Wildlife Technician- Tahoe National Forest (USFS)

The Great Basin Institute

Tahoe, California

Job Type Temporary
Salary Details $21/hour with overtime at 1.5x hourly rate
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 Tahoe National Forest. 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. 

This position works for the District Wildlife Biologists on the Truckee and Sierraville Ranger Districts on the Tahoe National Forest.  The position is responsible for performing field work relating to the survey and identification of wildlife species on the Tahoe NF. The work will be physically demanding and will involve extensive hiking in steep terrain at high altitudes (6,000 to 9000 ft.) daily, commonly during extreme or inclement weather, i.e., snow or rain.  At least 50% of the spotted owl monitoring will be conducted during early morning or evening hours or during night. Work schedules are generally 5 days on and 2 off, and the position will require sessions of working in remote locations on National Forest Land. First-Aid, CPR, Defensive Driving, and field safety training will be provided. This position is physically and mentally demanding however, it provides a wide array of experience with US Forest employees leading the way.

Applicants must have a valid state driver's license, be able to hear owl and goshawk calls, be in excellent to good physical condition (carry a 40-50 lb. pack up steep terrain at high elevation), be self-motivated, and have a desire to work independently or in small groups in remote locations.  U.S. citizenship is required. 
Wildlife species identification skills such as the use of dichotomous keys, knowledge of wildlife family characteristics and familiarity with California fauna is desirable. Skills related to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning Systems, maps and compass and navigation are very important.

Further Job Details:  Priorities will involve participating as wildlife crew member in the following tasks: 1) Survey for California spotted owl nest sites and their young. 2) Survey for Northern Goshawk nest sites and their young. 3) Survey for Amphibian and other Aquatic Species. 4) Eagle and other Raptor Surveys. 5) Project assistance in Aquatics/Botany/Timber/Rec opportunities when requested.  Stream surveys may involve walking in rocky, slippery cold-water streams up to the headwaters, often through thick brush.  Pond and lake surveys may involve all-day sun exposure and hiking over difficult steep terrain to access survey locations.

Contract Timeline:Tentatively April – October
Tahoe National Forest: Sierraville and Truckee Ranger Districts

Compensation and Benefits: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.

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Category Wildlife
Tags GIS , Ornithology