Job Overview


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WHO MAY BE CONSIDERED: Open to all qualified United States Citizens

Vacancy ID Number (VIN) 1786459

Career Seasonal Employment - A permanent appointment with 18 expected pay periods per year; Anticipated Working dates of March 20 through December 3.

This position is also being advertised under Merit Promotion procedures via MWC-MP-16-015C. Applicants who wish to be considered under both Merit Promotion and Competitive procedures MUST submit a separate application for each announcement.


The Biological Technician (plants) will help implement a long-term ecological monitoring program for vegetation in 13 park units in the Northern Great Plains. The incumbent visits field sites to implement and supervise data collection.  The position will involve a combination of office work, field time, and travel to the parks.  The incumbent is supervised by the NGPN Vegetation Ecologist and assists both the Vegetation Ecologist and Lead Biological Technician in managing and running the field crews.  This position works 10-hour days and requires constant travel to parks within Nebraska, Wyoming, South and North Dakota.  Crew members will be required to hike off trail with heavy packs, sometimes in extremely hot weather or through thick vegetation.  The anticipated field season is May through October, with some office work at the beginning and end of the season.

This position will assist the Vegetation Ecologist and Lead Biological Technician for plant monitoring in the following tasks:

  1. Supervising plant data collection using established network monitoring protocols.
  2. Accurately identifying Northern Great Plains vegetation to the species level in the field or in the office using standard floras.
  3. Training crew members in appropriate data collection, entry, and verification methods.
  4. Conducting fieldwork in remote backcountry settings and under difficult conditions in a safe and efficient manner.
  5. Ensuring crew safety.
  6. Entering data and following quality assurance procedures to ensure accurate data transcription into established databases.
  7. Assist staff with protocol revisions and summary data reports.

Area Information:

Rapid City is South Dakota's second largest city with approximately 70,000 residents and is the gateway to the Black Hills area of South Dakota. Rapid City offers early childhood programs, public schools, private schools, and a technical college. Rapid City offers entertainment opportunities at the civic auditorium, superior health care facilities, beautiful neighborhoods, and endless outdoor recreational opportunities such as skiing, rock climbing, camping, hiking, and kayaking. Rapid City is within a 90 minute drive of four national park units (Wind Cave National Park, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Jewel Cave National Monument, and Badlands National Park), and South Dakota's crown jewel state park- Custer State Park. Summer is warm, dry, and sunny. July and August are the warmest months of the year, when daytime temperatures climb into the 70s and 80s--and sometimes 90s. Breezy winds and low humidity levels help make the hot days comfortable. January and February are the coldest months of winter. Daytime temperatures average in the 30s, but Chinook winds can warm temperatures into the 50s and 60s. Average monthly snowfall ranges from five inches in Rapid City to 15 inches in the Black Hills.

Travel Required

  • Occasional Travel
  • 8-12 Nights per Month

Relocation Authorized

  • No