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Botany Technician - CA National Forests (USFS)

The Great Basin Institute
Job Field:
Job Type:
Seasonal, Temporary, Internship
Location Detail:
Tahoe, CA
Job Description:

The Great Basin Institute, in cooperation with the USFS, is recruiting Botany Technicians to perform vegetation surveys within the Sierra Nevada mountain range. These projects all serve the Basin & Range Forestry program’s greater mission of helping the USFS in their critical goal of improving forest resilience in the face of worsening climate conditions and increased wildfire threats. The work that you will do directly improves the quality of these forests helping ensure they continue to thrive for generations to come. Technicians will benefit from exposure to USFS processes, procedures, compliance measures and reporting, and technical experience. Expanded opportunities and exposure to additional disciplines (e.g. archaeology, wildlife, hydrology, recreation, etc.) and projects may exist. These positions serve to protect sensitive botanical species and contribute to USFS vegetation management and fuels reduction efforts, and to support initiatives for healthy, productive, and resilient forest landscapes and resources. Outcomes of field work, conducted in accordance with USFS protocols, will advance planning for management actions on National Forest lands.

Botany Technicians will conduct botanical surveys to establish distributional occurrences of targeted species and populations in and around designated project sites and access routes. Data from these surveys will inform mitigation measures set to protect targeted plant species and vegetation communities considered habitat for designated wildlife. Specific duties will include, but are not limited to:

Botanical surveys to determine species identity, population characteristics, environmental conditions, factors affecting vigor and extent of species and their habitat

Lay out monitoring plots

Photograph or collect specimens as directed

Produce maps of survey areas

Record, enter and summarize data

Use botanical keys to identify plants

May be asked to assist with reporting tasks

Contract Timeline:

- Tentatively: March – October

- Projects are weather dependent, therefore start and end dates vary according to local conditions and individual

project needs


Forestry Technician positions are open across many National Forests in various locations. Position locations include the following National Forests and Management Units: Tahoe, Sequoia, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, Eldorado, Lassen, Plumas, Klamath, Mendocino, Stanislaus, Sierra, Inyo.

Preferred location placement is not guaranteed and final placement will be dependent on the various needs of the National Forests.


At least one of the following:

Bachelor’s degree in botany, plant ecology, or a closely related field in the biological sciences, including coursework in plant taxonomy and/or systematics; OR

Experience conducting rare plant surveys and other botanical field work; OR

Six months of professional fieldwork experience.



Experience using technical keys to identify plants to the species or sub-species level;

Experience working with hand-held GPS, maps and compass for field navigation and data collection;

Capacity to collect and maintain field data in an organized manner that is easily understood and accessible to other resources staff;

Ability to communicate effectively, both written and orally, with a diverse audience;

Possess a clean, valid, state-issued driver’s license;

Ability to live and work in rural and remote field and office setting;

Physically fit to work outdoors, carry up to 50 pounds of personal and/or field equipment and withstand the rigors of a forested and/or high desert environment in all seasons.



Knowledge of the flora of the Eastern Sierra/Great Basin transition zone;

Comfortable with noxious weed control;

Ability to understand, implement and adhere to established data collection, inventory, assessment and monitoring protocols;

Experience using ArcGIS to create maps, GPS data collection, and identifying heritage sites; and

Ability to safely operate and maintain a 4WD vehicle on and off paved roads.



$21/hour with overtime at 1.5x hourly rate. Full time, average 40 hours per week


- Health, dental, vision Insurance premiums covered 100% by GBI (equivalent to approximately $350/month); health,

dental and vision insurance is available on the first day of the month following the start of employment

- Shared housing provided (equivalent to approximately $1000/month); housing stipend not provided if shared housing

is denied by employee

- Camping per diem: $15/night as necessary (infrequent)

- Uniform Stipend

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