Rare Plant Technician

American Conservation Experience

Palm Springs, California

Job Type Paid Internship
Salary Details $800/week
Deadline Dec 15, 2023
Required Experience 0 - 1 years

The American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), is seeking four (4) Rare Plant Technicians to assist in conducting rare plant surveys to support the California Desert District Rare Plant Monitoring Program alongside BLM staff.

For more information about ACE, please visit www.usaconservation.org.

Start Date: Late February 2024 (dependent on federal background check)
Estimated End Date: 14 weeks after the start date
*a 14-week minimum commitment is required*

Location Details/Description: Palm Springs, California

The BLM California Desert District Office manages a complex variety of public lands on about 11 million acres that stretch from the Pacific Ocean to the Colorado River and from the International border with Mexico to Death Valley where the mountains meet the Mojave Desert. The CDD is divided into 5 field offices: Needles, Ridgecrest, Barstow, Palm Springs-South Coast, and El Centro. The District Office is co-located with the Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office.

For more information about the California Desert District Offices please visit their website.

Position Overview:  ACE Members will perform rare plant surveys in the four field offices within the CDD. Surveys will start in the El Centro Field Office jurisdiction, then move to the Barstow Field Office jurisdiction, and expand to the Needles and Ridgecrest Field Office jurisdictions as time allows. This opportunity entails significant fieldwork with some office work for coordinating daily/weekly survey plans and routes. Members will be expected to camp near or at work sites on a frequent basis that will vary in time length (overnight stays to up to four days). Survey locations are based on previously recorded occurrence data in the California Natural Diversity Database (CNDDB). Members are required to have sufficient botanical knowledge to develop a search image for the rare plants, locate the plants in the field, conduct a habitat assessment, record associate plant species, and identify threats to the plants at that location. Members are expected to be field-oriented and require little to no supervision in the field. Survey information will be recorded using Samsung Tablets and the ArcGIS applications Survey 123 and Field Maps. Members will work closely with the District Botanist and GIS specialists as necessary. The ACE member will also be responsible for submitting survey data electronically to the California Natural Diversity Database to update their existing records. Members will keep track of which records were updated and submit this information in an end-of-season report to the BLM supervisor along with a summary of the field season. The member must be field-ready related to their ability and willingness to hike in rough conditions and rough terrain.

The member will be responsible for but not limited to:

  • Generating maps of specific plant locations for use in navigating the field from CNDDB occurrence data.
  • Collecting Geographic Information System (GIS) data and mapping monitoring plots and special status species observations using Global Positioning System (GPS) apps Survey 123, Field Maps, and other similar products.
  • Occasional 12+ hours field days (in the field and travel); potential for overnight stays using local lodging or camping.
  • The members will occasionally conduct other plant-related field duties as assigned.

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: Monday - Friday 8 AM to 5 PM

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, which will be dispersed bi-weekly. The living allowance is a fixed rate determined by the BLM and ACE and is not flexible.

Housing: Housing is the responsibility of the member and is not provided by ACE or the BLM.

Housing Assistance: ACE Members will be eligible for reimbursable housing assistance up to $200.00 per week. The ACE Member will only be reimbursed for approved and demonstrated housing expenses.

Gear Assistance: ACE members will have up to $500.00 to spend on eligible gear purchases. Eligible gear for this position includes appropriate footwear (if needed) and camping gear that must be approved by ACE staff prior to purchase. 

Relocation Assistance: ACE members will have access to up to $500.00 to be used for eligible relocation expenses. Further details regarding the distribution of these funds will be provided during the interview process. 

Provided Training/Orientation: ACE members will receive an orientation outlining ACE policies and procedures, and networks for support. Specific training from the BLM will include training in data collection using FieldMaps, inventory, monitoring, and reporting.

Public Land Corps Hiring Authority: Members serving under this agreement may be eligible for a federal hiring authority upon completion of their term of service. PLC projects also include specific eligibility requirements such as age and citizenship. Please contact ACE staff with questions about eligibility, or view general information online https://www.usaconservation.org/epic/#eligibility-requirements



  • Members must be U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents, 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. 
  • To learn more about eligibility requirements, please visit our website https://www.usaconservation.org/epic/#eligibility-requirements

BLM Required:

  • Willing to undergo and must pass a DOI security background check. 
  • Previous experience operating a 4-wheel drive vehicle in the field.
  • Ability and willingness to be fieldwork-ready and be able to perform without supervision with minimal guidance.
  • Basic knowledge of botany, plant identification, and possess the ability to use a dichotomous key effectively.


  • Competitive applicants for this position can hold or be pursuing a degree in natural resource studies with an emphasis on botany and/or have relevant experience in rare plants and natural resources with an emphasis on botany.
  • Knowledge of GIS analysis and reporting, as well as field skills including trip planning, off-road driving, GPS, backcountry navigation, and FieldMaps data collection.
  • Ability and willingness to proficiently practice organizational and technical writing skills. 
  • Training in First Aid, Leave No Trace Awareness, and backcountry life skills.
  • Ability and willingness to camp at or near survey sites.
  • Ability and willingness to work/hike in remote backcountry environments in sometimes difficult terrain.
  • Ability and willingness to work outdoors, in varying weather conditions, participating in physical labor.

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 and office equipment. Ability to hike over rough terrain, and camp overnight under field conditions.
  • 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 that have dramatic ranges in heat, cold, wind, and precipitation.
  • Travel: This position will require domestic travel.

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 BLM or ACE.  Any tools required for the accomplishment of the duties will be provided by the BLM. Use of personal protective equipment (PPE), typically provided by the BLM, will be mandatory for any activity that requires it.  Strict adherence to BLM 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 the online application page for this position here: https://usaconservation.applicantpool.com/jobs/. Early consideration will be given as resumes are received. This position may close at any time. If you have any questions regarding this position please feel free to contact Recruitment and Member Coordinator EPIC BLM/USFS, Allison Finch at afinch@usaconservation.org

EEO: American Conservation Experience provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, American Conservation Experience complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities.

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

Category Botany, Ecology
Tags GIS