NISC Crew Leader: Illinois

Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation
Elizabeth, IL
Job Category
Full time Positions
$20+ an hour
Last Date to Apply
The Northwest Illinois Stewardship Co-op (NISC), a program of the Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation (JDCF), is seeking a full time Restoration Crew Leader. This position supervises and leads a crew that is responsible for implementing ecological restoration and land stewardship activities on sites owned or managed by members of NISC. NISC is a collaboration of 10 public and private organizations in northwest Illinois that works to address pressing and urgent natural areas management concerns across jurisdictional boundaries and service regions. NISC is based in Elizabeth, Illinois and will work on some of NISC’s conservation areas located in Jo Daviess, Carroll, Ogle, Stephenson, and/or Winnebago Counties, Illinois. The Restoration Crew Leader will implement invasive and exotic plant management control methods using integrated pest management strategies, including manual, mechanical, chemical, and prescribed burning methods. Day-to-day job duties will primarily be focused on restoring native plant and animal habitats in parks, nature preserves, and other conservation areas. As needed, the Restoration Crew Leader will assist in the preparation of grant applications, grant reports, and land management plans. Ideal candidates will have a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Resource Management, Forestry, Environmental Science, or similar field. Ideal candidates will also have 3+ years of related field skills, experience using GPS/GIS software, a valid herbicide applicator’s license (or the ability to acquire one), basic certifications in prescribed burning from National Wildfire Coordinating Group or similar organization, and the ability to work cooperatively with others, including volunteers. Applicants must be able to identify common invasive and non-native plant species and familiar with the phenology thereof; have experience operating various types of equipment, including chainsaws, herbicide applicators, and UTVs; be able to perform physical work in difficult terrain and adverse weather; demonstrate capacity for leading educational and outreach activities on a semi-independent basis; and have basic computer literacy including Microsoft Office Suite will be given preference. This is a full-time, hourly position with paid time off and other benefits. Regular hours for this position are Monday through Friday, 8 hours per day. However, occasional evenings and weekends are required, especially during prescribed burn seasons. To view the complete job description and requirements, please visit
BASIC QUALIFICATIONS: •Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Resource Management, Forestry, Environmental Science or related field. •Three or more years training in natural resource management or work in natural resource-related field. •Ability to identify invasive and non-native herbaceous and woody plant species. •Experience operating and maintaining various types of equipment including chainsaws, herbicide applicators, tractors, trucks, trailers, and ATVs. •Ability to lead educational and outreach activities geared toward the general public as needs arise. •Ability to perform arduous physical work in difficult terrain. •Ability to lead a crew of 3 to 4, while fostering a community mentality (safe, professional, collaborative, and growth oriented) ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS: The Restoration Crew Leader supervises and leads a crew in the control of invasive and non-native plants from conservation areas owned or managed by members of the Northwest Illinois Stewardship Cooperative (NISC), and private landowners. The Restoration Crew Leader will implement invasive exotic plant management control methods using integrated pest management strategies. Control strategies will include manual, mechanical, prescribed fire, and chemical techniques. This position may use accurate and detailed data collection to plan and report invasive species management using Geographical Information Systems (GIS). This may include one or more of the following functions: •Removes exotic species using manual, mechanical, prescribed fire, and chemical techniques •Documents stewardship activities and/or monitors species using computers and handheld electronic equipment •Serve in varying roles on prescribed burns •Maintains tools and equipment •Assists with preparing reports and presentations •Upkeep and digitization of daily logs (timesheets, herbicide use) •Communicate status of projects to Program Director •Obtain job requirements from Program Director and communicate to crew •Identify potential additional or follow up work •Adapt job plans in the face of changing work environments •Assists with research and gathering of information on invasive species •Assist with designing and leading workshops and educational events for the general public •In inclement weather assist the Program Director with various office tasks i.e. management plan writing, proposal preparation, data entry, and GIS mapping as needed REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS: •3+ years training in a Natural Resources related field or related experience in land management. •Experience working with or knowledge of natural systems. Ability to recognize plant and animal species. •Ability to operate various types of equipment in a safe and efficient manner (e.g.; chainsaw, tractor, pumper units, ATV, 4-wheel drive vehicle, brush cutter, etc.) •Ability to follow instructions from colleagues •Ability to perform physical work, sometime under adverse conditions or in inclement weather, such as carrying up to 40 lbs. up to 5 miles over steep terrain for 7 hours/day •Willingness and ability to travel throughout northwest Illinois; occasionally overnight •Ability and willingness to have a varying and flexible work schedule with occasional work on evenings and weekends. •Ability to obtain proper prescribed fire certification including NWCG S130, S190, S131, and S290 with the opportunity to advance to burn boss. •Valid herbicide applicator’s license or ability to acquire such within 2 weeks of hire date •Valid driver’s license •Computer literacy, including using a database to maintain land management records, use of the internet, and Microsoft Office Suite •Basic knowledge of ArcMap GIS/GPS software COMPLEXITY/PROBLEM SOLVING: •May resolve preserve management problems independently as delegated •Consult with supervisor to develop plans for resolution of unusual or complex land management problems •Monitor report on the progress of work groups toward achieving preserve management goals DISCRETION/LATITUDE/DECISION-MAKING: •Consults supervisor on unusual or complex issues •Make day-to-day decisions as delegated by supervisor •Ability to work independently without direct oversight RESPONSIBILITY/OVERSIGHT – SUPERVISORY: •Receives detailed instructions to complete required tasks •May work under close supervision or infrequent supervision •Supervises crew of 3 to 4, may help plan and direct work groups, including other staff or volunteers COMMUNICATIONS/INTERPERSONAL CONTACTS: •Ability to convey work instructions to other crew members, including volunteers •Ability to interact with preserve visitors and to convey basic preserve information •Ability to function productively as a leader of a work team •Ability to communicate effectively with multiple supervisors in different locations •Ability to plan and teach training sessions for the general public in the areas of invasive species control,cprescribed fire, chainsaw training, etc. •Ability to conduct various educational and outreach activities aimed toward the general public WORKING CONDITIONS/PHYSICAL EFFORT: The Restoration Crew Leader may work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain, and under physically demanding circumstances. These conditions: •Require considerable physical exertion and/or muscular strain •Require long hours occasionally in isolated settings •Require the ability to work in extreme hot and cold temperatures •Require tolerance of stinging and biting insects and arachnids
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Jake Pulfer
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