, Camp Crook

Accepting Applications? No

# of current Applicants: 66

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.

This GeoCorps project is seeking one participant who will aid the Custer Gallatin National Forest’s minerals and geology program, and it will focus on one of the program's major components: abandoned mine lands management and inventory (i.e. Riley Pass CERCLA site; assessment, closure, and monitoring of numerous small abandoned mine sites and uranium prospecting pits). The participant's work related to these program components will be focused on field monitoring, inventory, and assessment across the Custer Gallatin National Forest, Sioux Ranger District. The participant will collect and compile information into reports, databases, and management recommendations that will be utilized by minerals and geology staff to address ongoing minerals and geology management requirements and needs. The first 1-2 weeks of the position will focus on meeting applicable training requirements for work safety, first aid, and use of government equipment (vehicles, UTVs, computers, etc.). 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 providing the participant with full and complete support, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual preference, age, or any other dimension of diversity. We will do our best to ensure that the participant feels valued and supported throughout the project. Our goal is to provide them opportunities to develop their skill sets in their chosen field as well as give them opportunities to work with other resource areas, build their resume and add to their professional contacts.

Goals, outcomes, and deliverables:
During the project, the participant will help produce the following items:

  • Internal U.S. Forest Service (USFS) monitoring and assessment reports and memos documenting field work and management recommendations
  • Field reports and a written report will be produced for each site surveyed
  • Electronic photo files and GPS points

Agency involvement (project oversight, mentoring, team building, etc.):
The participant will work directly with the Natural Resources Specialist in the Sioux Ranger District to receive training on how to conduct field assessments of abandoned mine land (AML) features. The Natural Resource Specialist will provide guidance and mentorship to the participant on how to approach fulfilling the needs of USDA Forest Service (USFS) monitoring and assessment reports and memos documenting field work and management recommendations. USFS will provide supervision, mentoring, and training of GeoCorps participants and crew members. USFS will provide equipment necessary for safe completion of work tasks.

Professional development & learning opportunities: (trainings, certifications, networking, etc.):
Training will be provided for completion of job tasks, operation of government vehicles and equipment, and familiarization with the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) processes pertaining to abandoned mine lands. The participant will have opportunities to interact with various resource specialists and be exposed to a variety of land management activities on public lands.

Leadership Development:
The participant will gain exposure and experience to leadership-building tasks in the following ways:

  • Independent problem solving in the field.
  • Working cooperatively with other USFS staff.
  • Working cooperatively with other agency representatives and mining industry proponents.
  • Data organization, interpretation, and synthesis.
  • Exposure to management of various mineral and geology resources

Presenting Project Results:
Results will be compiled in written and spatial formats and provided to the district minerals staff. Project results and information collected would be utilized in ongoing resource stewardship and management. The participant is also encouraged to present their work products and results at a GSA Annual Meeting or GSA Section Meeting.

Physical/Natural Environment:
The Sioux Ranger District straddles the boundaries of the states of Montana, South Dakota and North Dakota. It covers approximately 193,000 acres and retains uniqueness among all other forest units in the Northern Region, because it comprises eight land units that rise like islands above a prairie-like ocean. These terrestrial islands are characterized by sandstone buttes and hills which are geologic remnants of Tertiary-age formations (the White River and Arikaree formations) that overlay the Cretaceous-age Fort Union and Hell Creek formations. The tablelands of eastern Montana and western South Dakota include the North and South Cave Hills, Slim Buttes, and East and West Short Pines in South Dakota, and the Long Pines, Ekalaka Hills, and Chalk Buttes in Montana.The topographic relief of the land units varies from several hundred to one thousand feet above the surrounding prairie. The average elevation ranges from 3000-3500 feet. There are two classified National Natural Landmarks in the District: The Castles and Capitol Rock, which are significant due to the variety of rock ages illustrated by the towering buttes.

Work Environment:
The participant will work intermittently with the Forest Minerals Staff, but most office and much of the fieldwork would largely be done independently. Most sites will be accessed by vehicle or ATV, with hiking being required to access most sites. Potential job-site hazards include severe weather, ticks, rattlesnakes, driving or riding ATVs on low standard roads, and working around abandoned mine hazards, mining, and mineral exploration equipment. The participant will need a good pair of hiking boots and clothing suitable for work in all conditions ranging from winter-like to hot summer. Other work and safety equipment will be provided.

The applicant must be working toward or already have a degree in the geosciences. Strong GPS, writing, and ArcGIS Pro skills are desired. A competitive applicant will have coursework and/or experience in reclamation, geology, mineralogy, geomorphology, geologic engineering, sedimentology, paleontology, photography, and GPS/GIS. While a Forest Service supervisor/mentor will be present, the applicant must be able to work well independently, both in the office and in the field. The applicant must possess basic orienteering skills, be comfortable with use of topographic and geologic maps, aerial photos, and GPS navigation systems. The applicant should be able to communicate effectively in writing and orally, be comfortable hiking and driving 4-wheel-drive vehicles and/or ATVs in rough terrain, be able to perform field work in rough terrain, be familiar with Microsoft Word, be able to effectively use the internet for research, and have some experience writing technical/scientific documents. The applicant must have a valid U.S. driver's license. If the applicant had HAZWOPR training, that would be a great advantage.

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 is highly recommended for off-duty errands and recreation as this is a remote location. 4x4 or off-road driving experience needed. Experience operating UTV/ATV on rugged roads and trails is a plus.

Position Dates:
20 May to 9 August or 6 September, 2024; 12 or 16 weeks (start/end dates flexible)

Position Duration: 12 or 16 weeks

Hourly Wage: $15.00/hour

Housing Details:
A bunkhouse room will be provided at no cost. No pets allowed. The room contains a bed and a closet, but bedding will need to be provided by the applicant. The bunkhouse has TV, washer and dryer, refrigerators, freezers, dishes, furniture, and other basic housing supplies.

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.

Meghan Reedy
Natural Resources Specialist
101 SE First St
Camp Crook, SD 57724

Sarah Hill
Minerals Program Manager
10 East Babcock Ave
Bozeman, MT 59715
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