Senior Botanist - Bureau of Land Management (St. George, Utah)

Requisition Number: 
935
Department: 
Plant Science and Conservation
Job Status: 
Seasonal
Hours: 
Full-time
Reports to: 
Manager, Conservation Training Programs
Overview: 
This senior botanist role is a contract-funded position for seven months, leading a Seeds of Success (SOS) collection crew within the northeastern part of the Mojave Desert, including the Mojave Desert ecoregion sections of the following Bureau of Land Management (BLM) field offices: Arizona Strip in Arizona (including BLM portions of Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, Caliente, and portions of Las Vegas in Nevada, and St. George in Utah. Due to the large size of area the crew is responsible for, frequent camping will be required to make the best use of travel time. The team will be provided office space at the BLM St. George Field Office, which will include a computer workstation with internet access, and some limited space for processing seeds, temporarily storing seeds, and staging equipment. The crew will also be provided a 4x4 work truck. The senior botanist will be responsible for supervising two field technicians, coordinating with BLM and Chicago Botanic Garden staff, planning scouting and collecting trips, and conducting large native seed collections as part of the SOS program. This team will likely spend 90 percent of their time in the field. This role will provide daily team leadership and oversight. The senior botanist will ensure quality control for all collections (correct species identification, proper phenology assessments and seed collecting techniques, documentation and processing, including data entry and depositing herbarium specimens in designated local and national institutions). The anticipated start date of the position is February 14, 2022, with a term of 32 weeks, and an end date of September 30, 2022.
Duties and Responsibilities: 
  • Coordinate with Bureau of Land Management (BLM) staff to identify ecoregional priority species for seed collection, review historic collection sites, and identify gaps in geospatial data.
  • Coordinate with BLM and Garden staff to plan field operations and solve logistical problems, as well as incorporating safety plans for conducting field work safely.
  • Identify at least 80 potential collection locations of priority species through scouting, analysis of herbarium records, previous SOS collections, and vegetation mapping.
  • Collect four herbarium vouchers for each potential collection site. Take appropriate photos as instructed for seed certification.
  • Monitor phenology of target plant populations to plan and execute collections.
  • Ensure collection of all required population scouting data, seed collection data, and photos are properly recorded and shared with the Garden and BLM.
  • Create an ArcGIS shapefile of all scouted and collected points
  • As part of the team, make 20 restoration collections using the BLM SOS protocol https://www.blm.gov/SOS (training provided). Incorporate Pure Live Seed (PLS) estimates and raw weight to collect at least 0.1 lbs PLS for forbs and 0.25 lbs PLS for grasses; larger collections are encouraged.
  • Manage seed collection crew, carry out seed collections, and package and ship seeds to partners, keeping detailed records of all collections and shipments.
  • Ensure quality, accuracy, and timeliness of seed collections and data provided by the collection crew.
  • 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, including data entry into SOS Data
    Portal, 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.
  • Follows safety guidelines to ensure a safe working environment and consistently demonstrates safe work behaviors.
  • Is welcoming of new hires.
Qualifications: 

The ideal candidate will have the following:

  • Master's of science degree in botany, plant science, ecology, biology, 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 scouting, planning, and conducting seed collections (through SOS programs or other seed handling/collecting work)
  • Experience leading a field team or other supervisory experience
  • Experience maintaining accurate and detailed data records (in field and in electronic databases—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 field work safely in rough terrain in harsh environmental conditions
  • Experience hiking and backcountry camping, and the willingness to do so for this position
  • Experience driving large field vehicles with 4-wheel drive; driving on gravel and dirt roads
  • Proficiency in ArcGIS to display maps, visualize georeferenced data, and interface with GPS units
  • Wilderness First Aid or other field safety training
  • Excellent organization skills and ability to handle several projects and deadlines at once
  • Self-starter, independent worker, able to learn quickly and adapt to challenges

*The Chicago Botanic Garden requires all existing employees be fully COVID-19 vaccinated by October 15, 2021; hires after this date must be fully vaccinated upon hire.*

To Apply:

Complete an application online here - Click to Apply. 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 cwoolridge@chicagobotanic.org.

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: 
This position will be primarily based in the field with only occasional office work in the beginning and end of the season. Field work 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, etc.). Vegetation monitoring activities, planting, seeding, and watering can be physically demanding due to hiking and stooping and bending for long periods of time.
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.