406-793-3900 | info@blackfootchallenge.org


Seeking Outreach & Monitoring Technician for Water Program

Terms: Seasonal, part-time position working 20-25 hours per week through December 1; $15/hour, monthly cell phone stipend, travel & mileage reimbursed
Deadline: Position opened until filled, application review begins July 15, 2020
Start Date: Immediately

POSITION DESCRIPTION: The Blackfoot Challenge is seeking a part-time, seasonal water stewardship and drought response technician to support coordination and expansion of the Blackfoot Drought Response program. This is a pilot position for 2020, with hopes that it may be expanded into 2021. This position will report to the Water Steward.

During active drought response, the Blackfoot Drought Response Plan directs the Drought Committee to provide assistance to water users in implementing their individual drought response plans. To the extent allowed by the availability of funding and field staff, the plan also specifies that the Committee should conduct field checks during implementation of drought response and review at least 10 individual plans each year. As drought becomes more persistent and the Blackfoot looks to integrate more participants under the Milltown water right’s 1904 priority date, plan implementation monitoring will demand more resources and capacity. Blackfoot Drought Response Partners – including the Blackfoot Challenge, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, and Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes – are recommending a plan to monitor and improve drought response participation that includes a seasonal field technician who can build trust with and support Blackfoot water users.

WORK LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS: The Water Program Technician is based in the Blackfoot watershed, working from the Ovando office, in the field, and from home. Travel is required. The ideal candidate must be comfortable working from home with minimal supervision.

SCOPE OF WORK: Drought response coordination requires staff capacity in drought years as well as non-drought years. During active drought response, the Water Program Technician will focus on helping landowners follow their individual conservation plans and on monitoring the response. In non-drought years, the technician will help develop new plans to integrate water rights impacted by the Milltown priority date and monitor restoration project benefits to stream flows. Duties will include:

  • Review individual drought plans for changes to water rights, ownership and irrigation infrastructure. Work with plan holders and Blackfoot Challenge to update plans.
  • During active drought response, make contact with and visit participants to support and monitor their participation.
  • Monitor and measure stream flow conditions. Based on landowner interest and requests, install water measuring devices as needed (staff gages, weirs, etc.).
  • Conduct community outreach on the Drought Response Plan and Milltown water right.
  • Identify new water conservation opportunities (short-term or long-term).
  • Help new participants develop individual water conservation plans.
  • Support drought response implementation tracking and record-keeping. Document best practices that can be shared with other watersheds and drought coordinators.


  • Strong commitment to community-based conservation, collaboration, the Blackfoot watershed, and the mission of the Blackfoot Challenge.
  • Appreciation of watershed conservation and public/private partnerships.
  • Capacity to develop innovative and creative solutions to problems.
  • Highest level of personal and professional integrity, including honesty and humility.
  • Willingness and desire to be a team player within a collaborative work culture.
  • A strong work ethic and ability to work independently.
  • Good listener and ability to communicate with diverse watershed stakeholders.
  • A great sense of humor.


  • A Bachelor’s degree in a related natural resource or conservation field.
  • Education and/or professional background in water resources, water rights, irrigation systems and watershed stewardship.
  • Experience with community outreach and communications, particular with rural and agricultural communities.
  • Ability to use office technology like email, Microsoft office suite, online document storage systems, computers, telephones, and printers.
  • Experience with streamflow monitoring a plus.
  • Ability to work long hours outside in all weather conditions, walk 3+ miles over uneven terrain, and lift 50lbs.
  • Travel required; must possess a valid driver’s license and personal vehicle.

This position is a partnership of the Blackfoot Challenge and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

TO APPLY: Please submit a cover letter and resume in one combined pdf document to Jennifer at jennifer@blackfootchallenge.org with subject line of “Water Program Technician Application.”  

QUESTIONS: Submit questions to Jennifer@blackfootchallenge.org, email inquiries only please.

The Blackfoot Challenge will conduct background checks on all final candidates, and offers of employment are contingent upon those results. In order to provide equal employment and advancement opportunities to all individuals, employment decisions at the Blackfoot Challenge will be based on merit, qualifications, and abilities. The Blackfoot Challenge does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices because of race, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, military status, or mental or physical disability.

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