Employment at the Garden

Ecological Restoration Technician

Job Status:
Requisition Number:
Restoration Ecology
Reports to:
Senior Managing Ecologist, Prairie/River
Technicians, in this position, will work with ecologists in managing the Dixon Prairie and Skokie River Corridor to support native plant diversity. They will have the opportunity to learn how to identify and manage a wide range of both native and invasive plant species. They will gain knowledge about prairie and riparian ecology and restoration management, and acquire skills required to manage these habitats, in particularly control of invasive species. Numerous hand-on training opportunities will be provided, as well as opportunities to visit other natural areas both on-site and off-site, and to participate in training opportunities provided by the Garden’s distinguished staff of conservation scientists.  This is a seasonal full-time position anticipated to start April 18, 2022, for 34 weeks working Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The Chicago Botanic Garden lies within the tallgrass prairie region. Six tallgrass prairie communities, all of which can be found in northeastern Illinois, have been created in the Garden’s 15-acre Dixon Prairie. These include dry, mesic, and wet prairies; an oak savanna, as well as the unique sand dune and swale and fen communities. Next to the Dixon Prairie is the mile-long reach of the Skokie River with an adjacent 22 acres of developing wetlands and prairie.

Duties and Responsibilities:

In this role technicians will be responsible for the following: 


  • Assist in controlling invasive woody and herbaceous species in diverse native plant communities. This includes applying herbicides, cutting and removing woody species, digging, mowing, raking and removing debris, and deadheading.
  • Collect, clean, and disperse native seed.
  • Help maintain a native seed nursery.
  • Prepare burn breaks and participate in prescribed burns.
  • Operate small power tools including mowers, brush cutters, hedge trimmers, weed whackers, and water pumps and use herbicide sprayers, backpack water tanks, and hand tools.
  • Care for garden vehicles, tools, and machines.
  • Coordinate with Garden personnel (e.g., mechanics) related to work responsibilities.

MONITORING AND RESEARCH: Assist with vegetation monitoring in the Dixon Prairie and the Skokie River Corridor.  

TRAINING: Participate in workshops and training sessions to enhance skills and expertise in target areas.

OTHER: Assist with data entry, record keeping, other miscellaneous office work and organizational tasks as needed.

Key Garden competencies/behaviors desired:

  • Communicates in a manner that gains the trust and support of others at all levels.
  • Works effectively with others despite differences of opinion and style; builds alliances.
  • Has a tolerance for opposing points of view.
  • Strives for collaboration. Works cooperatively, as a positive contributor to the team.
  • Demonstrates a positive attitude and shows kindness in all workplace interactions.
  • Makes decisions appropriate for level of responsibility.
  • Can effectively adapt to change; can shift gears comfortably; is flexible, and embraces change with a “can-do” attitude.
  • Is self-aware; knows personal strengths and weaknesses; seeks feedback and is open to negative feedback as an opportunity for improvement.
  • Is cool under pressure; can be counted on to hold things together during tough times; can handle stress; is not knocked off balance by the unexpected; is a settling influence during a crisis.
  • Recognizes problems, constructively identifies and articulates solutions.
  • Picks up garbage when it is seen regardless of position.
  • Follows safety guidelines to ensure a safe working environment and consistently demonstrates safe work behaviors.
  • Is welcoming of new hires.

Some experience with natural areas restoration or conservation work, or related experience working outdoors over a range of conditions. Experience with or an interest in learning plant species of the Chicago region, including the use of dichotomous keys to identify plant species. A proven strong work ethic. An ability to function well in both team and individual work situations. Strong interpersonal communication skills. Possess or willing to obtain an Illinois pesticide applicator license and prescribed burning certifications (including Chicago Wilderness Midwest Ecological Prescription Burn Training). A valid driver’s license and a good driving record. Commitment to fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment. 

*The Chicago Botanic Garden requires all existing employees to be fully COVID-19 vaccinated by October 15, 2021; hires after this date must be fully vaccinated upon hire or may request a medical/religious exemption after an offer is extended.*



Apply for Seasonal Ecological Restoration Technician using the link below:

Click here to apply.


Physical Demands:
The ability to work outside in inclement weather (mosquitoes, bees, rain, potential allergens) for long periods of time doing physically demanding work. The ability to lift and carry 35 pounds.
Why Apply?:

Come work in a setting that is like no other as you support our mission: We cultivate the power of plants to sustain and enrich life. Take the first step toward being one of the employees who make the Garden one of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Apply today. Please note that applicants who do not meet the required qualifications will not be considered.

Disclaimer: The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and qualifications required of personnel so classified.

The Chicago Botanic Garden is a M/F, Disabled, and Vet EEO/AA Employer.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, status as a veteran, and basis of disability or any other federal, state or local protected class.

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, the Chicago Botanic Garden does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its programs or activities, including in employment or admissions. Please call (847) 835-8264 to contact our Title IX coordinator should you have questions or concerns.