Great Basin Institute, founded at the University of Nevada Reno in 1998, is a mission-driven non-profit organization headquartered in the eastern foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. GBI has been a leader in the conservation stewardship field for over two decades, supporting thousands of individuals each pursuing a career in public land management or advancing their academic standing. Partnering with federal, state and local governments, as well as other NGOs and researchers, GBI supports projects in eleven western states ranging from Alaska to New Mexico, and southern California to northwestern Wyoming.
The Great Basin Institute, in cooperation with the USFS, is recruiting Botany Crew Members to perform vegetation surveys within the Sierra Nevada mountain range (USFS Region-5 locations). Selected Technicians will gain numerous professional development opportunities, including an expanded professional network as they interact with agency staff. Crew members will benefit from exposure to USFS processes, procedures, compliance measures and reporting, and technical experience. Expanded opportunities and exposure to additional disciplines (e.g. archaeology, wildlife, hydrology, recreation, etc.) and projects may exist. These positions serve to protect sensitive botanical species and contribute to USFS vegetation management and fuels reduction efforts, and to support initiatives for healthy, productive, and resilient forest landscapes and resources.
Botany crew members will conduct botanical surveys to establish distributional occurrences of targeted species and populations in and around designated project sites and access routes. Data from these surveys will inform mitigation measures set to protect targeted plant species and vegetation communities considered habitat for designated wildlife. Specific duties will include, but are not limited to:
- Botanical surveys to determine species identity, population characteristics, environmental conditions, factors affecting vigor and extent of species and their habitat
- Lay out monitoring plots
- Photograph or collect specimens as directed
- Produce maps of survey areas
- Record, enter and summarize data
Crew Members are expected to use botanical keys to identify plants and may be asked to assist with reporting tasks. Outcomes of field work, conducted in accordance with USFS protocols, will advance planning for management actions on National Forest lands.
This physically demanding work, often in remote locations, will provide Botany Crew Members with rewarding exposure to some of California’s backcountry forested landscapes. These positions require extensive hiking in steep terrain at high altitudes (5,000-9,000 ft.) with heavy packs on a daily basis, possibly during extreme or inclement weather conditions such as heat, smoke, high winds, snow or rain. Work schedules generally consist of 5 days per week (8 hours/day). However, there is potential for a work schedule consisting of 4 days per week (10-hour days). Work schedules are subject to change depending on weather and project needs. This is principally a field-based position.
- Degree in botany, plant ecology, or a closely related field in the biological sciences, including coursework in plant taxonomy and/or systematics (transcripts may be requested);
- Experience conducting rare plant surveys and other botanical field work;
- Knowledge of the flora of the Eastern Sierra /Great Basin transition zone, preferred;
- Experience using technical keys to identify plants to the species or sub-species level;
- Experience working with hand-held GPS, maps and compass for field navigation and data collection;
- Skills related to Geographic Information Systems (GIS);
- Passion for noxious weed control is a plus;
- Ability to understand, implement and adhere to established data collection, inventory, assessment, and monitoring protocols;
- Capacity to collect and maintain field data in an organized manner that is easily understood and accessible to other resources staff;
- Ability to communicate effectively, both written and orally, with a diverse audience;
- Possess a clean, valid, state-issued driver’s license with ability to safely operate and maintain a 4WD vehicle on and off paved roads;
- Ability to live and work in rural and remote field and office setting;
- Physically fit to work outdoors, carry up to 50 pounds of personal and/or field equipment, and withstand the rigors of a forested and/or high desert environment in all seasons;
- Willingness and ability to camp in remote, primitive sites for several consecutive days;
- Willingness and ability to consistently enact high performance standards and a strong work and team ethic in support of the mission of GBI and the goals and objectives of the USFS; and
- 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 the equivalent of two full-time education awards), (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.
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 COVID-19 vaccination with, if applicable, at least the minimum recommended interval between doses.
To review a copy of GBI’s COVID-19 Vaccination Policy, please visit our Field Updates page for more details. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this policy, please do not hesitate to contact one of our staff members.