GSA Online Application System



Public Land Name:
White River National Forest, Supervisor’s Office/Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District

Position Title:
CLOSED Cave & Karst Resources Assistant

Agency: USFS

Position Type: GeoCorps

Position ID Number:
2024623, 2024624

Colorado, Minturn (2 positions)

Accepting Applications? No

# of current Applicants: 58

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 project will provide a great opportunity for applicants to be intricately involved with the Cave and Karst Program on the White River National Forest. Opportunities include assisting the Cave and Karst Resources Manager with finding, inventorying, surveying, describing, and monitoring caves and karst features across the Forest. This position also involves providing interpretation and public contacts at some of the more public-facing caves on the Forest, as well as communicating cave conservation to public recreators. There are opportunities to provide cave/karst outreach, conservation, and interpretation to school groups, Boy Scout troops, rock climbers, and other members of the public. This position will provide opportunities for field work, geologic mapping, caving, LiDAR and GIS experience, and responsible data management. Office work includes entering field reconnaissance into GIS, completion of field reports summarizing field notes, input of significant cave descriptions, and preparation of samples. The applicant will have opportunities to work with other resource specialists assisting with wildlife monitoring, soils inventory, forestry, archaeology, etc. The White River National Forest supports amazing karst and cave resources and has a very active caving community, including the Colorado Cave Survey and several local grottos. Two individuals will be selected under this same project description. These participants will be required to travel to several different districts on the White River National Forest and camping at developed campgrounds or dispersed areas will be part of the experience. 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.

Goals, outcomes, and deliverables:
Project goals for the participants (2) include:

  1. Assist with field work finding, inventorying, surveying, describing, and monitoring caves and karst features across the Forest.
  2. Provide education and interpretation on site for cave and campground visitors related to bat conservation and biology, geology of caves, and the use of bat gates to ensure conservation of bat species.
  3. Monitor rock climbing activities associated with cave resources in the Deep Creek area, Spring Cave, Lime Park, and Hadley Gulch.
  4. Work as a team with each other and with other District employees to learn about and experience the mission of the Forest Service.
  5. Develop meaningful interpretation and education programs to present to the local community and to interested Forest Service personnel based on field experience at the caves.
  6. The participants will present their experience and expertise about cave and karst resources, bat conservation, and geology to a Forest Service audience consisting of both permanent and seasonal employees.

Agency involvement (project oversight, mentoring, team building, etc.):
The participants' primary mentor will assist the participants during the season related to initial training and scheduling throughout the summer. The participants will join the District Team for all orientation activities at the beginning of the season. The project mentor will be available for any needs/concerns the participants may have throughout the season and will also assist in developing a weekly schedule with participants. Because this project spans several Districts on the Forest, participants will have the opportunity to interact with a variety of geology, wildlife, and recreation staff members, in addition to members of the recreational caving community.

Professional development & learning opportunities: (trainings, certifications, networking, etc.):
The participants will receive the same trainings required of government employees at the beginning of the season including defensive driving, CPR/First Aid, hazardous materials training and more. Throughout the project, the project mentor will schedule time with other resource specialists and line officers, to provide a well-rounded learning opportunity to participants. The participants will have an opportunity to interact with local cave experts from Colorado Cave Survey.

Leadership Development:
The participant will engage in different multi-faceted projects that focus their 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 field office itself helps develop project management skills. The participant will also work with multiple stakeholders in their project, which will help the individual develop/demonstrate communication skills, and experience navigating organizational hierarchies.

Presenting Project Results:
The participant may be asked to reflect on and share their experiences and work products from their project with agency staff in our local resource group near the conclusion of the position. The participant is also encouraged to present their work products and results at a conference, i.e., GSA Connects Annual Meeting or GSA Section Meeting.

Physical/Natural Environment:
Minturn is located approximately seven miles west of Vail, Colorado along the Interstate 70 (I-70) corridor. This is a full-service town in a resort community. The White River National Forest contains deep valleys, expansive subalpine plateaus, and 10 mountains over 14,000 ft elevation.

Work Environment:
About 75% of the work will occur in the field, in various parts of the White River National Forest where cave and karst features exist. About 25% of the work will occur in the office in Minturn and/or Glenwood Springs.

Applicants must have or be approaching a BS degree in geology with course work that includes mineralogy, petrology, and structural geology. Optional course work in geomorphology, hydrology, and GIS 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, must be able to interpret aerial photos, and be comfortable with long days hiking cross-country in a rugged mountain environment. Computer skills in Excel Spreadsheet and database management are required. Applicant must be able to start work in early June and commit to a full 12 weeks. The applicant must have knowledge on using basic geology field tools such as a Brunton Compass, rock pick, hand lens, and tape measure. The applicant should demonstrate ability to communicate science concepts to the general public, during one-to-one discussions and in public presentations, and during interpretive talks. Computer skills in Word, Excel, Power Point (or similar software) are required. Experience with database management and basic knowledge of GIS are preferable, although not required. The person hired should have a disposition to work collaboratively and to participate in various trainings as part of the job, which may include topics such as defensive driving, computer safety, geoscience education research, and GIS. Applicant must be able to start work in early June 2023.

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. We anticipate the participant will drive a government vehicle for up to 100 miles, often along I-70, a few times per week on average. A personal vehicle is heavily recommended for personal errands, for travel between housing and the worksite, and for exploring the area independently during time off.

Position Dates:
20 May to 9 August, 2024 (start/end dates are flexible, but must start before June 10, 2024 due to pre-scheduled trainings)

Position Duration: 12 weeks

Hourly Wage: $15.00/hour

Housing Details:
Housing will be based out of Avon, Colorado at no cost to the participants. Housing will be in an apartment complex along the Eagle River with various other seasonal employees. 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.

Natasha Goedert
Wildlife and Fish Program Manager
220 E Market St
Meeker, CO 81641, CO 81641

Alex Lyles
Geologist/Cave & Karst Resources Manager
900 Grand Ave
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601