Ecological Restoration Technician

Requisition Number: 
Restoration Ecology
Job Status: 
Reports to: 
Senior Ecologist
Assist in the management of two of the Garden’s natural areas: a 15-acre prairie reconstruction (exhibits six different types of prairie communities found in northeastern Illinois) and a mile-long urban river reach with an adjoining 22 acres of developing wetlands, prairie, and savanna. This position involves physically demanding work for extended periods of time. Typical work responsibilities include removal of weedy/invasive plants (including applying herbicides), seed collection and cleaning, seed sowing, mowing, raking and debris removal, tree and shrub cutting and removal, possible participation in prescribed burns, path maintenance, and other related activities. Operation of small gas-powered equipment and use of hand tools is required. Duties also include caring for equipment and vehicles, data entry, record keeping, and miscellaneous office work. This is a seasonal full-time position scheduled to work Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with an anticipated start date of June 1, 2021, and anticipated to end November 19, 2021.
Duties and Responsibilities: 

In this role you will be responsible for the following: 

  • Invasive species removal, both woody and herbaceous, which includes applying herbicides, cutting and removing woody species, digging, mowing, raking and removing debris, deadheading; seed collection and cleaning; seed nursery maintenance; seed dispersal; tree cutting and removal; path clearance and other activities related to the development and management of the natural communities.
  • Wading in river or lakes to remove shoreline invasive plants.
  • Burn break preparation.
  • Possible prescribed burn participation.
  • Operation of small power tools including mowers, hedge trimmers, water pumps, herbicide sprayers, and hand tools.
  • The care of Garden vehicles, tools, and machines.
  • Using a dichotomous key and learning native flora observed in the field.
  • Assistance 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.

Our ideal candidate will have the following:

  • A bachelor's degree in restoration management, conservation biology, ecology, or a closely related field
  • Experience in restoration management or related experience preferred.
  • An ability to learn plants species.
  • An ability to function well in both team and individual work situations.
  • Willingness to obtain an Illinois Pesticide License and apply herbicides.


Physical Demands: 
The ability to work outside in inclement conditions (rain, mosquitoes, bees and hornets, and potential allergens) for long periods of time doing physically demanding work. The ability to lift and carry 30 pounds; ability to carry a 35-pound backpack (prescribed burn water pack).
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.