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USGS Hiring Botany/Soils Field Research Technicians

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    USGS Hiring Botany/Soils Field Research Technicians

    Title: Biological Science Technician (GG-404-05)
    Start Date: Mid-to-late January, depending on how long background check takes
    Position Length: 180 working days (~8.5 months)
    Salary: $17.15 hourly, plus paid vacation and sick days and health insurance

    Description
    The USGS is recruiting plant ecology and soils field techs to assist with conservation research evaluating the effectiveness of restoration techniques used to decommission OHV trails in the deserts of southern California. The field techs will collect data on plant cover, density, and species diversity; soil bulk density and texture; and other measures of restoration success. Work will be based out of the USGS office in Boulder City, NV, with week-long visits to various field sites in CA required (~20 travel days per month). This work will help the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) determine techniques used for future restoration projects. This is a temporary position that will begin in mid-to-late -January 2022 and last for up to 180 working days (approximately 8.5 months). Extensions are possible, contingent on performance and funding availability.

    Schedules can be variable and change with little notice and may require early morning start times, long days, and a few weekends of work. Field work will require hiking and working in remote desert terrain while carrying 25-lb packs, regardless of weather. Overnight, primitive car camping for up to a week at a time in desert conditions (hot/cold weather extremes) is required.

    Responsibilities
    Duties include, but are not limited to:
    • Work with project Principal Investigators to develop study design/methods and select appropriate study sites.
    • Strictly follow monitoring protocols to accurately collect, enter, organize, error-check, summarize, analyze, and archive plant and soil data using spreadsheets, relational databases, GIS, and R.
    • Use dichotomous keys to independently identify desert flora (perennials and annuals) to the species level both in the field and office.
    • Prepare voucher and herbarium specimens.
    • Safely operate 4WD vehicles on two-track roads.
    • Perform lab analyses including, but not limited to, soil bulk density and soil texture analyses.
    • Effectively communicate with BLM and other agencies to provide project updates, coordinate project activities, organize meetings and workshops, and synthesize and communicate results.
    • Assist with the day-to-day operations of field research (e.g. preparing supplies, vehicle and equipment maintenance).
    • Participate in other research projects as needed.

    Qualifications
    • Experience using dichotomous keys to identify California desert flora.
    • Experience with strictly following data collection protocols and accurately collecting transect data on vegetation and soils.
    • Background and strong interest in botany, desert ecology, plant ecology, restoration ecology, and/or soil science
    • Experience using ArcMap/ArcGIS Pro, Survey123, synthesizing/analyzing data, and preparing presentations and publications.
    • Ability to hike in rugged terrain while carrying a 25-lb backpack and work long days and camp in remote field conditions where temps can range from 30°F - 110°F.
    • Ability to work well both independently and as part of a team, depending on the situation.
    • Ability to communicate effectively with crew members, BLM, and others.
    • Ability to maintain a positive attitude and strong work ethic under the sometimes trying (but rewarding) conditions of fieldwork.
    • Ability to adapt to a variable and unpredictable schedule
    • Strong organizational skills
    • Proficiency in statistical analysis (especially in R) is preferred
    To qualify for a GG-5 you need 9 months of field experience OR 3 years of sub-professional work experience OR 3 years of college with courses related to the work of the position to be filled (equivalent to 90 semester/135 quarter hours) plus 3 months of lab or field work experience. Sub-professional experience consists of working as a technician or aid in the field or in a laboratory or similar environment. A valid U.S. driver’s license, safe driving record, pre-employment physical, and background check investigation are required. All applicants must be U.S. citizens.

    Application instructions:
    For each position on your resume, please include the number of hours worked per week and the exact start and end dates (month/day/year).

    Please submit a resume/CV and the contact information for at least three references to Felicia Chen ([email protected]) by 8:00 AM PST on Friday, November 26, 2021. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
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