Riparian Field Botanist – Nevada – Elko, NV

Riparian Field Botanist – Nevada

Botanical Society of America

Elko, NV


Riparian Field Botanist – Nevada

University of Montana – Elko; Carson City, Nevada, USA

Position Title:Riparian Field Botanist – Nevada

Position Type:Technician

Application Review Begins:Sunday, January 01, 2023

Application Deadline:Saturday, April 01, 2023

Institution:University of Montana

Department/Division:Ecological Mapping Monitoring and Analysis group

Field (e.g., systematics):Botany, Vegetation Ecology

City:Elko; Carson City, Nevada, USA

General Information:Seeking Riparian Botanists for field work in Nevada 2023 summer season.

The University of Montana (UM) OConnor Center for the Rocky Mountain West (OCRMW) is partnering with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to implement their Aquatic Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM) strategy and also implement the vegetation assessment elements of the Multiple Indicator Monitoring (MIM) protocol. This protocol is targeted at collecting standardized inventory and long-term hydrologic and biological data at multiple scales across BLM Districts in the Western U.S. We are currently recruiting Crew Leads, Technicians and Riparian Botanists with experience in fisheries, hydrology, ecology, and/or botany for data collection in Idaho, Nevada, and Wyoming from April through August/September (exact dates vary by project, see below).

Data collection will follow the AIM National Aquatic Monitoring Framework. The field crews will consist of a Crew Lead, Technician, and Riparian Botanist. All crews will be supported by Crew Managers and other professional EMMA staff. We ask seasonal staff to commit to the entire field season, practice safety awareness, and contribute to building a healthy, productive, and enjoyable work environment.

All positions are field-based and require primitive camping. Sampling sites may sometimes be near a town, but often the towns will have few amenities or entertainment, and crew members should plan to bring all their food with them each hitch. Expect that cell phone service from any carrier is poor to non-existent in many areas. Applicants should also understand that this is physically demanding work. Crews typically work eight consecutive 10-hour days, followed by a 6-day break, in all kinds of weather, and frequently must navigate sketchy roads or carry awkward and heavy equipment across uneven terrain to access a site. The wadeable streams sampled range from a few inches deep to fast-flowing small rivers that require good balance and a willingness to be waist or chest deep in water.

UM supplies all necessary monitoring equipment, including vehicles, to carry out the work and can lend camping gear on a case-by-case basis.

The University of Montana is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and has a strong institutional commitment to the principle of diversity in all areas. Applicants with diverse backgrounds, experiences, ability, and perspectives are encouraged to apply.

Position is full time, temporary (< 4 months).
Compensation is $20-21 per hour, based on qualifications and experience.
All positions include (tax-free):
$244 meal per diem per 8-day hitch
$300 one-time equipment stipend
$300 additional stipend upon completion of season
Benefits include Worker’s Compensation coverage, three paid holidays and accrual of sick leave.

Crews will be based out of a BLM field office. Below are the anticipated locations of the base cities and timeline of work. All start dates are dependent on BLM trainings. Positions are filled on a rolling basis.


Base City: Elko and Carson City, NV
Sampling Region: BLM land in central, eastern, and southern Nevada.
Start Date: April 15th with the BLM training in Sierra Vista, AZ
End Date: Continue until all points are completed, which is estimated to be late July to early August.
Available Positions: 2 Riparian Botanists (1 Carson City; 1 Elko)

– A Bachelors Degree or higher in Botany, Ecology, Range Science, Wetland Ecology or closely related subject. Coursework in Plant Taxonomy and/or Systematics with additional training in wetland/riparian plant identification is preferred. Herbarium experience or extensive horticultural experience may substitute for coursework.
– A minimum of one full season of botany field work
– Ability to identify riparian species using dichotomous keys
– Botanists without wide experience in the West or in riparian environments are still encouraged to apply.
– Good familiarity with commonly accepted plant nomenclature.

– A basic understanding of how field protocols are used to conduct sampling and field data collection at assessment and monitoring sites.
– Experience with data entry and management using personal computers or tablets. Experience with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel) and preferably with ArcGIS Field Maps and Survey123.
– Experience navigating and collecting coordinates with hand-held GPS units.
– Experience with using Google Earth or GIS to examine aerial imagery.
– Experience driving and maintaining 4WD trucks and other vehicles, especially on rough and unmaintained roads.
– Demonstrated ability to work productively as part of a team to accomplish mutual goals and to work independently as required.
– Experience in and willingness to spend multiple days camping in the field where multiple hazards (snakes, bears, deadfall, lightning, poison ivy, fires, etc.) may be encountered.
– Willingness to work irregular hours in harsh environments and challenging weather and carry 40-50 pounds in a backpack over uneven terrain.

– The Riparian Botanist's responsibility is to collect vegetation composition data along streams. Successful applicants will be trained in data collection methods by BLM and University of Montana ecologists. Botanists should expect to encounter a wide diversity of species and to gain experience in several different biophysical environments.
– Collect data on riparian vegetation along wadeable stream reaches according to portions of the Multiple Indicator Monitoring (MIM) protocol.
– Key out riparian vascular plants found in riparian zone plots.
– Collect voucher specimens and track all unknown plant species encountered during the field season.
– Enter data into excel spreadsheets using an iPad in the field. Manage and self-QC all data.

These positions are ideal for people who are committed to ongoing learning and development. You will receive paid training on the MIM protocol in addition to the Lotic AIM protocol (first two days on Lotic AIM and last 4 days of training on MIM). The BLM hosts AIM trainings across multiple western states each year and participation is required by everyone who plans to collect AIM/MIM data during that calendar year and before any data is collected. UM ecologists will also provide additional training on protocols for the area in which you will be working and you will have ongoing field-based support and training from specialists during the field season. You also can interact with seasoned staff scientists from both the BLM and UM throughout training and field work.

Application Instructions (submission methods, etc.):HOW TO APPLY
Please submit the following application materials to [email protected] . The subject line of the email should read "2023 Lotic AIM Application". Please combine all application materials into 1 document (.pdf preferred) titled {your name} – {position applying for} (e.g. Jane Doe – Riparian Botanist).

Letter of Interest addressing the stated required skills for the position
Detailed resume listing education and describing work experience
Names and contact information for three (3) professional references
Answers to Supplemental Questions:
What is your preferred location and earliest start date?
Have you applied for any other positions with the OConnor Center for the Rocky Mountain West?

Application review will be ongoing and will continue until all positions are filled. All applicants will be notified of receipt of their application and the results of the preliminary review (rejected due to failure to meet minimum qualifications or transmitted to hiring team). If you qualify for an interview, you will have the opportunity to speak with staff who worked as AIM crew members in previous years.

Web Link:

Compensation Range:$20-21/hr + Per diem + Stipend

Contact Name:Hiring Manager, [email protected]


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