Native Plant Conservation Manager
POSITION SUMMARY A PLANT CONSERVATION MANAGER performs necessary plant monitoring and management program tasks including plant community assessment, small- and large-scale restoration projects, vegetation monitoring, ex situ/in situ seed conservation, plant propagation and installation, rare and endemic plant species survey and management and/or other habitat restoration projects related broadly to the natural vegetation of Santa Catalina Island, other Channel Islands and Southern California.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES A Plant Conservation Manager will perform any combination of the duties listed below as needed or assigned:
- Develop and/or implement a plant community assessment and restoration program with a focus on ecological processes and/or restoration techniques, and where appropriate that facilitate the maintenance and recovery of plant communities, especially chaparral, coastal sage scrub, grassland, endemic oak and Catalina ironwood communities, on Santa Catalina Island.
- Monitor, and where necessary implement, appropriate management for island plant communities and/or specific rare, threatened, endangered and endemic plant species.
- Coordinate, where necessary, activities with the Catalina Island Conservancy Invasive Plant, GIS and Wildlife programs and Operations.
- Supervise one full-time technician, seasonal technicians, interns and volunteers.
- Recommend appropriate resource management practices to improve the ability of the Conservancy to accomplish its mission. Effectively communicate progress and results through professional organizations and publications, staff training, presentations to general public, internal/external media.
- Identifies and pursues funding opportunities from foundations and government agencies to finance monitoring and restoration projects.
- Coordinates with government agencies, NGOs, universities, and colleges in the conservation of natural areas and open space in the Channel Islands and Southern California.
- Performs essential administrative functions including, but not limited to, the following: develop and manage operating and capital budgets; purchase services and materials; maintain and care for equipment and tools; maintain payroll and human resource records; conduct performance evaluations for assigned employees; implement safety policy and procedures for assigned areas.
- Manages Conservation Department staff, interns and volunteers involved with plant conservation program activities and conducts programmatic outreach with island stakeholders.
- Manages and provides oversight to Facilities including but not limited to: the Ackerman Native Plant Nursery, Catalina Island Conservancy Herbarium, and the Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden.
- Performs duties in a safe and efficient manner to maintain a safe work environment. Responds to hazardous situations/potentially unsafe conditions by taking corrective action and notifies supervisor.
- Updates and enhances knowledge by continuing education for professional growth, i.e., attends relevant conferences, seminars and certification programs.
- Submits a yearly work program and performs other duties as needed or assigned.
REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS KNOWLEDGE/SKILLS:
- Ability to use standard vegetation sampling methods for project-specific or island-wide plant community monitoring.
- Experience in managing projects and people including planning, scheduling, contracting, hiring, supervision and evaluation.
- Ability to design and implement applied habitat restoration projects.
- Knowledge of plant propagation and nursery operations. Experience with botanical gardens desired.
- Experience in managing, preparing and implementing budgets and grants.
- Ability to manage and analyze plant community monitoring data.
- Strong working knowledge of Trimble/Garmin Global Position Systems (GPS) and ArcView Global Information System (GIS) and ARC/INFO software.
- Strong applied plant ecology and management skills. Ability to become quickly proficient in the flora, ecology and natural history of Santa Catalina Island.
- Able to think critically and creatively to develop solutions to complex conservation, facility operations and land use problems.
- Ability to adapt and respond to unexpected or unplanned ecological (e.g. fire, drought, new invasions) or programmatic (e.g. changes in organizational priorities or funding) circumstances while still progressing towards core program objectives.
- Ability to work effectively on an interdisciplinary team balancing conservation, recreation and education organizational goals.
- Strong customer service skills (internal and external) extremely important. Ability to function and thrive within complex, multi-goal (conservation, education, recreation) organization with diverse professional staff.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills.
- Able to effectively supervise assigned staff, contractors, interns and volunteers.
- Ability to work both independently or as a part of a team.
EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE: A strong interest in and experience with applied conservation and land management is expected. Education (MS preferred) and experience in Range Science, Forest Management, Ecological Restoration, Environmental Horticulture, Landscape Ecology and Conservation, Plant Ecology or similar field required. Nursery, herbaria, and botanical garden experience desirable.
- Employee must desire to live and work on Catalina Island.
- The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. The office environment has moderate noise levels and is a non-smoking environment. Field conditions are strongly weather-dependent and may be hot, dusty, cold, muddy, and/or wet depending on season and degree of exposure. Smoking is allowed only at limited designated locations on the island. Work may be conducted independently or with groups of staff and volunteers. Hiking conditions include steep, rugged terrain with unstable rocky substrate and cactus. Wild animals, including bison and rattlesnakes, may also be encountered in the field and pose some threat.
- The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Position involves functioning in both field and office environments. The office environment has moderate noise levels and is a non-smoking. Field work involves manual labor, hiking long distances over rugged terrain and through dense scrub, and routine handling of plants. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus.
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