Invasive Plants Vegetation Technician (AmeriCorps)

Great Basin Institute

Redding, California

Job Type AmeriCorps
Salary Details Living Allowance: $8,500.00. Education Award: $1,678.00.

The Great Basin Institute (GBI) is working cooperatively with the National Park Foundation and the National Park Service (NPS) at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area (WHIS) to recruit 2 Vegetation Technicians to conduct invasive plant management. 

The GBI vegetation technicians will work with NPS staff to monitor and control invasive plants in visitor use areas at WHIS to encourage native vegetation recovery. The crew season will run from July to October. The crew will work outdoors in a variety of environmental conditions (heat, cold, insects, etc.).  

Field work will contribute to a multi-year effort to control invasive plants in the post-fire environment at WHIS. Training and support will be provided for all duties.  

Specific duties include:

  • Be a productive member of the WHIS invasive plant project;
  • Assist with both manual and herbicide treatments of invasive plants under the training and supervision of park staff;
  • Properly identify vascular plant species and utilize dichotomous keys;  
  • Estimate cover of vascular plants;
  • Collect and prepare voucher specimens of difficult taxa for later identification;
  • Assist with field data collection, data entry, and QA/QC; 
  • Maintain field equipment and tools;
  • Participate in GBI or partner-sponsored training opportunities; and
  • Monitor site-specific conditions and report safety concerns to the crew lead.

General field duties include walking long distances over uneven terrain, off-trail, often in dense vegetation; navigating off-trail with map compass and GPS; collecting vegetation data using established procedures; ensuring the consistency of data quality during the field season; treating invasive vegetation; and maintaining safety awareness and practices.

The successful applicants must have strong communication skills (both verbal and written) and exhibit strong teamwork and organization skills. Office tasks are only about 5% of work but include data organization, processing and QA/QC; and compiling concise field notes. The weekly field schedule is intended to be 9-hour days (generally Monday-Thursday), plus an 8-hour day every other Friday. Changing conditions may also require flexibility in set schedules. 

Contract Timeline:

  • 3-4 month appointment starting in April 2023
  • Full time

Whiskeytown NRA was directly impacted by the 2018 Carr Fire. Work completed by the vegetation team will help to address recovery of vegetation after this fire and aid in the management of park vegetation going forward. Read more about Whiskeytown NRA and the Carr Fire here: https://www.nps.gov/whis/carrfire.htm 

Whiskeytown National Recreation Area is home to a diverse assemblage of plant species, due in part to the park's location within the Klamath Mountain physiographic province and its proximity to the Cascade Mountains, Coast Range, and Sacramento Valley. The park's broad range in elevation, rugged topography, numerous soil types, and history of natural and human disturbance also contribute to the park's species richness. The park's many plant communities often intergrade with one another forming indistinct boundaries across the landscape. In general, these communities can be lumped into seven broad categories: Knobcone Pine, Chaparral, Mixed Oak Woodlands, Blue Oak Grasslands, Ponderosa Pine, Mixed Conifer, and Riparian.

Whiskeytown NRA is located in the heart of Northern California. Opportunities are abundant in the area for recreation including boating, camping, hiking, birding, and fishing. Whiskeytown is also near the town of Redding, CA which can provide access to all large town amenities.

Compensation and Benefits:

  • Living Allowance $8500 (pre-tax)
  • Education Award $1,678 (can be used for past, present, or future educational expenses such as federal student loans)
  • Paid health insurance, inclusive of all seasonal positions (medical, dental and vision)
  • Paid holidays and personal leave
  • Eligibility for Student Loan Forbearance, SNAP benefits

Job Qualifications:

  • Undergraduate degree in botany, ecology, or a closely related field;
  • Coursework in plant taxonomy and/or systematics, botany, or forestry;
  • Ability to identify native and non-native plants of California and the Pacific Northwest; 
  • Familiarity with ecological processes, and flora of California and the Pacific Northwest;
  • Experience in performing field work, and applying methodological protocols for collecting data;
  • Experience with data entry and data management;
  • Experience using hand-held GPS for navigation;
  • Experience with tablet data collection and experience with Collector or other databases; 
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both written and orally, with a diverse audience
  • Willingness to assist with invasive plant management using herbicide treatments and manual methods; and
  • Willingness to work long days and hike long distances in rugged terrain under variable weather conditions, including extreme heat.

Additional requirements:

  • Possess a valid, state-issued driver’s license and clean driving record; 
  • Experience operating 4WD trucks on paved and unpaved roads, particularly with unimproved roads;
  • Possess a commitment to personal and team member safety, and communicate perceived safety threats immediately;
  • Ability to work independently to accomplish goals;
  • Ability to communicate effectively with team members, agency staff, and a diverse public;
  • Possess good organizational skills;
  • Possess a favorably adjudicated background clearance; and
  • Must be motivated, self-directed, organized, and detail oriented in order to balance multiple tasks simultaneously.

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Category Botany, General / Stewardship, Restoration
Tags Conservation Corps, Soil Science