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Invasive Plants Survey Technician (USFS Humboldt-Toiyabe, Multiple NV and CA sites)


Invasive plants have been identified as a major threat to the biological diversity and ecological integrity in and near the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest (HTNF). Invasive plants displace native plants; reduce the forest’s capacity for carbon sequestration, reduce habitat and forage for wildlife and livestock; diminishing populations of threatened, endangered, and sensitive species; alter soil properties and productivity; change the intensity and frequency of wildfires; and impact recreation opportunities.

The Great Basin Institute, in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, is recruiting (15) AmeriCorps Biological Science Technicians to participate in non-native, invasive plant species survey, treatment, and monitoring for the forest's noxious weed control program. The primary focus of this position will be the manual and chemical treatment of invasive and noxious weeds. Most of this work is conducted using backpack sprayers, UTV’s, and large 4WD spray vehicles traveling on remote 4WD roads. Appropriate personal protective equipment will be supplied by the Forest Service and always utilized by Technicians. A tablet with FieldMaps, Avenza Maps, and EDDMapS West will be used to record plant populations. A Garmin InReach device will be provided for added safety measures. 

Primary duties:

• Treat invasive plant infestations (Treatments primarily involve using herbicides, but may also be accomplished by hand-pulling and/or using hand tools, power tools, mowers, and other standardized control methods);
• Identify non-native plant species using various field guides and survey methods for target plants;
• Collect data on infestation location and status;
• Accurately record data related to invasive plant treatments according to specific protocols; and
• Perform basic mathematical calculations related to herbicide mixing and applications.

Additional Experience Opportunities:

• Learning new monitoring methods and participating in range and ecology vegetation surveying.
• Post fire restoration efforts.
• Improving GIS skills through database management.
• Assistance with federal resume building and navigating USAJobs.

Although a small portion of time may be dedicated to data entry and other office tasks, this is primarily a field-based position which requires physical labor and daily hiking. Technicians will often navigate using GPS, topographic maps, and/or compass to remote locations in rugged terrain under possible adverse weather conditions. 

A training session including plant identification, herbicide safety, use of tablets and associated software, UTV operation, trailer towing, and first aid will be provided at the beginning of the field season. 

Contract Timeline:

• The 26-week positions have two potential start dates including Monday, April 10, 2023, and Monday, May 8, 2023
• 40 hours/week


Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest
Rising from the floor of the Great Basin—the vast expanse between the Rocky and Sierra Nevada Mountains where creeks and rivers flow inland rather than to the ocean—the steep, green mountains of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest provide critical water, wildlife habitat, and incredible adventures for visitors and residents. Ghost towns and historic mining cabins dot these vast, largely undiscovered sky islands that offer freedom, solitude, and a sense of discovery and adventure for the self-reliant. Although mostly remote, the Forest also borders some of the busiest urban areas in the country—Las Vegas and Reno. For more information about this incredible landscape, please visit the
Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest fact sheet.

Available duty locations will be based at some or all the following locations (NV): Austin, Carson City, Wells, Ely, Las Vegas, Paradise Valley, and Bridgeport, CA.

Compensation and Benefits:

• Living Allowance: $16,495.00 (Approximately $1,250.00 biweekly before taxes)
• Segal AmeriCorps Education Award: $3,247.50 (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)
• $15/day field camping per diem when applicable
• Provided health insurance, inclusive of all seasonal positions (medical, dental and vision)
• Eligibility for Student Loan Forbearance, SNAP benefits
• Barracks housing available at select sites, at a cost to the biotechnician of approximately $400/month; otherwise a housing stipend of $75.00/week is provided to help offset costs

Job Qualifications:

Technical requirements:

• Knowledge and interest in botany and plant identification; 
• Willingness to utilize chemical herbicide treatment methods, and ability to pass Nevada State Applicator exam (training and study time will be provided prior to the exam);
• Ability to utilize hand-held GPS units or tablets for navigation and/or data collection preferred, along with basic computer skills;
• Ability to carry backpack sprayer or up to 30 pounds in a backpack, and otherwise maintain good physical condition;
• Experience operating 4WD trucks on and off-road, including mountainous forest roads, preferred;
• Knowledge and experience in operating off highway vehicles such as Utility Terrain Vehicles (UTV) desirable; and
• Experience with towing and backing-up a trailer, desirable.

Additional requirements: 

• Ability to self-direct and self-motivate;
• Possess good organizational skills;
• Tolerant of working in variable weather conditions, willing and able to work outdoors in adverse weather conditions, and able to hike 2+ miles daily on uneven terrain;
• Ability to work productively as part of a team to accomplish mutual goals and follow safe working practices;
• Communicate effectively with a diverse public;
• 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.

Other Job Information (if applicable):
This AmeriCorps position is open to US Citizens, Nationals, or Permanent Residents age 17 or older.
Covid-19 Vaccination Policy: As part of Great Basin Institute’s Covid-19 Vaccination Policy, all AmeriCorps members are required to receive and provide proof of a full course of COVID-19 vaccine prior to the first day of service, unless a medical or religious exemption is submitted and approved. All AmeriCorps members covered by this policy are required to be fully vaccinated as a term and condition of service at Great Basin Institute. AmeriCorps members are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after completing primary vaccination with a COVID-19 vaccine, with, if applicable, at least the minimum recommended interval between doses.

To review a copy of GBI’s COVID-19 Vaccination Policy, please visit our Field Updates page for more details. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this policy, please do not hesitate to contact one of our staff members.