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, rangeland, and aquatic 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.
As an element of the Program, participants implement the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM) strategy, which is targeted at collecting standardized inventory and long-term vegetation data at multiple scales across western BLM districts.
In accordance with this strategy and through partnerships with multiple agencies, 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. University credit may be available at host institutions for internship or practicum purposes.
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.
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. The particular protocols implemented will vary by location.
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
Locations and Tentative Timelines:
Locations and timelines listed below are tentative, some with potential for extension. Please indicate your availability and top three location choices when applying. We encourage applying early in order to gain the best chance at getting your top-choice locations.
o Susanville: April – October
o Lakeview, and Vale: April – October
o Salt Lake City: April – September
o Wenatchee: April – October
o Lander, New Castle: May – September
- $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=PD &req=2017-RAP-082 to locate the position(s) you are most interested in and apply online directly from our website.
Please indicate your availability and top three location choices when applying. Application review will begin in November and will continue until all positions are filled. We encourage applying early in order to gain the best chance at getting your top-choice locations. Only qualified candidates will be contacted.
We conform to all the laws, statutes, and regulations concerning equal employment opportunities and affirmative action. We strongly encourage women, minorities, individuals with disabilities and veterans to apply to all of our job openings. We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin, age, disability status, Genetic Information & Testing, Family & Medical Leave, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. We prohibit Retaliation against individuals who bring forth any complaint, orally or in writing, to the employer or the government, or against any individuals who assist or participate in the investigation of any complaint or otherwise oppose discrimination.