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CCNM - Seeds of Success Crew Leader - Summer/Fall 2024

Conservation Legacy

Conservation Legacy

Las Cruces, NM, USA
Posted on Thursday, June 6, 2024

Start Date: 07/15/2024 (Anticipated)

End Date: 11/01/2024 (Anticipated)

Wages: $800/week

Location: Las Cruces, NM

Benefits: Paid training; Food budget while on camping hitch; Employee Assistance Program; health benefits for eligible positions

Public Land Corps Hiring Authority: Eligible to use, for two years upon completion of term, a non-competitive hiring status for consideration when applying to competitive service positions for a federal agency.


Conservation Corps New Mexico (CCNM):

Conservation Corps New Mexico, a program of Conservation Legacy, aims to continue the legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s. CCNM crews are typically based in Las Cruces, NM and all project work will take place on public lands in New Mexico and surrounding states.

Position Overview:

The crew leader will supervise two crew members and an Assistant Crew Leader for a Department of Interior (DOI) Seeds of Success (SOS) team, operated by Conservation Corps New Mexico (CCNM). The crew will be based out of the CCNM Las Cruces office. The crew will collect seeds from native species in remote areas on DOI land following SOS protocols. The crew leader will be trained in planning techniques for a successful field season. Subsequently, the crew leader will help train the crew members and will contribute to a regional seed collection training. Crews will be required to drive to different areas throughout New Mexico, camp overnight, potentially hike several miles a day, and return to the office for equipment and data management. This position requires significant driving relative to other types of field work. Crew leaders must be prepared for long days of driving and scouting from a truck. Safety is a pre-requisite, particularly where industry development (energy extraction, e.g. natural gas) is occurring and during hunting season, and will guide how fieldwork is conducted. The crew leader will be responsible for adhering to check-out/check-in procedures and communications via cell phone or SPOT device to ensure crew safety.

Seed collected by DOI is saved in short- and long- term storage to support development of plant materials for land restoration purposes by DOI and other entities. The crew leader will oversee and be accountable for successful data management, including record filing, database input, and seed processing.

Specific duties will include selecting and locating populations of plant species based on the established SOS Protocol, and locally developed target species lists. The crew leader will oversee fieldwork and work with crew members to locate populations of targeted species, monitor phenology of the population, collect botanical voucher specimens, assess seed quantity and quality prior to seed collection, collect seed, record site data, prepare documentation, and ship collected seed for cleaning and short-term storage. The ability to identify plants both in the field and in the office via dichotomous keys is an important function of the position. However, help with plant ID will be provided and IDs will be reviewed. The crew leader will use ArcGIS tablet applications (i.e. ArcCollector) software to locate and document collections. Use of 4-wheel drive vehicles in rugged off highway situations is expected. Familiarity with this equipment is highly desirable, but training will be provided where needed.

While Seeds of Success is the primary focus, the crew may also assist with other conservation program projects during the season to promote additional education and experience.

Crew Leader Responsibilities

Crew Leaders (CL) are responsible for facilitating a safe and positive crew member experience by setting an example of enthusiasm, dedication, and a strong work ethic throughout work and camp life. The CL works in tandem with an Assistant Crew Leader to communicate directions, project specifications, and provide constructive feedback throughout the term of service. The CL is expected to complete project and member paperwork in a timely manner and professionally represent CCNM.

The crew leader supports and manages the field crew’s safety and wellbeing, consistently exercising discretion and judgment. Plans and carries out seed collection efforts, following SOS protocols, throughout New Mexico to support DOI conservation strategies. Coordinates field logistics, scheduling, crew tasks, and management of the crew’s equipment. Is the primary contact between the crew, the CCNM supervisor, and DOI staff; effectively coordinates with DOI Staff to complete seed collection of priority species throughout New Mexico. Completes necessary administrative paperwork. Before, during, and after field data collection, the leader is responsible for the organization and quality control of all data collected. The crew leader should be passionate about using sound science principles, be an advocate for the botany program at the DOI, and have a willingness to learn about the importance of native plant materials development in land management within the DOI.

This is a full-time, temporary position that requires overnight camping and non-traditional work hours inclusive of weekend and evening hours.

Minimum Qualifications:

· College Graduate (BA/BS) with degree in botany, plant ecology, plant biology, plant systematics, ecology (preferred); or with experience in botany and a degree in environmental science, range science, wildlife biology, natural resource management, conservation biology, or a related field.

· Aged at least 21 years upon hire.

· Ability to produce identification as stipulated by I-9 upon hire.

· Valid US driver's license and insurable driving record.

· Ability to pass Conservation Legacy's Criminal History Check

· Experience with and knowledge of Microsoft Suite software (Word, Excel, PowerPoint).

· Self-motivated and able to work independently with limited supervision after initial training period

· Experience spending multiple days (8 days at a time) car-camping in remote areas; familiarity with and willingness to adhere to best practices for field safety and Leave No Trace principles.

· Experience safely operating 4WD trucks on paved and unpaved roads, in remote areas on unimproved roads and driving for extended periods of time.

· Ability to work in and respond to adverse weather conditions including extreme heat and sun exposure, monsoonal rains, flash flooding, lightning, and hazardous wildlife (i.e. rattlesnakes, scorpions, bears).

· Excellent communication, organizational, and planning skills.

· Experience working as part of a team and ability to work well with others.

Preferred Qualifications:

· Previous leadership experience in botanical fieldwork leading a group of two or more people.

· Seed collection experience.

· 1 to 2 years of experience using taxonomic keys to identify plants to species in the field, from photos, and from pressed specimens.

· Familiarity with New Mexico flora in general and Flora Neomexicana III.

· Experience with Floras from adjacent states to New Mexico.

· Experience working in regions with high floristic diversity.

· Experience with ArcGIS tablet applications and basic troubleshooting (Collector and Survey 123).

· Experience with ArcMap, ArcCatalog, and ArcGIS Online interface.

· Knowledge of creating maps, performing basic analysis and organizing data.

· Knowledge of downloading, using, and syncing ArcGIS Online Maps.

· Experience collecting, managing and summarizing data for plant monitoring programs.

· Experience performing quality assurance, quality control, and data analysis using Microsoft Excel and R.

Physical Requirements:

· Physically capable of standing and walking (approximately 2 miles/day on rough, uneven terrain), bending, crouching and stooping for long periods of time, and lifting/carrying items that weigh up to 40 pounds in upwards of 100 degree (F) heat while maintaining a positive attitude.

· The individual is required to sit, stand, walk, speak, hear, etc.

· Ability to operate office equipment, telephone, and computer and reach with hands and arms.

· Ability to hike and navigate in rough terrain.

· Ability to drive/be in vehicle for up to 10-hours per day.

· This position calls for high levels of concentration. A large amount of travel is required to conduct fieldwork and to provide or receive training.

· Reasonable accommodations may be made for qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


Generally, the term begins with a leadership training which focuses on developing outdoor leadership skills, goal setting, technical and field skills training and developing an understanding of CCNM procedures. Following leadership training, crew leaders will attend a SOS protocol training with the Bureau of Land Management. Informal hands-on training will continue throughout the term with on- the- ground skills training. Depending on the project needs, crews may receive specialized training. During the season members will have the opportunity to participate in a Wilderness First Aid certification course.


Crews generally work an 8-day, 10-hours/day ‘hitch’ schedule, while camping in front and backcountry settings. Typically, members will have 6 days off in the town of the home base office. Drive time to and from the work site from the home base office is typically included in the hitch schedule. Applicants should expect the project schedule and type of work to vary.

Workdays will start with a safety meeting including exercising and stretching. Days typically include two 15-minute breaks and one 30-minute lunch.


Participants must supply his/her/their own personal outdoor gear and equipment such as a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, day pack, multi-day pack, work pants, hiking/work boots, etc. A suggested gear-list will be provided prior to starting the term of service. CCNM will provide tools, personal protective gear, budget for crew meals and transportation to projects. Additionally, CCNM has pro-deals and some gear available to borrow.


Housing on days off is not provided.

Public Land Corps:

The Public Land Corps (PLC) program provides the opportunity for people between the ages of 18 and 30 years to work on conservation projects on public lands. Participants must successfully complete 640 hours that include at least 120 hours on federal lands through the PLC. PLC members are not federal government employees, but those who successfully complete the PLC requirements are then eligible to use, for two years, a noncompetitive hiring status for consideration when applying to competitive service positions. https://www.blm.gov/careers/students-and-grads/public-lands-corps


Substance Free

CCNM is a drug-free organization; alcohol, marijuana (medical and recreational), and illegal substances are prohibited.

Physical, Emotional, and Mental Safety:

Proper safety procedures must be observed in all tasks, including at the worksite, campsite, and during travel. Participants must:

· Effectively communicate danger to others and ensure a safe environment.

· Effectively perceive, understand, and follow direction.

· Stay alert and focused for several hours at a time while traveling and working in varied weather conditions.

· Identify and communicate significant and apparent hazards.

· If taking prescription medications, participants must be able to maintain proper dosage by self-medicating without assistance from others.

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.

· Members must commit to participating in all crew/team activities, including evening chores, check-ins, and service days in local communities.

· Effectively communicate concerns as they arise to supervisors and organization staff.

· Have the cognitive ability to learn necessary skills and apply them.

· Appropriately represent the program and AmeriCorps to the public and project partners at all times.

Environmental Ethics:

· Learn and practice ‘Leave no Trace’ techniques at all times

· Learn and safely perform fundamental outdoor living, travel, and work skills.

· Practice self-care by staying adequately hydrated, fed, and properly dressed, so as to remain healthy and safe, avoiding environmental injuries.

· Live in a physically demanding, possibly remote environment for an uninterrupted period of up to several weeks. Conditions of this environment may vary significantly and may include severe and challenging weather conditions.

Participant Essential Eligibility Requirements:

Essential eligibility requirements for the program must be met. If you are unable to meet certain requirements, we may be able to provide some accommodations, excepting that which alters the fundamental nature of the program, compromises the health and safety of participants or staff, or places an undue financial or administrative burden on the organization. These requirements are written the same for all positions and therefore may not apply directly to your particular position.

Conservation Legacy is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to hiring a breadth of diverse professionals and encourage members of diverse groups to apply. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, political affiliation, protected veteran status, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law. We also consider qualified applicants regardless of criminal histories, consistent with legal requirements. If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during application or recruiting process, please send a request to the hiring manager.