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Title: Habitat Junior Assistant Grade: RA2 FLSA: Exempt
Date: July 29, 2019 Reports to: Conservation Program Manager
Purpose of Position
The National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC) is seeking one Junior Habitat Assistant to work utilizing common ecological restoration tools to establish and manage a suite of conservation practices. The primary purposes of these positions will be to work on private and public lands to implement the best restoration or management practice application for the particular site and utilize the necessary tools to successfully accomplish the conservation goal while preparing practitioners to think at landscape scale levels as it pertains to conservation application. This position is part of a partnership between Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Illinois Recreational Access Program (IRAP) and Lewis and Clark Community College/National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC) and other regional partners. This is a temporary part-time position (29 hrs/week starting at $12.42/hr) with a target start date of August 16, 2019 and will last at least until May, 2021.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
These assistants will be technical experts on all aspects of the conservation restoration and management, working to restore and improve conservation acres on the ground. Primary focuses will include providing on the ground conservation restoration or management for landowners enrolled in IRAP. Additional land focus areas may include state, federal and private lands which complement the IRAP program.
This position will utilize conservation restoration and habitat management tools including but not limited to ATV, rear mount broadcast seeder, trailer and gas powered sprayer, brush cutter, hand tools, chemical sprayers/applicators, chainsaw, and prescribed fire tools as well as being responsible for maintenance and repair of equipment.
This position is one of several new positions of the private lands conservation hub developing at the National Great Rivers Research & Education Center. Additional professional development through field training, professional workshops, and online courses may be available for this position.
The Junior Habitat Assistant’s primary duty station will be at the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center located in East Alton, IL. Habitat Strike Team will work within approximately a 90 mile radius of Godfrey, IL.
Work hours are 29 hours per week. The job will consist of mainly field work but some office work is included. Mandatory drug test and security background check, with fingerprinting, will be required of the selected applicant. This position will last until May, 2021, with a possibility of extension based on a submitted grant.
• Actively targeting conservation restoration and management with landowner outreach and one-on-one consultation.
• Implementing conservation practices in order to restore habitat for wildlife and improve habitat with common management practices including burning, chemical application, and hand/mechanical treatment.
• Fostering working relationships with IDNR staff and other stakeholder groups.
• Understanding and providing information to landowners about the suite conservation management practices available for habitat and wildlife goals.
• Participating in the construction, fabrication, maintenance and repair of Strike Team equipment and supplies.
• Participating in scientific field studies and surveys;
• Performs other related duties as assigned.
Minimum Training and Experience Required to Perform Essential Job Functions
• Requires a minimum of a high school degree, and preferably a 2 yr. Associates degree or equivalent work experience in a natural resources field, such as, forestry, wildlife biology, ecology, or a related field. A basic understanding of environmental, agricultural and/or natural resource science.
• Ability to operate, maintain, and transport (trailering and securing) farming equipment (tractor, planter, mower)
• Experience and knowledge of general farm equipment maintenance and repair
• Ability to communicate clearly and effectively with colleagues and partner agencies;
• Ability to work independently with little supervision;
• Knowledge of wildlife ecology, forestry, wetland and grassland management including the ability to utilize various habitat management equipment and tools in the development of wildlife habitat;
• Prescribed fire, S/130 and S/190, certificate is required within 45 days of hiring.
• Chemical Operator License is required within 45 days of hiring
• Requires working knowledge of wildlife management and forest management practices for habitat restoration.
• Requires effective communication skills.
• Requires the ability to work efficiently and effectively with others (i.e. IDNR, NGOs, landowners, etc.), as well as independently, and be able to prioritize a heavy and varied workload.
• Requires possession of valid driver’s license and vehicle insurance coverage meeting state minimum requirements at all times.
• A background in agriculture and/or working knowledge of agriculture is desirable.
• Field work may be taxing. The Junior Habitat Assistant will need to be a strong hiker and comfortable working in adverse environmental conditions to gain access to sites and complete field work efficiently.