Posted by: Sandy Steinman | October 7, 2020

Job Opportunity: Conservation Technician

Conservation Technician at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

The Conservation Technician 2B assists with a wide range of field, lab, and office work supporting the inventory, conservation, and restoration of California’s flora and ecological communities. This full-time (40 hours per week), non-exempt position, reports to the Director of Conservation and Research and works primarily with the Ecology team (Conservation Director, Applied Ecologist, Invertebrate Biologist).
TO APPLY, please visit our website at

Essential Duties:

  • Conduct plant and insect surveys and monitoring;
  • Conduct ecological restoration field work, including rare plant recovery, invasive plant control, native seed collection, seeding, and outplanting;
  • Sort, curate, and identify insect/arthropod specimens to order and family level;
  • Collect and curate herbarium specimens;
  • Image arthropod specimens with state-of-the-art microscopy equipment;
  • Conduct basic soils analyses (e.g. salinity, pH, texture);
  • Enter data, and maintain and assist in the development of botany/insect/bibliography/rare plant databases;
  • Maintain an up-to-date, orderly GIS program, including ordering and maintaining equipment, downloading and differentially correcting GPS data, producing maps in ArcGIS, and summarizing data;
  • Help to coordinate collaborators, tasks, workflows and timelines for large complex projects;
  • Perform education/outreach, including producing videos, leading interns, writing newsletter articles, or giving presentations and tours;
  • Assist and manage volunteers as needed;
  • Occasionally collect, clean, prepare, and database seed for conservation collections;
  • Occasionally conduct greenhouse work, including seed bank analysis and germination studies.

Desired Knowledge and Abilities:

  • Experience with and knowledge of basic taxonomic principles, botany, and invertebrate zoology;
  • Knowledge of and experience with the California flora;
  • Ability to follow instructions, work successfully with others, and work independently with minimal supervision;
  • Excellent attention to detail and organizational skills;
  • Ability to conduct field work in a remote setting with rugged terrain under a variety of environmental conditions, sometimes independently;
  • Experience using Trimble and Garmin GPS, ArcGIS, Collector, and Google Earth;
  • Manual dexterity sufficient to prepare plant and insect specimens neatly and quickly;
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines;
  • Computer proficiency including ability to use Microsoft Access, Outlook, Excel, Word, PowerPoint;
  • Willingness and ability to learn new tools and platforms quickly, such as Zotero and Druple;
  • Ability to communicate well both verbally and in writing;
  • Willingness and ability to work cooperatively with peers at SBBG and other institutions;
  • Support for the Garden’s mission and goals.

Qualifications and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college or university in biology, ecology, botany, environmental science, conservation biology, or closely related area;
  • Two or more full-time years (or equivalent) of relevant experience

Certificates and Licenses:

  • Must have valid California Driver License and maintain an acceptable driving record
  • Qualified Applicators License for pesticides preferred

Physical Requirements:

Must be capable of strenuous physical work including:

  • Sitting for up to 2.0 hours at a time and using computer for lengthy periods
  • Standing/walking for extended periods of time
  • Bending, squatting, walking stairs, and hiking rugged trails
  • Safely lifting and carrying 40 lbs.
  • Tolerance of an outdoor work environment. Exposure to indoor and outdoor environmental conditions, including temperature fluctuations, rain, dust, allergens, poison oak, insects, wild animals, and sun exposure.

Compensation: $20-$25 per hour, DOE

About the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden:

The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden’s mission is to conserve California native plants and habitats for the health and well-being of people and the planet. Since the 1930s, staff members of the Garden 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 comprehensive 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 pollinator decline.


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