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Consider Joining the Crew at NPARL!

Permanent Job VacanciesTemporary Job VacanciesSummer/Seasonal Job VacanciesInternshipsApplication InfoFederal EmploymentDisability ResourcesCommunity Information

The Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory presents a range of noteworthy and fascinating vocations as well as temporary employment for students and post-docs. NPARL is located in a family-friendly rural area and is approximately 50 miles from two community colleges: Williston State College, Williston, ND and Dawson Community College, Glendive, MT. Sidney is one of the larger towns in eastern Montana, just 11 miles from the North Dakota border and surrounded by several smaller communities. Eastern Montana offers a pleasant, desirable lifestyle - friendly community, abundant outdoor recreational opportunities, outstanding school systems, and rewarding career possibilities. And the work environment is equally inviting as reflected in our history. Our lab was awarded the Outstanding Regional Laboratory by the Federal Lab Consortium in 2003. You can click here to check out other awards and recognitions. We have regular gatherings that enhance employee morale through holiday celebrations, potluck lunches, and other functions. To learn more about the surrounding community for our location click here for convenient links to key websites for schools, businesses and more.

Permanent Job Vacancies at NPARL

Pending final approval, these permanent job vacancies will be advertised on Interested parties can sign up on to receive notices regarding these and other non-seasonal job openings at NPARL. See below for links to websites listing openings at other ARS or federal facilities.

Title: Biological Science Technician

Announcement #:


Pay Grade:

GS 7 (promotion potential GS 9)


$43,251 to $56,222 per year

Work Schedule:

Full Time

Open Period:

08/17/2020 - 09/14/2020


Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement including specialized experience and/or education, as defined below.



This position is located in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory in Sidney, MT

The incumbent will be responsible for conducting an experiment or research project related to plants; collecting or evaluating plant samples; maintaining records of scientific data; and operating or maintaining laboratory or field equipment.

  • Collects and evaluates plants for identification at species levels, plant community data, plant physiology traits, and fire energy data in support of research.
  • Assists with research related to recovery of degraded, damaged, or invaded ecosystems.
  • Observes the interaction between ecosystems and fires.
  • Assists in research performing plant community sampling, outdoor work in rough terrain and harsh weather conditions, operating machinery, greenhouse plant propagation, measuring plant carbon and physiological processes.
  • Locates and compiles data related to research on plants or ecology.
  • Maintains, calibrates and modifies complex/specialized equipment and automated systems used for test and evaluation procedures.
  • Tabulates, statistically analyzes and summarizes data using personal computers and software packages.
  • Initiates action to resolve or correct technical difficulties and results found in the experimental process and recommends resolution to supervisor.
  • Compile geo-referenced data from publicly available databases.
  • Occasional travel may be required.
Apply: Read the entire announcement and all instructions before you begin the application process. All documents will be submitted electronically by 11:59p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement. See more on the web at

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Temporary Job Vacancies at NPARL (Term positions)

USDA, Agricultural Research Service, the Northern Plains Agricultural Laboratory located in Sidney, MT, currently has no temporary positions open. Please see seasonal employment.

Summer/Seasonal & Temporary Vacancies at NPARL:

Summer Employment: The Northern Plains Agriculture Research Lab hires a varying number of students each year for summer positions. Those interested must be 18 years of age by the time work begins. Summer employment generally runs from mid-May through mid-August. Flexible schedules are available; wages are based on qualifications with a minimum of $10.86 per hour. Successful applicants will assist with various research projects including plot preparation and maintenance, plant harvesting and sample preparation and maintenance, sample and seed sorting, processing for analysis and storage, cleaning field instruments and equipment, keeping simple records of work accomplished, collecting grasshoppers and rangeland plants, working on Mormon cricket research and assisting with lab experiments.

Other Seasonal Employment: In addition to summer jobs, NPARL also hires other seasonal help throughout the year as needed. To apply for either summer or other seasonal positions:

Submit a generic application and additional work experience (if applicable) by mail, or drop off at the address below. Please call (406) 433-2020 if you have any questions. Applications are accepted all year round or until all available positions are filled.

Attn: Nikki Dahl, Administrative Officer
1500 North Central Ave.
Sidney, MT 59270
Please Note: Once a summer job offer has been made, all selected applicants must complete a Declaration for Federal Employment form (OF306) (PDF; 92KB) which is linked here for your convenience.

Student Internships at NPARL:

Student Internship positions under the Pathways Program are open at NPARL periodically as funding becomes available. Click here to see a listing of Pathways Program Student Internships in the Plains Area (PA) and read below for information on how to apply. Additionally, all Pathways Internships are posted to the website (filter results by using Pathways in keyword search or using the left-hand links).

​For more information you may contact NPARL's Administrative Officer.

What are the key requirements to participate?

Who is eligible to participate?

Who is qualified to participate?

How do I apply for an internship? If accepted for an internship, students will then need to provide the following:1. Proof of enrollment in the college2. Certified transcript3. Verification for US citizen or permanent residency For more information on either summer employment or student internships, please contact NPARL Administration Office at 406.433.2020.

Other ARS and Federal Employment:

USDA/ARS is an Equal Opportunity Employer and Provider. If you are seeking seasonal employment you may submit a general application at our laboratory.
ARS Careers Web Site: Information regarding career opportunities for permanent and temporary employees.
ARS Careers Information Web Site: Information presented here was designed to help those not currently in the Federal service better understand the Federal hiring process.
USA Jobs Web Site: The official job site of the United States Government.
USDA/ARS is an Equal Opportunity Employer and Provider. Useful tools for preparing your application:

You must include a statement in your application that you are a U.S. citizen and return your application to the office listed in the job description. Note: Applications for permanent positions cannot be accepted at the Sidney office. If you have questions you may contact NPARL Administration Office at 406-433-2020.

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Career Opportunities

The links below are to current ARS job openings listed at the official job site of the US Federal Government, USAJOBS.

ARS openings in Sidney, MT
ARS openings in Montana
ARS openings nationwide