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Gray Wolf Volunteer Opportunity

We are seeking professional volunteers to assist with the Montana Gray Wolf Conservation and Management Program.  This is a great opportunity to gain valuable field experience and references, while working in the rugged and beautiful Montana Rocky Mountains.

Seasonal Wolf Volunteer Information Sheet (Seasonal Wolf Volunteer Information Sheet 58 KB)

Work Environment

This is a very challenging position requiring advanced mental and physical stamina. Work is conducted throughout western Montana, across a diverse landscape of timber, livestock and mineral industries as well as wilderness and national park areas. Montana is home to a wide variety of ungulates including elk, moose, bighorn sheep, mountain goat, caribou, mule deer, and white-tailed deer. It also contains a full suite of predators, including black bear, grizzly bear, mountain lion, wolf, bobcat, lynx, and wolverine. Extreme climate and terrain is regularly encountered on the job. Volunteers must be self-motivated and possess both the ability and desire to live and work vigorously in remote mountain conditions both in a team and independently. The fieldwork is dynamic and changes often as work needs and situations arise. Accommodations are ephemeral and vary from trailers to bunkhouses to tent camping wherever the job requires. Volunteers must have their own backpacking and camping equipment. Travel is mostly by 4-wheel drive, mountain bike, and foot. These positions require a lot of driving both to work areas and while surveying or monitoring.

Work Schedule

Schedules are based around ever changing field efforts and logistics. Hitches are loosely 10 days on / 4 days off

Duration

May–October, but may vary depending upon conditions, volunteer availability, and project funding. Ideally volunteers are available for all or most of the field season with a minimum of 3 months commitment.

Compensation

Groceries and related supplies are provided. Housing (travel trailers and/or USFS bunkhouse) may be available for off days. Volunteers are covered under Worker's Compensation

Duties

Conduct wolf surveys: Drive, bike, and hike on / off roads and trails, howl in suspected wolf areas, and document sign for pack presence, numbers, and reproduction; Locate and collect data from wolf homesites; Establish and monitor remote camera stations. Monitor wolf activities in livestock areas: Camp in cattle allotments, locate wolves by survey or telemetry, and conduct associated hazing or harassment of wolves. Engage in all other relevant and necessary tasks too numerous to list such as equipment, vehicle and camp maintenance. May assist with capture and radio collaring of wolves: Maintain trapping equipment; Establish and monitor traplines; Participate in physical handling of wolves and non-target species.

Qualifications

These qualifications are ABSOLUTELY necessary, because of the remote and independent nature of the fieldwork in difficult climate and topography. :

  • Excellent physical condition: Capable of carrying heavy loads (40+ lbs) and backpacking long distances (15+ miles) daily.
  • Excellent sociability: Able to get along working and living with others in backcountry settings for 1-3 week time periods, maintaining a positive attitude despite trying conditions.
  • Competency and desire to work, backpack, camp, and otherwise live and problem solve independently for extended periods of time in remote settings.
  • Availability to work long days (14+ hours) and long hitches (10+ days)
  • Proficiency in orienteering (map, compass, gps).
  • Completion or enrollment in college/university wildlife, or closely related curriculum
  • Must hold valid driver's license and know how to drive manual transmission.

The following skills and abilities are also helpful:

  • Experience in radio telemetry in mountainous terrain
  • Capture and handling/processing of wildlife

Application period

The application period is FEBRUARY THROUGH MARCH 15.

How to apply

Create a single digital file, either a Word doc or PDF, containing the following three application components:

  1. Cover letter demonstrating how you meet the Qualifications outlined above and specifying your period of availability
  2. Resume detailing previous experience, particularly if relevant to the Duties outlined above
  3. List of 3 references including their name, email address, phone number, and how they know you.

Name the document as: lastname_firstname_wolf2013, e.g. laudon_kent_wolf2013.pdf

Failure to comply with the above instructions may result in forfeiture of your application

Email application packet to: Kent Laudon