Position Website and Application Information
The National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC) is seeking a Habitat Senior Project Assistant to assist the Project Coordinator in overseeing habitat strike team staff in utilizing common ecological restoration tools to establish and manage a suite of conservation practices. The primary purposes of the position will be to work on private and public lands in coordination with private landowners and public managers to apply the best restoration or management practice application for the particular site and utilize the necessary tools to successfully accomplish the conservation goal. This position also provides opportunities to train and mentor Lewis and Clark Community College (LCCC) students and interns in ecological restoration and habitat management. This position started with a partnership between Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Illinois Recreational Access Program (IRAP) and LCCC/National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC).
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
This specialist will be a technical expert on all aspects of the conservation restoration and management, working to restore and improve conservation acres on the ground. Primary focuses will include providing on the ground conservation restoration or management for landowners enrolled in IRAP. Additional land focus areas include publically accessible sites, including confluence region nature preserves, state parks, and management areas of Illinois.
This position will utilize conservation restoration and habitat management tools including but not limited to UTV, chainsaw, rear mount broadcast seeder, boom sprayer, trailer, brush cutter, hand tools, chemical sprayers/applicators (e.g. backpack), and prescribe fire equipment as well as being responsible for maintenance and repair of equipment.
This position is one of several new positions of the private lands conservation hub developing at the National Great Rivers Research & Education Center. Additional professional development through field training, professional workshops, and online courses may be available for this position.
The Habitat Senior Project Assistant’s primary duty station will be at the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center located in East Alton, IL. Habitat Strike Team will work within approximately a 90 mile radius of Godfrey, IL.
• Assist the Habitat Project Coordinator working with IDNR and NGRREC staff to develop priority work area and develop conservation restoration or management plans consistent with the landowner’s objectives as they pertain to IRAP.
• Assisting the Habitat Project Coordinator in overseeing the day to day activities and duties of the Habitat Strike Team ensuring safety and standard practices are being utilized.
• Tailoring conservation assistance to landowner goals in order to restore habitat for wildlife and improve habitat with common mid-contract management practices including burning, chemical application, and hand/mechanical treatment.
• Developing field specific project plans and cost estimates.
• Procuring supplies and equipment.
• Oversee and engage in construction, fabrication, maintenance and repair of Strike Team equipment and supplies.
• Assisting the Habitat Project Coordinator in assuring participation of all necessary staff in scientific field studies and surveys;
• Actively targeting conservation restoration and management with landowner outreach and one-on-one consultation.
• Coordinating and establishing working relationships with IDNR staff and other stakeholder groups.
• Understanding and providing information to landowners about the suite conservation management practices available for habitat and wildlife goals.
• Performs other related duties as assigned.
The following are duties that are normal for this position. These are not to be construed as exclusive or all-inclusive. Other duties may be required or assigned.
Minimum Training and Experience Required to Perform Essential Job Functions
• Requires a minimum of an Associate’s degree or equivalent experience, in a Natural
Resources field, with a concentration in forestry, wildlife biology, ecology, or a related
field. A basic understanding of environmental, agricultural and/or natural resource science is required
• Work experience in a natural resources field, such as, forestry, wildlife biology, ecology, or a related field preferred.
• Must possess basic understanding of environmental, agricultural and/or natural resource science
• Ability to operate, maintain, and transport (trailering and securing) farming equipment (tractor, planter, mower)
• Experience and knowledge of general farm equipment maintenance and repair
• Ability to communicate clearly and effectively with colleagues and partner agencies;
• Ability to work independently with little supervision
• Knowledge of wildlife ecology, forestry, wetland and grassland management including the ability to utilize various habitat management equipment and tools in the development of wildlife habitat
• Prescribed fire, S/130 and S/190 certificate is required within 45 days of hiring.
• Chemical Applicators License is required within 45 days of hiring
• Excellent verbal/written communication and organizational skills
• Requires working knowledge of wildlife management and forest management practices for habitat restoration
• Requires proficiency with a variety of computer software applications including Microsoft Office Suite and ArcGIS Suite
• Requires effective organizational, written, and verbal skills
• Requires the ability to work efficiently and effectively with others (i.e. IDNR, NGOs, landowners, etc.), as well as independently, and be able to prioritize a heavy and varied workload
• Requires possession of valid driver’s license and vehicle insurance coverage meeting state minimum requirements at all times
• A background in agriculture and/or working knowledge of agriculture is preferred
• Field work may be physically strenuous. The Habitat Senior Project Assistant will need to be a strong hiker and comfortable working in adverse environmental conditions to gain access to sites and complete field work efficiently.