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Working Lands Field Technicians

Position:  1-2 Field Technicians, Working Lands Group, Point Blue Conservation Science

Duration: January 10 – July 10 2022; Start and end date flexible; duration 6 months or less.

Location:  Positions have a flexible home base (Greater Bay Area, Central Valley, or Northern California) and include travel throughout California.

Job Type: Full time (40+ hours per week), Seasonal

Compensation: $20-$22/hour (depending on experience), plus overtime; Benefits limited to 24 hrs of sick pay

Deadline to apply: December 1, 2021

Job Summary:  The Working Lands Technician will assist in ecological monitoring on rangelands throughout California as part of the Rangeland Monitoring Network of Point Blue Conservation Science.  The Rangeland Monitoring Network measures ecological function on rangelands and evaluates the effectiveness of management practices through bird, vegetation, and soil surveys. To achieve our goals, Point Blue has partner biologists located in 11 Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) field offices across the state of California to provide technical assistance and ecological expertise to producers. This is a truly collaborative, science-based effort to facilitate the implementation of beneficial management practices to improve conservation outcomes on working lands with the end goal of robust, resilient, and climate-smart agroecosystems.

Point Blue:  Point Blue Conservation Science advances conservation of birds, other wildlife and ecosystems through science, partnerships, and outreach. Our highest priority is to reduce the impacts of climate change, habitat loss and other threats on wildlife and people, while developing climate-smart, nature-based solutions. Because of the collaborative climate-smart conservation work we do today, we believe healthy ecosystems will continue to sustain thriving wildlife and human communities well into the future.

Essential Duties and Work Environment:

This position entails ~80% field work and ~20% office and other work

  • Completes field work on rangelands including avian point count surveys, vegetation surveys, and soil sampling with Partner Biologists and Point Blue Scientists for the Rangeland Monitoring Network (RMN) and other projects. Some field days start before sunrise, and typically involve hiking 3-7 miles traversing through steep and uneven terrain and transporting up to 25 lbs; navigation to all sample points is done using a GPS.
  • Maintains current knowledge of bird and plant identification and ensures field data collected is of the highest quality.
  • The field schedule is variable and involves significant and frequent travel throughout California during the fieldwork season including some evening and weekend work–use of company vehicle usually available, and use of personal vehicle will be reimbursed as per Point Blue’s expense reimbursement policy. Traveling may include overnight lodging (hotel costs will be covered).
  • Ensures consistent and reliable standardized data are gathered and entered into an online database; ensures quality control of data, scans and archives datasheets.
  • Manages both raw and electronic data.
  • Basic processing of soil samples (sifting, drying, and grinding) in Point Blue soil lab in Petaluma. Performs special projects and research as assigned.

Required Qualifications:

  • Valid US driver’s license, 2-years of driving experience, and favorable driving history to drive company vehicles. Successful applicants must have transportation to our headquarters in Petaluma, CA and ideally have access to a personal vehicle with proof of auto insurance.
  • Ability to lift/carry up to 25 pounds occasionally and hike up to 7 miles.
  • Enthusiasm for natural history, birds, botany, soil, and/or agriculture.

Desired Qualifications: The ideal candidate is enthusiastic and willing to learn on the job.

  • Knowledge and ability to identify familiar birds and plants (and quickly learn unfamiliar species).
  • Knowledge of field data collection practices and procedures.
  • Knowledge of scientific research methods and techniques involving biology, ecology, and other related biological and physical sciences and their application to ecosystem conservation and management activities.
  • Ability to communicate respectfully and desire to work with a diverse group of people including state, federal, tribal, and non-government resource professionals, working lands producers, and the general public.
  • Skills operating Microsoft Office programs including spreadsheet, word processing, presentation and email programs; skills operating Google Drive programs including Google Sheets, Docs, and Slides.
  • Ability to use a variety of field and laboratory equipment that may include geographic positioning and information systems, binoculars, radios, microscopes, measurement tools, and other scientific equipment.
  • Comfortable working in the field with livestock present and a general knowledge of working ranch safety/etiquette.
  • Ability to work well alone and as a team, self-motivated, a sense of humor, and desire to spend long hours in the field and office.
  • Organized, flexible, eager to learn, and effective at communicating.

Work Environment & Physical Requirements:

This position operates in a professional office environment (Point Blue Conservation Science HQ- Petaluma, CA) and in remote field locations with uneven terrain, limited vehicle access, limited cell phone receptions, and sometimes in a solitary capacity.

COVID Safety:

We prefer applicants to be vaccinated and may be required to wear masks regardless of vaccination status if working in close proximity to Point Blue staff, partners, supporters, and others. We require staff to follow current safety guidelines. All Point Blue staff will do the same and ensure a safe working environment.

To Apply: Please submit applications via email to Hilary Allen (hallen@pointblue.org) and Sophie Noda (snoda@pointblue.org) by December 1, 2021; subject line Working Lands Technician. All applicants should provide a resumé and contact information for three references. In addition to the resumé and references, applicants should choose between one of the following two options: 1) a letter of interest or written document (~1 page) describing why you are interested in this position, how you hope this position can help you advance your own goals, any previous experience you would like to highlight, OR 2) the above information can also be submitted as a short (<5 min) video.

Point Blue is an equal employment opportunity employer and does not discriminate against applicants or employees because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, citizenship status, disability status of an otherwise qualified individual, membership or application for membership in an uniformed service, or membership in any other class protected by applicable law and will make reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities to complete the application and/or participate in the interview process. Working Lands is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusivity in all aspects of programming and highly encourages racially marginalized individuals to apply for this position.