Wildlife Technician - CA National Forests (USFS)

The Great Basin Institute

Various, California

Job Type Temporary
Salary Details $21/hour with overtime at 1.5x hourly rate. Full time, average 40 hours per week
Required Experience 0 - 1 years

The Great Basin Institute, in cooperation with the USFS, is recruiting Wildlife Technicians to perform wildlife, aquatics and habitat surveys within the Sierra Nevada mountain range (USFS Region-5 locations). Specifically, Technicians will assist agency personnel with applied management objectives for sensitive, threatened and endangered species such as Northern goshawk, Spotted-owl, Sierra Nevada Yellow-Legged Frog, and fisher. These projects all serve the Basin & Range Forestry program’s greater mission of helping the USFS in their critical goal of improving forest resilience in the face of worsening climate conditions and increased wildfire threats. The Wildlife Technician work will directly improve the quality of these forests helping ensure they continue to thrive for generations to come. 

Work will focus on monitoring populations and surveying habitats used by these species to 1) support population data on specific species; and 2) ensure adequate protections are in place for areas undergoing vegetation management and restoration projects. Technicians will gain exposure to USFS processes, procedures, compliance measures and reporting, and technical experience. Expanded opportunities and exposure to additional disciplines (e.g., archaeology, forestry, hydrology, etc.) and projects may exist. These positions support legally mandated compliance measures and obligations; some projects will help serve USFS vegetation management and fuels reduction efforts, supporting initiatives for healthy, productive, and resilient forest landscapes and resources. 

Wildlife Technicians will perform a wide variety of activities to support all stages of project work. Duties may include broadcast acoustical surveys for Northern goshawks, nocturnal surveys for Spotted-Owls, nesting and reproductive status monitoring, and survey and identification of aquatic species. Technicians will provide technical advice for wildlife management programs. This includes gathering, compiling and analyzing data to determine wildlife habitat requirements and management needs, assessing habitat quality and quantity while interpreting biological requirements for local wildlife species and their habitat, and inventorying and monitoring habitat populations.

Contract Timeline:-Tentatively: May – October
-Projects are weather dependent, therefore start and end dates vary according to local conditions and individual project needs

Multiple CA Forests including Sequoia, Eldorado, and Tahoe.

Preferred location placement is not guaranteed and final placement will be dependent on the various needs of the National Forests.

Compensation and Benefits:
-Wage: $21/hour with overtime at 1.5x hourly rate. Full time, average 40 hours per week
-Health, dental, vision Insurance premiums covered 100% by GBI (equivalent to approximately $350/month); health, dental and vision insurance is available on the first day of the month following the start of employment
-Shared housing provided (equivalent to approximately $1000/month); housing stipend not provided if shared housing is denied by employee
-Camping per diem: $15/night as necessary (infrequent)
-Uniform Stipend

Job Qualifications:

At least one of the following required:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife, Ecology, Biology, Natural Resources, or related subject with wildlife courses that demonstrate understanding of the principles of wildlife biology;
  • Six months of professional fieldwork experience.


  • Experience navigating with topographical maps and compass and with hand-held GPS for field navigation and data collection; 
  • Capacity to collect and maintain field data in an organized manner that is easily understood and accessible to other resources staff; 
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both written and orally, with a diverse audience;
  • Possess a clean, valid, state-issued driver’s license;
  • Ability to live and work in rural and remote field and office setting;
  • and Physically fit to work outdoors, carry up to 50 pounds of personal and/or field equipment and withstand the rigors of a forested and/or high desert environment in all seasons.


  • Familiarity with, and interest in, resource management issues of western states and the ecology of the Sierra Nevada ecoregion;
  • Knowledge of the species of the Eastern Sierra/Great Basin transition zone; 
  • Ability to understand, implement and adhere to established data collection, inventory, assessment and monitoring protocols; 
  • Experience using ArcGIS to create maps, GPS data collection, and identifying heritage sites; and 
  • Ability to safely operate and maintain a 4WD vehicle on and off paved roads.

Apply through our website:


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

Category Wildlife , Ecology
Tags GIS