Jan 23, 2014

Natural Areas Conservancy (NAC) seeks Seasonal Supervising Field Biologists for NY City

The Natural Areas Conservancy (NAC) is seeking seasonal staff to join the second field season of a comprehensive, two-year citywide assessment that uses uniform metrics to measure the health of forests, wetlands, and grasslands.  Fixed area plots will be established in natural area parkland in which vegetation and site condition data will be collected.  Fieldwork will take place in natural area parks in the Bronx, Queens, Manhattan and Staten Island.  Assessment methodology will be conducted by NAC and NYC Parks staff as well as interns and seasonal hires.

The Natural Areas Conservancy is a not-for-profit organization working in partnership with the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation to restore, protect and manage a network of green and blue space that promotes a healthy, livable and diverse New York City. The NAC is tasked with expanding and diversifying the protection, management and restoration of 10,000 acres of forests, wetlands and grasslands overseen by the Parks Department.  This public/private partnership unifies the identity of NYC’s natural areas, increases public awareness and volunteerism and integrates advanced technology.


Job Title: Supervising Field Biologist

Job Location:  5 Positions available with reporting locations across New York City in Staten Island (2), Flushing, Queens (2) and Northern Manhattan and the Bronx (1).

Duration:  April 21-October 21, 2014. Full-time seasonal position, 35 hour work week, Monday-Friday. 

Salary:  Hourly rate is $24.73/hour ($45,000/year prorated).

All applications must be submitted prior to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on February 17, 2014.


Major Responsibilities

Under supervision of the Ecological Assessment Field Coordinator (EAFC), the Supervising Field Biologist will be responsible for managing a small field crew, collecting ecological data and following and directing the Ecological Assessment protocols. This position is approximately 85% field work and 15% office work.

Main tasks include:

  • Report promptly and directly to field sites and supervise a team of two or three Seasonal Field Biologists in conducting ecological site assessments as directed
  • Instruct Seasonal Field Biologists in Ecological Assessment protocols as well as act as a team member collecting data
  • Accurately locate assessment plots using Trimble GPS on foot and carrying 30 lbs. packs
  • Accurately collect data such as understory plant species identification, percent cover vegetation, woody species identification, tree diameter, tree height, tree canopy health, coarse woody debris, human use and impacts and additional site attributes according to assessment protocols
  • Document, download, and edit field data daily or as needed on computer data recorders or paper datasheets
  • Perform QA/QC evaluation of field data as directed
  • Participate in refining ecological assessment field methods as needed
  • Assist in data analysis and entry of ecological assessment data as needed
  • Communicate any issues associated with the Ecological Assessment with Field Coordinator and GIS Support as necessary
  • Maintain motor vehicle driver license valid in New York State
  • Operate NYC Parks Department vehicle in a safe and lawful manner
  • Participate in other tasks at NAC and NRG as directed


Qualifications and Requirements

1. A Master's degree with major study in environmental sciences, ecology, forestry, wildlife biology, botany, natural resources or a related biological science

2. A minimum of two years of professional experience

3. Supervisory experience


Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Experience in plant and/or animal identification and a working knowledge of the flora and fauna of the northeastern U.S preferred to accurately identify plants and/or animals to appropriate taxon level
  • Experience with GPS units and navigation, and ecological sampling techniques
  • Ability to follow and instruct others in rigorous sampling protocols
  • Experience in managing and analyzing data sets and use of standard statistical software
  • A positive attitude with enthusiasm for conducting field work and comfort working as part of a team
  • Familiarity with New York City natural areas a plus
  • Strong communication and teambuilding skills
  • Driver license valid in New York State
  • Ability to tolerate urban field conditions: very hot, humid weather and moderately strenuous hiking carrying 30 lbs. packs. 


Working Conditions and Reporting Location

We strive to foster an engaging and productive work environment and are seeking applicants who have had experience working as part of a team, are comfortable working outside, and can maintain a positive attitude in variable working conditions. As a member of the field crew you can expect to continue working in the field in variable weather conditions and in difficult and hazardous terrain.

As part of a citywide Ecological Assessment each field crew will maintain a central reporting location in relation to their designated sampling area.  Alternate reporting locations for training and meetings may be required.  Each field crew member is responsible for reporting to and from their assigned reporting location. Some reporting locations may not be easily accessible by public transit. Field trucks are provided to travel from the reporting location to work sites. If you are flexible with your reporting location, or are limited to sites with public transit, or in a particular borough please indicate that in your cover letter.  Some work days may run past 7 hours depending on traffic and work flow.


To Apply

To apply please submit a resume, cover letter highlighting your skills and three reference contacts as one document to helen.forgione@parks.nyc.gov.

In the subject list Supervising Field Biologist Application.

All applications must be submitted prior to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on February 17, 2014.