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Restoration Field Manager

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden Inc
Santa Barbara, California, US
Closing date
May 16, 2024

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Academic / Research, Consultancy/Private Sector
Informatics / GIS
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
Job DescriptionJob Description
About Santa Barbara Botanic Garden:

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden's mission is to conserve California native plants and habitats for the health and well-being of people and our planet. Since 1926, Garden staff have developed and maintained an intimate knowledge of the California flora, with an emphasis on the plants and vegetation communities of California's Central Coast and the offshore islands. Today, we take a comprehensive approach to its conservation from genes to ecosystems, with plant systematics, rare plant conservation, community ecology and habitat restoration functions. This allows us to more thoroughly tackle the conservation challenges of our day, such as habitat loss and fragmentation, invasive species, and climate change.

A Day in the Life:

As the Restoration Field Manager, you'll lead the implementation of habitat restoration and research projects for the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden throughout our community. You'll work together with the rest of the Garden's Ecology Team and our project partners to design and implement projects that help make restoration more effective - by understanding tradeoffs between different techniques and approaches, devising and testing new methodologies, or planning and prioritizing target species and locations. We are looking for candidates who can interact positively with volunteers and other members of the community about our work supporting biological diversity and healthy food webs.

Current projects include: 1) comparing southerly-sourced, climate-forward plant species to local natives for plant success and ability to support food webs in a large urban park, where we are also comparing two weed control techniques; 2) building communities of supporters as we transform public and private spaces to diverse native habitat across Santa Barbara County, 3) prioritizing and performing watershed-level invasive plant control, and 4) experimental forbland seeding trials to support rare plant-pollinator networks. This hourly position is full time and reports to the Director of Conservation and Research. This position is being offered at the Manager level and requires either a Bachelor's degree in ecology, environmental science, or a related field plus eight or more years of relevant work experience or a Master's degree in an appropriate field plus five years of relevant work experience. Applications should include a resume and cover letter detailing your interest in the position and relevant qualifications.

What You'll Do:

Fieldwork Duties
  • Lead the implementation of our restoration and research projects, including weed control, planting, surveying, seed collection, mapping, and monitoring. The bulk of our restoration and research work occurs in the San Louis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties (including all eight of the Channel Islands), this can require extended periods away from Santa Barbara.
  • Control invasive plants utilizing a variety of techniques, including sheet mulching, tarping, hand removal, and herbicide application
  • Plant native plants utilizing proper technique, including augering/digging, fertilization, and protection from herbivores
  • Maintain plantings via irrigation and weed control
  • Monitor survival and growth of plantings
  • Collect native plant seed including proper identification, scouting, collection, cleaning, drying, and pest control
  • Collect spatial data using Field Maps for ArcGIS
  • Assist with other monitoring and research, including soils, plants, and bugs using a myriad of methods

Onsite Duties
  • Plan shared work with other members of the Ecology Team and project partners
  • Manage field schedules for successful and timely project completion
  • Maintain data on field accomplishments and submit pesticide use reports when needed
  • Coordinate with partners or sub-contractors for field work as needed
  • Maintain communications and relationships with other members of the department and organization
  • Clean collected seed to appropriate purity levels and store properly to retain viability
  • Maintain field equipment, including inventory, labeling, cleaning, sharpening, calibrating, and coordinate with maintenance and facilities staff for repairs when necessary
  • Periodically assist in communication about our projects via press interviews, website and newletter articles, presentations, and video

You Must Be Able To:
  • Conduct a diversity of field projects in a remote setting with rugged terrain under a variety of environmental conditions
  • Train and lead restoration field crews, including other staff, collaborators, and volunteers
  • Support the Garden's conservation mission and goals
  • Supervise one or more technicians if needed
  • Use a computer proficiently, with a working knowledge of Microsoft applications (e.g., Outlook, Excel, Word, and PowerPoint) and learn new computer programs as necessary
  • Be able to identify unfamiliar plant taxa using dichotomous keys and other tools
  • Multitask, work under pressure, and meet deadlines
  • Communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing
  • Work occasional weekend hours and travel for fieldwork, meetings, and symposia
  • Work independently with a high degree of accountability and also cooperatively with colleagues at the Garden and other institutions
  • Contribute to a positive work environment that fosters learning and team-building
  • Perform regular strenuous physical work including:
    • Occasionally working long field days, sometimes in excess of 8-10 hours, including bending, squatting, wielding a variety of manual and power tools, walking stairs, and hiking rugged trails with uneven footing
    • Sitting for up to 2 hours at a time and using a computer for lengthy periods;
    • Standing/walking for extended periods of time
    • Bending, squatting, digging, and hiking rugged trails
    • Working outdoors in variable weather conditions
    • Safely lifting and carrying 40 lbs.

You Will Definitely Need:
  • A passion for the conservation and restoration of biological diversity
  • An array of restoration ecology experience, including invasive plant control using a variety of manual and chemical control techniques, planting, and monitoring
  • A supportive and approachable disposition conducive to community building and mentoring
  • Either a Bachelor's degree in ecology, environmental science, or a related field plus eight or more years of relevant work experience or a Master's degree in an appropriate field plus five years of relevant work experience
  • Strong organizational skills for managing multiple projects to timely, quality completion on budget
  • Reliable transportation to/from the Garden and a valid US driver's license
  • 4-wheel drive experience
  • A good work ethic

It Would Be Nice If You Had:
  • At least some knowledge of and experience with the California flora or plants of the US Intermountain West
  • Qualified Applicator's License for California pesticide application or ability and willingness to get this license.
  • Experience using ArcGIS to create maps and visualize data

More About Us:

The Garden is a beautiful place to work and your work will make a direct impact on biodiversity conservation in California. While our conservation work takes place throughout the state, our habitat restoration projects are focused on the central coast, primarily within Santa Barbara County. We offer a supportive work environment, including professional development opportunities, human resources services, and many collaborations that enhance and amplify our work. In addition to beautiful views, bugs, birds, and fantastic flora, outdoor work environments also include exposure to extreme temperature fluctuations, rain, dust, allergens, poison oak, insects, small wild animals, and sun exposure.


The employee must be able to perform the essential functions of the position satisfactorily, and if requested, reasonable accommodations will be made to enable employees with disabilities to perform the essential functions of their job, absent undue hardship.

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden retains the right to adjust priorities or assign other duties to this position.

Expected Timeline

An ideal candidate for this position will be available to begin work on June 1, 2024.

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