Ecological Field Technician

Job Title: Ecological Field Technician

Classification: Seasonal Position (6 weeks)

Pay: $20 per hour

Location: Pahrump Valley, Nevada (Mojave Desert)

Start Date: 3/20/2023


Application Deadline: 2/15/2023

Number of Positions: 2

Organizations: Cornell University, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and the

Bureau of Land Management (BLM)

Contact: Kyle Turchick (

Job Summary:

Multiple field technician positions need to be filled for work related to

both disturbance ecology and renewable energy ecology. The field

technicians will assist with data collection for a project investigating

the effects of solar energy development on the Mojave Desert ecosystem.

This project is funded by the Bureau of Land Management and is in

collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Field work will be in

the Pahrump Valley of Nevada, which is located in between Death Valley,

California and Las Vegas Valley, Nevada. The field work will be led by a

PhD student in the USGS Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit at

Cornell University (Kyle Turchick). The two main objectives are to (1)

understand ecosystem change due to the construction of a large solar energy

facility and then (2) inform land managers in the Las Vegas Field Office,

as well as the broader community of research ecologists. INDIVIDUALS WITH




Job Description:

The field technicians will assist with data collection both in and around

the solar facility for 1.5 months, beginning in mid-March 2023 and ending

late-April (6 weeks total). Each week will consist of four 10-hour days of

fieldwork (Monday-Thursday), followed by three days off (Friday-Sunday). A

work truck will be provided for the crew, such that the field technicians

won’t need a personal vehicle during the work week. During the four-day

work week technicians are expected to camp with the work truck on the

public lands surrounding the isolated solar facility. The crew will

commute in the work truck each day from the public land basecamp to the

nearby solar facility, and then hike out to sampling locations from within

the solar facility; or the crew will hike from the public land basecamp to

the sampling locations outside of the solar facility. The workday will

begin early in the morning and extend through the heat of the day.

Technicians will be paid $20 an hour. The necessary cooking supplies will

be provided for the crew (propane stove, fuel, pots, pans, cutting board,

bowls, plates, cups, utensils, etc.), and food expenses will be covered

during the four-day fieldwork week (Monday-Thursday).

The primary scientific duties of the field technicians will be to identify

plant species, measure vegetation, characterize biological soil crust,

quantify downed woody debris, describe soils, survey burrows, sample

pollinators (trap deployment and recovery), accurately and legibly record

data (with paper & pencil), correctly enter field data to digital formats,

and potentially install sensors. Previous experience beyond classwork

required for: identifying plant species, vegetation measurements, and both

accurate and legible data recordings, these are the three central skill

sets. Attention to detail and organization while in physically stressful

environmental conditions are key characteristics. Again, individuals with

previous experience implementing the Bureau of Land Management’s

Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM) methodology are encouraged to


The successful applicant must be able to perform these duties consistently

for long periods of time in physically challenging environments. The

physical and mental capacity to conduct long hours of fieldwork in rugged,

hot desert conditions is required.

Qualifications Summary:

Desired qualifications for the position include the following:

1. Experience working with AIM protocol

2. Experience collecting data on desert soils and plants

3. Ability to accurately follow instructions for data collection and

implement scientific procedures

4. Physical and mental capacity to conduct long hours of fieldwork in

rugged, hot desert conditions

5. A Bachelor’s degree in botany, soils, or related field OR equivalent

work experience in desert ecology.


Please submit the following to application materials, preferably in a

single PDF document, to Kyle Turchick (PhD student) via email (

Application Materials: (1) Brief letter of interest;

(2) Resume/CV; (3) Names and contact info for 3 references; and (4)

transcripts (optional). Applications will be considered on a rolling basis,

but the final date to apply is 2/15/23.

Thank you for your interest.