Careers in the Plant Sciences

Lead Field Technician (Arapaho Roosevelt National Forest) 

Colorado Natural Heritage Program - Fort Collins, Colorado, United States

Position Title: Lead Field Technician (Arapaho Roosevelt National Forest) 
Position Type: Temporary Position
Application Review Begins: Wednesday, January 03, 2024
Application Deadline: Sunday, March 31, 2024
Institution: Colorado Natural Heritage Program
Department/Division: Botany
Field (e.g., systematics):
City: Fort Collins, Colorado, United States
General Information: In partnership with the U.S Forest Service (USFS), the Colorado Natural Heritage Program (CNHP) is currently seeking two Lead Technicians for our upcoming summer field project, and we invite individuals with a passion for the outdoors, hiking, camping, and plants to step into this leadership role! 

This project investigates the aftermath of the 2020 fires in Arapaho Roosevelt National Forest and focuses on mapping non-native plant species within three prominent fire scars – Cameron Peak, East Troublesome, and Williams Fork, with the Cameron Peak fire standing as the largest in Colorado's recorded history. Successful applicants will be trained in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service on how to identify and document common invasive plants, including those specifically outlined in the Colorado Noxious Weed List. 

This leadership position involves extensive fieldwork, requiring travel to remote backcountry locations, and extended stays outdoors. Two field teams will be hired, (1 Crew Lead and 5 Technicians per team). All teams will be stationed in Fort Collins, CO. As a Lead, you will guide your crew for 4-8 days in a row into the field, away from the base location, camping within the National Forest. The typical field schedule during the season is 8 days on with 6 days off.

This opportunity is well-suited for individuals eager to lead and contribute to valuable ecological research and gain hands-on experience in understanding the impacts of wildfires on diverse ecosystems. As you navigate the intricacies of post-fire environments, you will witness the resilience and transformations that define the Cameron Peak, East Troublesome, and Williams Fork fire scars. 

If you possess a love for the outdoors, a curiosity about plant life, and the leadership skills to guide a team, we encourage you to apply and be a part of this impactful project! 
Qualifications/Requirements: Required Qualifications

Experience using botanical dichotomous keys and field guides in or out of the field.  

Experience leading a team of diverse individuals, maintaining effective working relationships. 

Strong organizational, time management, and problem-solving skills; ability to handle complex tasks with a high degree of accuracy and attention to detail. 

Strong oral and written communication skills.  

Experience with field navigation with a GPS unit, field navigation apps, and a topographic map.  

Proficiency with Microsoft Word, Teams, and Excel. 

Experience working long hours and unusual schedules, travelling extensively during the field season, car camping, and hiking long distances (up to 6+ miles/day) while carrying a heavy pack (up to 40 lbs.).  

Experience maintaining a positive attitude for yourself and within your team in field conditions that include exposure to inclement weather, rugged terrain, hot or cold weather (30–110° F), mosquitos, and poisonous plants, all while maintaining a strong commitment to team safety. 

A valid driver’s license. 

Preferred Qualifications

 A bachelor’s degree (or expectation of a completed degree by May 2024) in botany, ecology, natural resources, range management, forestry, or related field. Three years of equivalent field experience can substitute for a degree. 

Familiarity with CO non-native species, specifically those on the Colorado Noxious Weed List. 

Previous experience collecting vegetation and environmental data in the field, specifically weed mapping data. 

Experience working in habitats like the study areas including the Rocky Mountains and/or plains and prairie environments. 

Experience leading a field crew or supervising staff or volunteers.  

Experience with ArcGIS, ArcGIS Pro, development of Field Maps projects or Survey123 forms, and map making. 

Experience driving 4x4 vehicles on rough roads and camping in remote locations.  

Experience collecting data electronically using tablets or other devices. 
Responsibilities: Lead a small team to sample sites and determine the number of/locations of noxious plant at that site. Requires the ability to reliably identify plants; CNHP will provide botany training.

Plan field trips, check field conditions to ensure safety, and coordinate with CNHP and Forest Service staff. 

Help locate target search areas, safely and efficiently access sites, complete field forms, operate and maintain field equipment, and manage collected data.  

Thoroughly document all fieldwork using field notebooks, survey forms, maps, GPS, digital tablets, and cameras.  

Accurately enter data into digital formats and check data for errors (Survey123, Field Maps, spreadsheets, GPS, & GIS).  
Application Instructions (submission methods, etc.): To apply, email a resume, cover letter, and three references (please include both phone number and email contact information for references) to Jessica Cheadle at Please mention how you found the position and please include the full position title in the email subject line. If you are interested in any of the other positions we are hiring for this summer, please include the names of those positions in your email. There is no need to apply to each separately! 

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, but for first consideration, apply by January 22nd, 2024. Applications will continue to be accepted until the position is filled or until March 31, 2024, whichever comes first.

At CNHP, our work is not just guided by projects; it is rooted in our values. We are committed to diversity, fostering respect for all people, cultures, and communities. We believe in building a team that mirrors the diversity of the places we serve, recognizing the richness that diverse talents, experiences, and skills bring to the table. We understand that life experiences matter as much as professional qualifications. If you are passionate about conservation, diversity, and making a positive impact, we encourage you to apply. Every contribution matters in our mission to create a thriving Colorado for both people and nature. We can't wait to hear from you! 
Compensation Range: $20.00/hour + per diem of ~ $60.00/day & gear reimbursement when traveling beyond base location. Health insurance, overtime pay, retirement, paid federal holidays, and paid sick leave provided. 
Contact Name: Jessica Cheadle,