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Research Coordinator position opening with the BHRA

Updated: Jul 6, 2022


The Bighorn River Alliance (BHRA) is an active 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the long-term health of the Bighorn River understanding its importance to the wild trout fishery, the agricultural community, and the Crow Tribe. Currently the organization is seeking qualified individuals to apply for the position of Research Coordinator to join its full-time staff of two in their Billings, MT headquarters.

In 2018, the BHRA launched the Research Initiative (RI) dedicated to increasing the scientific knowledge of the Bighorn River ecosystem. Lack of historic data pertaining to the river’s health, coupled with the absence of sustained monitoring data have made it difficult to develop strategies to respond to challenges facing the river. Under the guidance of a Plans and Priorities report that was developed by an interdisciplinary team led by researcher Warren Kellogg, the BHRA RI program is now in its third year and has completed an impressive array of foundational research. This work is both summarized and contained in full on the BHRA web site.

The research program is directed by Board Research Chair, Dr. Jim Chalmers with assistance from local, state and federal agencies and BHRA staff. The BHRA seeks a well-trained and highly motivated individual who is passionate about our mission to both participate in, and help coordinate and grow, the RI. It is anticipated that the individual would start in the fourth quarter of this year or first quarter, 2022. The individual would be based in Billings but would spend considerable time in the field. Salary will depend on qualifications but will be full time and include retirement benefits and paid sick, holiday and vacation leave.


  • Applicants should have broad-based graduate level training at the MS or PhD level in the ecological and/or biological sciences pertaining to watershed management, conservation and restoration. Some specialized expertise in one or more of the relevant disciplines (water quality, macroinvertebrates, fisheries, aquatic vegetation, geomorphology, hydrology) is also expected.

  • Applicants should have strong communication skills evidenced by written work product and presentation materials.

  • Applicants should have solid interpersonal skills appropriate to outreach to various stakeholders and agency partners and to appropriate professional scientific communities.

  • Applicant should have excellent command of data analysis tools and the ability to apply them to identify biological trends and ecosystem relationships.

  • Applicant should have a demonstrated interest and experience in watershed related field research.

  • Applicant should have thorough knowledge of project management concepts such as: establishing goals and objectives, developing work plans, managing schedules, coordination of operations and project evaluation.

  • Applicant must be proficient with computer software programs including MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint and relevant statistical/analysis packages.

  • Applicant must have the ability to work in a fast-paced, small-staff environment.

Job Description—the successful applicant should anticipate involvement in a wide variety of activities, some of which might include:

  • Develop contractor scopes of work and contracts and provide oversight of progress and results.

  • Assist monitoring and sampling activities in water quality, macroinvertebrates, and aquatic vegetation.

  • Analyze the thousands of observations of catch data collected by guides using the FishPop app. See the web site for details.

  • Work with fisheries biologists at MFWP and with the FishPop data base to examine relationships pertaining to species composition, size distribution, age and other characteristics of the fishery.

  • Help identify, prioritize, and secure funding for habitat restoration projects.

  • Develop summary materials and presentations that effectively communicate the objectives and progress of the RI to diverse audience groups.

Hiring Process

Applicants should email a CV together with a letter of interest to the executive director at by September 1, 2021. Finalists would be invited for interview this fall which would include a 30 minute presentation on a relevant topic of the applicant’s choice. Start date is anticipated to be fourth quarter 2021 or first quarter 2022.

Applicant qualifications, job description and application procedure available below for download.

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