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Manager, Plants of Concern & Regional Native Plant Conservation Specialist

Requisition Number: 
Conservation Projects
Job Status: 
The manager for Plants of Concern and regional native plant conservation specialist oversees a long-term citizen science rare plant monitoring program and participates in diverse initiatives to advance regional conservation of native plants.

Manage the Plants of Concern program and coordinate with local partners and Garden staff to accomplish regional conservation goals and advance institutional needs of the Garden. 

Duties and Responsibilities: 

In this role you will be responsible for the following: 

  • Manage the Plants of Concern rare plant monitoring program, including the supervision of the research assistants, interns, and 100–200 volunteers annually.
  • Maintain a high-quality long-term data set on rare plant populations. Provide data to research partners and landowners in ways that advance the conservation of rare plants while preserving confidentiality.
  • Conduct research on the native, rare, threatened, and endangered plants of the Upper Midwest collaboration with with Garden scientists and academic and non-academic partner institutions (e.g., Forest Preserves of Cook County and other county conservation landowners, Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, Openlands, The Morton Arboretum, Northwestern University).
  • Disseminate research results through lectures, publications, and presentations at professional meetings.
  • Work with development and accounting staff to apply for and manage grants to help support operational costs of the Plants of Concern program as well as related conservation projects. Prepare and submit reports. 
  • Serve as an external liaison to regional conservation groups like the Midewin Stakeholders Alliance, Chicago Wilderness, and the Illinois Native Plant Society. 
  • Provide expertise in local natural areas conservation, permitting, and contacts to the Garden's Plant Science department. 

Our ideal candidate will have the following: 

  • M.S. or Ph.D. in plant biology with a focus on ecology or related field
  • Minimum of strong experience and knowledge of local flora
  • Ability and willingness to work with volunteers and local landowners
  • Passion for fieldwork
  • Great people skills
  • Ability to work with large data sets 
  • Great communication skills
Physical Demands: 
When in the office: frequent sitting, standing, walking, bending, listening, speaking, and keyboarding. Use of office equipment including computers, telephones, copiers, scanners, and fax machines.
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.