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Research and Monitoring Crew Leader

Job Location

Fort Collins, Colorado


Type of Job



$3,392 to $4,111 per month, commensurate with experience

Published By

Publisher Name

Published Date

Jan 21, 2023

About the job

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The Colorado Forest Restoration Institute at Colorado State University is hiring experienced crew leaders to assist with forestry data collection and crew management in support of our research and monitoring field studies. Crew leaders oversee crews of 2-4 technicians to ensure safe, efficient, and high-quality data collection. Duties include (1) measuring forest and tree characteristics, (2) fuel characterization and sampling, (3) plant identification, (4) safely navigating with maps, compass, and GPS, (5) data management and quality control, (6) training of new technicians, and (7) daily crew management activities and implementation of safety protocols. Crews will work on a variety of forest projects, which focus on assessments of fuel mitigation treatments and/or monitoring of recently burned areas. Backcountry travel to monitoring plots will be required. These are full-time positions from April (flexible) through October 2023, with potential for extension dependent upon funding. Crews work 10-hour field days, frequently traveling for 4-day or 8-day trips and camping overnight near field sites. Benefits include competitive health insurance options and per diem when traveling. The position is based in Colorado and operates out of Fort Collins with weekly trips across the state to work primarily in ponderosa pine and mixed conifer forests.


Required Qualifications:

  • B.S. in Ecology, Forestry, Natural Resource Management, or a related field of study and
  • demonstration of 2 or more years of related field experience, or M.S. degree in a related field of study and demonstration of 1 or more years of related field experience.
  • Coursework and/or experience measuring trees and forest characteristics, fuels, herbaceous vegetation, and working outdoors.
  • Coursework and/or experience identifying vascular plants.
  • Ability to transport a 30+ pound pack while hiking up to 5 miles on rough terrain at 5,000-12,000 feet in elevation.
  • Must have a valid driver’s license or the ability to obtain a driver’s license by the employment start date

Preferred Qualifications:

  • One+ years of leadership experience with demonstrated ability to plan for logistics of field work and train, supervise, schedule, and safely oversee crew members in field data collection.
  • Two+ years of experience implementing diverse ecological, forestry, and fuels field sampling methods, and knowledge of sampling equipment, procedures and QA/QC protocols.  Familiarity with CFRI research and monitoring methods is highly desirable.
  • Experience safely conducting fieldwork in remote locations, preferably in Colorado or dry
  • western forests, including navigating across arduous terrain with topographic maps, compass, and GPS technology, and ability to work in adverse conditions with frequent travel and unusual schedules. First-aid and CPR certification, wilderness first aid, or similar advanced certification desired.
  • Demonstrated proficiency identifying vascular plants to species both by sight and using
  • dichotomous keys. Experience with Rocky Mountain flora desired.
  • Basic proficiency using ArcGIS software to create maps.
  • Experience with data entry and data QA/QC protocols to support ecological and forestry research. Knowledge of Microsoft Excel highly preferred, familiarity with Microsoft Access and R also desired.
  • High-quality oral and written communication skills with keen attention to detail.
  • Ability to implement inclusion practices for effective communication across cultural boundaries and work harmoniously with diverse groups of students, faculty, and staff, and stakeholders outside the university setting.

Essential Duties


Logistical Planning 12.5%

Develop daily and weekly data collection plans by studying project maps and documents. Communicate with project managers and hourly technicians to safely and efficiently meet project goals.

Field Data Collection 70%

Supervise hourly technicians and conduct field data collection while applying field safety principles, team skills, orienteering skills, sampling tools, monitoring protocols, and quality assurance techniques to ensure monitoring data is collected safely while maintaining a high standard for quality, productivity, and morale. Locate long term monitoring plots by safely navigating over arduous terrain using maps, compass, GPS, and photographs, often in adverse weather conditions. Collect tree, fuels, and understory vegetation data in southern Rocky Mountain conifer forests using standard protocols. Sampling tools include loggers tapes, prisms, clinometers, hypsometers, densitometers, digital cameras, sampling frames, photoload templates, calipers, and tablets. Occasionally communicate with members of partnering agencies and the public to exchange knowledge on topics relating to fire ecology, forest restoration practices, outcomes, and monitoring.

Laboratory Work 5%

Supervise hourly technicians and conduct biomass processing, plant identification, and maintenance and organization of field gear with effective communication and organization skills to ensure efficiency and data quality.

Data Management 12.5%

Support quality assurance, organization, and storage of field data in field and lab settings by using digital data collection devices, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Word, R, and effectively communicating with project managers.


$3,392 to $4,111 per month, commensurate with experience

Benefits include competitive health insurance options and per diem when traveling.


How To Apply: For full initial consideration, please submit the following materials online at by 11:59PM on Sunday, February 5th.

1) Statement of interest, stating that you are applying for the Crew Leader position

2) Resume

3) Unofficial transcript/s

4) Information for three references (previous or current supervisors)

References will not be contacted without prior notification of candidates. Please provide a list of any relevant coursework in your resume, statement of interest, or in a separate, optional document uploaded in the ‘Other’ slot and briefly describe how the courses relate to the position qualifications and duties. The statement of interest should detail your interest in the position, your background and experience, and key skills or achievements relevant to the position.


Contact: Kat Morici at with questions.

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