Rare Plant Technician position available at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden's Rare Plant Conservation Team is expanding! We are hiring a full-time Rare Plant Technician for a one-year position with an emphasis on field and greenhouse work, with an emphasis on seed processing during the winter months.

About the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden:

The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden’s mission is to conserve California native plants and habitats for the health and well-being of people and the planet. Since the 1930s, staff members of the Garden have developed and maintained an intimate knowledge of the California flora, with an emphasis on the plants and vegetation communities of California’s Central Coast and the offshore islands. Today, we take a comprehensive approach to its conservation from genes to ecosystems, with plant systematics, rare plant conservation, community ecology and habitat restoration functions. This allows us to more thoroughly tackle the conservation challenges of our day, such as habitat loss and fragmentation, invasive species, and climate change.



The Rare Plant Technician assists with a wide range of field, lab, and office work supporting the inventory, conservation, and restoration of California’s flora. Roles and responsibilities for this position will emphasize field work, greenhouse work, seed cleaning and seed bank curation. This full-time (40 hours per week), non-exempt position reports to the Rare Plant Biologist and works primarily with the Rare Plant Conservation Team (Rare Plant Biologist, Rare Plant Technician). The term for this position is 12 months, with the potential to extend the appointment based on funding availability and performance.


Essential Duties:

  • Conduct plant surveys, with an emphasis on rare plants
  • Collect, clean and curate seeds for conservation, research and restoration
  • Conduct greenhouse work, including germination studies, hand pollinations and seed bulking
  • Conduct ecological restoration field work, including rare plant recovery, native seed collection, seeding and out planting
  • Enter data and assist with database management for conservation seed collections and research projects
  • Assist volunteers in seed cleaning, as needed
  • Collect data using handheld GPS and Collector for Arc GIS
  • Collect and curate herbarium specimens
  • Contribute to education/outreach/communications by creating social media posts, working with interns, or presenting research


Knowledge and Abilities:

  • Experience with and knowledge of basic taxonomic principles, botany, and ecology
  • Knowledge of and experience with the California flora
  • Ability to follow instructions, work successfully with others, and work independently with minimal supervision
  • Ability to conduct field work in a remote setting with rugged terrain under a variety of environmental conditions, sometimes independently
  • Ability and willingness to travel for multi-day, overnight fieldwork to remote locations with camping accommodations (basic camping equipment can be provided, if necessary)
  • Experience using both paper and digital maps; experience with Garmin GPS, ArcGIS, Collector and Google Earth preferable
  • Manual dexterity and attention to detail sufficient to clean seeds proficiently and quickly
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
  • Computer proficiency including ability to use Microsoft Outlook, Excel, Word, and PowerPoint, and ability to learn new computer programs as necessary
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Ability to communicate well both verbally and in writing
  • Willingness and ability to work cooperatively with peers at the Garden and other institutions
  • Support for the Garden’s mission and goals


Minimum Qualifications and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college or university in biology, ecology, botany, environmental science, conservation biology, or closely related area
  • Two or more full-time years (or equivalent) of relevant experience


Certificates and Licenses:

  • Must have valid California Driver License and maintain an acceptable driving record


Physical Requirements:

Must be capable of occasional strenuous physical work including:


  • Sitting for up to 2 hours at a time and using computer for lengthy periods
  • Standing/walking for extended periods of time
  • Bending, squatting, walking stairs, and hiking rugged trails
  • Safely lifting and carrying 40 lbs.
  • Tolerance of an outdoor work environment.  Exposure to indoor and outdoor environmental conditions, including temperature fluctuations, rain, dust, allergens, poison oak, insects, wild animals, and sun exposure


Expected Timeline

An ideal candidate for this position will be available to begin work in late 2020, or January 2021 at the latest.


Interested applicants should apply via our website: https://www.sbbg.org/get-involved/join-our-team

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