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Wetland Botany/Ecology Crew Lead and Field Technicians

Wetland Botany/Ecology Crew Lead and Field Technicians

Do you enjoy exploring unique areas through a botany and ecology lens, and have botany and field work experience? This position may be for you! Groundwater-dependent wetlands (GDEs) provide important wildife refugia and watershed support in the Colorado Plains, but they are undermapped, generally small occurrences, and are understudied compared to their surrounding semi-arid prairie habitat and to higher-elevation GDE wetlands. The Colorado Natural Heritage Program (CNHP) is conducting a targeted inventory of plains GDE wetlands with funding by the EPA. CNHP is hiring a seasonal field team with one ecology/botany crew lead and three botanist technicians to collect plant, wetland, invertebrate, and amphibian habitat data on these valuable plains wetlands to better understand their conservation and management needs. This field work position will involve field surveys in wetlands throughout E Colorado and is based in Fort Collins, CO. The summer field work will take place through August with a mix of 8/6 and 4/3 day on/off day schedules, with ~10 hr days and mostly car camping during field sessions. These field positions are exciting opportunities to collect important data on the more unique, groundwater-dependent, and sensitive wetland types of eastern Colorado.

First review of applications is January 10, 2022, and applications will continue to be considered until all positions are filled.

Crew lead start date is April 11, and technicians start May 23. Positions continue through late August.
Pay is $17-$18/hr for field technicians and $20/hr for crew lead, plus per-diem.


Position Announcement

TITLE: Wetland Botany/Ecology Crew Lead and Wetland Botany Field Technicians

POSITION TYPE: Full-time, temporary

NUMBER OF POSITIONS: 4 Positions (1 Crew Lead, 3 Technicians) WORK

LOCATION: Fort Collins, CO

PAY RATE: $17-18/hr (Botany Technicians), $20/hr (Crew Lead); $42.50/day per diem when traveling overnight. Health insurance provided.

DURATION: April 11 (Crew lead start date) or May 23 (Technician start date) – late August 2022

Summary of All Positions

The Colorado Natural Heritage Program (CNHP) is seeking experienced field technicians to collect wetland botany and condition assessment data for a targeted inventory of Colorado plains groundwater- dependent wetlands (GDEs), with funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Successful applicants will collect valuable wetland field data on groundwater-dependent wetland ecosystems in this region to inform their management and conservation needs.

The 4-person field crew will be based out of Fort Collins, CO and will depart to/from the base location for each field session (hitch) for fieldwork in wetlands on public and private lands throughout the eastern plains of Colorado. The work schedule varies between 8/6 and 4/3 on/off day hitches with approximately ~10-hour days. The crew will often car camp during hitches, except for when sites are close to Fort Collins. The crew will survey wetlands in teams of two with rotating partners. The first workweek is for trainings based in Fort Collins with 8-hour days, and there will be approximately 1 office workday in Fort Collins every two weeks during the summer. Housing is not provided.

Work duties include remote outdoor field work with long hours and unusual schedules, extensive travel and driving, camping, hiking, landowner communication, identifying wetland plants, digging and describing soil pits, collecting water samples, wetland condition and amphibian habitat surveys, data entry and management, and willingness and ability to work with a teamwork attitude in the Colorado plains that include exposure to inclement weather, high heat (> 100 F), and other field conditions.

The Crew Lead will begin office work in advance of the field season in Fort Collins to prepare field season logistics, contact landowners and partners to establish site access, schedule hitch details, review site aerial imagery and prepare field maps, and prepare field supplies, etc. Crew lead is also responsible for supporting and reporting on crew safety and morale, coordinating and delegating field survey logistics, and maintaining data organization and reviewing data quality.

Required Qualifications for All Positions

  • Bachelor’s degree completion by start date. (Master’s degree preferred but not required for Crew Lead.)
  • Botany and ecology coursework or botany field experience. (Experience with both preferred but not required.)
  • Minimum of 1 season of field work experience (excluding field courses).
  • Experience using dichotomous keys to identify unknown plants to species.
  • Outdoor experience in harsh environments, ability to hike to field sites (up to 6+ miles) and to camp and work with crew for up to 7 days in a row in the heat while maintaining a teamwork attitude and commitment to safety.
  • Careful attention to detail to complete 20-pg field forms.
  • A valid driver’s license and ability to safely drive on dirt roads.

Required Qualifications for Crew Lead Position

  • Multiple seasons botany or ecology field work, some wetland or riparian experience, and strong botany skills.
  • Leadership and/or team-building experience, strong verbal communication skills, and ability to multitask and delegate project tasks.

Preferred Qualifications for All Positions

  • Knowledge of wetland, riparian, or watershed ecology from related coursework and/or field work.
  • Landscape condition or habitat assessment experience.
  • Knowledge of wetland plant species, Colorado or Plains flora, and familiarity with the major plant families.
  • Experience aerial photography and topographic map navigation preferred for all positions (required for crew lead). Experience with ArcGIS software preferred for crew lead position.
  • Experience with Colorado Eastern Plains fieldwork conditions or equivalent that include working with exposure to inclement weather, remote terrain, high heat, biting insects, rattlesnake habitat, and poisonous plants.
  • Experience working with people from diverse perspectives and backgrounds (landowner communication experience preferred but not required).

Applicants from underrepresented groups in the field of conservation are strongly encouraged to apply. Studies have shown that Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), women, and other marginalized groups are less likely to apply for jobs unless they believe they meet every one of the qualifications as described in a job description. We are most interested in finding the best candidate for the job, and that candidate may be one who comes from a less traditional background. CNHP and CSU are committed to building diversity and inclusion in natural resources; applicants should be comfortable with engaging in this work.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, we at CNHP and CSU take it very seriously and continue to implement and adjust our COVID-19 safety plan to protect the health and safety of our employees and the communities in which we work.

To apply, email Laurie Gilligan at with the email subject line: Plains GDE Wetland Application and the following application materials attached as pdfs 1) cover letter, 2) resume, and 3) list of three references (with phone + email). Please specify in the cover letter whether you would like to be considered for the crew lead position, field technician position, or both position types. Applications must be complete for consideration.

First consideration of applicants will begin January 10, 2022. Applications will continue to be accepted until all positions are filled or until May 31, 2021, whichever comes first.

As of August 16, 2021, Colorado State University has mandated vaccinations against COVID-19. Faculty and staff are required to submit

their vaccine status or declare an exemption. More information about the vaccination mandate can be found here.

Colorado State University is committed to providing a safe and productive learning and living community. To achieve that goal, we conduct background investigations for all final candidates being considered for employment. Background checks may include, but are not limited to, criminal history, national sex offender search and motor vehicle history.

Colorado State University is committed to providing an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment based on race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or pregnancy. Colorado State University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce and complies with all Federal and Colorado State laws, regulations, and executive orders regarding non-discrimination and affirmative action. The Office of Equal Opportunity is located in 101 Student Services.

Additional Info

Job Type : Seasonal

Education Level : Bachelors Degree

Experience Level : Entry Level

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