Botany Survey Technician Intern - Payson, AZ
Botany Survey Technician Intern - Payson, AZ
Title: Botany Survey Technician Intern (2 openings)
Start/End Date: April 15, 2024 – October 11, 2024 (anticipated)
Stipend: $450 per week living stipend + $200 housing stipend +Education Award.
Term: 26 weeks, Full-Time (40 hours per week)
Reports To: Kenda Svoboda (North Zone Botanist, Tonto National Forest)
Location: Payson, AZ
Status: 900-hour AmeriCorps Service Term
Benefits: AmeriCorps Education Award $3,247.50; Public Lands Corps Certificate*; both with successful completion of the internship. The Corps Network health insurance provided by Cigna, AmeriCorps childcare assistance.
*To be eligible for a Public Lands Corps certificate, interns must be between the ages of 18-30, inclusive, at the time the individual begins the term of service.
Arizona Conservation Corps (AZCC):
Arizona Conservation Corps, a program of Conservation Legacy, aims to continue the legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930's. AZCC is focused on connecting youth, young adults, and recent era military veterans with conservation service work projects on public lands. AZCC operates programs across Arizona that engage individuals and strengthen communities through service and conservation. AZCC has program offices in Flagstaff and Tucson.
Tonto National Forest Botany Program:
The Tonto National Forest is one of the most floristically diverse forests in the Southwestern Region – in large part due to the forest’s position across three distinct ecological sections; the Sonoran Desert, Tonto Transition, and the White Mountain-San Francisco Peak-Mogollon Rim. There are a diversity of ecosystems including Sonoran Desert, Arizona chaparral, Semi-desert grasslands, Pinyon Juniper woodlands and grasslands, Madrean oak woodlands, ponderosa pine forests, and mixed conifer forests. The forest also harbors many endemics, rare plant species, and unique plant communities.
The botany program on the Tonto NF manages our national forest native plant heritage including federally listed and sensitive plant species and their unique habitats – especially those identified as special interest areas such as Research Natural areas or Botanical areas. Botanists provide support to all other forest programs including recreation, range, engineering, wildlife, aquatics, minerals, special uses, invasive species work, forest products, timber, and fuels management projects. Botanists are actively involved and lead in habitat restoration efforts, endangered species recovery efforts, rare plant surveys and monitoring, vegetation sampling, and riparian monitoring.
The selected individuals will support the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) on the Tonto by accomplishing required at-risk native and invasive plant surveys. This entry level position will receive developmental experience in rare plant surveying and monitoring and mentorship from the more experienced Botany Survey Technician Lead and the Forest Botanist. The botany survey technicians will work closely with the Botany Survey Technician Lead and report to the North Zone Botanist at the Payson Ranger District office in Payson, AZ. This position is mostly field-going but may include some office work such as setting up field equipment, compiling survey and monitoring forms, data entry, or other routine project tasks. This position will entail a significant amount of camping throughout the term, typically requiring 3 nights of camping in the field per week.
Crew members are required to drive an AZCC vehicle to several different areas of the Tonto National Forest and can hike up to several miles per day, off trail, carrying equipment (25%) throughout a “hitch”. Hitches are typically 10-hour days, 4 days on/3 days off. The crew usually camps multiple nights with loaned camping gear and share camp meals and chores. Crews are responsible for their own housing, transportation, and food between camping trips. Embrace of an unconventional schedule and a level of flexibility are necessary to be successful.
Crew members return to the Forest Service office in Payson at the end of each hitch for equipment and data management, unknown plant identification, and any required prep work for the next week.
Essential Responsibilities and Functions:
- Work as a unit alongside the Botany Survey Technician Lead to accomplish plant surveys and monitoring for selected treatment areas and sensitive plant species (established by the forest botanist).
- Record data for all rare species found at each survey site.
- Record data for other special status plants species at survey sites.
- Follow established Forest Service survey, monitoring, and data collection protocols.
- Cross-programmatic assistance, such as working on stream restorations, invasives removal and recreation projects.
- Perform closeout work at the end of the field season including downloading data from tablets, complete all data entry for TESP and invasive species data, correct or update any errors, and upload data into FS database.
- Applicants should be pursuing or have recently completed an undergraduate degree in botany, ecology, natural resource management, or a related field.
- Familiarity of the basic methods, techniques, and procedures necessary to conduct plant species inventories, surveys, and monitoring.
- Familiarity with identifying plant species in the field and working knowledge of using dichotomous keys or other resources to identify plant species (through applied experience or through coursework).
- Effective communicator: ability to follow direction, asks questions as problems arise, and works well with others.
- Physically able to work regular and recurring physical exertion during fieldwork that may be moderately strenuous in nature, including long hours in the field (10–12-hour days at times), hiking over rough and uneven ground, exposure to high temperatures during the summer, recuring bending or crouching or stooping. Over-night camping in wilderness areas will be required at times.
- Possesses a good driving record and ability to drive a 4-wheel vehicle on difficult roads.
- Ability to camp in field settings for up to 3 days per week.
- Follows all FS safety requirements including check-in and check-out procedures during field work.
- Ability to conduct thorough and accurate botanical inventorying.
- Self-motivated and able to work both independently and small group with limited supervision after initial training period; must be capable of performing well in an office setting, as well as the field.
- Applicants must pass a criminal history background check and possess a valid driver’s license with a clean driving record.
- Experience working as part of a small team and the ability to work well with others.
- Experience using taxonomic keys to identify plants to species in the field, from photos, and from pressed specimens.
- Experience surveying and monitoring rare and sensitive plant species.
- Knowledge of Arizona flora and special status or rare plant species sufficient to locate species during vegetation inventories or monitoring.
- Skills in assembling or compiling data for analysis or reporting.
- Technical proficiencies in data collection methods, including using digital tablets or other electronic devices, making any necessary updates to datasheets in Microsoft Word, Excel, or other software.
- Experience working with GIS software; accessing data, creating layers, exporting data, conducting geo-spatial analyses, and producing maps.
- To successfully perform essential functions, the individual is required to sit, stand, walk, speak, hear, etc. May be required to stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl for significant periods of time and be able to safely lift 50 pounds on a routine basis. He/she must be able to operate office equipment, telephone, and computer and reach with hands and arms.
- Ability to hike and camp in rough terrain.
- This position calls for high levels of concentration. A moderate amount of travel is required to attend meetings, provide assistance to other field offices, and to provide or receive training.
- Reasonable accommodations may be made for qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Participant Essential Eligibility Requirements:
Participation and Expedition Behavior:
- Work effectively as a member of a team despite potentially stressful and difficult conditions. This may require problem solving on an interpersonal or group level as well as a willingness to accept differences.
- Contribute to a safe learning environment, no harassment of others for any reason.
- Willingness and ability to complete all aspects of the program including conservation projects, education, training, and national service.
- Effectively communicate ideas and concerns as they arise directly to supervisors, colleagues, and organization staff.
- Appropriately represent Arizona Conservation Corps, the U.S. Forest Service and AmeriCorps to the public and partners at all times.
- Flexibility, adaptability, and capacity to work in a fluid, changing work environment.
Safety and Judgment:
- Effectively communicate danger to others in the form of either a warning of danger others may be encountering or a notification of personal distress, injury or need for assistance. Must be able to do so at a distance of up to 50 meters and in conditions with limited visibility or loud background noise such as darkness or high winds.
- Effectively perceive and understand significant and apparent hazards and follow direction by others so that you will be able to successfully execute techniques to manage hazards. These directions may be given before the hazard is encountered or may need to be given during the exposure to the hazard. Ability to respond appropriately to stress or crises.
- Stay alert and focused for several hours at a time while traveling and working in varied weather conditions.
- If taking prescriptions medications, participants must be able to maintain proper dosage by self- medicating without assistance from others.
In accordance with a drug free workplace, alcohol and drugs are prohibited while participating in AmeriCorps and program activities and while on organization property.
Interns will have access to government facilities and systems, and will be supplied with access to gov’t vehicles, equipment, and materials needed to work on the projects and activities as outlined above. Interns must adhere to all government regulations and policies for operating equipment, vehicles, security awareness, and safety.
For more information about Arizona Conservation Corps, please visit https://azcorps.org/ . Arizona Conservation Corps is a program of Conservation Legacy.