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Lead Botanist - Vandenberg Space Force Base, CA

Colorado State University
Vandenberg AFB, Lompoc
Closing date
Jan 9, 2023

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Vegetation science
Job Type
Organization Type

Lead Botanist - Vandenberg Space Force Base, CA

Colorado State University

Position LocationVandenberg Space Force Base, California

Is this position eligible for hybrid or remote work?No

Research Professional PositionYes

Posting Number202201793AP

Position TypeAdmin Professional/ Research Professional

Classification TitleResearch Associate II

Number of Vacancies1

Work Hours/Week40

Proposed Annual Salary Range$60,000 - $70,000

Employee Benefits

Colorado State University (CSU) is committed to providing employees with a strong and competitive benefits package that supports you, your health, and your family. Visit CSU's Human Resources website for detailed benefit plan information for permanent full-time and part-time faculty and administrative professional employees in the following University benefit areas: &

Desired Start Date01/03/2023

To ensure full consideration, applications must be received by 11:59pm (MT) on11/28/2022

Description of Work Unit

CEMML is a research, education and service unit within the Warner College of Natural Resources at Colorado State University (CSU). CEMML applies the latest and most appropriate science to promote the sustainable management of natural and cultural resources on Department of Defense (DoD) and other public lands. We provide technical support, conduct applied research, and offer career development and learning opportunities to support resource stewardship. We collaborate with our sponsors and within CSU to resolve complex environmental issues, leaving a legacy of science-based decisions that sustain our resources for future generations.

To learn more about CEMML's contributions to land management, our mission, vision, and values, visit

Position Summary

The successful candidate will serve as a Botanist supporting Vandenberg Space Force Base (VSFB), California. Primary responsibility of the position is to develop a Vegetation Classification map and dataset for VSFB. The candidate who best fits the position will be the person who: has demonstrated experience working with the Manual of California Vegetation (MCV) by the California Native Plant Society, can identify flora using dichotomous keys, enjoys fieldwork in rough/challenging conditions, has demonstrated experience delineating vegetation types in ArcGIS, and has demonstrated experience creating vegetation classification maps using California Native Plant Society, or United States National Vegetation Classification Standard (USNVCS) methods. The Botanist will work in tandem with a Botany Technician to accomplish all field work, delineations, ground-truthing, mapping, and reporting. The CEMML Botany team at VSFB may support other natural resource management tasks (as necessary) and will be required to coordinate with other CEMML Staff at VSFB, along with Federal Natural Resource Staff at VSFB.

VSFB is approximately 100,000 acres of land that is spread across North Base and South Base. This position will carry a large amount of responsibility to ensure all appropriate and accepted methodologies are being followed, work is being completed within a reasonable timeframe, and to coordinate directly with the Federal Botanist at VSFB. This position is supervised by the CEMML Lead Wildlife Biologist at VSFB.

Field work will require traversing a beautiful, variable, steep, and difficult landscape. There is poison oak found in many drainages on VSFB. Personal Protective Equipment will be provided to manage poison oak risks. There are many Threatened and Endangered species (flora and fauna) found on VSFB that will need to be respected. A capable field vehicle and proper rescue equipment will be provided. Use of helicopter to access remote field sites is likely. Work will stretch from the coastline into the Santa Ynez mountains, within the VSFB boundary. The work can be strenuous with long days in a truck and/or on the ground. The landscape at VSFB is varied and beautiful. It is a privilege to explore and survey the terrain on this gorgeous military installation.

Office work will include sitting at a desk for long hours to: delineate polygons over aerial imagery of VSFB; edit geodatabases; coordinate with CEMML, VSFB, and contractor natural resource staff; write a vegetation classification technical report; and support routine reporting for the Cooperative Agreement between CEMML and VSFB.

Beginning Monday, August 16, 2021, Colorado State University has mandated vaccinations against COVID-19. Faculty and staff are required to submit their vaccine status or declare an exemption. More information about the vaccination mandate can be found on the CSU COVID-19 Information & Resources site here:

Required Job Qualifications

• A Master's degree in botany, or similar/related field. OR a Bachelor's degree in botany, or similar/related field, with 3 years of professional experience.

• Experience with the California Vegetation Manual by the California Native Plant Society.

• Experience identifying plants using dichotomous keys.

• Experience with rugged fieldwork.

• Experience working with ArcGIS to delineate and edit boundaries/polygons, fix topology errors, and work within a geodatabase.

• Must have a valid driver's license or the ability to obtain a driver's license by the employment start date.

• The successful candidate must be legally authorized to work in the U.S. by proposed start date; CEMML will not provide visa sponsorship for this position.

Preferred Job Qualifications

• 3+ years of experience working in California with the California Vegetation Manual by the California Native Plant Society

• Prior experience developing a vegetation classification map and resulting technical report

• 3+ years of experience working with ArcGIS

• Prior experience writing technical reports

• Prior experience with statistical analysis and reporting

• Prior experience working closely with a Team member to accomplish project goals

• Prior decision-making experience on a project

• Prior experience working on a military installation

• Experience with 4wd and off-road driving

Diversity Statement

Reflecting departmental and institutional values, candidates are expected to have the ability to advance the Department's commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Essential Duties

Job Duty CategoryField Work


Field work includes travelling by foot, vehicle, and possibly helicopter to visit and verify different habitats on VSFB. The purpose is to identify vegetation and their characteristics across the entire installation. Field conditions will be challenging at times. There is inherent risk in the field work which may include coming into contact with poison oak, wildlife, challenging terrain, and low visibility due to fog.

Percentage Of Time40

Job Duty CategoryOffice Work


Office work includes sitting at a desk for extended periods, GIS work, and writing, among other potential related tasks.

Percentage Of Time40

Job Duty CategoryCoordination/Planning


Meetings with CEMML, VSFB Federal Staff, contractors, and agency partners will be required. All meetings will be to coordinate on the project and plan for the project.

Percentage Of Time15

Job Duty CategoryReporting


Produce monthly/quarterly progress reports following a standard set of guidance provided by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Annual project reports will be required. A final technical report will be required.

Percentage Of Time5

Special Instructions to Applicants

Applicants must meet the minimum qualifications in the announcement to be considered for hire. Apply no later than November 28, 2022, for full consideration at Mailed or emailed applications will not be accepted.

Upload each of the items below individually as a Word Document (.doc), PDF (.pdf), or Rich Text Format (.rtf). Please note that incomplete applications cannot be considered. Please remove social security numbers and birth dates from application materials. A complete application consists of:

• Statement of Qualifications (one-page letter addressing each qualification described in the announcement) uploaded in the ‘Cover Letter' slot.

• Resume

• References - please include within your application contact information for 3 professional references including at least one supervisor.

References will not be contacted without prior notification of candidates.

Conditions of Employment

Pre-employment Criminal Background Check (required for new hires), Valid Driver's License, Special Requirements/Other - Must be able to comply with all applicable regulations to obtain a Department of Defense Common Access Card (CAC) and public trust clearance. Furthermore, candidates are required at a minimum to complete a NACI/SF85 and successfully pass a federal backgro

Search ContactJessica Griffiths mailto:(

EEO Statement

Colorado State University is committed to providing an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment based on race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, or pregnancy in its employment, programs, services and activities, and admissions, and, in certain circumstances, marriage to a co-worker. The University will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. Colorado State University is an equal opportunity and equal access institution and affirmative action employer fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce and complies with all Federal and Colorado State laws, regulations, and executive orders regarding non-discrimination and affirmative action. The Office of Equal Opportunity is located in 101 Student Services.

The Title IX Coordinator is the Director of the Office of Title IX Programs and Gender Equity, 123 Student Services Building, Fort Collins, CO 80523-0160, (970) 491-1715,

The Section 504 and ADA Coordinator is the Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity, 101 Student Services Building, Fort Collins, CO 80523-0160, (970) 491-5836,

The Coordinator for any other forms of misconduct prohibited by the University's Policy on Discrimination and Harassment is the Vice President for Equity, Equal Opportunity and Title IX, 101 Student Services Building, Fort Collins, Co. 80523-0160, (970) 491-5836,

Any person may report sex discrimination under Title IX to the Office of Civil Rights, Department of Education.

Background Check Policy Statement

Colorado State University strives to provide a safe study, work, and living environment for its faculty, staff, volunteers and students. To support this environment and comply with applicable laws and regulations, CSU conducts background checks for the finalist before a final offer. The type of background check conducted varies by position and can include, but is not limited to, criminal history, sex offender registry, motor vehicle history, financial history, and/or education verification. Background checks will also be conducted when required by law or contract and when, in the discretion of the University, it is reasonable and prudent to do so.

To apply, please visit:

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