Seed Collection Crew Technicians (USFS, Humboldt-Toiyabe)

The Great Basin Institute

Sparks, Nevada

Job Type Temporary
Salary Details Living Allowance: $1,350 Biweekly. Education Award: $3,447.50
Deadline Jul 30, 2024

The Great Basin Institute, in cooperation with the United States Forest Service, are recruiting 2 Seed Collection Technicians to conduct seed collecting and ecological restoration activities throughout the Great Basin on Forest Service Lands.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Scouting and identifying populations of target native plant species suitable for collection;
  • Mapping of populations of plants, disturbance areas, and other features using tablets, handheld devices, ArcGIS Online, ArcPro, and ESRI apps such as FieldMaps and Survey 123;
  • Monitoring the phenology of plant populations to identify optimal seed collection times;
  • Collecting seed from plant populations for both operational and conservation collections in accordance with seed collection protocol;
  • Processing and shipping seed following standard industry procedure; 
  • Collecting herbarium vouchers, and processing and shipping in accordance to the SOS Technical Protocol;
  • Collecting tissue samples for genetic analysis and processing and shipping, as necessary; 
  • Certifying seed collections following state agency protocols; 
    • Recording data electronically and on paper data forms, entering and editing data related to restoration activities;
    • Photographing collection sites and plants;
    • Maintaining and regularly conducting inventory of field gear;
    • Daily and monthly vehicle checks;
    • Driving a truck up to five hours a day;
    • Traveling in a truck up to ten hours a day;
    • Assisting with the coordination of conservation crew work;
    • Assisting with the coordination of volunteer seed collection and restoration events;
    • Assisting with species survey work, as needed; 
    • Providing support for arid land restoration projects;
    • Reporting accomplishments and providing recommendations for program improvements, priorities, and future projects; and
    • Participating in trainings provided by GBI, USFS and community partners.

Physical Demands:  
Field work involves driving GBI trucks on both highways and 4WD roads, often for 100+ miles per day as well as hiking off designated trails or routes, across rugged terrain, up to 5 miles per day, but more typically 0-1 mile per day. Seed collection requires regular stooping, standing and maneuvering on uneven terrain for many hours a day. Weather conditions will vary from cold winds and precipitation in the early spring to temperatures over 100F in the summer. The use of global positioning systems (handheld GPS units), computers, tablets, digital cameras, and on- and off-road vehicles are an essential part of the job. Camping under primitive conditions at remote locations on data collection trips will regularly be required. Schedules are often determined by plant phenology.  

Incumbents must also be willing to spend days at a time working at a computer during periods of data entry and analysis.

• Lift up to 50-70 pounds of material or equipment.
• Bend, lift, pull, and push.
• Crouch, stoop, kneel, stand, or bend for long periods of time. 
• Drive for many hours a day on highways and 4WD roads.
• Handle plant material for many hours a day. 
• Walk and stand for long periods of time on uneven surfaces carrying equipment.
• Be outside in extreme heat or cold (depending upon the season).
• Occasionally work 10+ hour days.
• Travel and camp overnight & up to 8 days at a time for project work.


Contract Timeline:
26-week appointment beginning July 2024.


Sparks, NV.


Compensation and Benefits:
This is an AmeriCorps position; candidates will receive a living allowance dependent on their length of service. The living allowance is a fixed amount, not an hourly wage or a salary. AmeriCorps benefits include:
• Living Allowance: Total compensation over 26 weeks - $17,578 before taxes
• Segal Education Award: After successfully completing an AmeriCorps term of service members are eligible to receive the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award. Award varies based on term of service. You can use the award to repay qualified student loans and to pay current educational expenses at eligible institutions of higher education and training programs. This placement is eligible for a $3,447.5 award;
• Student Loan Forbearance: If you are currently paying on any federal student loans you have the option to put those loans into forbearance during your time as an AmeriCorps volunteer, that will allow you to cease payments while serving.
• Interest Accrual Repayment: As AmeriCorps alum, you are eligible to have the National Service Trust pay all or a portion of the interest that accumulated on your qualified student loan(s) during your term of service. These payments are made in addition to the Education Award, and are not deducted from your Education Award balance. To be eligible to have accrued interest paid: The loan must have been placed in forbearance for the service period, and you must have successfully completed a term of service and received an Education Award.
• Camping Per Diem: $34/day (when applicable)
• Medical, dental, and vision insurance available, premium paid 100% by GBI

Additional benefits:
• Eligibility for pro deals through GBI, such as Outdoor Prolink and Black Diamond
• Training provided; Seeds Collection and Protocol training, Defensive driver's training (eligible for discounts on your personal vehicle insurance), report writing, and technical skills trainings;
• Opportunity to network with GBI and federal partners for career advancement



Technical requirements:
• Bachelor’s degree with coursework and field experience related to biology, botany, ecology, plant science, taxonomy/systematics, or related field;
• Experience identifying plants using taxonomic keys or familiarity with plants of the Great Basin;
• Experience with data entry; 
• Experience using hand-held GPS equipment for data collection and navigation;
• Ability to read and navigate using topographic maps and a compass;
• Familiarity driving 4WD vehicles on- and off-road; 
• Experience operating All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV) on difficult terrain, helpful for certain locations;
• Understanding and/or experience using ArcGIS Pro, and ESRI apps like Field Maps and Survey 123, helpful.

Additional requirements: 
• Willingness and ability to work in harsh, ever-changing desert conditions, including extreme temperatures, and as part of a team;
• Willingness to camp in remote, undeveloped sites for multiple days, up to 8 days; 
• Ability to bend and stoop for long periods of time while collecting seed, and to use hand tools, and occasionally lift buckets of water and other heavy loads;
• Ability to work a non-standard schedule, such as beginning at 5 am, to avoid heat-related issues, to follow plant phenology, or for coordination with team members.  
• Ability to communicate effectively, both written and orally, with a diverse audience;
• Strong interpersonal skills and willingness to work as part of a tight knit team (Crews will be two people, which requires technicians to co-lead, take initiative, and behave in a manner that promotes team integrity);
• Ability to work independently or in pairs with little supervision, strong initiative, and high attention to detail;
• Possess a valid, state-issued driver’s license and clean driving record.


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Category Botany, Ecology
Tags GIS