Careers in the Plant Sciences

Ecological Field Monitoring Technician

Great Basin Institute - Kanab, Utah, United States

Position Title: Ecological Field Monitoring Technician
Position Type: Temporary Position
Application Review Begins: Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Application Deadline: Saturday, April 15, 2017
Institution: Great Basin Institute
Department/Division: Ecology
Field (e.g., systematics): Ecology, Botany, Soils
City: Kanab, Utah, United States
General Information: The ecological monitoring program at GBI serves as an excellent professional development opportunity for burgeoning natural resource professionals looking for experience in botanical, soil, and rangeland surveys. This program is a component of our well-established Research Associate Program, which focuses on the conservation of natural resources in the Intermountain West. As an element of this program, participants will implement the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) national Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM) strategy, which is targeted at collecting standardized inventory and long-term ecological data at multiple scales across western public lands. In accordance with these strategies and through partnerships with multiple agencies, GBI’s ecological monitoring program is dedicated to providing college graduates and emerging professionals with hands-on survey, inventory, monitoring, and reporting experience in natural resource management.

This position will require significant amount of travel across the monument between the two bases of operations in Kanab and Escalante. Kanab, UT is southwest of the monument and Escalante, UT is located to the north. The field sampling will be performed across the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument, which comprises 1.9 million acres of southwestern Utah. GSENM is the first national monument to be managed by the BLM and the first area to be designated as part of the National Landscape Conservation System. Terrain and climate of the survey region is typical of the Colorado plateau and Utah Canyonlands.

• $8,358.00 Living Stipend
• $2,199.92 Education Award
• Student loan forbearance and interest accrual
• $15.00 Camping per diem
• $75/week housing stipend

• 1 May – 7 Sept 2017
Qualifications/Requirements: Technical requirements:
• Bachelor’s Degree in Life Sciences, such as: Botany, Wildlife Biology, Range Ecology, Natural Resources Management, Environmental Resources or related subject;
• Coursework in plant taxonomy and/or systematics (transcripts may be requested);
• Experience identifying plants in the field and using a dichotomous key;
• Familiarity with native and invasive plants of the Great Basin and Colorado Desert and associated natural resource issues preferred;
• Experience in describing and identifying soil horizons;
• Experience with data entry and management;
• Experience conducting plant surveys using various monitoring protocols, including standard rangeland monitoring protocols, photo plots, and site observations preferred;
• Ability to read, interpret and navigate using topographic maps;
• Experience navigating and collecting coordinates with hand-held GPS units;
• Experience creating maps and performing basic functions with GIS software (ArcMap); and
• Experience with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Access).

Additional requirements:
• Willingness and ability to work in a fast-paced, dynamic setting, and to consistently enact high performance standards and a strong work and team ethic in support of the goals and objectives of the AIM program and the mission of GBI;
• Valid, state-issued driver’s license and clean driving record;
• Ability to complete a Department of Interior (DOI) Background Investigation (BI) and submit paperwork to BLM human resources prior to beginning position indicating that an active and fully adjudicated BI has been started or completed;
• Ability to work productively as part of a team to accomplish mutual goals;
• Ability to work independently;
• Ability to communicate effectively with team members, agency staff, and a diverse public;
• Excellent organizational skills;
• Familiarity with best practices for field safety and Leave No Trace principles;
• Experience in and willingness to spend multiple days camping in the field;
• Willingness to work irregular hours (e.g., early mornings, late nights); and
• Ability to work in harsh and rapidly changing environments, work in all types of weather conditions, traverse uneven terrain, carry upwards of 40 pounds in a backpack, and otherwise maintain good physical condition.

We conform to all the laws, statutes, and regulations concerning equal employment opportunities and affirmative action. We strongly encourage women, minorities, individuals with disabilities and veterans to apply to all of our job openings. We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin, age, disability status, Genetic Information & Testing, Family & Medical Leave, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. We prohibit Retaliation against individuals who bring forth any complaint, orally or in writing, to the employer or the government, or against any individuals who assist or participate in the investigation of any complaint or otherwise oppose discrimination.
Responsibilities: In cooperation with the BLM-Utah, Kanab and Escalante Field Offices, GBI is recruiting one Field technician to work cooperatively with BLM Resource Managers and a GBI Ecological Field Monitoring Lead. Each field crew (one Lead and two Technicians) will characterize vegetation using the Assessment, Inventory and Monitoring (AIM) protocol. Training for AIM will be provided by the Jornada Experimental Range.

Duties include following established field protocols to conduct vegetation sampling and field data collection on new and existing monitoring sites within the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument (GSENM).

Field work will include:
• Maintaining safety awareness and practices;
• Navigating off-trail to sampling sites;
• Establishing sampling plots and transects;
• Identifying and describing soil horizons;
• Collecting vegetation data (including species inventory, foliar cover, canopy gap, and herbaceous and woody heights);
• Making qualitative range assessments; and
• Taking photo-points.

Additional duties include:
• Regular communication with GBI support staff and agency staff;
• Participation in GBI and agency trainings;
• Entering data into and managing an Access-based database;
• Identifying plants to species using dichotomous keys; and
• Employing extensive QA/QC data checks.
Application Instructions (submission methods, etc.): Please follow this link to apply directly through our online portal:
Compensation Range: $8,358.00
Contact Name: Momoka Maeda,