Careers in the Plant Sciences

Botany Field Technician – Native Plant Seed Collection (Rocky Mountain Region)

Colorado State University - Fort Colins, Colorado, USA

Position Title: Botany Field Technician – Native Plant Seed Collection (Rocky Mountain Region)
Position Type: Technician
Application Review Begins: Monday, January 22, 2024
Application Deadline: Sunday, March 31, 2024
Institution: Colorado State University
Department/Division: COLORADO NATURAL HERITAGE PROGRAM
Field (e.g., systematics):
City: Fort Colins, Colorado, USA
General Information: Title: Botany Field Technician – Native Plant Seed Collection (Rocky Mountain Region)
Position Type: Full-time, Temporary
Duration: May 13, 2024 – October 20, 2024 (dates are approximate)

Position Summary - The Colorado Natural Heritage Program (CNHP) of Colorado State University is seeking a Botany Technician to support seed and native plant material collection in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). This summer, collect native seed and plant material as part of a broader initiative to establish and expand the USFS Native Plant Materials Program throughout the Rocky Mountain Region. Native plant material banks are critical in restoring lands after disturbances, creating long-term soil stability, enhancing wildlife habitats, and building resilient ecosystems. This is a very hands-on role and includes assisting with coordination, scouting, seed collection, delivering native plant materials to the USFS, managing data, and reporting. The position offers a unique opportunity to explore USFS lands in all five states of the Rocky Mountain Region (Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas) while camping in remote areas and spending full days in the field. Two technicians will be hired to support two field teams. Teams will be stationed in Fort Collins. Teams will spend 4 - 8 days in a row in the field, away from their base location, backcountry hiking and camping on USFS lands. The typical field schedule during the season is 8 days on with 6 days off. While previous fieldwork experience, especially in the Rocky Mountains and/or Great Plains habitats, is a plus, it is not a requirement. Seed and data collection protocol and other training will be provided.

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. Your unique contributions are valued here.

If you are passionate about conservation and making a positive impact, we encourage you to apply. Join the CNHP Botany/Vegetation Ecology Team and play a pivotal role in preserving our natural landscapes! We can't wait to hear from you!
Qualifications/Requirements: Required Qualifications
1. Coursework in botany, ecology, natural resources, range management, or related field.
2. Ability to work both independently and with a team of diverse individuals, to maintain effective working relationships, and be self-motivated.
3. The ability to organize, manage time, and problem-solve; ability to handle complex tasks with a high degree of accuracy and attention to detail.
4. Strong oral and written communication skills; proficiency with Microsoft Word and Excel.
5. Experience using dichotomous botanical keys and/or field guides, familiarity with the major plant families, and/or knowledge of western flora.
6. Willingness and ability to work long hours and unusual schedules, travel extensively during the field season, car camp, and hike long distances (up to 6+ miles/day) while carrying a heavy pack (up to 40 lbs.).
7. Willingness and ability to work with a positive attitude 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.
8. A valid driver’s license is required.
Preferred Qualifications
1. A completed bachelor’s degree (or expectation of a completed degree by May 2024) in botany, ecology, natural resources, range management, or a related field.
2. Experience collecting scientific data related to vegetation sampling, plant population abundance, plant identification, plant phenology, and/or habitat assessment.
3. Experience specific to seed and native plant material collection. Ability to reliably identify grass species using a dichotomous key.
4. Experience working in habitats like the study areas including the Rocky Mountains and/or Great Plains.
5. Experience working on a field crew.
6. Experience with field navigation with a GPS unit or a tablet, field navigation apps, and a topographic map.
7. Experience with ArcGIS, ArcGIS Pro, development of Field Maps projects or Survey123 forms, and map making.
8. Experience driving 4x4 vehicles on rough roads and camping in remote locations.
9. Experience collecting data electronically using tablets or other devices.
Responsibilities: Responsibilities/Duties
1. Participate in collection events with staff, partners, and/or volunteers, ensuring accurate data recording and collection of native plant material. Follow safety protocols using proper documentation, consistent communication, and field awareness. Work with a dedicated botany crew lead all season long during field trips for seed scouting and collection.
2. Using GPS and provided maps, drive to and from sites and navigate to plot locations via paved roads, dirt roads, hiking trails, and off-trail travel. Travel will often be through dense vegetation and over long distances in various temperatures and weather conditions.
3. Identify target plant species, primarily grass species, in the field. Following a protocol, determine if a native plant population is suitable for seed collection by analyzing plant abundance and the surrounding habitat. Collect biological and spatial data on native plant populations using Survey123 and Field Maps. Collect seeds and reference herbarium specimens where suitable.
4. Assist the botany lead technician in coordinating tasks and maintaining strong communication with the CNHP, USFS, and Colorado Native Plant Society staff to determine logistics for native plant material collection events. Update field plans, safety protocols and collection priorities when necessary.
5. Assist with the management, quality assurance, and reporting of field-collected data and collection event outcomes. This may include creating maps and reports that communicate where collections took place, which species were collected, and collection weights. Assist with the management of collected seeds and native plant materials throughout the field season and deliver them to USFS partners.
Application Instructions (submission methods, etc.): To apply, email a resume, cover letter, and three references (please include phone number and email contact information for references) to Jessica Cheadle at jcheadle@colostate.edu. 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 other, positions for which we are hiring this summer, please include the names of those positions in your email. There is no need to apply to each separately!

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!

Colorado State University is committed to providing a safe and productive learning and living community. To achieve that goal, we conduct background investigations for all final candidates being considered for employment. Background checks may include, but are not limited to, criminal history, national sex offender search and motor vehicle history. Colorado State University is committed to providing an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment based on race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or pregnancy.

Colorado State University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce and complies with all Federal and Colorado State laws, regulations, and executive orders regarding non-discrimination and affirmative action. The Office of Equal Opportunity is in 101 Student Services.
Web Link: http://
Compensation Range: 18.00/ hr + per diem of $60.00/day when traveling beyond base location; health insurance, overtime pay, retirement, and paid sick leave provided
Contact Name: Jessica Cheadle, jcheadle@colostate.edu