Ecological Restoration Specialist - Great Basin Institute

The Great Basin Institute, in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is recruiting an Ecological Restoration Specialist to provide assistance with habitat restoration and monitoring for the benefit of 12 threatened and endangered species in Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in southern Nevada. With at least 26 plant and animals species found nowhere else in the world, The Nature Conservancy has called Ash Meadows NWR, “One of the most important natural areas on the North American continent.” The Refuge is currently undertaking large-scale hydrological and habitat restoration. This position will involve a variety of tasks directly related to habitat restoration and ecological monitoring. Main duties include:

  • Support the Invasive Plant Management Program (treating invasive terrestrial and aquatic vegetation by hand, mechanically, or through chemical application of herbicides, follow-up monitoring; and providing treatment recommendations to Refuge Management);

  • Re-vegetation of restoration sites with native plants;

  • Map treatment areas and restoration sites with GPS;

  • Participate in control of non-native aquatic species (using minnow traps, gigs, spears, and nets) and handling non-native species;

  • Record data, maintain written records and electronic databases, and compile reports;

  • Assist with updating the Integrated Pest Management Plan;

  • Maintain field equipment and tools;

  • Assist with supervision and direction of volunteers, Great Basin Institute AmeriCorps Interns, and Nevada Conservation Corps crews when working in the Refuge; and

  • Support the Bird Monitoring Program (surveys include the Nevada Bird Counts, Breeding Bird Survey, Aquatic Bird Counts, Christmas Bird Count, Mourning Dove Survey, Plover Surveys, and Marsh Bird Survey).

Other duties as assigned may include assisting with fish surveys, trapping of non-native aquatic organisms, native fish and invertebrate salvage prior to hydrological restoration, and maintaining fish in holding tanks for extended periods. Other bird surveys may be implemented depending on time and need and may include Raptor Surveys, Game Bird Breeding Surveys (waterfowl and upland birds), and Owl Surveys.

Applicant must be comfortable working and living in a remote desert location. Work will take place both indoors and outdoors, with the majority of time spent outside, and often working alone. Snorkeling may also be required to survey native fish populations and assist in eradication of largemouth bass. Applicant must be able to tolerate working in hot, dry, often dusty conditions; hiking long distances over rocky or uneven terrain; and carrying a backpack sprayer (approximately 35 pounds). The position requires working with herbicides and other potentially hazardous materials.


  • Rate of Pay: $19/hour

  • Medical and Dental benefits

  • Housing available at a reduced rate in shared bunkhouse for the first 30 days to help with relocation


  • Four month appointment beginning November 2018, or upon completion of a Department of Interior background investigation

  • Full-time, 40 hours per week


Ash Meadows NWR, one of the first wetlands in the United States to be designated a Wetland of International Importance, comprises over 23,000 acres of spring-fed wetlands and alkaline desert in the Mojave Desert of southern Nevada near Death Valley National Park. The Refuge was established in 1984 to protect threatened and endangered species and more than two dozen endemic plant and animal species. The Refuge also provides habitat for over 100 species of plants and animals that are considered sensitive, or are state protected or priority species.

The Research Associate must provide his/her own reliable transportation for non-work-related trips since the closest personal amenities and grocery stores are located approximately 30 miles from the Refuge in Pahrump, Nevada. The city of Las Vegas is located approximately 90 miles southeast of the Refuge.


  • A Bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences (e.g., biology, ecology, wildlife management, or a related field and/or commensurate field experience);

  • Plant identification skills and previous experience in invasive plant management and/or restoration ecology, desirable;

  • Ability to obtain a Nevada pesticide applicator’s license and willingness to work with herbicides and other chemicals;

  • Experience using hand-held GPS equipment for data collection and/or navigation, along with basic computer skills;

  • Understanding and/or experience using ArcView GIS software, desirable;

  • Experience using MS Access and Excel for database management;

  • Ability to identify and survey for western bird species;

  • Understanding of basic water chemistry in relation to aquaria maintenance, desirable;

  • Ability to communicate effectively, both in writing and orally, with a diverse audience;

  • Knowledge and experience operating 4WD trucks, tractors, and Utility Terrain Vehicles (UTVs), desirable; or at a minimum, must be able to obtain UTV certification after training;

  • Comfortable with flexible weekly schedules as it may change in response to project needs.

Additional Requirements:

  • Ability to self-direct and self-motivate;

  • Ability to maintain accurate and detailed records;

  • Ability to perform physical labor in harsh and rapidly changing environments, work in all types of weather conditions year-round, independently or as part of a team;

  • Willingness and ability to carry a backpack sprayer (up to 35 pounds), lift up to 50 pounds, and to perform physical labor, including but not limited to, manual removal of non-native vegetation, and planting of native vegetation;

  • Ability to work productively and cooperatively as part of a team to accomplish mutual goals;

  • Possess a valid, clean, state-issued driver’s license;

  • U.S. citizenship or legal resident alien status; and

  • Willingness to submit to a background check, and pass computer security and ethics training.

How to Apply:

Please follow this link to apply directly through our online portal:

We conform to all the laws, statutes, and regulations concerning equal employment opportunities and affirmative action. We strongly encourage women, minorities, individuals with disabilities and veterans to apply to all of our job openings. We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin, age, disability status, Genetic Information & Testing, Family & Medical Leave, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. We prohibit Retaliation against individuals who bring forth any complaint, orally or in writing, to the employer or the government, or against any individuals who assist or participate in the investigation of any complaint or otherwise oppose discrimination.