Field Botanist/Data Manager, New Jersey Natural Heritage Program

Company: New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
Job Title: Field Botanist/Data Manager, New Jersey Natural Heritage Program
Job Description: Perform duties in support of the New Jersey Natural Heritage Program, including botanical field survey and data collection, database entry, project/activity review, and related tasks and duties.

Description:  Under the supervision of New Jersey Natural Heritage Program (NHP) staff, the successful candidate’s primary responsibilities will include the collection and dissemination of data and demonstrated expertise pertaining the State’s endangered and imperiled native flora, pursuant to the Natural Heritage Act of 1988 (N.J.S.A. 13:1B-15.146 et seq.). The NHP maintains the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) manual and computerized database on the location and status of rare plant species and ecological communities—the Heritage or Biotics database. Statutorily, this database is the basis for the DEP’s Data Services clearinghouse for information on the State’s biodiversity and for development of and amendment to NJ’s codified list of Endangered Plant Species.  The database also guides programs for state acquisition of lands for conservation, and is used to develop varied GIS products. This position will support the Biotics database and biodiversity protection through the collection of field data on the State’s rare flora and through project and permit review. Specific duties may include, as directed by the senior NHP Botanist or other full-time staff:

●       Perform seasonal field surveys and inspections of a varied nature in order to supplement and enhance information on occurrences of over 800 native NJ plant species listed as endangered or categorized as plant species of concern (threatened) by the DEP

●       Enter field information on plant occurrences into the Biotics database to support the DEP’s conservation, listing, planning and regulatory functions

●       Perform all or selected aspects of NHP data review and botanical consulting services.  May include specialized reviews of projects or activities proposed for DEP-administered lands and waters, or reviews requested from the DEP’s permitting, regulatory and enforcement agencies

●       Conduct independent research and analysis with the purpose of obtaining information on rare plant species and associated ecological communities that will improve the scientific basis for conservation, listing, planning and regulatory programs and decisions

●       Develop materials (Request for Proposal, Scope of Work) in support of professional consultant services for botanical surveys and inventories, and oversee activities and progress of contractors in timely delivery of all required products and services

●       Perform other duties of a varied nature that are consistent with the Natural Heritage Act and/or to supplement the NHP Data Services function.

Education: Master’s degree in botany, plant ecology or related environmental field.

Experience: 

  • Working knowledge of Northeastern or Mid-Atlantic flora.
  • Proven ability to perform surveys under rigorous field conditions based on existing occurrence information, herbarium collections and other historical data, as well as de novo field survey work.
  • Familiarity with the taxonomic literature.  History of publication desired.
  • Experience in identifying and describing ecological communities desired.Skills: 
  • Ability to interact and cooperate effectively with persons of varied natural resource backgrounds within and outside the DEP, as well as persons who lack botanical expertise but play a role in application and enforcement of regulations that protect rare flora and the habitats that support them.
  • Strong written and oral communications skills, including effective public speaking to foster elevation of the importance of the state’s flora and educate diverse persons and organizations on the state’s ecology, plant biodiversity and the science of species rarity.
  • Working knowledge of computer database and mapping systems such as Word, Excel, Access, ArcGIS, and use of GPS, or interest in proficiency in such applicationsAdditional: Applicant must have a valid driver’s license and be willing to travel extensively throughout the state.

    This position may include restrictions on weekly hours as well as seasonal work limitations.  Benefits are not included.  The DEP intends to pursue full-time employment for the successful candidate, which would include a benefits package, depending on, among other factors, performance during hourly employment.
    City, State or Postal Code – United States: Trenton, New Jersey

    Job Type: Full Time
    Salary: Hourly wage dependent on education and experience.
    Instructions for Applicants/ How to Apply: Forward resume and supporting materials by March 31, 2017 to:

    Robert J. Cartica
    New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
    Office of Natural Lands Management
    P.O. Box 420
    Trenton, NJ 08625-0420
    609-984-1339
    Fax: 609-984-1427
    NatLands@dep.nj.gov