Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Montana Wildlife
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Montana Wildlife Project

Sage Grouse & Grazing Study

March 2017 - October 2018


Participating Agencies

  • Montana Fish, Wildlife, & Parks

The 8 Research Assistant IIs (sage-grouse field technicians) and 1 Research Assistant III (field crew leader) will work on the greater sage-grouse (hereafter sage-grouse) grazing evaluation project in central Montana. This study is assessing biological responses of sage-grouse hens and chicks, and sage-grouse habitat, to large-scale grazing treatments. This collaborative project is led by State staff Dr. Lorelle Berkeley, Research Wildlife Biologist, and Mark Szczypinski, Research Technician, and Dr. David Naugle, Professor, College of Forestry and Conservation, The University of Montana.

The field crew leader will supervise 4 sage-grouse field technicians as well as assist with field work as described above. Mark Szczypinski will supervise all technicians, including the field crew leader, and Lorelle Berkeley will supervise Mark and help supervise the entire field crew. Field conditions include extreme temperatures and other adverse conditions, driving in a truck on low maintenance roads several hours a day, require technicians to work alone in remote locations or in teams, and may require hiking several miles a day to monitor birds or get to vegetation sampling points. The work schedule is dynamic and demanding, including early morning or late night work and unpredictable days off due to weather.