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Aquatic Monitoring Riparian Botanist

  • The Great Basin Institute
  • 09/21/22
  • Prineville, OR
  • 97754
  • $3230 before taxes, see description for full break / Monthly
  • Full-Time
The Great Basin Institute is an interdisciplinary field studies organization that promotes environmental research, education, and service throughout the West. The Institutes mission is to advance applied science and ecological literacy through community engagement and agency partnerships, supporting national parks and forests, open spaces and public lands.

The Aquatic Monitoring Program at GBI serves as an excellent development opportunity for natural resource professionals seeking experience in aquatic, riparian, and rangeland surveys. A component of our well-established Research Associate Program, GBIs Aquatic Monitoring effort 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 that will increase future success.

GBI is recruiting Riparian Botanists to assist in the implementation of the Bureau of Land Managements (BLM) National Aquatic Monitoring Framework (NAMF) for Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM) of lotic ecosystems, as well as Multiple Indicator Monitoring (MIM) of stream channels and streamside vegetation. The Riparian Botanist will work with GBI staff, BLM staff, and Aquatic Monitoring Field Leads and Technicians. Each Botanist will work as part of a three-person crew (one Crew Lead, one Riparian Botanist, and one Technician) in eastern Oregon to sample streams and assess riparian vegetation on BLM-managed land using the BLMs Aquatic AIM protocol. As part of a three-person crew, the Riparian Botanists main responsibility will be to assess riparian vegetation using the MIM protocol for stream channels and streamside vegetation. AIM seeks to standardize the collection data that can be used at multiple scales to assist the BLM in making resource management decisions.

More information about AIM and AIM implementation can be found at
More information about MIM:

Aquatic monitoring crews will sample streams on BLM-managed lands in eastern Oregon using the BLMs AIM protocol for wadeable lotic systems. Data collection involves measuring a variety of attributes including water chemistry and instream habitat, collecting aquatic macroinvertebrates, and conducting ocular estimates in the riparian zone. Successful applicants will be required to work and camp in the field during 8-day sampling efforts (8 days on, 6 days off). Applicants should be prepared to encounter strenuous working conditions, including off-trail hiking and traversing of streams. Additional effort might be required to reach difficult sites, including overnight backpacking and use of off road vehicles.

Dependent on performance and completion of work term this position qualifies for Public Lands Corps (PLC) status given that the applicant is 30 years old or younger at the time of application for federal employment.

Field work and duties may include:
Route planning utilizing ArcMap and Google Earth
Navigating unmaintained roads and off-trail to sampling sites utilizing GPS and back country navigation skills;
Establishing sampling plots and transects;
Collecting riparian vegetation data, including species inventory (green line composition, green line width, woody species high class and age class);
Identifying plants to species using dichotomous keys;
Entering and managing data in electronic data collection module.

Additional duties include:
Maintaining safety awareness and practices;
Regular communication with GBI support staff and BLM agency staff;
Participation in GBI and BLM agency trainings.

Contract Timeline:
May through September: 3 crews
May through July: 1 crew

Eastern Oregon
Klamath Falls

Compensation and Benefits:
Total approximate compensation: $3230/month before taxes (approximate hourly equivalent: $20.19/hour), plus health insurance
Compensation breakdown:
$15.00 per diem for every night camping (up to 7 units in an 8 day workweek)
$300/month housing stipend paid $150 every two weeks
Health insurance including vision and dental at no cost to the employee
Paid federal holidays
Paid personal time off (amount dependent on contract length)

Job Qualifications:
Technical Qualifications:
Experience in plant identification, capable of identifying 95% of plants encountered to the species level; experience in riparian plant identification and field-based monitoring is preferred.
Experience, education, or a combination of the two in natural resources and field data collection to meet one or both of the following:
Bachelors Degree in Botany, Natural Resources, Ecology, Biology or related subject;
Minimum of 2 years field data collection.
Coursework or equivalent experience in aquatic biology, hydrology, entomology, geomorphology, plant taxonomy and/or systematics;
Familiarity with lotic systems of the western United States;
Experience conducting field work using various monitoring protocols, including standard aquatic 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 creating maps and performing basic functions with GIS software (ArcMap);
Experience using Google Earth and ArcMap;
Navigating off-trail to sampling sites;
Ability to live and work with other crew members in remote locations for prolonged periods of time; and
Ability to maintain a positive working environment during difficult working conditions.

Additional Requirements:
Willingness and ability to work in a fast-paced, dynamic setting, and to consistently meet high performance standards. This includes maintaining 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 drivers license and clean driving record;
Ability to complete a Department of Interior (DOI) Background Investigation (BI) and submit paperwork prior to employment indicating that an active or fully adjudicated BI has been started or completed;
Familiarity with native and invasive plants of the sampling area and associated natural resource issues preferred;
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;
Willingness to spend multiple days camping in the field;
Willingness to work irregular hours (e.g., early mornings, late nights);
Backcountry travel experience and solid navigational skills;
Ability to work in harsh and rapidly changing environments and all types of weather, traverse uneven terrain, carry upwards of 40 pounds in a backpack, and otherwise maintain good physical condition; and
Ability to provide personal camping equipment, backpack, and hiking boots.

To Apply:

Placement is determined on a first-come, first-served basis, it is possible that some locations will be full. We encourage applying early to gain the best chance of getting top-choice locations. Applications will continue to be accepted until all positions are filled or until April 30, 2021, whichever comes first. Only qualified candidates will be contacted.

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