GSA Online Application System



Public Land Name:
BLM Malheur Field Office

Position Title:
CLOSED Mineral Material Community Pit Inventory and Monitoring Assistant (Apply by 29 March)

Agency: BLM

Position Type: GeoCorps

Position ID Number:

Oregon, Vale

Accepting Applications? No

# of current Applicants: 13

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 29 March. 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.

Apply by Friday, 29 March. The Malheur Field Office manages approximately 4.6 million acres of public lands spanning over 3 counties in Oregon. The youth applicant will assist a BLM geologist with the above project specific saleable site inspections and related field work. Field work would consist of documenting conditions at community pit locations (e.g., highwall/bench and stockpile stability, disturbance activity, reserves calculations, safety issues, site and road conditions, etc.), verifying production at community pits and common use areas, recording inspections using Malheur Field Office inspection forms, and using database management, GIS, and tablets to collect and interpret data. Fieldwork will be done in remote backcountry settings and requires strenuous exertion. Weather and terrain conditions may be extreme (e.g., heat, cold, thunderstorms, steep rough terrain, and historic mining hazards). Office work will largely consist of data recordation in internal tracking systems and LR2000, recording inspections in digital and hard copy casefiles, technical writing, emails, and creating maps with GIS/imagery. The applicant will be assigned new inspections every 1 to 2 weeks based on the progress of previous assignments. It is anticipated that individual inspections will not take more than 2 to 4 days to complete, including a field day. Depending on the state of some community pits, projects could take longer to resolve. The applicant will prepare a report documenting the state of the program as a whole and will potentially recommend some locations for closure depending on usage. Depending on progress being made, other opportunities with abandoned mine lands (AML) and locatable mineral management may be available. This project is offered through the Geological Society of America's GeoCorps™ America Program in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management.

Project Background Information:

Mineral materials are some of our most basic natural resources, such as sand, gravel, dirt, and rock, used in everyday building and other construction uses. These materials generally are bulky and have low unit price. Their sheer weight makes their transportation costs very high. Adequate local supplies of these basic resources are vital to economic life of any community. BLM's policy is to make these materials available to the public and local governmental agencies whenever possible and wherever environmentally acceptable. Mineral materials can be sold either as nonexclusive sales (e.g., Community Pit (CP) or Common Use Area (CUA) contracts) or exclusive sales (e.g., competitive or negotiated contracts or free use permits). BLM sells mineral materials to the public at fair market value; however, provides them free to states, counties, or other government entities for public projects under a free use permit. Also, a limited amount may be provided free to non-profit groups, on a case-by-case basis. Materials obtained free of charge cannot be bartered or sold as a stipulation to the issuance of the permit. A competitive or negotiated contract is issued when private mining companies or other public entities are interested in mining federal mineral materials. The BLM shares a portion of the revenues from the sale of mineral materials with the state where the minerals are produced. Nonexclusive sales from CPs and CUAs are sold to the general public at a set fair market value and reclamation fee. These sites are solely managed by the BLM from establishing the site, NEPA analysis, inspections, production verification and reclamation. There is no specific application form for requesting removal of mineral materials from public lands. Persons interested in buying mineral materials should contact the local BLM District or Field Office, or the BLM office closest to the area of need or closest to the public land where the desired material is found. Regulations that guide BLM's mineral materials program are found in Title 43 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Group 3600. Regulations governing contracts and permits for mineral materials are contained in 43 CFR, Subparts 3610 and 3620, respectively. BLM disposes of mineral materials in conformance with agency land use plans. Anyone removing mineral materials must comply with applicable laws, including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Use authorization includes NEPA compliance. The BLM conducts inspection and production verification to assure compliance with the terms of the contract or permit, and prevention and abatement of unauthorized use.

Goals, outcomes, and deliverables:
The BLM Malheur Field Office in Vale, Oregon has an opportunity to introduce youth to careers in the BLM under the Saleable Minerals Program. The FO has one geologist on staff who would like to provide youths hands on field experience working at various mineral material sites. Field work would consist of documenting conditions at community pit locations, verifying production from community pit and common use area sales, recording inspections using Malheur FO inspection forms, and using database management, GIS, and tablets to manage locations. This project would be especially appropriate for a student studying or interested in a career in geology, mining, or environmental geology/engineering. This experience will provide the opportunity to enhance basic career skills such as organization, technical writing, problem solving, and communication, as well as field skills documenting site conditions, use of GPS/Tablet/clinometer and other field equipment, use of topographic and geologic maps, aerial imagery, field note methods, photogrammetry or other equipment methods for production verification, and highwall/bench and stockpile stability monitoring. Previous experience with any or all these skills would significantly enhance the student experience.

Agency involvement (project oversight, mentoring, team building, etc.):
There will be substantive BLM programmatic involvement by a BLM geologist that will work side by side with the recipient on all projects and provide project orientation and hands-on training. BLM will have the right to intervene by modifying the project management plan, if the project is not staying on schedule, technical issues arise, etc. In addition, BLM and the recipient will meet weekly to discuss progress and track project outcomes; review any training needs; and then decide a plan forward to finalize the project or move to the next phase/project.

Professional development & learning opportunities: (trainings, certifications, networking, etc.):
Training Requirements, if needed: - FISSA (Cyber Security Training) - Saleable mine inspection training (onsite training by geologist) - GIS/Field Maps (office/onsite training by GIS Specialist) - MSHA Surface Training (if not accompanied by certified specialist/geologist) - 4x4 Training (operate govt. vehicle) - Defensive Driving (operate govt. vehicle). Travel: On occasion, the applicant may be required to stay overnight for inspections. Most fieldwork can be completed on the same day, but some work in the McDermitt, NV area may require an overnight stay. The BLM will be responsible for any travel necessary to complete the project. See the goals, outcomes, and deliverables section of this description for more detail.

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 project will also work with multiple stakeholders in their project, which will help the participate develop/demonstrate communication skills, and experience navigating organizational hierarchies.

Presenting Project Results:
The participant may be asked to reflect on and present the outcomes from their project to BLM staff near the conclusion of the position. Participant is also encouraged to present their experience and project impacts at a GSA Annual Meeting or GSA Section Meeting.

Physical/Natural Environment:
The Vale Malheur Field Office manages approximately 4.6 million acres of public lands spanning over 3 counties in Oregon. For more information, please visit the BLM Malheur Field Office's home page. Vale has a population of about 1,900, but most big city amenities are available in nearby Ontario (20 minutes) or Boise (1+ hour).

Work Environment:
Monday – Friday, generally 8 AM to 4PM, 40-hour week for 12 weeks, with flexible start/end dates in May-June/August-September 2024. The BLM Vale Malheur Field Office will provide a laptop, field equipment, and any other project specific materials. All required Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) will be provided by BLM. BLM suggests the applicant buy a pair of steel toe boots; however, removable steel toe covers are available.

This opportunity is suitable for youth working towards an undergraduate or graduate degree in geology, geoscience-related discipline, or mining/environmental engineering with an interest in mining. As stated in the duties, this opportunity will require time outdoors and field work that is often under somewhat rigorous physical conditions. Applicants must also pass a DOI security background check.

Qualifications may include: - Background in geology - Minimum of one year of geology coursework at the college level - Background in environmental science - Minimum of one year of environmental science coursework at the college level - Educational background and/or experience or interest in mining, economic geology, or other similar field. - GIS experience or coursework at the college level - Experience with specific GIS tools, such as ArcGIS and ArcGIS Collector - Experience performing field work independently, including walking and hiking on uneven terrain, at high elevations, and in various weather conditions. - Experience navigating in the field independently with compass, GPS, etc. - Experience collecting and organizing data with tools like databases, tablets, etc. - Experience communicating and relating with members of the public - Familiarity with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

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 Department of the Interior.

Vehicle / Driver's License Requirement (If applicable):
Applicant must have a valid U.S. driver’s license and a good driving record. A government vehicle will be provided for project-related duties only, i.e., to conduct field inspections and other official duties, once the required safe driving trainings are complete. A personal vehicle is required for the position, as the Malheur Field Office is not directly within walking distance from housing and public transportation is not readily available. The closest regional airport is in Boise, Idaho. Vale has a population of about 1,900, but most big city amenities are available in nearby Ontario (20 minutes) or Boise (1+ hour). A government vehicle will be provided for any field work and travel to and from sites. The student will either be accompanied by a geologist or drive the government vehicle if clearance/training is authorized.

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

Position Duration: 12 weeks

Hourly Wage: $15.00/hour

Housing Details:
The agency cannot provide housing, but might be able to assist in locating appropriate, clean housing. A maximum extra payment of $600 per month may be available to subsidize monthly housing.

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.

Lesley Petrie
Education and Outreach Program Coordinator
3300 Penrose Pl
Boulder, CO 80301

James (Dan) Pike
Geologist - Minerals Programs
100 Oregon St
Vale, OR 97918