Youth Job Board

Rare Plant Monitoring Crew Posted Jan 02
Conservation Legacy , Santa Fe, NM
Crew Lead’s Responsibilities

Supports and manages the field crew’s safety and wellbeing, consistently exercising discretion and judgment. Monitors existing plots and establishes new long term demographic trend monitoring plots for imperiled plant species. Coordinates field logistics, scheduling, crew tasks, and management of the crew’s equipment. Is the primary contact between the crew and the CCNM supervisor/BLM staff; effectively coordinates with the BLM Botany and Monitoring Specialist and State Botanist to complete tasks properly. Completes necessary administrative paperwork. Demonstrates strong statistical skills and collaborates with BLM Staff to complete monitoring protocols for populations of rare plants through NM. Before, during, and after field data collection, the lead is responsible for the organization and quality control of all data collected. The crew lead will analyze, interpret, or make deductions for varying data, and will be required to report data to various BLM offices and stakeholders. Written reports will be completed and involve the presentation of scientific data. The crew lead should be passionate about sound science principles, be an advocate for the botany program at the BLM, and have a willingness to learn about the use of rare plant monitoring in land management within the BLM.

Crew Member’s Responsibilities

Participates in the New Mexico Bureau of Land Management’s Rare Plant Monitoring Team by monitoring existing plots and establishing new long term demographic trend monitoring plots for imperiled plant species. Demonstrates strong botanical, statistical, and organizational skills, and maintains exceptional attention to detail in relation to monitoring efforts and data management. Effectively coordinates with the crew lead and supervisor to complete tasks properly. Exhibits familiarity and comfort with hiking and camping in rugged conditions, as well as perseverance in extreme weather conditions. Demonstrates passion for botany and eagerness to learn the local flora from the crew lead and local resources to build botanical knowledge throughout the position.

Program Overview:

Crew members will work with a crew lead for the New Mexico Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Rare Plant Monitoring Initiative. More information about New Mexico’s rare plants, can be found here.

The 2019 crew will consist of three individuals: two crew members and one crew lead. Together, they will monitor rare plants in remote areas on BLM lands across NM, particularly in areas where multiple-use land management (i.e. energy extraction) impacts rare plants are expected. Due to the inevitable proximity of monitoring plots to well pads and industrial equipment, safety is a prerequisite and will guide how fieldwork is conducted. Crews will be required to drive to different areas throughout New Mexico, camp overnight, potentially hike several miles a day, and return to the office for equipment and data management.

75 plots currently exist for seven rare species across New Mexico. Three types of demographic monitoring plots are utilized including macroplots, belt transects, and grid plots, which vary depending on population structure for different species of rare plants. Fecundity, herbivory, and vigor are measured at these plots in order to determine population status and assess population health into the future. Continued monitoring of existing plots, assessment of additional populations, and establishment of new plots is needed. In addition to fieldwork, crew members will be expected to uphold strong organizational skills for the sake of successful data management. All data will be georeferenced using a GPS unit and stored in an ArcGIS geodatabase through the utilization of the ArcGIS Online Collector Interface. Some previous experience collecting data, producing excel spreadsheets, and entering data is desirable. The trend data collected by the rare plant monitoring crew will provide essential information for making determinations regarding the protection status of inventoried species, which then impact strategic management decisions.

While rare plant inventories are the focus, where possible, interns will assist with other plant conservation program projects in progress during the summer. Projects may include, wild seed collection, pollinator monitoring, and native plant restoration. When or if available, Interns may participate in local BLM sponsored training sessions, outside symposia, and coordination meetings.

Public Land Corps:

The Public Land Corps program provides the opportunity for young people between the ages of 16 and 30 years to work on conservation projects on public lands. Participants must successfully complete 640 hours that include at least 120 hours on federal lands through the PLC. PLC members are not federal government employees, but those who successfully complete the PLC requirements are then eligible to use, for two years, a noncompetitive hiring status for consideration when applying to competitive service positions.

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