Ecological Monitoring Field Technicians – Ridgecrest and Bishop, California
Great Basin Institute and Bureau of Land Management
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.
As an element of this program, participants will implement the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) terrestrial Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM) strategy, which is targeted at collecting standardized inventory and long-term ecological data at multiple scales across western public lands. In many locations, participants will also implement the BLM Habitat Assessment Framework (HAF), which is aimed at collecting habitat assessment data on public lands with the purpose of informing conservation approaches for sage-grouse habitat. 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. University credit may be available at host institutions for internship or practicum purposes.
In accordance with these strategies and through partnerships with multiple agencies, GBI’s Ecological Monitoring Program is dedicated to supporting resource management while providing college graduates and emerging professionals with hands-on survey, inventory, monitoring, and reporting experience in natural resource management.
This video highlights the national BLM AIM strategy for landscape-scale data capture across western states.
In partnership with cooperating agencies, GBI is recruiting Ecological Monitoring Field Technicians to work with agency staff, GBI staff, and a GBI Ecological Monitoring Field Lead. Each Field Technician will participate in a field crew (one Lead and two Technicians) to characterize vegetation using the terrestrial AIM protocol, Describing/Interpreting Indicators of Rangeland Health (D/IIRH), the Habitat Assessment Framework (HAF) protocol, and/or the Proper Functioning Condition (PFC) protocol, for which training will be provided.
Duties include following established field protocols to conduct vegetation sampling and field data collection on new and existing monitoring sites. Field data will be used by resource specialists and land managers to inform decisions regarding range management and other resource management issues of the area. During periods of field work, camping will be required.
Field work will include:
- Maintaining safety awareness and practices;
- Navigating off-trail to sampling sites;
- Establishing sampling plots and transects;
- Identifying and describing soil horizons;
- Collecting vegetation data (including species inventory, forb frequency, sagebrush shape, foliar cover, canopy gap, and herbaceous and woody heights);
- Making qualitative range assessments; and
- Taking photo-points.
Additional duties include:
- Participation in GBI and agency trainings;
- Entering data into and managing an Access-based database;
- Identifying plants to species using dichotomous keys;
- Employing extensive QA/QC data checks; and
Ridgecrest, California is located in the southern portion of the Indian Wells Valley and in the northeast corner of Kern County, surrounded by four mountain ranges; the Sierra Nevada on the west, the Cosos on the north, the Argus Range on the east, and the El Paso Mountains on the south. It is approximately an hour and quarter from the Lancaster/Palmdale area and approximately two hours from both Bakersfield and San Bernardino, as well as premier coastal locations found in the southern California region.
- February 12th, 2017 – October 1st, 2018
- $15/night Camping per diem
- $75/week Housing stipend
- Paid holidays and personal leave
- Paid health insurance (medical, dental and vision)
- Bachelor’s Degree in Life Sciences, such as: Botany, Wildlife Biology, Range Ecology, Natural Resources Management, Environmental Resources or related subject;
- Coursework or equivalent experience in plant taxonomy and/or systematics;
- Experience identifying plants in the field and using a dichotomous key;
- Familiarity with native and invasive plants of the sampling area and associated natural resource issues preferred;
- Experience in describing and identifying soil horizons preferred;
- Experience conducting plant surveys using various monitoring protocols, including standard rangeland monitoring protocols, photo plots, and site observations;
- Experience with data entry and management;
- Ability to read, interpret and navigate using topographic maps;
- Experience safely operating 4WD trucks on paved and unpaved roads, often in remote areas on unimproved roads;
- Experience navigating and collecting coordinates with hand-held GPS units;
- Experience creating maps and performing basic functions with GIS software (ArcMap), preferred; and
- Experience with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Access).
- Willingness and ability to work in a fast-paced, dynamic setting, and to consistently enact high performance standards and a strong work and team ethic in support of the goals and objectives of the AIM program and the mission of GBI;
- Valid, state-issued driver’s license and clean driving record;
- Ability to complete a Department of Interior (DOI) Background Investigation (BI) and submit paperwork to BLM human resources prior to beginning position indicating that an active and fully adjudicated BI has been started or completed;
- Ability to work productively as part of a team to accomplish mutual goals;
- Ability to work independently;
- Ability to communicate effectively with team members, agency staff, and a diverse public;
- Excellent organizational skills;
- Familiarity with best practices for field safety and Leave No Trace principles;
- Experience in and willingness to spend multiple days camping in the field;
- Flexibility with position location within field district offices
- Willingness to work irregular hours (e.g., early mornings, late nights); and
- Ability to work in harsh and rapidly changing environments, work in all types of weather conditions, traverse uneven terrain, carry upwards of 40 pounds in a backpack, and otherwise maintain good physical condition.
How to Apply:
Please visit our employment web page at: http://crcareers.thegreatbasininstitute.org/careers/careers.aspx?rf=CONSBOARD &req=2017-RAP-085 to locate the position(s) you are most interested in and apply online directly from our website.