The Great Basin Institute, in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is recruiting eight (8) Biological Technicians: two each at the Bear Lake, Camas, and Grays Lake National Wildlife Refuges, and one each at Deer Flat and Minidoka National Wildlife Refuges. The Biological Technicians will gain a high level of insight regarding how a federal land management agency approaches complicated issues related to habitat and invasive species management. Technicians will participate in all aspects of the Southeast Idaho National Wildlife Refuge Complex invasive species and habitat restoration programs. Primary responsibilities include:
Crested wheatgrass and cheatgrass treatment efficacy plots (Camas and Minidoka, late May – early June);
Activities related to common carp control (Bear Lake, late August);
Russian knapweed biocontrol efficacy plots (Camas, June);
Canada thistle chemical treatment efficacy plots (Camas, late June – early July);
Russian olive removal and riparian habitat restoration (All refuges, May & Sept);
Long-term vegetation monitoring (Camas, mid-July);
Pollinator garden maintenance and enhancement (Camas, continuous);
Chemical control of noxious weeds (All refuges, May-July, Sept);
Early detection of & rapid response (EDRR) for purple loosestrife and salt cedar (Minidoka, June-July) and for rush skeletonweed and white bryony (Camas, May-June);
Monitoring of and surveillance for invasive submerged aquatic vegetation (Eurasian watermilfoil, Curly leaf Pondweed) (All refuges, July - Aug);
Invasive weed inventory and mapping (All refuges, May-early August);
Riparian habitat composition and distribution monitoring (Camas, July-August);
Shelterbelt and riparian habitat restoration and monitoring (Camas, May, September);
Assist with maintenance and operation of 36 water control structures/fish screens (Bear Lake, continuous);
Vegetation and wildlife surveys tracking abundance and trends of species on the refuge (All refuges);
Ground-truthing remote sensing efforts to generate habitat maps, and distributions of target invasive weeds (Grays Lake, continuous)
Through these projects, the technicians will gain a broad understanding of the invasive species issues facing the Intermountain West, and the tools/methods available for prevention, surveillance, detection/monitoring, control, and restoration. These projects span habitats (shrub-steppe, grassland, wetland, and riparian) and encompass three categories of tools available for invasive species control (mechanical, chemical, biological). Furthermore, the technicians will be exposed to various elements of the habitat restoration process including training on prevention/biosecurity; the aforementioned methods of invasive species control; native grass, tree, and forb restoration; long-term vegetation monitoring; and noxious weed mapping. The technicians will be provided with first aid, ATV/UTV, and plant identification training. Additionally, the refuges recently implemented an updated invasive mapping strategy within priority grids to maximize likelihood of EDRR. Technicians will also assist in other biological monitoring projects such as bird banding, bat acoustic monitoring, and a variety of avian surveys as opportunities arise.
Each technician will be stationed at a specific refuge, with the expectation that they will routinely need to travel as a small strike team throughout the southeast Idaho National Wildlife Refuge Complex.
Knowledge and interest in botany and plant identification
Prior experience with invasive plant management preferred;
Willingness to utilize chemical herbicide treatment methods;
Experience utilizing hand-held GPS units and/or PDRs for navigation and/or data collections, along with basic computer skills;
Ability to carry backpack sprayer or up to 40 pounds in a backpack, and otherwise maintain good physical condition;
Experience operating 4WD trucks on and off-road, including mountain forest roads;
Knowledge and experience in operating off highway vehicles, which includes Utility Terrain Vehicles (UTV), and All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV), desirable; and
Experience with towing and backing-up a trailer, desirable.
Ability to self-direct and self-motivate;
Possess good organizational skills;
Tolerant of working in variable weather conditions, willing and able to work outdoors in adverse weather conditions, and able to hike 2-5+ miles daily on uneven terrain;
Ability to work productively as part of a team to accomplish mutual goals and follow safe working practices;
Communicate effectively with a diverse public; and
Possess a valid, state-issued driver’s license and clean driving record.
The successful applicant(s) must complete the following background checks: (1) AmeriCorps Criminal History Check (state and federal), (2) National Sex Offender registry check, and (3) USDA Forest Service background investigation.