SUMMARY OF JOB
The Botanist develops, reviews, and revises information relating to the conservation status of native plant species, primarily rare species, throughout the United States and Canada. Much of the work centers on compiling data on geographical distribution, abundance, threats, trends, habitat requirements, natural history, and management needs, followed by application of NatureServe criteria to synthesize this information into a standardized estimate of conservation status. This work requires extensive communication and collaboration with state, federal, academic, and independent botanists, as well as searching and synthesis of published scientific literature.
The position is project oriented, with some projects directed to meeting specific data needs of U.S. federal land-management agencies, while other work supports the information needs of the NatureServe Network (e.g. state Natural Heritage Programs, Conservation Data Centers, and other entities). The Botanist also assists in using NatureServe botanical data to address conservation problems such as alterations in land use patterns and climate change, as well as providing botanical expertise for the development of NatureServe methodology. They may work on a tight schedule to meet deadlines, and help write proposals.
ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS
- Compile botanical data from the scientific literature, unpublished sources, information from NatureServe member programs including element occurrence data and collaborators to update and fill gaps in NatureServe’s central scientific databases, with emphasis on documenting and updating the conservation status of globally rare native plant species. Apply both NatureServe and IUCN (Red List) conservation status assessment systems to estimate relative imperilment.
- Integrate proposed taxonomic changes for botanical groups in NatureServe’s central scientific databases based on a detailed taxonomic crosswalk of relevant sources.
- Conduct internal review and quality control of database information.
- Complete other botanical information development tasks as needed, including projects such as assessing the vulnerability of native species to climate change, and compiling georeferenced records to assess plant distributions.
- Manage administrative and technical tasks required to complete project deliverables within project timelines and budgets, including coordinating and effectively communicating with client technical leads and contracting officers; collaborating with NatureServe and NatureServe Network staff and partners; managing contracts, subcontracts, and budgets; developing project work plans; tracking and reporting project status using organizational software; and writing technical and administrative project reports.
- Represent NatureServe via presentations to scientific meetings or public audiences, respond to information requests, and act as a liaison with plant conservationists, land managers, academic researchers, and government officials. Maintain relationships with key NatureServe partners.
- Assist in preparation of proposals to federal agencies and private foundations to secure funds for botanical research projects.
REQUIRED EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS
- Advanced degree (MS preferred) in botany or a related field such as biology, or ecology with a botanical emphasis and a good working knowledge of taxonomy and taxonomic methods.
- Post-degree experience working as a botanist in a government or nonprofit biological or conservation agency or academic program (candidates with MS only; this requirement is reduced to two years for candidates holding a PhD).
- Strong working knowledge of North American flora, either a particular region, group of habitats, or plant family or clade.
- Knowledge of species concepts and how they impact conservation.
- Strong research skills.
- Demonstrated ability to work independently and to work cooperatively and productively with professional scientists and conservationists.
- Excellent English writing/editing skills; keen attention to detail
PREFERRED EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS
- Experience working with rare and/or endangered plant species, particularly Western North American flora.
- Proficiency working with complex databases (e.g., SQL query skills).
- Experience with natural heritage methodology and/or with conducting IUCN Red List Assessments.
- Demonstrated track record in securing external project funding.
- Working knowledge of GIS, including basic spatial analysis skills.
- Knowledge of the potential impact of climate change on plants.
ESSENTIAL PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS
- Ability to travel independently within the U.S. and internationally to attend meetings and workshops with partners and others.
- Ability to converse verbally and in writing with others regarding organizational goals and needs.
- Ability to use organizational technology.
NatureServe, a nonprofit conservation science and technology organization, unlocks the power of science to guide biodiversity conservation. With nearly 70 staff and an international network of 60 natural heritage programs across the United States and Canada, we are the leading source of information on terrestrial ecosystems and at-risk species. We provide information and tools to conservation groups, government agencies, corporations, academia, and the public to help them make informed decisions about managing our natural resources. NatureServe holds a unique niche, by providing scientifically sound guidance for major conservation investments across the hemisphere.
NatureServe is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, or protected veteran status and will not be discriminated against on the basis of disability.