🔗Apprentice Botanist (Crew Leader, Crew Member and limited Individual placements) – Various California National Park Locations
Website American Conservation Experience
Summary: American Conservation Experience (ACE), a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the National Park Service (NPS) and the California Invasive Plant Management Team (CA IPMT), is seeking 8 Members to work in National Park units across California and southern Oregon to collect native plant specimens to support vegetation restoration projects. These positions support NPS vegetation staff by focusing on identifying, monitoring, collecting, and curating plant seeds for amplification and eventual restoration efforts. All members will receive training in plant systematics, field botany, seed collection, and curation techniques, and will also have opportunities to work alongside regional botanical leaders and local NPS staff.
Of the eight position openings, there will be 2 Crew Leader positions, 4 Crew Member positions, and 2 Individual Placement positions.
For more information about ACE and to apply, please visit:
Start Date: April or May 2022, dependent on winter precipitation
End Date: 24 weeks from the initial start date
*a 24-week minimum commitment is required*
Location: The CA-IPMT positions will be based on the type of position being offered and are dependent upon qualifications.
TWO Non-AmeriCorps Crew Leader positions:
1 Crew Leader position based out of Golden Gate National Recreation Area
1 Crew Leader position based out of Lava Beds National Monument
FOUR AmeriCorps Eligible Crew Member positions:
2 Crew Member positions based out of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area
2 Crew Member positions based out of Lava Beds National Monument
TWO AmeriCorps Eligible Individual Placement positions:
1 Individual Placement based out of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
1 Individual Placement based out of (Park TBD)
Project Background and Objectives:
The members will become part of a coordinated seed collection effort to support National Park Service ecological restoration projects across multiple NPS units. These are developmental positions in the botanical sciences, and I will work closely with NPS vegetation staff and learn directly from other practitioners. ACE members will be provided direct technical training in the botanical systematics of California and techniques for seed collection and curation, whose fieldwork will assist in restoration planning for NPS units within the California Invasive Plant Management Team (CA-IPMT) network of parks. The project promotes restoration and plant materials development for targeted restoration activities in NPS units across California and southern Oregon. The work will increase NPS’s capacity for habitat restoration and native plant conservation through the coordinated control of non-native species, ecological restoration, and the preservation of native plants.
ACE members will assist parks in the CA IPMT network with seed collection and botanical surveys to promote native plant conservation and habitat restoration throughout the gardens. ACE Members will gain work and technical experience and have educational opportunities throughout the project. Work activities include botanical surveys to locate target populations of management interest, seed evaluation and collection, and seed curation. This project supports the seed collection essential to vegetation management in NPS units by providing the necessary native plant materials to promote the restoration of native plant communities.
CA IPMT Program Overview: One way the NPS addresses invasive species is through the Invasive Plant Management Program (IPMT). The California IPMT supports 17 partner park units located within the California Floristic Province in California and Southern Oregon. Regarded for its exceptionally high concentration of endemic plants, this region is one of 36 world biodiversity hotspots. Of the more than 4,600 species of vascular plants found in California, one-third are endemic to the region, along with over 1,000 non-native species. The California IPMT provides technical assistance to parks to identify programmatic needs, develop strategic goals, and support ongoing park projects. The California IPMT provides resources to parks for staff to complete treatments, survey and map invasive plant populations and complete native plant restorations through an annual proposal process. The California IPMT works with state and federal agencies to integrate partner parks into statewide and national networks while building multi-jurisdictional collaborations that support successful vegetation management within and around national parks.
Living Allowance: The ACE Member is expected to contribute ~40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance to offset the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly. The living allowance will vary based on project selection:
$600/week for AmeriCorps Crew Members (nonbay area)
$800/week for Non-AmeriCorps Crew Leader (nonbay site)
$660/week for Bay Area AmeriCorps Crew Members
$900/week for Bay Area Non-AmeriCorps Crew Leader
$550/week for AmeriCorps Individual Placement
Housing: Housing will likely be provided by the park; additional housing allowance may apply if not provided.
AmeriCorps: All positions (excluding the two Crew Leader positions) may be eligible for an AmeriCorps Education Award upon successfully completing service hours. Additional enrollment steps are required.
The four Crew member positions at 24 weeks may be eligible for a 900-hr AmeriCorps Education Award ($3247.50).
Scheduling: A typical schedule is eight ten-hour days followed by six days off OR four ten-hour days with three days out. The schedule has flexibility but will be at the discretion of NPS units and phenological conditions.
This project involves the mobilization of ACE members to assist NPS land managers with botanical identification, collection, and curation of individual native plant species targeted for conservation and utilization as restoration seed sources.
There will be two three-person teams and two individual park placements. Teams work in selected parks within CA IPMT network parks (one based at Golden Gate National Recreation Area and working within the San Francisco Bay Inventory and Monitoring Network parks; the other based at Lava Beds National Monument and working within the Klamath Inventory and Monitoring Network parks. An additional two seed collection members will be individually placed within network parks (Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park and a TBD Park). ACE members will be trained by CA IPMT staff and other botanical experts as a cohort, receiving instruction in field botany and botanical systematics, seed collection methodologies and techniques, and seed curation techniques to match standards established by the Seeds of Success program. Seed collections will be made in close cooperation with individual park units to support future restoration operations.
This individual placement facilitates professional development and promotes exposure to land management agencies and networking with professional botanists. This could include gaining experience in different conservation fields and shadowing other work groups.
Crew Leader specific duties include:
-Provide leadership and take responsibility for a group of two Crew Members in a botanical field research setting with objective hazards traveling between multiple NPS units in urban and rural settings
-Led a small team in the identification, location, and collection of NPS-designated native plant species for collection and curation under appropriate conditions for maximum germinability
-Provide botanical identification expertise, as well as expertise in the use of crew equipment (GPS/GIS, data collection devices), proper seed collection, storage, and curation techniques
Understand and relay botany & plant ID techniques
Crew member-specific duties include:
-Identify, locate, collect, curate, and store native plant seed for restoration at the direction of the Crew Leader and under NPS guidance
-Provide botanical identification expertise to the team while improving your skills
Individual Placement specific duties include:
-Identify, locate, collect, curate, and store native plant seeds for restoration at the direction of NPS staff
-Assist with projects directed by NPS staff, including but not limited to seed collection and curation, associated horticultural tasks, restoration plantings, and invasive and rare plant surveys.
-Provide botanical identification expertise to the park while improving your skills
Public Land Corps Hiring Authority: Members serving under this agreement may be eligible for a hiring authority upon their term of service completion. PLC projects also include specific eligibility requirements such as age and citizenship. Please contact ACE staff with questions about eligibility.