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Ecology and Botany Field Technicians Research Associate I

Pensacola FL & Biloxi MS

Number of Positions: 4-6

Pay Rate: $13-18/hour depending on experience and qualifications; housing provided

Duration: ~2 months (approx. Late May through July)


Summary of Position

Colorado Natural Heritage Program seeks 4-6 summer field technicians to use their knowledge of botany and ecology to conduct an accuracy assessment of a vegetation map at Gulf Islands National Seashore along the gulf coast of Florida and Mississippi. This work entails traveling to remote locations and identifying plant communities based on dominant species using the US National Vegetation Classification system (www.usnvc.org). Botanical skills are necessary. Travel to field sites include a combination of daytrips, short camping trips, and occasional boat trips to barrier islands.

This position provides an excellent opportunity for botanists/ecologists eager to explore a variety of different ecosystems and learn to use the US National Vegetation Classification standard. Gulf Islands National Seashore encompass a variety of unique ecosystems including dune complexes, sandy pine ridges, and salt marshes. These communities provide habitats for a wide variety of rare animals and plants including sea turtles, dolphins, pitcher plants, and many more. After this summer, field technicians will have a deep understanding of coastal woodlands and forests, salt marshes, and the US National Vegetation Classification standard.



1. Work with a partner to navigate to plot locations and determine plant community. Requires ability to reliably identify plants and plant communities of the project area, identify dominant species and community structure, and document presence of exotic or rare species.

2. Reliably locate field plots, safely and efficiently access sites, complete field forms, operate and maintain field equipment, and effectively manage collected data.

3. Enter and maintain data in electronic formats (databases, spreadsheets, GPS, GIS).

4. Thoroughly document all fieldwork using field notebooks, survey forms, maps, GPS, digital tablets, and cameras.


Minimum Qualifications

A bachelor’s degree in botany, ecology, natural resources, range management, forestry, or related field. Three years of equivalent field may be substituted for degree.

1. Knowledge of dichotomous botanical keys and field guides

2. Willingness to travel extensively during field season, work unusual schedules (up to 8 consecutive days), backpack, car camp, and live in rustic conditions for extended periods in remote areas

3. Good physical condition and ability to work long hours in the field, travel by foot off-trail in rough terrain, and work through inclement weather

4. Careful attention to detail in collecting data

5. Comfort and familiarity with the use of computers

6. Experience or familiarity with the use of GPS


Desired Qualifications

1. Familiarity with flora of the gulf coast (FL, MS)

2. Experience collecting vegetation and environmental data in the field

3. Experience with US National Vegetation Classification

4. One year experience of species identification, community classification, or habitat typing

5. Experience working in hot humid conditions with little shade

Reflecting departmental and institutional values, candidates are expected to have the ability to advance the Department’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.


Applications will be accepted until all positions have been filled or through June 30, 2018, whichever comes first. To apply send resume, cover letter, and three references (with phone #’s), to Joe Stevens at joe.stevens@colostate.edu

References will not be contacted without prior notification of candidates.

Posted April 4, 2018

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