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Lead Botanist – Bureau of Land Management (Redding, CA)

Chicago Botanic Garden

Job detailsSalary$3,616 a monthJob TypeFull-timeSeasonalLocation1000 Lake Cook Rd, Glencoe, IL 60022+ Leaflet | OpenStreetMap contributorsFull Job Description

Title: Lead Botanist
Exemption Status: Exempt
Department: Conservation Training
Reports to: Manager, Conservation Training Programs
Seasonal Full-time: approximately 5 months
Salary: $1,808 biweekly
Position Overview: This Lead Botanist role is a Chicago Botanic Garden position funded by a contract with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The term is for approximately 5 months (22 weeks), leading a Seeds of Success (SOS) collection crew within the BLM Redding Field Office, based in Redding, CA. This team is expected to work from March 15 through August 15, 2023.
Due to the large area the crew is responsible for, frequent camping will be required to make the best use of travel time. The crew will be provided a 4×4 work truck and supplies for field work and seed collection. As BLM office space will not be provided, the team will be provided a Verizon MiFi hotspot, laptop, and tablet (w/ cellular) for conducting scouting research, participating in calls, writing reports, and using/updating the California Ecoregional Reporting Tool through ArcGIS Online Field Maps and Survey123, as well as updating data on Google Drive spreadsheets.
The Lead Botanist will be responsible for supervising one Field Technician, 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% of their time in the field. This role will provide daily team leadership and oversight. The Lead 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).


Coordinate with BLM staff to identify ecoregional priority species for seed collection, review historic collection sites and identify gaps in geospatial data.
Coordinate with BLM and CBG staff to plan field operations and solve logistical problems, as well as incorporating safety plans for conducting field work safely.
Identify potential collection locations of priority species through scouting, analysis of herbarium records, previous SOS collections, and vegetation mapping.
Collect 4 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 CBG and BLM.
Update and maintain all required population and geospatial data on California Ecoregional Tool through ArcGIS Online Field Maps and Survey123. Sync data at the end of each field trip or at least every 10 days.
Maintain running Field Report spreadsheet with road and trail mileage, as well as number of potential collection sites assessed, and number of collection sites monitored for seed ripening.
As part of the team, make operational collections using the BLM SOS protocol (training provided). Incorporate Pure Live Seed (PLS) estimates and raw weight to collect at least 80,000 estimated PLS for each collection, 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.
Participate in weekly calls with CBG, biweekly calls with BLM & CBG and monthly national SOS calls
Help coordinate seed source certification with Utah Crop Improvement Association.
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 and BLM point of contact.
Timely completion of end-of-season duties, including data entry into SOS Data Portal, and final report.

Chicago Botanic Garden Values & Behaviors:

As an organization, we

As an organization, we

Prioritize a culture of GROWTH.
We commit to remaining curious in how we approach our work.

Create and maintain spaces for learning.
Test new ideas and are willing to take risks to achieve our vision.
Collaborate to strengthen our skills and impact.
Demonstrate perseverance and humility as we work towards our long-term impact.

We seek to understand others from their perspective.

Provide opportunities for input and feedback from others.
Actively listen to all points of view.
Consider individuals lived experiences.
Advocate for and protect time for reflection especially during times of conflict or confusion.

See one another through a lens of RESILIENCE.
We believe that all individuals can experience good outcomes with support.

Give others the space to balance work and personal needs.
Support others and demonstrate empathy especially during challenging and stressful times.
Seek opportunities to learn from and about one another.
Ask questions about and anticipate the needs of others.

We hold ourselves and others accountable by centering decision making that honors all people.

Communicate information in a timely manner.
Provide clarity in complex situations with the goal of common understanding.
Discuss both positive and negative outcomes openly.
Evaluate the impacts of our actions.

The ideal candidate will have the following:

Bachelor on 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 non-profit 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

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.
*The Chicago Botanic Garden requires all existing employees to be fully COVID-19 vaccinated by October 15, 2021; hires after this date must be fully vaccinated upon hire or may request a medical/religious exemption after an offer is extended.*
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.
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, or basis of disability, or any other federal, state, or local protected class.
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 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, 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.

Hiring InsightsJob activityPosted 30+ days ago

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