Seeds of Success (SOS) Crew Members (NPS, San Francisco Network)

The Great Basin Institute

Multiple Locations, California

Job Type Temporary
Salary Details $19/hr

Job Description:

The Great Basin Institute, in cooperation with the National Park Service and Fish and Wildlife Service, is recruiting up to 4 positions of seed collection crew members for crews that will range across the parks and refuges of the San Francisco Bay Area from a base location in the East Bay, to Refuges in the Sacramento Delta, and even as far as the northern San Joaquin Valley. Under the direction of the National Park Service, the selected candidates will implement the Seeds of Success (SOS) seed collection protocol on both National Park Service and Fish and Wildlife Service lands.

Duties Include:

• Coordinating closely with agency staff for target species and collection location selection, followed by 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 the Seeds of Success (SOS) Technical 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 three hours a day;
• Traveling in a truck up to five 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 restoration projects;
• Reporting accomplishments and providing recommendations for program improvements, priorities, and future projects; and
• Participating in trainings provided by GBI, DOI agencies, and community partners.

Physical Demands:  
Field work involves driving GBI trucks on both highways and 4WD roads, sometimes up to 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 fog, cold winds and precipitation in the early spring to temperatures over 100F with humidity 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 in April 2024 pending favorable DOI background investigation.
• Full-time (40 hrs./wk)


Negotiable, but must be in the immediate San Francisco Bay area, preferably the East Bay to minimize travel. Base of operations must be an NPS or FWS established location.

Compensation and Benefits:

• Wage: $19/hr.
• A housing stipend is included at approx. $125/wk.
• Medical, dental, and vision insurance available at no cost

Additional benefits:
• Eligibility for pro deals through GBI, such as Outdoor Prolink and Black Diamond
• Training provided; SOS Seeds Collection and Protocol training, Wilderness First Aid, 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

Job Qualifications:

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; 
• 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 ever-changing desert conditions, including extreme temperatures, and as part of a team;
• Willingness to camp in remote, undeveloped sites, or poorly developed 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.


To learn more and apply, please visit our site:



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

Category Botany , Ecology
Tags GIS