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Public Land Name:
BLM Colorado State Office

Position Title:
ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS Land Law Examiner Assistant - Minerals Management (Apply by 30 April)

Agency: BLM

Position Type: GeoCorps

Position ID Number:
2024803, 2024804

Location:
Colorado, Lakewood (2 positions)

Accepting Applications? Yes

# of current Applicants: 9

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. Login to your GeoCorps application profile to check the status of your application components, and make sure to complete any remaining items.

Completed applications will be considered as they are received for this opportunity.

Two GeoCorps participants will work closely with Land Law Examiners at the BLM Colorado State Office to review and process a range of solid mineral cases for accuracy and completeness. The participant will aid BLM staff in performing a variety of independent case actions in the following areas: leases and permits, mining claims, and related activities. Workflows and ongoing projects will focus on cases related to locatable minerals (such as gold, silver, etc.). Project work includes, but is not limited to, administrative tasks, GIS work, legal description verification, ascertaining legal clarifications, and providing information in response to public inquiries. This position will require office work, analytical skills, the ability to utilize GIS effectively, and the ability to demonstrate good public relation skills/experience. Applicant experience and/or objectives related to legal studies, geography, GIS, mining, economic geology, or a similar field is preferred among candidates. This project is offered through the Geological Society of America's GeoCorps™ America Program in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management.

Primary responsibilities include assisting BLM Land Law Examiners in the following areas:

  • Collecting data related to land or mining cases
  • Assisting with work that determines the accuracy and proper execution of claims and qualifications of applicants for legal rights requested
  • Assisting BLM staff in tasks related to adjudicating routine lands, mining, and/or mineral leasing applications
  • Providing information or assistance with drafting basic adjudication decisions
  • Utilizing data systems to collect, enter, assess, update and maintain data
  • Helping others to review and process a full range of lands and minerals cases

What is Land Law Examining?

The work of Land Law Examiners helps adjudicate rights and privileges under laws that govern the use and disposition of public lands and mining laws. Through the project, the GeoCorps participants will help Land Law Examiners at the BLM research and provide information to make decisions on applications and claims for land use and mining on public lands. The careful work of land law examining ensures that rights granted will follow laws and regulations. For more information, please visit the My DOI Career page for land law examining.

Goals, outcomes, and deliverables:

Two GeoCorps participants will assist with ongoing work in the following areas based on the State Office’s current workflow needs. The participants may work on the following, in no particular order:

  • Help with data entry for new claims in the Mine Land Reclamation System (MLRS).
  • Assist with GIS-related tasks for Legal Land Determinations associated with new mining claims.
  • Help identify and work on special-need areas (i.e., mining claims under Public Law 359).
  • Help with tasks to support adjudicating, verifying, and filing records related to mining claim maintenance fees, including updates to casefile records.
  • Help pull receipts to update mining claim maintenance fee admin and casefile records.
  • Assist with mailing notifications to claimants of record.
  • Assist with fulfilling return receipt requests/mailings around key deadlines during the year.
  • Help staff prepare follow-up notifications related to maintenance fees.
  • Assist with tasks related to basic adjudication filings to help improve their completion time.

Agency involvement (project oversight, mentoring, team building, etc.):
Project mentors will work with the participant to guide their projects, introduce them to the work and mission of the BLM and other federal agencies, and broaden their network of professional contacts, all while giving the participant a high degree of autonomy over their work. Two Land Law Examiners at the BLM Colorado State Office will provide oversight and guidance of the participants’ work. The Land Law Examiners will initially spend time training the participants, particularly in the first 12 weeks, and then will guide assignments with oversight. A greater amount of independence toward achieving project goals will be encouraged once the participant demonstrates an understanding of the work, but there will always be oversight and collaboration throughout the planned 52-week project duration. Each participant will work together with the Land Law Examiners to resolve more involved information requests and puzzling cases when they arise. There will also be opportunities to interact with the Geologist and Branch Chief of the Solid Minerals group, and the participants will be provided designated workstations near BLM staff working in solid minerals. The Office will provide the selected individual with an overall facility orientation, project briefing, and any relevant safety sessions before work begins.

Professional development & learning opportunities: (trainings, certifications, networking, etc.):
The participant will learn about the legal and regulatory frameworks surrounding the management of solid minerals and claims for land use, minerals leasing, and mining on public lands. The project will offer opportunities to leverage GIS skill sets in researching and presenting case information, as well as responding to program inquiries. This project will require ongoing training by BLM personnel to become familiar with the applicable regulations and the dynamics of mining that occur in this region. In addition, the mentor will outline objectives, priorities, and deadlines for ongoing projects, and provide guidance on dealing with unique situations. After training the participant will carry out most assignments independently and handle most inquiries and issues according to established guidelines, instructions, and accepted practices. The mentor will be informed of potentially controversial situations.

In addition, there will likely be some opportunities for cross training with other BLM resources staff, and some field-going excursions would be an option, although most work will be office based.

Leadership Development:
The participant will learn land law examining skills that can be applied to a number of different career paths within the BLM related to working with solid mineral materials, including any current vacancies at the BLM Colorado State Office for a Land Law Examiner (see OPM description for the Land Law Examining Series 0965).

Please note: this project does not provide the ability to earn special federal hiring authorities, such as the Public Lands Corps (PLC) Noncompetitve Hiring Authority or the Direct Hire Authority (DHA).

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 participants 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. Participants are also encouraged to present their experience and project impacts at a GSA Annual Meeting or GSA Section Meeting.

Physical/Natural Environment:
Lakewood, Colorado is nestled at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and boasts a diverse geological landscape. The city's surroundings transition from the sprawling grasslands of the high plains to the rugged mountain terrain, showcasing a rich tapestry of natural features. Within the vicinity of Lakewood lies a mosaic of geological formations, which not only shape the landscape but also contribute to the region's economic vitality. Summers in Lakewood bring a mix of climates, where average highs range from 80° to 90° F. Additionally, the region experiences sudden shifts in weather, particularly during afternoon thunderstorms, underscoring the dynamic nature of Colorado's climate. Winters are typically cold and snowy, characteristic of the Rocky Mountain region. Average temperatures during winter months tend to range from around 20°F to 40°F. However, temperatures can fluctuate significantly, occasionally dropping below freezing. Snowfall is common during the winter season in Lakewood, with the city receiving an average of about 50 inches of snow annually. Snowstorms can bring heavy accumulations, particularly in the nearby mountain areas, which can impact daily activities and travel. Lakewood, Colorado embodies the harmony between geological diversity, natural beauty, and climatic variability, with great access to the Rocky Mountains and all the amenities of an urban setting.

Work Environment:
The participant will work out of the BLM offices in Denver Federal Center in Lakewood, Colorado. This is a casual-to-professional work environment where most employees are working in the office with some options for teleworking with the aid of Microsoft Teams. BLM staff typically work in the office. It is necessary for the selected candidate to complete in-office work to the degree agreed upon with their project mentors. The participants will be provided a workstation near other BLM realty and resource staff. There are some opportunities for cross training in other areas, if interested. 90—100% of the position will include office-based or remote work.

Qualifications:

The ideal candidate will be adept at analytical thinking, reading, and will demonstrate an ability to translate these skills to tasks like interpreting legal documents and communicating with others. The candidate should have the ability to utilize GIS effectively and demonstrate good public relation skills/experience. The candidate must be detail-oriented and may have an interest in, or exposure to, education or experience in law and policy. Any experience or background that provides familiarity or experience dealing with laws, rules, regulations, procedures, etc. is helpful. The ability and desire to work up to a year is ideal, and not just the minimum 12 weeks. The training for this position presents a learning curve, so being able to work for a longer period of time is much more advantageous to all parties.

The ideal candidate may also demonstrate strengths in the following areas:

  • Attention to detail
  • Customer service
  • Information management
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Problem or puzzle solving skills
  • Writing
  • Reasoning
  • External awareness

Other helpful qualifications might include:

  • Experience, educational background, and/or objectives related to legal studies, geography, GIS, mining, economic geology, or a similar field. Training or coursework in geology, surveying, GIS, and/or legal studies is an asset.
  • Background with public interaction and report writing would be helpful.
  • Work experience outside of academia is preferred (work experience does not need to be geology-related and should be practical; examples include working at a restaurant, store, front desk, mailroom, rideshare or delivery service, or another business).
  • Background in GIS and file management.
  • Past participants have typically included recent graduates from either bachelor's or master's degree programs.
  • Ability to work well individually, as part of a team, and with the general public.

The applicant must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent legal resident (“Green Card holder”). Prior to starting this position, the participant will need to pass a background check with either the host agency, GSA’s staffing partner, or both.

Vehicle / Driver's License Requirement (If applicable):
Driving is not considered necessary for project-related duties. Should the need for offsite work arise, a government vehicle will be available to the individual for work-related purposes only, after successful completion of defensive driving training, which will also be provided by the agency. Applicants must have a valid U.S. driver’s license and a good driving record in order to drive a government vehicle. A personal vehicle is recommended for commuting, personal errands, and recreation in the surrounding area.

Position Dates:
May/June 2024—May/June 2025

Position Duration: 52 weeks (with a minimum trial or probationary period of 12 weeks)

Hourly Wage: $20.00/hour

Housing Details:
The participant will be responsible for finding their own housing. A personal vehicle is recommended for commuting, personal errands, and recreation in the surrounding area.

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.

PRIMARY CONTACT INFORMATION
Lesley Petrie
Education and Outreach Program Coordinator
3300 Penrose Place
Boulder, CO 80301
 (303) 357-1097
 lpetrie@geosociety.org
Website

SECONDARY CONTACT INFORMATION
Matthew Dawson
Assistant Director, GSA Center of Professional Excellence
3300 Penrose Place
Boulder, CO 80301
 (303) 357-1025
 mdawson@geosociety.org
Website