Vegetation Monitoring Crew Lead, Great Basin Institute

Reno, NV

Position Title: Vegetation Monitoring Crew Lead

Organization: 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 two Vegetation Monitoring Crew Leads to work with agency staff, GBI staff, and technicians. Each Lead will coordinate and supervise a field crew (one Lead and three Technicians) 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 condition of sage-grouse habitat. This opportunity differs from other GBI Ecological Monitoring positions as the primary monitoring goal is to conduct long-term vegetation monitoring, excluding soil indicators.

During the first month of training, the typical schedule is 5 days on (Monday-Friday) and 2 days off. During field work, car camping for 8 day “hitches” (Wednesday-Wednesday) in remote locations will be required, followed by 6 days off (Thursday-Tuesday). At the end of the field season, there are three weeks of office work, primarily focused on data QC.


  • Maintaining safety awareness and practices;
  • Extensive 4×4 driving on unmaintained roads;
  • Navigating off-trail to sampling sites;
  • Establishing 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; and
  • Identifying plants to species using dichotomous keys.
  • Supporting and managing a field crew;
  • Coordinating field logistics and scheduling; and
  • Report writing and completing administrative paperwork.
  • Regular communication with GBI support staff and NDOW agency staff;
  • Participation in GBI and agency trainings;
  • Using Field Maps and Survey 123 software to collect field data;
  • Managing ArcGIS Online databases; and
  • Employing extensive QA/QC data checks.


  •  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;
  • Experience with technical writing and/or producing written project summary reports;
  • 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);
  • Experience creating maps and performing basic functions with GIS software; and
  • Experience with Field Maps, Survey 123, and ArcGIS Online.
  • 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;
  • Willingness to mentor and foster professional development for members of your crew;
  • Possess a valid, state-issued driver’s license and clean driving record;
  • Familiarity with native and invasive plants of the sampling area and associated natural resource issues preferred;
  • 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;
  • Ability to accurately complete administrative tasks on time i.e. timesheet, paperwork, etc;
  • Excellent organizational skills;
  • 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.


  • Leadership experience, including supervising field crews and managing projects simultaneously;
  • 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;
  • A minimum of 1 year of field data collection identifying plants

Start/End Dates: April 4- September 22 (tentative)


  • $1,840 biweekly salary
  • 150 biweekly housing stipend; untaxed, used at applicant’s discretion as housing is not provided
  • $30 per diem for every night camped in the field (up to 7 units in an 8-day work week)
  • $32.30/month cell phone stipend
  • Paid Health Insurance (Monthly premiums fully paid by GBI)
  • Paid state holidays
  • Paid personal leave

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