California Aquatic Data Specialist

Great Basin Institute

Sacramento, Remote

Job Type Temporary
Salary Details $25-26.50/hr

The Great Basin Institute (GBI) partner’s with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) throughout the western United States to implement vegetation monitoring programs such as the Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM) program. The AIM program is a BLM initiative to collect field data on rangeland indicators characterizing soil, vegetation, and hydrologic resources with an overarching goal to inform land management decisions and conservation actions.  

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages approximately 120 miles of wild scenic rivers, and nearly 10 million acres of National Conservation Lands within the state of California. The BLM is mandated to conduct land health monitoring to document effectiveness of the decisions established in its Resource Management Plans and meet guidance in FLPMA, to determine treatment effectiveness, BMP effectiveness, or compliance with applicable laws and regulations, etc. 

GBI seeks to fill a Data Specialist for data management, processing, and analysis in support of Lotic AIM data collection in California from early December 2023 to December 2024 (total of 12 months). The data specialist is required to have a thorough and comprehensive understanding of lotic AIM data collection and data management protocols to enable rigorous data review procedures. The California Data Specialist will work remotely during Pacific Time Zone business hours and report to the State Office. The Data Specialist will assist BLM staff with review and completion of Quality Assurance (QA) / Quality Control (QC) procedures for AIM datasets, provide technical support and training to field staff in the use of ArcGIS Field Maps and Survey123, work with BLM staff on data management and storage issues for AIM and related datasets, and complete basic analysis and reporting using AIM data as needed for completion of BLM business. The position also requires coordination with BLM district project leads in developing design management spreadsheets for the FY24 field season.  

The data specialist will work directly with BLM staff on a daily basis, and will coordinate with the state lotic AIM lead and monitoring coordinator for identification and completion of day-to-day tasks. This position is primarily remote, however additional travel will be required to support field crews throughout California. Specific tasks may include the following:  

  • Assist BLM field monitoring crews collecting AIM data with mid-season data quality and completeness checks;
  • Assist BLM California State Office staff in conducting data quality reviews as AIM data are collected throughout the field season; 
  • Independently perform quality control checks on the data, organize it in a standardized way as coordinated with the BLM state office staff, and assist in submitting the data to BLM’s national operations center for ingestion to AquaDat; 
  • Periodically retrieve data from AquaDat, state water quality databases, complete basic analysis tasks, and requested reports or summaries; 
  • Analyses and reports may include aggregation of data provided in two or more databases, summaries of indicator calculations for a given project area, including estimates of variance, comparisons of indicator values by stratum, and production of basic maps using ArcMap (ESRI);
  • Creation of create standard summary templates or tools for field/district offices in CA, such as a standard summary table to be used for land health assessments, biological assessments, and NEPA; 
  • Attend a Train-the-Trainer course, to provide support and training for data collectors in the California AIM Aquatic Core Methods training. The training will require travel for five (5) days and four (4) nights;
  • Train at one Lotic AIM training within California or closest neighboring state; 
  • Assist BLM California Project Leads with post-training calibration requiring travel for two (2) days and one (1) night; 
  • Camp overnight with AIM field crews stationed at these locations for up to three (3) days and two (2) nights to assist with data collection as needed; 
  • During the field season, be available to provide technical support to field staff regarding data entry and management, particularly with regards to Survey123 and Field Maps; 
  • Ability to complete occasional field work; and 
  • Must be able to pass a federal background clearance and complete all required security trainings (FISSA) needed for federal building and computer network access.

Contract Timeline: This is a 12 month term. The ideal start date is December 4th, 2023. Start date is flexible, please contact GBI if you have any questions regarding project timeline.

Location: The position is based in Sacramento, CA at the BLM California State Office; however, location is flexible with remote working options available.

Compensation and Benefits:• Pay Rate: $25.00 - $26.50 per hour depending on experience.

  • Health, Dental, and Vision Insurance paid 100% by GBI. Available first day of month following first day of employment. For more details on each benefit plan, please contact hr@gbinstitute.org
  • Paid Leave Benefit: Vacation accrued at 4 hours per 80 hour pay period starting on first day of employment. Sick Leave accumulated at 4 hours per pay period starting on first day of employment with a maximum of 40 hours earned and used within the award period of July 1 and June 30 annually.
  • Eligible to enroll in GBI 401K Employer Plan on the first of the month following 90 days of employment. GBI will match up to 4% of employee’s contribution.

Job Qualifications:


  • Bachelor’s degree in aquatic hydrology/ecology or related natural resources field


  • Minimum 2 years specialized experience or related graduate work, including experience with running r-scripts, python and/or other programming languages, Shiny, ESRI tools, and managing large datasets;
  • Field experience in fisheries, hydrology, fluvial geomorphology, water quality sampling, including previous Lotic AIM monitoring experience;
  • Proficiency with ESRI products (e.g., ArcMap, web maps) and basic statistical packages and clearly instruct others in technical material;
  • Ability to work with multiple field and district office leads in complex work environments, interest and ability to learn and grow professional skills;
  • Ability to work independently and troubleshoot project challenges;
  • Applicant must have a valid state-issued driver’s license.

Apply online at the Great Basin Institute: https://www.vscyberhosting.com/greatbasin/Careers.aspx?req=2023-AIM-016&type=JOBDESCR 

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

Category Ecology, Fisheries, Hydrology
Tags GIS, Permitting