Orchard and Vegetation Youth Crew Lead

The Great Basin Institute

Torrey, Utah

Job Type Temporary
Salary Details $18/hr

The Great Basin Institute, in cooperation with the National Park Service and Capitol Reef National Park,  is recruiting 1 crew leader to manage youth crews (e.g., Conservation Corps). The crew leader will support the Capitol Reef National Park Orchard Program and Natural Resource Program. The crew lead will help plan for and supervise work crews, organize equipment, and communicate progress to park staff. In the Capitol Reef orchards, they will support maintenance and restoration of a working cultural landscape, helping to manage crews on fruit tree, pest, and irrigation projects over 60 acres of living orchards. For the vegetation program, the crew leader with lead crews to help restore native plants and biodiversity primarily by mechanical and chemical removal of non-native vegetation. Crews may also work with other restoration techniques, such as digging pits to increase plant recruitment, reseeding native plants, and collecting native seeds, as needed.

Effective communication skills and experience leading and managing field crews are preferred. Experience working with youth (ages 18-35) is preferred. For the orchard program, preferred qualifications include: a general knowledge and interest in horticulture science, experience using hand tools and small engine farm tools, and an interest in historic orchard management. For the vegetation program, preferred qualifications include: a general knowledge of native and invasive plants, especially of the Colorado Plateau; experience with mechanical and/or chemical removal of invasive plants; an herbicide applicator license, or interest in attaining a license; and experience with native seed collection. Crews will utilize orchard tools such as shovels, hand saws, chainsaws, and weed whips, and GPS units for navigation and data collection. Crews may also use herbicide backpack sprayers, chainsaws, and hand tools to control invasive plants. In the office, the crew lead may use computer software, including MS Access, Excel, and ESRI products (Survey 123, Field Maps, ArcGIS), to organize, manage and summarize field data. The crew lead must ensure that safety protocols and GBI and NPS policies are followed. The crew lead may also assist park resource staff with other resource management priorities, such as riparian ecosystem surveys and wildlife surveys, as needed.

Field work requires attention to detail, long hours in orchards and in the park backcountry, hiking on- and off-trail 2 to 10 miles per day, and possibly backpacking. Weather conditions will vary from cold winds or rain in the early spring to temperatures nearing 100° F in the summer. Other challenging field conditions include high winds and gnats or other biting insects. Experience driving four-wheel drive vehicles on high clearance, dirt roads is beneficial. 

The crew lead will be supervised by the park Horticulturist and Ecologist.

Contract Timeline:

31- week appointment (March 3, 2024 – Nov 2, 2024)


Capitol Reef National Park is located near Torrey, UT. The location is remote. The nearest gas station is 10 miles away and the nearest grocery store is approximately 30 miles away. A personal vehicle is required for travel/transport outside of work. No cell service is available in housing or near the duty station. WiFi is available in park housing. Reliable cellular service is found when nearing Torrey. The intern should find living in a remote location desirable. Located in the heart of red rock country, Capitol Reef is filled with cliffs, canyons, domes and bridges. In addition to unique geological resources and spectacular scenery, the park also has a rich cultural history.

Compensation and Benefits:

• Wage: up to $18/hr for 31 week appointment (allocated biweekly)
• Medical, dental, and vision insurance available at no cost
• Camping Per Diem: $35/day (when applicable)
• Housing: The Park will provide housing in a 5-6-bedroom dormitory. The interns will have a private room with a shared bath, shared kitchen and common areas. The dormitory includes all appliances, washer and dryer, some kitchen pots, pans and dishes, and internet service. Heat, electricity and water are included. A phone is available in each dorm and long distance calls can be made with a calling card. Housing is located approximately a 5-minute walk from the duty station.

Job Qualifications:

Technical requirements:

• Bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as biology, forestry, botany, range management, horticulture, plant pathology, etc. preferred.
• Experience leading a field crew preferred.
• Experience working with youth preferred.
• General knowledge of native and invasive plants, especially of the Colorado Plateau.
• Experience with mechanical and/or chemical removal of invasive plants, such as with herbicide, chainsaw, and/or hand tools. 
• Herbicide applicator license, or interest in attaining a license.
• Experience using a variety of hand and small engine tools, in a field setting while supervising others.
• Experience working with hand-held GPS equipment for navigation and data collection;
• Knowledge of GIS software preferred. 
• Experience writing summaries and/or reports on field work. 

Additional requirements:

• Ability to work productively both independently and as part of a team to accomplish mutual goals; 
• Ability to communicate effectively with team members, GBI and agency staff, and a diverse public;
• Ability to perform physical labor for extended periods of time (e.g., digging, bending over, hauling material, hiking);
• Ability to work in harsh and rapidly changing environments, work in all types of weather conditions, traverse uneven terrain, carry upwards of 40 pounds in a backpack, and otherwise maintain good physical condition; 
• Willingness to spend multiple days camping in the field, if necessary;
• Good organizational skills; and
• Valid, state-issued driver’s license; clean driving record; and ability to safely operate a 4WD truck on paved and unpaved roads, including narrow, sandy or muddy desert roads.


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Category Botany , Restoration
Tags GIS , Entomology