Botanist and Native Plant Manager

Avalon, California
Oct 01, 2019
Dec 01, 2019
Job Level
Mid level, Senior level
Employment Type
Salary Type


The Botanist and Native Plant Manger 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. In addition, this position provides oversight of the Catalina Island Conservancy Herbarium and Wrigley Memorial and Botanic Garden, and assists, where appropriate, with the native plant restoration program and Catalina Habitat Improvement and Restoration Program (CHIRP).  The Nursery serves a critical role as the foundation for the Conservation Department, CHIRP, and all native plant restoration programs on Catalina Island. 



A Botanist and Native Plant Manager will perform any combination of the duties listed below as needed or assigned:

  • Manages the operation of the Ackerman Native Plant Nursery.
  • Develop and/or implement a plant community assessment and restoration program in conjunction with the Director of Conservation with a focus on ecological processes, restoration techniques 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.
  • Coordinates, where necessary, activities with the Conservation Department CHIRP, GIS, and Wildlife programs as well as Operations.
  • Monitor, and where necessary implement, appropriate management for island plant communities and/or specific invasive, rare, threatened, endangered or endemic plant species.
  • Plant production at the Ackerman Native Plant Nursery.
  • 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. 
  • 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.
  • Coordinates, where necessary, activities with the Conservation Department CHIRP, GIS, and Wildlife programs as well as Operations.
  • Supervises one full-time technician, seasonal technicians, interns, and volunteers.
  • Submits a yearly work program and performs other duties as needed or assigned.




  • 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/or analyze of invasive plant or plant community monitoring data.
  • Strong applied plant ecology and botanical 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.


A strong interest in and experience with applied conservation, land management, native plants, seed collection and management, plant propagation, nursery operations and restoration ecology is expected.  A relevant educational background (MS or PhD) is required which typically includes a degree in ecology, botany, biology, or other equivalent discipline from an accredited institution, or an equivalent combination of education and on-the-job experience in applied conservation management.    


  • Employee must desire to live and work on Catalina Island and be comfortable with the major aspects of island life including schools, medical care, housing, shopping, and transportation.
  • 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.