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Field Botany and Quantitative Forest Ecology, Summer-Fall 2017

Texas Conservation Science, Inc.

Austin ,  Texas

Texas Conservation Science, Inc. (TCS), a 23-year old nonprofit corporation based in Austin, seeks internship and entry-level applicants for a summer position in applied ecological research. The focus is flood-inundation dynamics within riparian forests and other floodplain habitats. The primary task for the current opening is native plant identification within the middle Trinity River and Little Cypress Bayou basins of east Texas. Other tasks include, but are not limited to, quantitative field ecology, GPS, tape-and-compass surveys, and extensive tree-core collection and analysis related to riparian forest productivity.

DUTIES: The primary project this year examines out-of-bank river flows needed to sustain riparian forests and other floodplain habitats. Starting in 2009, TCS has developed tools to quantify environmental-flow requirements to sustain floodplain habitats and ecosystem processes. The empirical methods involve wetted-surface classification of Landsat imagery during multiple flow events, habitat mapping, baseline plant-species inventories to initiate long-term riparian forest monitoring, and related hydrological and regression analyses. Prior work on the project includes the Brazos, Guadalupe, Trinity, Cypress-Caddo, Sabine, and Neches river basins in Texas. With State and some private funding, TCS is currently expanding this riparian research network to encompass 14 long-term research stations within the first four of the above river basins.

EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE/SKILLS: Undergraduates, graduating seniors, college graduates, and others are encouraged to apply. Experience is required in east Texas native plant identification, including trees, shrubs, dicot herbs, grasses, sedges, etc. Also important is experience or strong interest in quantitative field methods in terrestrial plant ecology, and Excel data entry and analysis. Successful applicants will be conscientious self-starters with excellent communication skills, who demonstrate independent work and timely project completion.

CONDITIONS: The work week averages 40 hours for 4-5 months starting July 2017. A flexible field schedule is necessary, in order to avoid inclement weather, etc. Field trips normally do not exceed five days and include camping at state parks and other established campgrounds. Though flexible, charge hours are usually limited to eight per day in the field, to account for down time when accessing remote sites, etc. Charging more than eight hours per day or 40 hours per week must be pre-approved and is normally compensated by paid leave.

Field assistants are TCS employees subject to federal tax withholding, employer FICA match, and annual W-2 IRS reporting. The hourly wage is $12-16, depending on experience. Liability insurance is provided, but not health insurance and other benefits for temporary positions.

PROJECT SUPERVISOR:   Tom Hayes, Ph.D., Executive Director, TCS.

Email applications are required. Please apply immediately, since applications have priority in order of receipt. As soon as possible, we expect to fill 1-2 positions. Due to potentially large number of applicants, TCS may only respond to those who are well qualified.

Please email cover letter, resume, and contact information for three references to Dr. Tom Hayes. Email:

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

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