Botany Technician position with USGS (GG-0404-05)

Botany Technician, U.S. Geological Survey (GG-0404-05)


This is a pre-announcement for a temporary 9-month Botany Technician position.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is recruiting a Botany Technician to assist with ecological restoration research on decommissioned OHV trails in the Mojave and Colorado Deserts of southern California. Research will take place within the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) area, which encompasses approximately 22.5 million acres. The DRECP aims to integrate renewable energy planning with natural resource conservation and recreation to effectively allocate and manage land uses. The USGS will: 1) develop and test restoration protocols and techniques, and 2) gather and analyze ecological monitoring data to determine restoration success. The goal of this effort is to provide the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) with a standardized comprehensive guide for future restoration and monitoring of decommissioned OHV trails and roads. The technician will assist the principle investigators in these efforts, both in the office and in the field. Work will primarily be based out of the USGS office in Henderson, NV, with travel to study sites in California required (average 10 travel days per month).

Schedules are highly variable, can change with little notice, and will sometimes require early morning (3 AM) start times, long days, and a few weekends of work. Overnight, primitive car camping in desert conditions (hot/cold weather extremes) is required. Physical work will entail walking and hiking in desert terrain with up to 40-lb packs, in hot or potentially inclement weather.

This temporary position will begin in the beginning of August 2020 and will continue for up to 9 months (180 working days). Extensions are possible, contingent upon performance and funding availability. Temporary employees are covered by the Social Security Retirement system; annual and sick leave will be accrued; employees are ineligible for life insurance coverage.

There is no promotion potential for this position. The full performance level of this position will be set at the grade level at which you are selected.

Relocation expenses will not be covered for the duration of this appointment.


Duties will include, but are not limited to:

Ãf¢ÒÂEURÒ¢    Identify desert flora in field or in office using dichotomous keys.

Ãf¢ÒÂEURÒ¢    Gather and maintain ecological metadata from the field, develop databases, perform QA/QC, analyze and archive data.

Ãf¢ÒÂEURÒ¢    Work with principle investigators to develop study design, select study sites, implement protocols, and train BLM crews.

Ãf¢ÒÂEURÒ¢    Implement monitoring protocols to assess the effectiveness of restoration, including metrics to determine when routes are Ãf¢ÒÂEURÃ’ÂoerestoredÃf¢ÒÂEURҝ.

Ãf¢ÒÂEURÒ¢    Perform lab analyses including, but not limited to, soil bulk density and soil texture analysis.

Ãf¢ÒÂEURÒ¢    Synthesize and communicate results with the BLM and other cooperators.

Ãf¢ÒÂEURÒ¢    Participate in workshops with BLM personnel to ensure products will comply with project goals.

Ãf¢ÒÂEURÒ¢    Assist with the day-to-day operations of field research (e.g. preparing supplies, vehicle and equipment maintenance).

Ãf¢ÒÂEURÒ¢    Participate in other research projects as assigned.


Ãf¢ÒÂEURÒ¢    Knowledge of or ability to quickly learn local desert flora required.

Ãf¢ÒÂEURÒ¢    Experience collecting and analyzing transect data on vegetation, soils, and wildlife.

Ãf¢ÒÂEURÒ¢    Background and strong interest in botany, desert ecology, plant ecology, and restoration.

Ãf¢ÒÂEURÒ¢    Experience in statistical analysis (knowledge of R statistical programming preferred).

Ãf¢ÒÂEURÒ¢    Experience using ArcMap and Microsoft Office applications (Filemaker experience preferred, but not required).

Ãf¢ÒÂEURÒ¢    Experience analyzing remotely sensed data for ecological characteristics.

Ãf¢ÒÂEURÒ¢    Ability to communicate effectively with crew members, BLM managers, and other agency personnel.

Ãf¢ÒÂEURÒ¢    Demonstrated skills in data collection, synthesis, presentation, and technical writing.

Ãf¢ÒÂEURÒ¢    Strong organizational skills.

Ãf¢ÒÂEURÒ¢    Ability to work independently and with large groups.

Ãf¢ÒÂEURÒ¢    Ability to hike and work in desert conditions with up to 40-lb backpack.

Ãf¢ÒÂEURÒ¢    Ability to maintain a positive attitude and strong work ethic under the trying conditions of desert restoration.

Ãf¢ÒÂEURÒ¢    Ability to adapt to a variable and unpredictable schedule.

To qualify for a GG-5 you need 9 months of field experience OR 3 years of sub-professional work experience OR 3 years of college with courses related to the work of the position to be filled (equivalent to 90 semester/135 quarter hours) plus 3 months of lab or field work experience. Sub-professional experience consists of working as a technician or aid in the field or in a laboratory or similar environment. A valid U.S. driverÃf¢ÒÂEURÃ’Â(tm)s license, safe driving record, pre-employment physical, and background security investigation are required. All applicants must be U.S. citizens.

Salary: $16.98 hourly, plus paid vacation and sick days.

Application instructions:

For each position on your resume, please be sure to include the number of hours worked per week, as well as exact start and end dates (month/day/year).

Please submit a resume/CV and the contact information for at least three references via e-mail to Ka-Voka Jackson ( by 8:00 AM PDT on Monday, June 22nd, 2020. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

If claiming 5 point veterans preference, a DD-214 showing character of discharge is required.  If claiming 10 point veterans preference, a SF-15 with proof of claim is required.