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AmeriCorps Native Seeds Intern
Job Code:2018-ACI-048
Location:Multiple Locations
Program:AmeriCorps Intern
Contract Length:6 Months

Job Description:

The Great Basin Institute, in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) is recruiting one Native Seed Technician to join our AmeriCorps program to conduct seed collecting and ecological restoration activities throughout the Great Basin on Department of Interior (DOI) lands.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Scouting and identifying populations of target native plant species suitable for the program;
  • GPS mapping populations of plants, disturbance areas, and other features using tablets, handheld devices, ArcGIS Online, ArcMap, and ArcCollector;
  • Monitoring the phenology of plant populations to identify optimal seed collection times;
  • Collecting seed from plant populations for both restoration and conservation collections and completing data forms in accordance with the Seeds of Success (SOS) Technical Protocol;
  • Processing and shipping seed;
  • Taking herbarium vouchers, and processing and shipping as necessary.
  • Collecting tissue samples for genetic analysis and processing and shipping;
  • Recording data electronically and on paper data forms, entering and editing data related to restoration activities;
  • Photographing collection sites and plants;
  • Maintenance and regular inventory of field gear;
  • Daily and monthly vehicle checks, driving up to 5 hours a day;
  • Assisting with the coordination of conservation crew work;
  • Assisting with the coordination of volunteer seed collection and restoration events;
  • Provide support for arid land restoration projects;
  • Monitoring and maintenance of reciprocal transplant study plots;
  • Reporting accomplishments and providing recommendations for program improvements, priorities, and future projects.

Related Responsibilities:

  • Participate in trainings provided by BLM and US Fish & Wildlife staff and community partners;
  • Meet with Host Site Supervisor on a regular basis;
  • Participate in required national service days; and
  • Participate in regular AmeriCorps team meetings.

Physical Demands:  

Field work involves driving GBI trucks on both highways and 4WD roads, often for 100+ miles per day as well as hiking off designated trails or routes, across rugged terrain, up to 5 miles per day, but more typically 0-1 mile per day. Seed collection requires regular stooping, standing and maneuvering on uneven terrain for many hours a day. Weather conditions will vary from cold winds or rain in the early spring to temperatures over 100F in the summer. The use of global positioning systems (handheld GPS units), computers, PDAs, digital cameras, and on- and off-road vehicles are an essential part of the job. Camping under primitive conditions at remote locations on data collection trips will often be required. Schedules are often determined by plant phenology.  Incumbents must also be willing to spend days at a time working at a computer during periods of data entry and analysis.

  • Lift up to 50-70 pounds of material or equipment
  • Bend, lift, pull, and push
  • Crouch, stoop, kneel, stand, or bend for long periods of time
  • Drive for many hours a day on highways and 4WD roads.
  • Handle plant material for many hours a day.
  • Walk and stand for long periods of time on uneven surfaces carrying equipment
  • Be outside in extreme heat or cold (depending upon the season)
  • Occasionally work 10+ hour days
  • Travel and camp overnight & up to 8 days at a time for project work

Contract Timeline:
April/May 2019 – October 2019

Elko, NV;
• Beginning on candidate's earliest available start date through October 2019

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) administers 47.5 million acres of public land in Nevada alone. Crews will rove between multiple locations across the BLM districts of the Great Basin. The area is home to historic mining and ranching that conjure up images of the Wild West. The Great Basin's mountain ranges and wide open valleys are home to wildlife, livestock and wild horses and burros.

Elko: With a population of about 20,000, Elko has a lively community with downtown art events supporting local businesses. Lamoille Canyon Recreation Area is a short 20 miles from town and is the perfect location for avid hikers, fisherman, backpackers and campers. Annual cultural events include Cowboy Poetry, Basque Festival, Motorcycle Jamboree, California Trails Days, Ruby Mountain Balloon Festival, and many more. The Elko BLM District encompasses 12.3 million acres of high desert.

Compensation and Benefits:
Living Allowance stipend: * approximately $950 biweekly
AmeriCorps Education Award: **$2,255.24
Medical, dental and vision insurance provided at no cost

* Final living allowance amount and AmeriCorps Education Award value are determined by the length of the appointment
**AmeriCorps Education Award may be used for past, present or future education experiences, including payment of qualifying federal student loans. Loan forbearance and accrued interest payment on qualifying student loans is also available.

Job Qualifications:


  • Bachelor’s degree with coursework and field experience related to biology, botany, ecology, plant science, or related field;

  • Experience identifying plants using taxonomic keys or familiarity with plants of the Great Basin;

  • Work independently or in pairs with little supervision, strong initiative and high attention to detail;

  • Strong interpersonal skills and willingness to work as part of a tight knit team. Most often crews will be two people, which requires interns to co-lead with their co-intern, take initiative, and behave in a manner that promotes team integrity;

  • Experience using hand-held GPS equipment for data collection and navigation;

  • Ability to read and navigate using topographic maps and a compass;

  • Understanding and/or experience using ArcGIS Pro 2.0 software, ArcCollector, and Survey 123, helpful;

  • Willingness and ability to work in harsh, ever-changing desert conditions, including extreme temperatures, independently or as part of a team;

  • Ability to bend and stoop for long periods of time while collecting seed, and to use hand tools, and occasionally lift buckets of water and other heavy loads;

  • Ability to work a non-standard schedule, such as beginning at 5 am, to avoid heat-related issues, to follow plant phenology, or for coordination with team members.  

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

  • Willingness to camp in remote, undeveloped sites for multiple days, up to 8 days;

  • Valid, state-issued driver’s license and familiarity driving 4WD vehicles on- and off-road;

  • Experience operating All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV) on difficult terrain helpful; and

  • Meet AmeriCorps eligibility requirements: (1) U.S. citizenship or legal resident alien status, (2) eligible to receive an AmeriCorps Education Award (limit of four in a lifetime, or equivalent of two full-time terms of service), (3) pass National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW) and federal criminal background checks, (4) adhere to the rules, regulations and code of conduct as specified in the Member Service Agreement; and (5) will not engage in any prohibited activities as listed in the Member Service Agreement; and


Other Job Information (if applicable):

EEO Statement
We conform to all the laws, statutes, and regulations concerning equal employment opportunities and affirmative action. We strongly encourage women, minorities, individuals with disabilities and veterans to apply to all of our job openings. We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin, age, disability status, Genetic Information & Testing, Family & Medical Leave, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. We prohibit Retaliation against individuals who bring forth any complaint, orally or in writing, to the employer or the government, or against any individuals who assist or participate in the investigation of any complaint or otherwise oppose discrimination.