GSA Online Application System



Public Land Name:
Umpqua National Forest, North Umpqua Ranger District

Position Title:
CLOSED Assisting Physical Science Technician - Geomorphic Roads Analysis and Inventory, Soil Mass Movement Assessments

Agency: USFS

Position Type: GeoCorps

Position ID Number:
2024621, 2024622

Oregon, Glide (2 positions)

Accepting Applications? No

# of current Applicants: 54

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 Geomorphic Roads Analysis and Inventory Package (GRAIP) is a set of tools we will use to quantify road surface sediment production and delivery, assess mass wasting and gully risk, and stream crossing failure potential. By using GRAIP, we will be able to pinpoint where sediment is entering the North Umpqua River and its tributaries and where the places with the highest risks for gullies, landslides and stream crossing failures are. Work would also include assisting the soil scientist to investigate problematic soils by assessing mass wasting risk (slides, slumps, earth flows) in proposed timber harvest stands. Work includes identifying features using LiDAR and field investigations. The project is seeking two participants who will work together as a team to meet the aims of the project. ESRI Field Maps will be used to collect the necessary data. A Forest Service vehicle will be used to travel to and from road segments. This project is offered through the Geological Society of America's GeoCorps America Program, in partnership with the Lands, Minerals, and Geology Washington Office at the National Headquarters 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 Umpqua National Forest has worked with GeoCorps participants for many years and strives to provide an experience that is welcome, supportive, and inclusive. We welcome all participants regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual preference, age, or any other dimension of diversity. We provide a supportive environment to meet the various needs of each individual to ensure their success in the program. We strive to offer opportunities for participants to engage with other employees and programs according to that individual’s interest.

Goals, outcomes, and deliverables:
The goal of this project is to collect GRAIP data on Forest Service roads systems and to identify problematic soils within future project areas. This data, along with debris flow and soil surface erosion modeling, will be used to target road improvement and decommissioning projects for the purpose of watershed restoration. Mass movement areas identified will be inventoried and excluded from projected areas to help the forest meet soil standards and guidelines in the forest plan, as well as soil and water quality protections.

Agency involvement (project oversight, mentoring, team building, etc.):
Project oversight will be conducted by the Forest Watershed Program Manager and will include: 1. Daily check out/check in. 2. Weekly data upload, QA/QC, and progress/status update meetings.

Professional development & learning opportunities: (trainings, certifications, networking, etc.):
Project mentoring will be conducted by the Forest Watershed Program Manager and will include: 1. GRAIP methods training by Rocky Mountain Research Station scientists and staff. 2. Forest Service safety training: first aid/CPR, defensive driving, two-way radio, and SPOT device. Participants will also be encouraged to work with other Forest Service professionals in the earth science fields to gain exposure in other projects and programs.

Leadership Development:
The participant will engage 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 findings from their project to USDA Forest Service staff near the conclusion of the position. The participant is also encouraged to present their results at a GSA Annual Meeting or GSA Section Meeting.

Physical/Natural Environment:
The following information is found on the Umpqua National Forest homepage:

  • "The Umpqua National Forest is nestled on the western slopes of the Cascade Mountains. Explosive geologic events shaped this distinctive landscape and provide spectacular scenery."
  • "The lands that are now the Umpqua National Forest were first protected in 1893 as part of the Cascade Range Forest Reserve. In 1907, all Forest Reserves of the United States were renamed as National Forests. Eventually, the Cascade Range National Forest was split in six: Oregon, Cascade, Umpqua, Santiam, Deschutes, and Paulina."
  • "Many varied environments are present on the Umpqua National Forest, allowing for an incredible diversity of plant life. From the wildflowers of the serpentines balds and sub-alpine meadows to the moss and ferns thriving at the numerous waterfalls."
  • "You might catch a fleeting glimpse of a black tailed deer, stumble across a northern alligator lizard, or hear the croaking call of a pacific treefrog."
  • Visit the Umpqua National Forest on X and Facebook to learn more.

Work Environment:
The position includes driving and walking on forest roads. Hiking in remote areas over rough and very steep terrain may also be required to complete the work. Most of the District has poor to no cell phone coverage. The participant will be supplied with a Forest Service radio to communicate, and to use for emergencies.


  • Hydrology and/or geomorphology and/or geotechnical engineering knowledge/experience preferred.
  • Applicants should be able to work in the field with little supervision.
  • Applicant must be able to drive on gravel roads sometimes in 4 wheel drive.
  • Applicant must have basic computer skills and knowledge of Word & GIS would be beneficial. Map reading skills required.
  • The position involves outdoor work in all kinds of weather, hiking in rugged terrain, and participant must be in good physical shape. Sturdy boots and rain gear are required.
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 Forest Service vehicle will be used to travel to and from road segments. The selected participant will need to complete all requirements specified by the Forest Service Fleet Manager before driving a government vehicle. A personal vehicle is highly recommended for off-duty activities such as for errands and recreation. A personal car is necessary for transportation to and from the bunkhouse and to the grocery store. Housing for this position is approximately 23 miles from the nearest town and 40 miles from the nearest full-service town.

Position Dates:
Summer 2024 (start/end dates somewhat flexible and dependent on required seasonal training dates; seasonal training typically occurs in early June)

Position Duration: 13 weeks

Hourly Wage: $15.00/hour

Housing Details:
Free shared housing will be provided by the Forest Service at no cost to the participant. The houses come fully furnished, but bedding is required.

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.

Sarah Brame
Soil Scientist
2900 NW Stewart Pkwy
Roseburg, OR 97471

Joe Blanchard
Watershed Program Manager
2900 NW Stewart Pkwy
Roseburg, OR 97471