Field Technician (Susanville, CA)

Requisition Number: 
Plant Science and Conservation
Job Status: 
The Technician is a contract-funded position for five months, from approximately June 1 to October 29, stationed at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Eagle Lake Field Office in Susanville, California. The position will be part of a team of two (one Lead Botanist and one Technician) conducting native seed collections as part of the national Seeds of Success Program. The Technician position offers the opportunity to work closely with BLM staff, and plan and implement a critical field project. The team 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: 

  • Coordinate with BLM staff to identify ecoregional priority species for seed collection, review historic collection sites, and identify gaps in geospatial data.
  • Coordinate with BLM and Chicago Botanic Garden staff to plan field operations and solve logistical problems.
  • Identify at least 40 potential restoration collection locations through analysis of herbarium records, previous SOS collections, and vegetation mapping. Scout for new potential collection sites; work with BLM to develop an SOS collection plan.
  • Use a combination of Survey 123, Collector for ArcGIS, and AGOL to scout, track, and report data.
  • Collect four herbarium vouchers for each collection, one for each potential collection site.
  • Ensure collection of all required population scouting data, seed collection data, and photos are properly recorded and shared with the Garden and BLM.
  • Ensure quality, accuracy, and timeliness of seed collections and data provided by the collection crew.
  • As part of the team, make ten restoration collections (at least 80,000 estimated PLS each) 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 manager.
  • Timely completion of end-of-season duties and final report.

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:

  • Bachelor of science degree 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 United States.
  • Experience scouting, planning, and conducting seed collections (through SOS programs or other seed handling/collecting work)
  • Experience maintaining accurate and detailed data records (in field and in electronic databases, including Excel/Access)
  • Experience working with agency, academic, private, or nonprofit partners to coordinate, plan, and execute fieldwork on public or private lands
  • Capable of conducting daily fieldwork in rough terrain in harsh environmental conditions (heat, rain, biting insects), and motivating a field crew through those tough conditions
  • Experience hiking and backcountry camping, and the willingness to do so for this position
  • Experience driving large field vehicles with four-wheel drive; driving on gravel and dirt roads; off-road driving
  • Proficiency in ArcGIS to display maps, visualize georeferenced data, and interface with GPS units
  • Wilderness First Aid or other field safety training


To Apply:

Complete an application online at Your application should include a Chicago Botanic Garden application along with a cover letter, resume, and the names of three (3) professional references. Application materials should be addressed to Chris Woolridge, Manager, Conservation Training Programs, Chicago Botanic Garden. Questions about the position should be directed to Chris Woolridge at

In your cover letter, be sure to address your interest in the position and how you meet the qualifications outlined in the position description.

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 pounds and hike up to six 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.

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, or 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.