Amargosa Conservancy Arid Lands Restoration Technician – Nevada

Great Basin Institute
Las Vegas, Nevada
Job Category
Full time Positions
Refer to Compensation and Benefits Section
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
Job Description:
Are you ready for a challenge? Spend a season or two working hard preserving our environment as an AmeriCorps volunteer. Camp up to seven night outs in the field, and work long ten hour days bettering Nevada’s public lands, then spend your off-days roaming across this immense and wild state. Check out aspen covered mesas, sage brush valleys, prehistoric oceans turned salt flats, the darkest, star filled skies in America, ancient volcanoes, massive sand dunes and snow-capped granite peaks. Nevada is completely underrated in its opportunities for recreation and career opportunities in the Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource management field. As a Amargosa Conservancy Arid Lands Restoration Technician you will be given the opportunity to gain important technical and life skills. As a program within the educationally focused Great Basin Institute we are dedicated to not only teaching you skills required to accomplish the task at hand, but to provide you skills to further your environmental sciences career. The Crew Member position is the perfect entry level position in the conservation field and we intentionally structure our program to provide for possible upward mobility within the Great Basin Institute or to act as a stepping stone for your government career. Many of our alumni have gone on to do just that, some are now even our project partners.

The challenges will be numerous and difficult. The weather may bring you a hot summer sun during the day and hail at night when you are trying to cook dinner on your camp stove. You will be tested mentally and physically, but you will grow as a person, overcoming professional and interpersonal obstacles under the guidance of the experienced Nevada Conservation Corps Staff. Come make a difference in this world.

Are you ready?

Nevada Conservation Corps Crews have been working to preserve, restore and protect Nevada’s public lands since 1999. Crews have accomplished projects ranging from invasive species removal, forest fuels reduction, trail construction, fencing, biological surveys, native species planting, riparian restoration, trash removal, illegal track decommissioning, nursery work, seeding, or herbicide application. These projects are often located in remote and primitive locations across Nevada (and occasionally just across the state line). These projects are accomplished through cooperative agreements with project partners at the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation among many other local, county, state, private, and nonprofit organizations.

The Great Basin Institute is the largest provider of AmeriCorps Volunteer positions in the State of Nevada. AmeriCorps Volunteers make a commitment to serving the community and in turn are are given a modest living allowance and an education award upon completion of the program. In appreciation for your service work, we will direct you and guide to get you to gain valuable skills, professional connections, and experience.
As an Arid Lands Restoration Technician for the Amargosa Conservancy, you will become a member of a five person restoration crew focused on arid land restoration projects. These projects will include riparian restoration, aggressive native and non-native plant removal and desert restoration. Riparian restoration will include the removal of arrowweed, phragmites, Tamarisk or salt cedar, and other aquatic species in preparation for planting of native plants. The Amargosa drainage has been heavily impacted by tamarisk and other aggressively growing plants over the years, much to the detriment of the native vegetation and the birds and animals it supported. Tamarisk, Tamarix ramosissima, was introduced into the United States as an ornamental and stream bank stabilizing plant in the late 19th and early 20thcenturies. Since that time the tamarisk tree has taken over and become the dominant plant in many of the riparian areas of the southwest deserts due to the ability to absorb large amounts of water and deposit salts on the soil surface that prevent the growth of native vegetation. Starting about ten years ago, the Amargosa Conservancy, working with the BLM and the Nature Conservancy, began a concerted effort to remove tamarisk along the Amargosa River, starting in Shoshone and working downstream, as well as at China Ranch. Crews will continue this removal process involves the use of chainsaws, brush cutters and loppers to cut the trees and application of herbicide to prevent regrowth.
Off highway vehicle (OHV) activity has increased in the desert southwest. In an attempt to restore the desert landscape crews will implement desert restoration protocols including vertical mulching. Vertical mulching helps to partially alleviate soil compaction and aerate the soil. These procedures also help to disguise OHV activities giving the native plants time to grow and recover.
The crew will be responsible for documenting their restoration efforts utilizing photo points and GPS tracks to establish project boundaries. At the end of the field season the crew will spend one week preparing a report for Amargosa Conservancy staff detailing the work completed and providing data points to be used in future restoration project planning.

Contract Timeline: September 25th, 2017 - March 29th, 2018 Total Living Allowance: $ 8,800 *Includes Winter Break + four paid vacation days.

Nevada Conservation Corps is recruiting continuously, if these dates don’t work for your current schedule please contact the recruiter anyway and we can start planning for you to join us in a future season.

Location: You will be based out of a field station: The crew will be based in Shoshone, CA and will deploy predominantly on 8-day work tours (Monday to Monday), with a few four day tours during the season. While on tour, you will camp at the project site, sharing in campsite responsibilities, cooking meals with fellow crew members, and participating in group discussions and learning activities. This shared responsibility and crew bonding is an important part of NCC member development strategy, and has contributed not only to the success of the program, but also to the formation of friendships and a passion for conservation work that last long after members finish their service. Crew members will be responsible for their own transportation to and from their assigned Field Station, but once there, Crew Leaders will provide transportation to project sites in program vehicles. Campsites are often in remote places that do not have running water or toilet facilities. Crews will be outfitted with equipment for storing and preparing meals. Each crew member will be responsible for providing personal camping gear such as a tent, sleeping bag, backpack or duffel, etc...

Shared housing will be provided in Shoshone, CA. Housing includes 2 shared bedrooms and bathrooms, common area kitchen, living room and laundry room.

The main office and our mailing address is: Great Basin Institute Headquarters 16750 Mt. Rose Highway Reno, NV 89511 [?]

Note: We will will provide camping locations and transportation during your work week, but and transportation during off days is not provided by the Nevada Conservation Corps and will be your sole responsibility. We recommend you have your own personal vehicle with you.

Compensation and Benefits:
Living Allowance:
To help offset your living costs while you are volunteering with us, AmeriCorps Volunteers are paid a biweekly living allowance of roughly $700. (taxable income)

Education Award:
Upon successful completion of your term you will be given access to your Segal Education award which can be used for Title IV university/college tuition or to pay for federal student loans. The education award is only considered taxable income on the day you use the award. [?]
Education Award amounts are dependent on the length of your term:
For a 6 month term the amount is $2,887.50

Insurance: Affordable Care Act Compliant Health, Dental and Vision Insurance will be completely paid for at no cost to you by the Great Basin Institute.

Per Diem
For every day you work in the field with us you will receive $7.25. This is in addition to your Living Allowance and on average is $58.00 biweekly.

Loan Forbearance:
If you are currently paying interest on any federal student loans you have the option to put those loans into forbearance during your time as an AmeriCorps volunteer. [?]

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Eligibility:
AmeriCorps Volunteers qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The Nevada Conservation Corps will provide you documentation in proving that you qualify for SNAP.

Educational Affiliation Agreements (College Credit)
The Nevada Conservation Corps will take part in Affiliation Agreements with your university in order to allow you to receive college credit hours for your term of service.

Skills & Education:
You will be certified in First Aid and CPR You will be certified in Leave No Trace USFS S212 Faller A Chainsaw Training Training on Data Collection Techniques including GPS Tracks/Points and Photo Points

Optional Training & Education we will provide include:
Defensive Driving Certification
Off-Road Driving Class
Resume Building Workshop
Interview Skills Workshop
Native Plant Identification
Invasive Plant Identification
GPS Unit Training
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Job Qualifications:
Basic Qualifications
The successful candidates will possess knowledge and interest in botany and restoration ecology - prior experience with invasive plant management, desirable
Willingness to utilize chemical herbicide treatment methods
Experience utilizing hand-held GPS units for data collection, along with basic computer skills
Possess good organizational skills
Ability to work productively as part of a team to accomplish mutual goals and follow safe working practices
Physical Qualifications:
• Ability to work for 10.5 hours a day and to contribute to post-work day tasks and chores.
• Ability to hike up to 10 miles a day with heavy backpacks
• Ability to carry 25 pounds continuously and 50 pounds occasionally.
• Ability to camp up to seven consecutive nights in primitive locations without access to running water and restrooms in all possible weather conditions. Assisting in food preparation, planning, and clean up
• Ability to effectively operate machinery and tools while following production and quality standards set by the Nevada Conservation Corps.
• Follow strict safety protocol and maintain personal safety of self and others.

AmeriCorps Qualifications:
• Ability to commit to an entire term of service with AmeriCorps
• Be at least 17 years of age.
• Be a U.S Citizen or Legal Resident Alien
• Be able to complete a successful check of the National Sex Offender Public Registry and a federal criminal background check.
• Be eligible to receive an AmeriCorps Education Award (Limit of four unique terms in a lifetime or the equivalent of two full-time education awards).
• Possess High school diploma or GED (or provide proof of intent to complete before using education award)

Other Job Information (if applicable):
How to Apply:
Please apply through our Applicant tracking system by clicking on the “New Applicant? Apply Now” button at the bottom of the page. If you have applied to a positions before at the Great Basin Institute, scroll to the top of the application and click on the link "Returning Applicant? Login Now". Please upload a resume and a cover letter that describes your motivations on why you want to work with us on environmental restoration projects and commit to a term of service as an AmeriCorps volunteer.

Your Recruiter:
Justin van Wijk, the Nevada Conservation Corps Recruitment Coordinator, will be conducting interviews by phone once you have submitted your complete application. Offers will be sent within a few days of the interview. If you have any questions at all about this position you may contact Justin at or call his office line at (775) 674-5482. You can best reach him Monday through Friday from 9:00am-5:00pm Pacific Standard Time.
Contact Person
Justin van Wijk
Contact eMail
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