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Field Technician A-H

Requisition Number: 
Plant Science and Conservation
Job Status: 
The Chicago Botanic Garden seeks to fill eight seasonal (5-month) field technician positions to conduct native seed collections as part of the national Seeds of Success (SOS) program in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Technicians will support SOS native seed collection operations as part of a three-person collection team. Each team (1 lead, 2 team members) will be based out of one of four duty locations in Idaho (Boise, Twin Falls, Idaho Falls, or Coeur d’Alene). Teams will spend approximately 90 percent of their time in the field scouting, planning, and conducting seed collections as part of the national Seeds of Success Program.
Duties and Responsibilities: 

In this role you will be responsible for the following: 

  • Assist the team lead in identifying potential SOS collection locations and scouting for new potential collection sites; work with Bureau of Land Management to develop a Seeds of Success collection plan
  • As part of a team, carry out seed collections, and package and ship seeds to seed back partners, keeping detailed records of all collections and shipments
  • Ensure quality, accuracy, and timeliness of seed collections and data provided by the collection crew. Lead team to make ≥ 30 SOS native seed collections using the BLM SOS protocol (training provided)
  • Timely, accurate reporting of time and effort activities, adherence to all Chicago Botanic Garden policies and procedures for employees and communication with the Chicago Botanic Garden’s manager of Conservation Science Training Programs

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.
  • 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.
  • Follows safety guidelines to ensure a safe working environment and consistently demonstrates safe work behaviors.
  • 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.
  • Has a tolerance for opposing points of view.
  • Recognizes problems, constructively identifies and articulates solutions.

Our ideal candidate will have the following:

  • B.S. in Botany, Plant Science, Ecology, Environmental Science, or a related field
  • Strong plant identification skills (to species) and knowledge of plant taxonomy; strong knowledge of plant biology. Familiarity with plants and ecosystems of the western U.S.
  • Experience conducting field work related to plant research, identification, restoration, and/or seed collection (through SOS programs or other seed handling/collecting work)
  • Experience maintaining accurate and detailed data records (in field and in electronic databases—Excel/Access)
  • Capable of conducting daily field work in rough terrain in harsh environmental conditions (heat, rain, biting insects), and motivating a field crew through those tough conditions
  • Experience driving large field vehicles with 4-wheel drive; driving on gravel and dirt roads; off-road driving
  • Experience hiking and backcountry camping, and the willingness to do so for this position
  • Experience working with agency, academic, private, or non-profit partners to coordinate, plan, and execute fieldwork on public or private lands
  • Familiarity with ArcGIS to display maps, visualize georeferenced data, and interface with GPS units
  • Wilderness First Aid or other field safety training
Physical Demands: 
Data collection often occurs in remote locations, where cellular connection is unavailable or inconsistent. Field conditions can be extreme: hot summer conditions with potential for heavy rainfall, flash floods, and lightning strikes; high altitude sun exposure; and occasional wildlife encounters (rattlesnakes, bears, and scorpions). Seed collection and vegetation monitoring activities can be physically demanding due to stooping and bending for long periods of time. Ability to lift up to 40 lbs. and hike up to 6 miles per day is expected. Fieldwork will require overnight travel and will involve overnight camping in remote areas. Safety is a prerequisite, particularly where industry development (energy extraction, e.g. natural gas) is occurring and during hunting season, and will guide how fieldwork is conducted.
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.

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.