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 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.
As an element of this program, participants will implement the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) 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. Opportunities with the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) will apply AIM sampling to help guide proper restoration treatment design and to provide a baseline data set against which restoration treatment effects may be measured.
In accordance with this strategy 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. 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. University credit may be available at host institutions for internship or practicum purposes.
In partnership with cooperating agencies, GBI is recruiting AmeriCorps Ecological Monitoring Field Technicians to work with agency staff and GBI staff. Each AmeriCorps Field Technician will participate in a field crew to characterize vegetation using the AIM protocol and/or the Habitat Assessment Framework (HAF) protocol for which training will be provided. The particular protocols implemented will vary by crew.
Duties include following established field protocols to conduct vegetation sampling and field data collection on new and existing monitoring sites. Field data will be used by resource specialists and land managers to inform decisions regarding resource management issues of the area. During periods of field work, camping will be required. The timeframe for field data collection will generally 8 days on (Wed-Wed) followed by 6 days off (Thu-Tue).
Field work may include:
• Maintaining safety awareness and practices;
• Navigating off-trail to sampling sites;
• Establishing sampling plots and transects;
• Collecting vegetation data (including species inventory, forb frequency, sagebrush shape, foliar cover, canopy gap, and herbaceous and woody heights); and
• Taking photo-points
Additional duties include:
• Participation in GBI and agency trainings;
• Entering data into an Access-based database;
• Identifying plants to species using dichotomous keys; and
• Supporting QA/QC data checks
Timeline and Location:
• April to September
• $15 Camping per diem
• Paid holidays and personal leave
• Paid health insurance (medical, dental and vision)
• Student loan forbearance and interest accrual paid
• $9,899.00 AmeriCorps Living Allowance
• $2,215.24 AmeriCorps Education Award
• Bachelor’s Degree in Life Sciences, such as: Botany, Wildlife Biology, Range Ecology, Natural Resources Management, Environmental Resources or related subject preferred;
• Coursework or equivalent experience in plant taxonomy and/or systematics;
• Experience identifying plants in the field and using a dichotomous key;
• Familiarity with native and invasive plants of the sampling area and associated natural resource issues preferred;
• 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 safely operating 4WD trucks on paved and unpaved roads, often in remote areas on unimproved roads;
• Experience navigating and collecting coordinates with hand-held GPS units;
• Experience with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Access).
• 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 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;
• 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.
How to Apply:
Please visit our employment web page to apply directly through our online portal: http://crcareers.thegreatbasininstitute.org/careers/Careers.aspx?rf=TAM&REQ=2018-RAP-018