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Job Opening

Biological Technicians

About us
At High Desert Partnership, we are a dedicated board of directors along with a team of seven permanent staff based in Harney County. By working together we have found practical ways to address some of our communities’ most daunting challenges—restoring healthy forests and wetlands, mitigating wildfire, creating opportunity for youth, and growing our local economy. 

Why we need you
High Desert Partnership is committed to science-based adaptive management that addresses the problem of the increased wildfire caused by exotic annual grass invasion in the northern Great Basin region. Rangeland monitoring activities of various restoration projects of sagebrush steppe and related ecosystems (such as riparian or meadow systems) in and around Harney County is a crucial part that allows adaptive management to occur. You will be part of a team implementing these monitoring activities to gain data for adaptive management.

Job description
We are hiring up to three biological technicians ($15-17/hr, based on experience) to help with vegetation monitoring in Harney County. Start and end dates are flexible. Beginning in late May to mid June and ending about mid September, technicians will visit project sites throughout Harney County and collect plant species composition data and other various data. The start date is negotiable; work may continue into late September, depending on need. Fieldwork will occur weekdays and will consist of 8 to 10 hour workdays (not to exceed 40 hours/week). This work is performed in an outdoor environment that ranges from very cold and wet to very hot and dry. This work may require physical exertion over very steep, wet, muddy, slippery, rough, uneven or rocky surfaces; and also may include bending, crouching, stooping, stretching, reaching, and similar activities. Technicians may expect:

  1. working in and around areas with abundant mosquitos
  2. working in dry heat and other inclement weather conditions, and
  3. living in a remote setting with limited services

Technicians will have the opportunity to gain experience with vegetation monitoring protocols and using various types of sampling equipment and to network with our partners, which includes staff from agencies and non-profit organizations. 

Duties

  • Flexibility in assigned tasks is a must for this position. Training in all protocols will be provided. Below is a general list of duties that technicians may be asked to perform:
  • Conducting line-point intercepts to measure vegetative foliar, basal, and ground cover.
  • Identifying wetland and rangeland plants to species using plant identification guides and provided training.
  • Clipping and weighing above ground plant biomass.
  • Entering data using Microsoft Excel or Access.
  • Following detailed field protocols. 
  • Assisting partner biologists with other on-going monitoring projects.

Qualifications
Preference will be given to applicants who have or are pursuing degrees in a biological sciences or natural resources related field (e.g., botany, ecology, or rangeland ecology) and have experience or training in:

  1. identifying plant species (preferably Great Basin vegetation)
  2. vegetation sampling techniques, such as line-point intercept, biomass sampling, and transect/ground photo monitoring
  3. living or working in rural/remote locations, and
  4. operating 4WD vehicles and GPS units.

Ideally, the crew leader would have prior experience leading and supervising field crews (minimum 1 complete field season). Successful applicants must have a valid driver’s license and acceptable driving record. 

How to apply
Please email a resume, cover letter, and three references as one file to brianna@highdesertpartnership.org by April 30, 2020. Positions may be filled at any time prior to April 30, so your prompt application submission is encouraged. 

About the area
Harney County is home to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, the Steens Mountain Wilderness, the Alvord Desert, and the Southern Malheur National Forest. While Burns and Hines are remote, rural communities with limited services, local recreation opportunities abound and include backpacking, hiking, hot springing, ATVing, bird-watching, and more. Burns and Hines are situated so that you have much of central and eastern Oregon at your doorstep for even more weekend recreation opportunities.

Contact
Brianna Goehring, Monitoring Coordinator | brianna@highdesertpartnership.org.

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