Environment Vegetation Health Assessment Technician (Reno, Nevada)
The Great Basin Institute is an interdisciplinary field studies organization that promotes environmental research, education, and service through the west. The Institute’s mission is to advance applied science and ecological literacy through community engagement and agency partnerships, supporting national parks, forest, open spaces, and public lands.
The Ecological Monitoring Program at GBI serves as an excellent professional development opportunity for 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 and management of natural, cultural, and recreation resources in the Intermountain West while providing emerging professionals opportunities to begin or enhance their careers.
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. Extensive training and technical field skills development provides employees a unique opportunity to obtain valuable experience in executing monitoring protocols that will increase their employment success.
As one component of the Program, participants implement the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM) strategy for terrestrial systems, targeted at collecting standardized ecological information and long-term vegetation data at multiple scales across western public lands.
Opportunities with the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) will apply AIM principles to help guide proper restoration treatment design and provide a baseline dataset against which restoration treatment effects and long-term vegetation changes may be measured. This opportunity differs from other GBI terrestrial AIM monitoring positions in that the primary monitoring goal is to conduct long-term revisits on previously established project sites in targeted treatment areas and/or critical habitat ranges.
In partnership with the Nevada Department of Wildlife, GBI is recruiting Vegetation Health Assessment Technicians to work with GBI and NDOW staff. Each Field Tech will work with two other technicians under the supervision of a Field Lead to characterize vegetation using modified terrestrial AIM core methods and/or supplemental protocols. The modified methods focus on vegetation protocols with no soil survey components (i.e. soil stability, soil pits, etc.) implemented. The supplemental protocols will vary by project site and/or restoration treatment type.
Duties include following established field protocols to perform vegetation sampling and field data collection on new and existing monitoring sites. Data will be used by resource specialists and land managers to inform decisions regarding resource management at various temporal and spatial scales. During training, the typical schedule is 5 days on and 2 days off (Mon-Fri). During field work, car camping for 7 night “hitches” (Wed-Wed) in remote locations will be required, followed by 6 days off (Thu-Tue).
Field work will include:
• Maintaining safety awareness and practices;
• Extensive 4×4 driving on unmaintained roads;
• Navigating off-trail to sampling sites;
• Establishing or revisiting sampling plots and transects;
• Collecting vegetation data (including species inventory, forb diversity, species abundance, sagebrush shape, foliar cover, canopy gap, and herbaceous and woody heights);
• Making qualitative treatment 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 both Field Maps and Survey 123 software;
• Identifying plants to species using dichotomous keys; and
• Supporting extensive QA/QC data checks.
Based out of Reno, Nevada
• Crews will travel from the NDOW Field Office across Northern Nevada to various monitoring sites on private, BLM, and/or USFS land.
Duration: 21 weeks from early April to September
• 675 hour AmeriCorps position
• Tentative start date: April 11th, 2022
• $11,991.00 AmeriCorps Living Allowance (including the housing stipend and per diem)
• $2,417.14 AmeriCorps Education Award*
• Student Loan Forbearance and Interest Accrual Paid through AmeriCorps
• $150 bi-weekly housing stipend**
• $15 per diem for every night camped in the field (up to 7 units in an 8-day work week)
• Paid Health Insurance, including vision and dental (Monthly premiums paid by GBI)
• Paid state holidays
• Paid personal leave (Approximately ~40hrs)
* AmeriCorps Education Award may be used for past, present, or future education experiences, including payment of qualified federal student loans. Only received if term is completed.
** Housing stipend is untaxed and can be used at the discretion of the applicant. Housing is not provided. Applicants must be able to provide their own lodging.
• Experience, education, or a combination of both in botany and/or range management to meet the following:
• Bachelor’s degree in botany, biology, ecology, or other natural resources;
• At least 9 semester hours in plant or biological sciences;
• A minimum of 1 year of field data collection identifying plants;
• Experience identifying plants in the field and using a dichotomous key;
• Experience conducting plant surveys using various monitoring protocols, including standard rangeland monitoring protocols, photo plots, and site observations;
• Experience with data entry and management;
• Ability to read, interpret and navigate using topographic maps;
• Experience navigating and collecting coordinates with hand-held GPS units;
• Experience safely operating 4WD trucks on paved and unpaved roads, often in remote areas on unimproved roads;
• Experience with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Access); and
• Experience with Field Maps, Survey 123, and ArcGIS Online.
• 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;
• Familiarity with native and invasive plants of the sampling area and associated natural resource issues preferred;
• 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;
• Ability to accurately complete timesheets in a timely manner;
• Excellent organizational skills;
• Familiarity with best practices for field safety and Leave No Trace principles;
• Experience in and willingness to spend up to seven consecutive nights camping with no amenities in remote locations;
• Flexibility with field site locations across the program’s monitoring range;
• 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;
Ability to meet AmeriCorps eligibility requirements:
(1) U.S. citizenship or legal resident alien status;
(2) eligible to receive an AmeriCorps Education Award (limit of four in a lifetime, or equivalent of two full-time terms of service);
(3) pass National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW) and federal criminal background checks; (4) adhere to the rules, regulations and code of conduct as specified in the Member Service Agreement; and
(5) will not engage in any prohibited activities as listed in the Member Service Agreement.
Please indicate your availability (and location/project preferences if you applied to multiple Ecological Monitoring Program positions) in your cover letter when applying. Application review will continue until all positions are filled. We encourage applying early to gain the best chance of getting top-choice locations.
As part of Great Basin Institute’s Covid-19 Vaccination Policy, all employees are required to receive and provide proof of a full course of COVID-19 vaccine prior to the first day of employment, unless a medical or religious exemption is submitted and approved. All employees covered by this policy are required to be fully vaccinated as a term and condition of employment at Great Basin Institute. Employees are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after completing primary vaccination with a COVID-19 vaccine, with, if applicable, at least the minimum recommended interval between doses.
How to ApplyPlease apply online at: https://www.vscyberhosting.com/greatbasin/careers.aspx?rf=ADVENTUREJOBS&req=2021-AIM-012
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