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Botany Field Team Lead

The Great Basin Institute

Torrey ,  Utah
Botany

In cooperation with the National Park Service and Capitol Reef National Park, the Great Basin Institute is recruiting a Botany Field Team Lead to join our AmeriCorps program. The Botany Field Team Lead will support the Capitol Reef National Park Division of Resource Management & Science and serve as a member of the rare plant monitoring crew assisting resource staff with surveys and demographic monitoring of three federally listed plant species. Survey work requires attention to detail, long hours in the field in remote areas of the park, hiking off trail 2 to 10 miles per day, camping and possibly backpacking. Office work consists of downloading data from the GPS units into an ArcGIS geodatabase, labeling photos, and summarizing datasets in an Excel spreadsheet. 

Primary survey responsibilities includes conducting field work associated with rare plant surveys and demographic monitoring; training in field data collection protocols and methodologies will be provided. A general knowledge of plants of the southwest is helpful but is not required. Field Team members will utilize GPS units to navigate to field locations and to record data using data dictionaries. Upon return to the office, Field Team members will use computer software, including Excel and ArcGIS, to organize, manage and summarize field data. Collectively, the field team will manage and maintain gear, tools and other NPS equipment needed to do the field work, as well as ensure that GBI and NPS safety protocols are followed.

The Field Lead will also take responsibility to effectively guide, mentor, and work with the other interns on the rare plant monitoring crew to ensure monitoring and safety protocols are adhered to. Additionally, the Lead will help to educate crew members on plant communities and with plant species identification. The Lead will also transport crew and equipment safely on high clearance dirt roads in NPS four-wheel drive vehicles and assist with completing weekly reporting of accomplishments. The Field Lead will serve as a liaison between the field team and GBI/NPS staff and therefore should have the ability to effectively communicate any problems that arise with project implementation. As well, the Lead will work to ensure that all AmeriCorps, GBI, NPS policies are adhered to.

The Lead may also assist natural resource staff with spotted owl and peregrine falcon surveys, invasive plant control and/or cultural resource monitoring. Interns will be supervised by the park Biologist.

A general knowledge of plants of the southwest would be helpful but is not required. Survey work involves hiking off designated trails or routes, across rugged terrain, up to 10 miles per day, but more typically 2-6 miles per day, and may also require field camping and possibly backpacking. Weather conditions will vary from cold winds or rain in the early spring to temperatures nearing 100o F in the summer. Other challenging field conditions include high winds and gnats or other biting insects. Experience driving four-wheel drive vehicles on high clearance, dirt roads would be beneficial, but is not essential.

Timeline  

  • 18-week appointment (20 March – 21 July 2016)

Compensation

  • Living Allowance: $9,950 (allocated biweekly)
  • Education Award: $2,199.92 (May be used for past, present or future educational expenses, including payment of qualifying federal student loans.)
  • No-cost medical, dental and vision benefits provided
  • Housing: The Park will provide housing in a 5-6-bedroom dormitory. The intern will have a private room with a shared bath, shared kitchen and common areas. The dormitory includes all appliances, coin-operated washer and dryer, some kitchen pots, pans and dishes, and internet service. Heat, electricity and water are included. A phone is available in each dorm and long distance calls can be made with a calling card. Housing is located approximately a 5-minute walk from the duty station.

Location

Capitol Reef National Park is located near Torrey, UT. The location is remote. The nearest gas station is 10 miles away and the nearest grocery store is approximately 35 miles away. A personal vehicle is required for travel/transport outside of work. There is currently no cell service in housing or near the duty station and it is spotty in other locations. Reliable cellular service is usually only found when nearing Torrey. The intern should find living in a remote location desirable. Located in the heart of red rock country, Capitol Reef NP is filled with cliffs, canyons, domes and bridges. In addition to unique geological resources, the park also has a rich cultural history.

Qualifications

Technical requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Botany, Plant Taxonomy or other related field, or combination of related coursework in and direct experience and knowledge of plant taxonomy and ecology, including use of technical botanical keys (dichotomous plant key without pictures);
  • Familiarity with plants of the Colorado Plateau, including rare, sensitive, threatened and endangered plants, preferable;
  • Familiarity with, or proven ability and desire to learn, specific State and Federal laws and Park Service policies related to plants;
  • Experience (one year) conducting floristic field surveys or vegetation monitoring (e.g., repeat photography, or transect and quadrat systematic sampling);
  • Experience working with hand-held GPS equipment for navigation and data collection;
  • Knowledge of GIS software (highly desirable, but not required);
  • Experience with technical writing and/or producing written project/grant reports;
  • Experience using digital cameras and computer software (e.g., Microsoft Word, Access, Excel); and
  • Meet AmeriCorps eligibility requirements: (1) U.S. citizenship or legal resident alien status, (2) eligible to receive an AmeriCorps Education Award (limit of four in a lifetime or the equivalent of two full-time education awards), (3) pass National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW) and federal criminal background checks, (4) adhere to the rules, regulations and code of conduct as specified in the Member Service Agreement; and (5) not engage in any prohibited activities as listed in the Member Service Agreement.

Additional requirements

  • Experience leading/guiding field technicians and/or volunteer groups to complete field tasks;
  • Ability to work productively both independently and as part of a team to accomplish mutual goals;
  • Ability to communicate effectively with team members, GBI and agency staff, and a diverse public;
  • Ability to perform physical labor for extended periods of time (e.g., digging, bending over, hauling material, hiking);
  • Ability to work in harsh and rapidly changing environments, work in all types of weather conditions, traverse uneven terrain, carry upwards of 40 pounds in a backpack, and otherwise maintain good physical condition;
  • Willingness to spend multiple days camping in the field, if necessary;
  • Good organizational skills; and
  • Valid, state-issued driver’s license; clean driving record; and ability to safely operate a 4WD truck on paved and unpaved roads, including narrow, mountain forest roads.

How to Apply

Please follow this link to apply directly through our online portal: http://crcareers.thegreatbasininstitute.org/careers/careers.aspx?rf=CONSBOARD&req=2017-ACI-002

The Great Basin Institute conforms to all the laws, statutes, and regulations concerning equal employment opportunities and affirmative action. We strongly encourage women, minorities, individuals with disabilities and veterans to apply to all of our job openings. We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin, age, disability status, Genetic Information & Testing, Family & Medical Leave, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. We prohibit Retaliation against individuals who bring forth any complaint, orally or in writing, to the employer or the government, or against any individuals who assist or participate in the investigation of any complaint or otherwise oppose discrimination.



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