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Plants of Concern, Natural Areas Monitoring Assistant

Requisition Number: 
Conservation Projects
Job Status: 
Plants of Concern (POC) is recruiting for a seasonal research assistant to assist in developing and implementing a protocol for rapidly assessing natural areas owned by the Chicago Park District. This 12-week, 35-hour/week position involves collecting data at a wide variety of natural areas owned by the Chicago Park District, including restored and remnant beaches, prairies, woodlands, and wetlands, as well as entering and managing data, assisting with planning of fieldwork, and some analysis of data collected. The assistant may also help with development of protocol training materials. Field duties involve collecting and carefully recording data on the presence and abundance of a suite of native species, and collecting spatial data about locations visited. Office duties include preparation of equipment, data sheets, and other sampling materials. After field sampling, office work includes entering and managing data, and, as time allows, performing basic analyses and preparation of summary maps.
Duties and Responsibilities: 

In this role you will be responsible for the following: 

  • Assist in finalizing field data forms and modifying them throughout the project as needed.
  • Assist in developing training materials as needed.
  • Become oriented to sampling sites and familiar with data to be collected.
  • Engage in field sampling under the guidance of POC staff.
  • Record and enter data carefully and accurately.
  • Organize data sheets and data files in preparation for analysis.

Our ideal candidate will have the following: 

  • Some background in ecology, botany, biological sciences, or a related field
  • B.A. or B.S. in progress
  • Plant identification skills, including use of a dichotomous key, or ability to learn 
  • Some experience with field sampling
  • Ability to collect precise data
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Ability to work well independently as well as on a team
  • Experience with Microsoft Office suite, particularly Excel and Word
  • Basic ArcGIS software experience sought
  • Must have a driver’s license. Access to a personal vehicle is helpful, although a company vehicle is usually available for use. Mileage for personal vehicle use is reimbursed.
Physical Demands: 
Fieldwork involves walking over uneven terrain, or traversing distances of 2 to 5 miles while carrying equipment. Bending, stooping, and kneeling are often necessary. Fieldwork may occur during hot weather when insects are active. Office work involves sitting, standing, typing, and using computers and copy 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.

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, 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.