Jan 23, 2014

Natural Areas Conservancy (NAC) seeks Seasonal 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: Seasonal Field Biologist

Job Location: 10 Positions available with reporting locations across New York City based in Staten Island (4), Flushing, Queens (4) and Northern Manhattan (2).

Duration:  April 28-October 28, Full-time seasonal position, 35 hour work week, Monday-Friday. 

Salary:  hourly rate is $21.98/hour ($40,000/year prorated).

Major Responsibilities

Under general supervision of the Ecological Assessment Field Coordinator (EAFC) and direct supervision of the Supervising Field Biologist (SFB), the Seasonal Field Biologist will be responsible for working in a team of three collecting ecological data and implementing the NAC Ecological Assessment protocols. This position is approximately 90% field work and 10% office work.

Main tasks include:

  • Report promptly and directly to field sites and work as part of a team of two or three biologist conducting ecological site assessments as directed
  • 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
  • Assist in data entry as needed
  • Communicate any issues associated with the Ecological Assessment with the Supervising Field Biologist or Ecological Assessment Field Coordinator
  • 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

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


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
  • Experience with GPS units and navigation, and ecological sampling techniques
  • Ability to follow rigorous sampling protocols
  • 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
  • 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 hot and humid 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. Some work days may run past 7 hours depending on traffic and work flow. 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. 


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 Seasonal Field Biologist Application.

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