AmeriCorps: Invasive Plants Technician (USFS, Humboldt-Toiyabe)

The Great Basin Institute

Multiple Locations, Other

Job Type Temporary
Salary Details $1,350.00 biweekly

Job Description:

Invasive plants have been identified as a major threat to the biological diversity and ecological integrity in and near the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest (HTNF). Invasive plants displace native plants; reduce the forest’s capacity for carbon sequestration; reduce habitat and forage for wildlife and livestock; diminishing populations of threatened, endangered, and sensitive species; alter soil properties and productivity; change the intensity and frequency of wildfires; and impact recreation opportunities.

The Great Basin Institute, in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, is recruiting (15) AmeriCorps Biological Science Technicians to participate in non-native, invasive plant species survey, treatment, and monitoring for the forest's noxious weed control program. The primary focus of this position will be the manual and chemical treatment of invasive and noxious weeds. Most of this work is conducted using backpack sprayers, UTV’s, and large 4WD spray vehicles traveling on remote 4WD roads. Appropriate personal protective equipment will be supplied by the Forest Service and always utilized by Technicians. A tablet with FieldMaps, Avenza Maps, and EDDMapS West will be used to record plant populations. A Garmin InReach device will be provided for added safety measures, depending on location stationed at. 

Primary duties:

  • Treat invasive plant infestations (Treatments primarily involve using herbicides, but may also be accomplished by hand-pulling and/or using hand tools, power tools, mowers, and other standardized control methods);
  • Identify non-native plant species using various field guides and survey methods for target plants;
  • Collect data on infestation location and status;
  • Accurately record data related to invasive plant treatments according to specific protocols; and
  • Perform basic mathematical calculations related to herbicide mixing and applications.

Additional Experience Opportunities:

  • Learning new monitoring methods and participating in range and ecology vegetation surveying.
  • Post fire restoration efforts.
  • Improving GIS skills through database management.
  • Assistance with federal resume building and navigating USAJobs.

Physical Demands:  
Although a small portion of time may be dedicated to data entry and other office tasks, this is primarily a field-based position which requires physical labor and daily hiking. Field work involves driving a Forest Service vehicle on both highways and 4WD roads, as well as hiking off designated trails or routes, across rugged terrain, up to 5 miles per day, but more typically 0-2 mile per day. Manual removal requires regular stooping, standing and maneuvering on uneven terrain for many hours a day. Weather conditions will vary from cold winds and precipitation in the early spring to temperatures over 100F in the summer. The use of global positioning systems (handheld GPS units), computers, tablets, digital cameras, and on- and off-road vehicles are an essential part of the job. Camping under primitive conditions at remote locations may be required for some duty locations. Schedules can vary dependent on project and weather.

  • Lift up to 50-70 pounds of material or equipment
  • Bend, lift, pull, and push
  • Crouch, stoop, kneel, stand, or bend for long periods of time 
  • Drive on highways and 4WD roads.
  • Handle plant material for many hours a day. 
  • Walk and stand for long periods of time on uneven surfaces carrying equipment
  • Be outside in extreme heat or cold (depending upon the season and location)
  • Occasionally work 10+ hour days
  • Travel and camp overnight (dependent on duty location)

Technicians will be provided training including plant identification, herbicide safety, pesticide applicator certification (if applicable), use of tablets and associated software, UTV operation (if applicable), trailer towing (if applicable), and first aid will be provided at the beginning of the field season.

Contract Timeline:

We are hiring different durations at the following lengths:

  • 33-week (1200-hour AmeriCorps Term) duration beginning March 2024
  • 26-week (900-hour AmeriCorps Term) duration beginning April 2024
  • 19-week (675-hour AmeriCorps Term) duration beginning Late May 2024
  • 13-week (450-hour AmeriCorps Term) duration beginning Late May 2024
  • All Positions are Full Time: 40 hours/week


Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest

Available duty locations will be based at some or all the following locations (NV):

  • Santa Rosa Ranger District Office,
  • Carson City Ranger District Office,
  • Wells/Elko Ranger District Office,
  • Ely Ranger District Office,
  • Las Vegas Ranger District Office, &
  • Bridgeport Ranger District Office (CA)

Please state on your cover letter your preferred duty location and availability for the position.

Compensation and Benefits:

  • Living Allowance Stipend: $675/week ($1,350.00 biweekly before taxes)
  • Segal AmeriCorps Education Award: $4,826.50 for 1200-hr term, $3,447.50 for 900-hr term, $2,626.27 for 675-hr term, & $1,824.07 for 450-hr term. (Upon successful completion, the award may be used for past, present, or future educational expenses, including payment of qualifying federal student loans and Title IV accredited college tuition)
  • $20/day field camping per diem when applicable
  • $250 Uniform Stipend
  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance provided at no cost to participant
  • Eligibility for SNAP benefits, Federal Student Loan Forbearance, & Federal Interest Accrual Repayment
  • On-site barrack housing available for all locations at a minimal cost to technicians, that can be discussed during the interview process.
  • Housing stipends will be provided to if barrack housing is unavailable.

Job Qualifications:

Technical requirements:

  • Knowledge and interest in botany and plant identification; 
  • Willingness to utilize chemical herbicide treatment methods, and ability to pass Nevada State Applicator exam (training and study time will be provided prior to the exam);
  • Ability to utilize hand-held GPS units or tablets for navigation and/or data collection preferred, along with basic computer skills;
  • Ability to carry backpack sprayer or up to 30 pounds in a backpack, and otherwise maintain good physical condition;
  • Experience operating 4WD trucks on and off-road, including mountainous forest roads, preferred;
  • Knowledge and experience in operating off highway vehicles such as Utility Terrain Vehicles (UTV) desirable; and
  • Experience with towing and backing-up a trailer, desirable.

Additional requirements: 

  • Ability to self-direct and self-motivate;
  • Possess good organizational skills;
  • Willingness to camp in remote, undeveloped sites for multiple days; 
  • Ability to bend and stoop for long periods of time, and to use hand tools, and occasionally lift heavy loads;
  • Ability to work a non-standard schedule, such as beginning at 5 am, to avoid heat-related issues, to follow plant phenology, or for coordination with team members; 
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both written and orally, with a diverse audience;
  • Strong interpersonal skills and willingness to work as part of a tight knit team (take initiative, and behave in a manner that promotes team integrity);
  • Ability to work independently or in pairs with little supervision, strong initiative and high attention to detail;
  • Tolerant of working in variable weather conditions, willing and able to work outdoors in adverse weather conditions, and able to hike up to 5 miles daily on uneven terrain;
  • Ability to perform physical labor for extended periods of time (e.g., digging, bending over, hauling material, hiking); 
  • Possess a valid, state-issued driver’s license and clean driving record; 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.


To learn more and apply, please visit our site:


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

Category Botany , Restoration
Tags Conservation Corps , GIS , Soil Science