Rare and Invasive Plants Vegetation Technician (AmeriCorps)

Great Basin Institute

Redding, California

Job Type AmeriCorps
Salary Details Living Allowance: $1,100 biweekly. Education Award: $3,247.50.

The Great Basin Institute (GBI) is working cooperatively with the National Park Service (NPS) at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area (WHIS) to recruit 4 Vegetation Technicians to perform vegetation inventories of rare and invasive plants and to support vegetation management actions.

The GBI vegetation technician will conduct baseline inventories of rare, special status and invasive plants at WHIS. The crew season will run from late March through September, and field work will be scheduled to coincide with phenology of target species. The crew will work outdoors in a variety of environmental conditions (heat, cold, insects, etc.) and hike in steep terrain to access survey areas. 

Field data will contribute to a multi-year dataset to track plant species distributions and is intended to guide management decisions in areas of potential resource impacts. The monitoring crew will assist the GBI crew leader and NPS staff with vegetation surveys and vegetation management activities. Training and support will be provided for all duties.  

Specific duties include:

  • Be a productive member of the WHIS vegetation monitoring project;
  • Participate in preparing for the field season;
  • 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;
  • Collect, dead-and-down fuel data;
  • Assist with field data collection, data entry, and QA/QC;
  • Maintain field equipment and tools;
  • Assist with both manual and herbicide treatments of invasive plants under the training and supervision of park staff;
  • 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 and fuels 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 four 10-hour days (generally Monday-Thursday) with occasional backcountry camping expected. Changing conditions may also require flexibility in set schedules.


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 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 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.


  • Living Allowance $13,800, ($1,100 biweekly before taxes)
  • Education Award $3,247.50
  • Camping Per Diem: $15.00
  • Paid health insurance (medical, dental and vision)
  • Paid holidays and personal leave
  • Eligibility for Student Loan Forbearance


  • Approx. 14-week appointment
  • Full time
  • Approx. dates: August - October (flexible)

Desired 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 treatments.
  • Willingness to work long days (10 hours) and hike long distances in rugged terrain under variable weather conditions, including extreme heat; and
  • Ability to occasionally camp overnight in the backcountry.

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.

As part of Great Basin Institute’s Covid-19 Vaccination Policy, all employees are required to receive and provide proof of a full course of COVID-19 vaccine prior to the first day of employment, unless a medical or religious exemption is submitted and approved. All employees covered by this policy are required to be fully vaccinated as a term and condition of employment at Great Basin Institute. Employees are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after completing primary vaccination with a COVID-19 vaccine, with, if applicable, at least the minimum recommended interval between doses.

To review a copy of GBI’s COVID-19 Vaccination Policy, please visit our Field Updates page for more details. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this policy, please do not hesitate to contact one of our staff members.


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Category Botany, Ecology
Tags Conservation Corps, Soil Science