Native Seed Technician
The Great Basin Institute, in cooperation with the Reno US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) office, is recruiting two (2) Native Seed Technicians to conduct seed collecting and ecological restoration activities throughout the Great Basin on Department of Interior (DOI) and Forest Service (USFS) lands.
- Scouting and identifying populations of target native plant species suitable for collection;
- GPS mapping populations of plants, disturbance areas, and other features using tablets, handheld devices, ArcGIS Online, ArcPro/Map, and ESRI apps;
- Monitoring the phenology of plant populations to identify optimal seed collection times;
- In accordance with the Seeds of Success (SOS) Technical Protocol, collecting seed from plant populations for both operational and conservation collections;
- Completing paper and digital data forms;
- Processing and shipping seed following standard industry procedure;
- Taking herbarium vouchers, and processing and shipping as necessary;
- Collecting tissue samples for genetic analysis and processing and shipping;
- Recording data electronically and on paper data forms, entering and editing data related to restoration activities;
- Photographing collection sites and plants;
- Maintenance and regular inventory of field gear;
- Daily and monthly vehicle checks;
- Driving a truck up to 5 hours a day;
- Traveling in a truck up to ten hours a day;
- Assisting with the coordination of conservation crew work;
- Assisting with the coordination of volunteer seed collection and restoration events;
- Rare plant surveys and support;
- Providing support for arid land restoration projects;
- Monitoring and maintenance of reciprocal transplant study plots;
- Reporting accomplishments and providing recommendations for program improvements, priorities, and future projects; and
- Participating in trainings provided by GBI, US Fish & Wildlife, and USFS staff and community partners.
Field work involves driving GBI, FWS, or Forest Service trucks on both highways and 4WD roads, often for 100+ miles per day as well as hiking off designated trails or routes, across rugged terrain, up to 5 miles per day, but more typically 0-1 mile per day. Seed collection requires regular stooping, standing and maneuvering on uneven terrain for many hours a day. Weather conditions will vary from cold winds and precipitation in the early spring to temperatures over 100F in the summer. The use of global positioning systems (handheld GPS units), computers, tablets, digital cameras, and on- and off-road vehicles are an essential part of the job. Camping under primitive conditions at remote locations on data collection trips will regularly be required. Schedules are often determined by plant phenology.
Incumbents must also be willing to spend days at a time working at a computer during periods of data entry and analysis.
- Lift up to 50-70 pounds of material or equipment
- Bend, lift, pull, and push
- Crouch, stoop, kneel, stand, or bend for long periods of time
- Drive for many hours a day on highways and 4WD roads.
- Handle plant material for many hours a day.
- Walk and stand for long periods of time on uneven surfaces carrying equipment
- Be outside in extreme heat or cold (depending upon the season)
- Occasionally work 10+ hour days
- Travel and camp overnight & up to 8 days at a time for project work
- 26-week appointment beginning April 2023
- Full time (40 hours/week)
- Bachelor’s degree with coursework and field experience related to biology, botany, ecology, plant science, or related field;
- Experience identifying plants using taxonomic keys or familiarity with plants of the Great Basin;
- Experience using hand-held GPS equipment for data collection and navigation;
- Ability to read and navigate using topographic maps and a compass;
- Familiarity driving 4WD vehicles on- and off-road;
- Experience operating All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV) on difficult terrain, helpful; and
- Understanding and/or experience using ArcGIS Pro 2.0 software, and ESRI apps like Field Maps and Survey 123, helpful.
- Willingness and ability to work in harsh, ever-changing desert conditions, including extreme temperatures, independently or as part of a team;
- Willingness to camp in remote, undeveloped sites for multiple days, up to 8 days;
- Ability to bend and stoop for long periods of time while collecting seed, and to use hand tools, and occasionally lift buckets of water and other heavy loads;
- Ability to work a non-standard schedule, such as beginning at 5 am, to avoid heat-related issues, to follow plant phenology, or for coordination with team members.
- Ability to communicate effectively, both written and orally, with a diverse audience;
- Strong interpersonal skills and willingness to work as part of a tight knit team (Most often crews will be two people, which requires technicians to co-lead, take initiative, and behave in a manner that promotes team integrity.);
- Ability to work independently or in pairs with little supervision, strong initiative and high attention to detail;
- Possess a valid, state-issued driver’s license and clean driving record; and
- Meet AmeriCorps eligibility requirements: (1) U.S. citizenship or legal resident alien status, (2) eligible to receive an AmeriCorps Education Award (limit of four in a lifetime or the equivalent of two full-time education awards), (3) pass National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW) and federal criminal background checks, (4) adhere to the rules, regulations and code of conduct as specified in the Member Service Agreement; and (5) not engage in any prohibited activities as listed in the Member Service Agreement.
Multiple positions are available in Nevada. Please indicate your availability and preferred locations/positions when applying. We encourage applying early in order to gain the best chance at getting your top-choice locations.
Location: Reno, NV (working primarily in Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest and adjacent BLM lands)
The Reno-Sparks metropolitan area is home to approximately 500,000 people and offers year-round recreation opportunities, a vibrant urban scene and numerous community events. Reno has over 300 days of sunshine and four distinct seasons. Located on the northwestern edge of Nevada, Reno is a great home base from which to travel to the Great Basin, Lake Tahoe, Sierra Nevada range, San Francisco and more!
The Reno U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office’s mission is to conserve the natural biological diversity of the Great Basin, eastern Sierra of Nevada, and adjacent portions of eastern California. The Reno Fish and Wildlife Office works closely with many partners to conserve and recover native species throughout these states.
Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge protects more than half a million acres of high desert habitat for large wintering herds of pronghorn antelope, scattered bands of bighorn sheep, and a rich assortment of other wildlife, and is one of the few intact sagebrush steppe ecosystems in the Great Basin. The landscape is vast, rugged, and punctuated with waterfalls, narrow gorges, and lush springs among rolling hills and expansive tablelands of sagebrush and mountain mahogany.
The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest's spectacular 6.3 million acres makes it the largest national forest in the lower 48 states. Located in Nevada and a small portion of eastern California, The Forest’s landscapes range from towering snow-capped peaks to wide-open sage steppe. Elevation varies from a low of 4,100 feet to a high of 12,374 feet, providing a great diversity of habitats. The vegetation changes from wide open desert with cactus and scrub to ponderosa pine forests, which in turn give way to spruce and aspen then lodgepole pine and alpine tundra.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) administers 47.5 million acres of public land in Nevada alone. Crews will rove between multiple locations across the BLM districts of the Great Basin. The area is home to historic mining and ranching that conjure up images of the Wild West. The Great Basin's mountain ranges and wide open valleys are home to wildlife, livestock and wild horses and burros.
Compensation and Benefits:
- Total Living Allowance: up to $15,180 (Approximately $1,150biweekly before taxes)
- Segal AmeriCorps Education Award: $3,247 (Upon successful completion, the award may be used for past, present or future educational expenses, including payment of qualifying federal student loans and Title IV accredited college tuition.)
- Camping Per Diem: $34/day (when applicable)
- Medical, dental, and vision insurance available at no cost