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.
In 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 BLM districts. In some instances participants may perform supplemental protocols such as Habitat Assessment Framework (HAF) (to inform conservation approaches for sage-grouse). Supplemental sampling may also include collecting data on forb diversity and pollinators, among other indicators. Select locations will apply AIM sampling to post-wildfire Emergency Stabilization and Rehabilitation (ESR) monitoring.
This video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LciTBPG2-Ss&feature=youtu.be) highlights the national BLM AIM strategy for landscape-scale data capture across western states.
This project is working within the BLM California Desert District (CDD) and in addition to collecting standard AIM data, this project will assist the NRCS with soil mapping and ecological site development at sites within the DRECP/CDD designs. The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) is focused on 10.8 million acres of public lands in the desert regions of seven California counties – Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego. It is a landscape-level plan that streamlines renewable energy development while conserving unique and valuable desert ecosystems and providing outdoor recreation opportunities.
More information on the DRECP can be found here:
GBI is recruiting two Ecological Monitoring Soil Technicians to work with GBI and BLM staff, in the California Desert District.
Each Soil Technician will work on a 2 person field crew under the supervision of an Ecological Monitoring Soil Scientist. Each soil crew will collect a NASIS (National Soil Information System) quality Soil Pit Description. This in an effort to assist the NRCS (Natural Resource Conservation Service) with soil mapping and ecological site development in the hot deserts of California. Sites within the DRECP (Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan)/CDD (California Desert District) designs will be completing NRCS Soil Pedon Descriptions. A comprehensive soil pit description will be completed at each site using the NRCS Soil Pedon Description Form 232. This will be done at randomized sample locations across the DRECP/CDD areas where standard AIM data is also being collected by a separate crew. This crew will be a dedicated soils crew. In addition, the soil crew will also collect soil sample voucher collections for three specified plots determined by the BLM.
Experience, education, or a combination of the two in natural resources and field data collection to meet one or both of the following:
• B.A./B.S in a natural resource field such as soil science, geosciences, environmental science, ecology, biology, natural resource management, or a closely related field
• At least 9 semester hours in soil science classes.
• A minimum of 1 year field data collection describing soils.
• Any of the 4 certifications from the Soil Science Society of America may substitute for education or experience.