Title: Research Assistant – Botany Technician (9 positions)
Location: free housing is provided in Ellington and Winona, Missouri
Employment Period: Temporary, full-time; May 7 through September 14, 2018
Hours: 40 hours/week, Monday-Thursday (4 ten-hour days)
Last date to apply: February 28, 2018
The Missouri Department of Conservation in collaboration with the University of Missouri is recruiting 3 botany crew leaders and 9 botany technicians to assist in collecting vegetation data in southeastern Missouri. Botany crews identify forest, woodland, and glade plant species, and record vegetation data for the Missouri Ozark Forest Ecosystem Project (MOFEP), a landscape-scale, long-term study of the effects of forest management on multiple aspects of the ecosystem. This position is a great opportunity to hone botany skills, learn about forest ecology and natural communities, and interact with other students and professionals in the natural resources field. If you love learning about plants and natural communities, this is your job!
MOFEP is located in the heart of the Ozark Highlands, an extensively forested and ecologically diverse region, providing ample opportunities for hiking, swimming, and paddling in the stunningly beautiful Current and Jacks Fork Rivers. Free housing is provided and is located on land owned by the Missouri Department of Conservation.
Botany crews identify up to 500 species of forest, woodland, and glade plants, estimate plant coverage, count soft mast flowers and fruits, and measure canopy closure using spherical densiometers. Botanists record data using a tablet-sized rugged field computer. Botany crews drive 4-wheel drive trucks up to 50 miles a day on pavement, gravel roads, and trails through the woods; hike 1 to 4 miles a day across steep, rocky terrain in rain, heat, and high humidity; and navigate to permanent plots using Garmin GPS units, or map and compass. Botany crews are required to work long hours outdoors, often in adverse weather conditions. Work vehicles are provided for transportation to field sites.
Technicians must have completed college coursework toward a college degree in natural resources: coursework in botany, plant taxonomy, ecology, and forestry is preferred. Preference will be given to candidates who have completed a field botany or plant taxonomy class and/or exhibit strong botanical skills. Intensive botanical training will be provided, but a solid foundation in plant identification is a prerequisite for the training. Candidates must be able to cheerfully endure tough field conditions, including heat, humidity, ticks, chiggers, mosquitoes, gnats, spiders, snakes, briars, and steep terrain.
Applicants must be detail-oriented, self-motivated, enthusiastic, and possess a strong work ethic, excellent organizational skills, and above all, a positive attitude. Applicants must possess exceptional inter-personal skills and be able to live and work with field crews in close quarters in remote locations. Must be able to work long hours, including early mornings and late afternoons, and conduct field work that is often strenuous. Must possess a valid driver’s license and a good driving record.
To apply, submit the following to Elizabeth Olson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
1. Cover letter describing your background, experience, and qualifications
2. Detailed resume or curriculum vitae
3. College transcripts (unofficial transcripts acceptable)
4. Contact information (phone and e-mail) for at least 2 educational or professional references
Please put “MOFEP Botany Technician” in the subject line of your e-mail.
For more information, contact:
Plant Community Ecologist
Missouri Department of Conservation
Phone: 417-256-7161 ext.4763