Lead Plant Technician Member - Catalina Island Conservancy

American Conservation Experience

Avalon, California

Job Type Paid Internship
Salary Details 800.00/week
Deadline Jul 13, 2024
Required Experience 0 - 1 years

Invasive Plant Lead Technician Member - Catalina Island Conservancy  

American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with Catalina Island Conservancy (CIC), is seeking one (1) Lead Plant Technician Member to contribute to the Catalina Habitat Improvement & Restoration Program (CHIRP) project alongside CIC Staff.

For more information about ACE, please visit the American Conservation Experience website.

Start Date: Late June 2024
Estimated End Date: December 2024
*a 26-week minimum commitment is required *

Location Details/Description: Santa Catalina Island, California

Santa Catalina Island is one of the southern Channel Islands and is located 30 miles off the coast of Southern California. It's known for its wildlife, dive sites, and Mt. Orizaba, its highest peak. Catalina Island Conservancy, founded in 1972 as a nonprofit organization, is one of the oldest private land trusts in Southern California. It protects 88 percent of Catalina Island, including more than 62 miles of unspoiled beaches and secluded coves - the longest publicly accessible stretch of undeveloped coastline left in Southern California. Catalina Island is home to more than 60 plant, animal, and insect species found nowhere else in the world.

For more information regarding the Catalina Island Conservancy (CIC), please visit their website.

Position Overview:  The Lead Plant Technician will work closely with the Conservation Plant Manager to plan and implement field seasons with a group of interns. The lead technician will accompany the manager in the field in remote and often steep topography, lead groups on their own, and implement the plan of the manager while providing constructive feedback.

  • Lead technician for The Conservancy's plant program.
  • Directly supervise field staff in the absence of the Plant Conservation Manager.
  • Train field staff, interns, and volunteers on standard operating procedures for all programmatic operations.
  • Ensure completion of administrative (e.g., scheduling, correspondence, filing, purchasing, billing) and logistical (e.g., vehicle and equipment maintenance) tasks.
  • Conduct invasive plant treatment and monitoring. Includes manual and chemical (herbicide) treatments. Includes use of spray rig, backpack sprayer, and other application methodologies
  • Conduct field inventories and monitor plant populations.
  • Establish vegetation plots and transects, and measure the quantity and abundance of native and non-native plants.
  • Collect field observations of natural resource conditions.
  • Map native and non-native plant populations by operating a Global Positioning System (GPS) unit. This includes field data collection using ESRI Field Maps
  • Input and update data and produce maps to guide daily field activities.
  • Keep accurate and detailed records of management work.
  • Oversee maintenance of equipment/field gear, vehicles, and project base yard, including proper storage of herbicides.
  • Administer quality control for operations and provide constructive feedback to staff and supervisors.
  • Contribute to creating and preserving a positive work environment and serve as a valued member of the field team.
  • Conduct literature reviews, which may include gathering data and generating summaries or reports.
  • Assist with the production of grant and funding proposals.
  • Perform other duties as needed or assigned. Management reserves the right to assign and re-assign work at its discretion.

This individual placement is meant to facilitate professional development and promote exposure to land management agencies and networking with professionals. This could include gaining experience in different conservation fields and shadowing different work groups.

Schedule: The typical schedule is 5 x 8-hour days a week though schedules may vary as needed. A 4x day 10-hour schedule may be necessary for more remote work. Weekend work will be required occasionally, particularly when volunteer events are held.

Position Benefits

Living Allowance: The ACE Member is expected to contribute ~40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $800.00/week to offset the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly. The living allowance is a fixed rate determined by the CIC and ACE and is not flexible.

Housing: ACE members will be accommodated in provided housing at the CIC, on Santa Catalina Island at no cost for the duration of the term. Please note: housing is in a remote area. Limited cell and internet services are available.

Provided Training/Orientation: ACE members will receive position-specific training and an orientation outlining ACE policies, procedures, and networks for support. Specific training from the CIC may be included related to the position’s needs for success.



  • Members must be a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident, as required by U.S. government contracts
  • Willing and able to represent ACE and the partner organization in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner. 
  • Ability to be both self-directed/work alone, and be a positive, contributing member of a group.
  • A valid driver's license and an insurable driving record (documentation to be provided upon request).
  • Willing to undergo and must pass the required two-part criminal history check.
  • Ability to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.
  • ACE Members will need to complete bi-weekly timesheets, beginning-of-term feedback forms, end-of-term evaluations, and for longer terms, a mid-term evaluation. 
  • Ability to and willingness to work outdoors, in varying weather conditions, participating in physical labor.
  • Written and verbal English proficiency is required.
  • To learn more about eligibility requirements, please visit the American Conservation Experience website.


  • Knowledge of invasive plant management, restoration, and/or plant monitoring.
  • Familiarity with field-based ecological surveys and/or managing plants in rugged terrain.
  • Knowledge of the Microsoft Office suite, including Access.
  • Knowledge of ArcGIS, Google Earth, and GPS.
  • Knowledge of plants in Southern California.
  • Ability and willingness to operate and maintain small, mechanized equipment (chain saws, power sprayers, weed whackers, etc.).
  • Ability and willingness to identify common native and non-native plants/animals.
  • Interpersonal, organizational, and oral and written skills.
  • Ability and willingness to engage in analytical problem-solving.
  • Flexibility, willingness, and ability to learn new tasks and take on new projects.
  • Knowledge of the basic principles of plant ecology and ecosystem science.
  • Ability and willingness to balance a mix of office-based and field-based tasks.
  • Bachelor's degree in botany, plant ecology, or related field, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Ability and willingness to operate a 4-wheel drive vehicle.

Physical Demands, Work Environment, and Working Conditions: 

  • Physical Demands: Requires frequent sitting, standing, walking, hiking, carrying, using hands to handle or feel, reaching with hands and arms, talking, and hearing. Manual dexterity is required for the use of various tools. Required to stoop, kneel, climb stairs, and/or crouch. Ability to hike over rough terrain.
  • Vision Requirements: Requires close, distance, peripheral, and depth perception vision as well as the ability to focus. 
  • Environmental: Work environment conditions can change frequently; working under adverse weather conditions and in various climates.

Environmental Conditions/Hazards:  The ACE member(s) may encounter environmental conditions/hazards including extreme heat or cold, rocky terrain, swamp or wetland conditions, biting insects, and potentially dangerous wildlife. The member is expected to conduct duties in a safe and orderly manner so as not to endanger themself, fellow staff/members, or resources. 

Vehicle and Equipment Use/Safety: If a vehicle is required for the accomplishment of the duties, one will be provided by the CIC or ACE.  Any tools required for the accomplishment of the duties will be provided by the CIC. Use of personal protective equipment (PPE), typically provided by the CIC, will be mandatory for any activity that requires it.  Strict adherence to CIC and ACE equipment training, certification, and safety protocols is required.  


To Apply: Please submit your resume, a cover letter demonstrating your interest and experience, and contact information for three professional/academic references to ACE’s online application page for this position on the American Conservation Experience website. Early consideration will be given as applications are received. This position may close at any time. If you have any questions regarding this position please feel free to contact BLM/FS Division Member Manager, Allison Finch at afinch@usaconservation.org

ACE values an inclusive workforce - if you meet at least 70 percent of the qualifications, we want to hear from you!

ACE participates in E-Verify and will provide the federal government with your Form I-9 information when you are hired to confirm that you are authorized to work in the U.S.

EEO: Employment with ACE is based upon ability, qualifications, attitude, and job-related factors. Every qualified employee or applicant has the same opportunity for recruitment, hire, training, transfer, promotion, compensation, demotion, termination, benefits, employee activities, and general treatment without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, gender, national origin, pregnancy, ancestry, citizenship status, genetic information (including of a family member), veteran or military status, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, medical condition, marital or parental status, political affiliation, ethnicity, hair texture or style, arrest record, caste, hereditary status, endogamy, or any other classification protected by applicable local, state, or federal law.

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

Category Botany, Land Trust, Restoration
Tags GIS, Entomology