Botany Crew Lead - CA National Forests (USFS)

The Great Basin Institute

Various, California

Job Type Temporary
Salary Details $26/hour with overtime at 1.5x hourly rate
Required Experience 2 - 6 years

The Great Basin Institute, in cooperation with the USFS, is recruiting multiple Botany Crew Leads to perform and help manage vegetation surveys within the Sierra Nevada mountain range (USFS Region-5 locations). These projects all serve the Basin & Range Forestry program’s greater mission of helping the USFS in their critical goal of improving forest resilience in the face of worsening climate conditions and increased wildfire threats. The work that you will do directly improves the quality of these forests helping ensure they continue to thrive for generations to come. 

Botany Crew Leads will assist agency staff and crew members in conducting botanical surveys to establish distributional occurrences of targeted species and populations in designated project sites and access routes. Data from these surveys will inform mitigation measures set to protect targeted plant species, measures to disrupt the prevalence of invasive species, and protect vegetation communities considered habitat for designated wildlife. Crew Leads will be responsible for crew safety and oversight, including coordination of daily tasks and affiliated project and crew needs, provide or assist in training, communicate frequently with agency staff to plan and assess crew accomplishments, and communicate with GBI staff as needed. Specific duties include, but are not limited to: 

  • Botanical surveys to determine species identity, population characteristics, environmental conditions, factors affecting vigor and extent of species and their habitat;
  • Laying out of monitoring plots;
  • Photograph or collect specimens; 
  • Produce maps of survey areas; 
  • Record, enter and summarize data; 
  • Use botanical keys to identify plants; and 
  • Assist with reporting tasks

Contract Timeline:-Tentatively: May – November
-Projects are weather dependent, therefore start and end dates vary according to local conditions and individual project needs

Forestry Crew Lead positions are open across many National Forests in various locations. Position locations include the following National Forests and Management Units: Tahoe, Sequoia, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, Eldorado, Lassen, Plumas, Klamath, Mendocino, Stanislaus, Sierra, Inyo.

Preferred location placement is not guaranteed and final placement will be dependent on the various needs of the National Forests.

Compensation and Benefits:
-Wage: $26/hour with overtime at 1.5x hourly rate. Full time, average 40 hours per week
-Health, dental, vision Insurance premiums covered 100% by GBI (equivalent to approximately $350/month); health, dental and vision insurance is available on the first day of the month following the start of employment
-Shared housing provided (equivalent to approximately $1000/month); housing stipend not provided if shared housing is denied by employee
-Camping per diem: $15/night as necessary (infrequent)
Uniform Stipend

Job Qualifications:

At least one of the following:

  • Bachelor’s degree in botany, plant ecology, or a closely related field in the biological sciences, including coursework in plant taxonomy and/or systematics AND one year of botany related field work; OR 
  • Three years of professional fieldwork experience. 


  • Proficiency in navigation using GPS, topographic map and compass; 
  • Experience conducting rare plant surveys and other botanical field work;
  • Experience using technical keys to identify plants to the species or subspecies level;
  • Possess a clean, valid, state-issued driver’s license with the ability to safely operate and maintain a 4WD vehicle on and off paved roads; 
  • Ability to work effectively in a team setting with USFS staff, GBI staff, interns, volunteers, academic, state, and federal partners; 
  • Ability to work safely and productively in remote field settings under adverse conditions. This includes occasionally overnight camping in remote areas for consecutive nights; 
  • Ability to understand, implement and adhere to established data collection, inventory, assessment, and monitoring protocols; 
  • Capacity to collect and maintain field data in an organized manner that is easily understood and accessible to other resource staff;
  • Strong organizational skills and ability to work cooperatively as well as independently; 
  • Strong communication skills with diverse audiences, both written and oral; and 
  • Physically fit to work outdoors, carry up to 50 pounds of personal and/or field equipment, and withstand the rigors of a forested and/or high desert environment in all seasons.


  • Experience leading crews in the field, including oversight of crew safety, communication, fidelity to methods and data quality; 
  • Familiarity with, and interest in, resource management issues of western states and the ecology of the Sierra Nevada ecoregion;
  • Knowledge of the flora of the Eastern Sierra/Great Basin transition zone;
  • Experience using ArcGIS to create maps; and
  • Advance skill using other specialized software.

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Category Botany , Ecology
Tags GIS