Research Associate
Montana State University - Bozeman, MT

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The Institute on Ecosystems (IoE) is a Montana community of scholars and partners with a shared vision to advance integrated environmental sciences and related fields. We draw on the extraordinary landscapes of Montana and beyond to understand complex ecosystems including the interconnectedness of people and nature. The IoE is the flagship program of the current Montana NSF EPSCoR RII award. It is a first-of-its-kind experiment for Montana to build a state-wide institute on ecosystem sciences. The vision is the creation of an institute that is accessible and promotes inclusion to all institutions of higher education within the state, state agencies, NGOs, and private industry with interests in ecosystem sciences. Its role is to serve as a research and education portal on ecosystem sciences to the citizens of Montana and the nation in general.

Duties and

The candidate hired for this position will work with a multi-institutional group of researchers to document the movements and distribution of lake trout throughout Yellowstone Lake through the use of acoustic telemetry. The selected individual will also assist in setting up large-scale positioning arrays to document spawning behavior of lake trout at specific sites. The position will be based in Bozeman, MT from late October through late May, and be based in Yellowstone National Park from late May through mid-October, depending on weather. During the remainder of the year, the research associate will assist with data management and analysis to be included in annual reports, peer reviewed literature, and scientific presentation. During the field season, the candidate will be expected to supervise volunteers and complete field operations on Yellowstone Lake. Typical tasks to be completed will be deploy and download acoustic receivers throughout the lake on a bi-monthly basis, surgically implant fish with acoustic transmitters, gather water quality data, complete mobile surveys for acoustically tagged fish, conduct SCUBA surveys of suspected spawning sites, and interact with the public/give presentations to small groups when requested. There will also be the opportunity to collaborate with researchers concerning lake trout embryo survival.


Successful completion of a four year course of study leading to a bachelor’s degree with major study in biology, ecology, wildlife and fisheries, or statistics

Experience working on the water in adverse conditions

Willingness to live in a remote location (Yellowstone National Park) for five to six months of the year (May/June through October)


Skills working with R, Matlab, Access, Excel, and GIS

MOCC boat operation certification and experience handling small watercraft.

SCUBA certified and cold water diving experience

Telemetry experience including implanting transmitters using standard approved surgical procedures.

The Successful
Candidate Will

  • be a highly effective communicator that demonstrates excellent leadership skills and establishes sound working relationships;
  • have strong hiking, backpacking, and wilderness camping skills, and be comfortable in remote wilderness settings with limited human contact;
  • ensure for the well-being of subordinates and co-workers and promote a safe working environment;
  • have excellent problem solving skills, and be able to maintain equipment and gear;
  • be detail-oriented, and be able to implement complex projects to preserve and restore native fish in remote watersheds.


    In accordance with MSU policy, hiring will be conditional upon successful completion of a pre-employment background check.


    Screening of applications will begin on September 15, 2014, and will continue to be accepted until an adequate pool is established.


    To apply, submit the following :
    • (1) a letter of application addressing all of the above required and preferred qualifications, and
    • (2) a current resume or vitae, and
    • (3) the names, addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses of three current professional references.

      Electronic submissions in PDF format are preferred, and must have the applicant's signature on the letter of application. For electronic submittals, please indicate "Applicant - Search #15-845" in the subject line of the email.
      • Submit materials to:

      • Diane Eagleson
      • Budget and Fiscal Manager
      • Montana Institute on Ecosystems
      • Montana State University
      • PO Box 173490
      • Bozeman MT 59717-3490
      • (406)994-2374

        In order to receive Veterans Preference during the application review process, it is highly recommended that the required forms are included at the time you submit your application materials. Click here for the forms and information regarding Veterans Preference. Important note : Your preference form is submitted to a different location than your application materials. A DD214 is not a required document.

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Founded in 1893, Montana State University - Bozeman has a national and international reputation for its excellence in undergraduate and...