Botany jobs

The Chicago Botanic Garden (CBG) seeks to fill several contractor positions based in the western U.S. Positions include field teams focused native seed collections as part of the national Seeds of Success (SOS) program as well as office-based botanical resource specialist positions.

Field teams will be comprised of one lead botanist, and two botany technicians. Teams will be responsible for developing and implementing collection plan for the field season, keeping detailed records of fieldwork and collection data, and adhering to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) SOS protocol with guidance from the CBG and the Bureau of Land Management. Teams will prepare and ship seed collections to the Bend Seed Extractory but will not be doing extensive seed cleaning.

Office-based Botanical Resource Specialist positions will focus on managing and analyzing botanical data (SOS, GIS, or native plant monitoring) data and resources.

Start date, duration and compensation: Target start dates range from Fall 2019 to Spring 2020 and positions range in duration from 4-18 months. Compensation for Team Leads and Botanical Resource Specialists will be at the GS-9 to GS-11 paygrade. Technicians will be paid within the GS-5-7 paygrades.

To Apply: Send a cover letter and resume indicating their position of interest (SOS Team Lead, SOS Technician, Botanical Resource Specialist), a preferred starting date and employment duration to Chris Woolridge at Resumes should include relevant education and professional experience(s) and contact information for 3 references.  Review of applications will begin as received and will continue until all positions have been filled. Qualified applicants will be contacted within 2 week of receipt of application with follow up information.


Required Qualifications: B.S./B.A. or Ms. in Biology, Ecology, Botany, Natural Resources Management, Environmental Science, or a related field; Strong plant identification skills (to species), comfort with using dichotomous keys, and knowledge of plant taxonomy; Experience maintaining accurate and detailed data records (in field and in electronic databases such as Excel/Access); Capable of conducting daily field work in rough terrain in harsh environmental conditions (heat, rain, biting insects), and motivating a field crew through those tough conditions; Team leads: experience leading teams and/or mentoring

Desired Qualifications: Familiarity with plants and ecosystems of the western U.S.; Experience conducting field work related to plant research, identification, restoration, and/or seed collection (through SOS programs or other seed handling/collecting work); Experience driving large field vehicles with 4-wheel drive; driving on gravel and dirt roads; off-road driving; Experience hiking and backcountry camping, and the willingness to do so for this position; Experience working with agency, academic, private, or non-profit partners to coordinate, plan, and execute fieldwork on public or private lands; Familiarity with ArcGIS to display maps, visualize georeferenced data, and interface with GPS units; Wilderness First Aid or other field safety training

Physical Demands

For field-based positions, data collection often occurs in remote locations, where cellular connection is unavailable or inconsistent. Field conditions can be extreme: hot summer conditions with potential for heavy rainfall, flash floods, and lightning strikes; high altitude sun exposure; and occasional wildlife encounters. Seed collection and vegetation monitoring activities can be physically demanding due to stooping and bending for long periods of time. Ability to lift up to 40 lbs and hike up to 6 miles per day is expected. Fieldwork will require overnight travel and will involve overnight camping in remote areas.