NISC Crew Leader

Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation

Elizabeth, Illinois

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details $20 + an hour
Required Experience 2 - 6 years


  • Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Resource Management, Forestry, Environmental Science or related field.
  • Three or more years training in natural resource management or work in natural resource-related field.
  • Ability to identify invasive and non-native herbaceous and woody plant species.
  • Experience operating and maintaining various types of equipment including chainsaws, herbicide applicators, tractors, trucks, trailers, and ATVs.
  • Ability to lead educational and outreach activities geared toward the general public as needs arise.
  • Ability to perform arduous physical work in difficult terrain.
  • Ability to lead a crew of 3 to 4, while fostering a community mentality (safe, professional, collaborative, and growth oriented)

The Restoration Crew Leader supervises and leads a crew in the control of invasive and non-native plants from conservation areas owned or managed by members of the Northwest Illinois Stewardship Cooperative (NISC), and private landowners. The Restoration Crew Leader will implement invasive exotic plant management control methods using integrated pest management strategies. Control strategies will include manual, mechanical, prescribed fire, and chemical techniques. This position may use accurate and detailed data collection to plan and report invasive species management using Geographical Information Systems (GIS).

This may include one or more of the following functions:

  • Removes exotic species using manual, mechanical, prescribed fire, and chemical techniques
  • Documents stewardship activities and/or monitors species using computers and handheld electronic equipment
  • Serve in varying roles on prescribed burns
  • Maintains tools and equipment
  • Assists with preparing reports and presentations
  • Upkeep and digitization of daily logs (timesheets, herbicide use)
  • Communicate status of projects to Program Director
  • Obtain job requirements from Program Director and communicate to crew
  • Identify potential additional or follow up work
  • Adapt job plans in the face of changing work environments
  • Assists with research and gathering of information on invasive species
  • Assist with designing and leading workshops and educational events for the general public
  • In inclement weather assist the Program Director with various office tasks i.e. management plan writing, n, data entry, and GIS mapping as needed


  • 3+ years training in a Natural Resources related field or related experience in land management.
  • Experience working with or knowledge of natural systems.  Ability to recognize plant and animal species.
  • Ability to operate various types of equipment in a safe and efficient manner (e.g.; chainsaw, tractor, pumper units, ATV, 4-wheel drive vehicle, brush cutter, etc.)
  • Ability to follow instructions from colleagues
  • Ability to perform physical work, sometime under adverse conditions or in inclement weather, such as carrying up to 40 lbs. up to 5 miles over steep terrain for 7 hours/day
  • Willingness and ability to travel throughout northwest Illinois; occasionally overnight
  • Ability and willingness to have a varying and flexible work schedule with occasional work on evenings and weekends.
  • Ability to obtain proper prescribed fire certification including NWCG S130, S190, S131, and S290 with the opportunity to advance to burn boss.
  • Valid herbicide applicator’s license or ability to acquire such within 2 weeks of hire date
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Computer literacy, including using a database to maintain land management records, use of the internet, and Microsoft Office Suite
  • Basic knowledge of ArcMap GIS/GPS software


  • May resolve preserve management problems independently as delegated
  • Consult with supervisor to develop plans for resolution of unusual or complex land management problems
  • Monitor report on the progress of work groups toward achieving preserve management goals


  • Consults supervisor on unusual or complex issues
  • Make day-to-day decisions as delegated by supervisor
  • Ability to work independently without direct oversight


  • Receives detailed instructions to complete required tasks
  • May work under close supervision or infrequent supervision
  • Supervises crew of 3 to 4, may help plan and direct work groups, including other staff or volunteers


  • Ability to convey work instructions to other crew members, including volunteers
  • Ability to interact with preserve visitors and to convey basic preserve information
  • Ability to function productively as a leader of a work team
  • Ability to communicate effectively with multiple supervisors in different locations
  • Ability to plan and teach training sessions for the general public in the areas of invasive species control, prescribed fire, chainsaw training, etc.
  • Ability to conduct various educational and outreach activities aimed toward the general public

The Restoration Crew Leader may work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain, and under physically demanding circumstances. These conditions:

  • Require considerable physical exertion and/or muscular strain
  • Require long hours occasionally in isolated settings
  • Require the ability to work in extreme hot and cold temperatures
  • Require tolerance of stinging and biting insects and arachnids

To apply, send résumé, cover letter, and three professional references by email to jpulfer@jdcf.org

Or by mail to:
Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation
Attn: Jake Pulfer
PO Box 216
Elizabeth, Illinois 61028

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and accepted until the position is filled.

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

Category Botany, General / Stewardship, Restoration
Tags Wildland Firefighter, GIS, Outreach