Vegetation Health Assessment Technician, The Great Basin Institute

Reno, NV

Position Title: Vegetation Health Assessment Technician

Organization: The Great Basin Institute

Location: Reno, NV

Organization Overview: The Great Basin Institute’s Ecological Monitoring Program focuses on collecting monitoring data to inform conservation and management of natural, cultural, and recreational resources in the Intermountain West, while providing emerging professionals opportunities to begin or enhance their careers. This program provides hands-on experience with rangeland surveys, terrestrial vegetation monitoring, and field data collection.

One component of the program works in cooperation with the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) to implement NDOW’s Land Health Assessment (LHA) program. The goal of the LHA program is to provide ecological monitoring data to inform conservation planning and adaptive management decisions. This data is used by resource specialists and land managers to inform future resource management decisions focused on protecting Nevada’s biodiversity and restoring productive terrestrial ecosystems to support wildlife.

Position Overview: For the 2023 field season, GBI is recruiting Vegetation Monitoring Technicians to work with GBI and NDOW staff. Each Tech will work under the supervision of a Crew Lead to characterize vegetation using LHA protocols, on various sampling sites across northern Nevada. Monitoring projects are predominantly located in sagebrush ecosystems and focused on post-fire restoration, habitat improvement, and baseline habitat condition. This opportunity differs from other GBI Ecological Monitoring positions as the primary monitoring goal is to conduct long-term vegetation monitoring, excluding soil indicators.

Duties:
Field work will include:
• Maintaining safety awareness and practices;
• Extensive 4×4 driving on unmaintained roads;
• Navigating off-trail to sampling sites;
• Establishing or revisiting sampling plots and transects;
• Collecting vegetation data (including species inventory, forb diversity, species abundance, sagebrush shape, foliar cover, canopy gap, and herbaceous and woody heights);
• Taking photo-points;
• Making qualitative treatment assessments;
• Identifying plants to species in the field and/or using dichotomous keys; and
• Supporting extensive QA/QC data checks.

Additional duties include:
• Regular communication with GBI support staff and agency staff;
• Participation in GBI and agency trainings; and
• Entering data into both Field Maps and Survey 123 software.

Qualifications:
Technical requirements:
• Experience, education, or a combination of both in botany and/or range management to meet the following:

• Bachelor’s degree in botany, biology, ecology, or rangeland ecology or other natural resources with at least 9 semester hours in plant or biological sciences;

AND/OR

• A minimum of 1 year of field data collection identifying plants

• Experience identifying plants in the field and using a dichotomous key;
• 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 navigating and collecting coordinates with hand-held GPS units;
• Experience safely operating 4WD trucks on paved and unpaved roads, often in remote areas on unimproved roads;
• Experience with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Access); and
• Experience with Field Maps, Survey 123, and ArcGIS Online.

Additional requirements:
• 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 LHA program and the mission of GBI;
• Familiarity with native and invasive plants of the sampling area and associated natural resource issues, preferred;
• Possess a valid, state-issued driver’s license and clean driving record;
• Ability to work productively independently or as part of a team to accomplish mutual goals;
• Ability to communicate effectively with team members, agency staff, and a diverse public;
• Ability to accurately complete timesheets in a timely manner;
• Possess excellent organizational skills or willingness to learn;
• Familiarity with best practices for field safety and Leave No Trace principles;
• Experience in and willingness to spend up to seven consecutive nights camping with no amenities in remote locations;
• 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.

Start/End Dates: April 10 or May 15

Application Deadline: January 29

How to Apply: Please use the online application to view the full job description as well as how to apply.

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