Rural Lands Conservation Technician/Specialist

Website East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District

East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District is seeking a career and conservation minded individual to execute conservation projects related to habitat restoration and invasive plant species control, and to provide guidance related to such projects to a diverse audience. The work includes outreach to landowners, identification and mapping of noxious weed species, as well as performing control work in the Columbia River Gorge and Sandy River watershed.

The Rural Lands Conservation Technician/Specialist’s duties include such items as weed control and restoration, outreach and education, information management and reporting, working as member of the Rural Lands team, and more. For a full description of duties and responsibilities, read the position description below.

Position overview: The purpose of this position is to implement invasive weed control projects to restore native plant communities, protect ecosystem processes, prevent erosion, and protect water quality.

Classification: Non-exempt (Hourly, eligible for overtime)

Wage range: $23 to $34 dollars per hour

Reports to: Rural Lands Sr. Conservationist (Weed Control)

Primary Responsibilities:
• Weed Control & Restoration: Coordinate efforts to map and control high priority invasive plants. Conduct outreach to landowners and other stakeholders about invasive plants and gain permission to survey and control invasive species on infested properties. Technician/Specialist will lead labor crews, private herbicide applicators, and/or others for mapping and treatment. Technician/Specialist is required to have or obtain an herbicide applicators license and will perform control work as needed and applicable. Plan and conduct re-vegetation in controlled areas
as needed.
• Early Detection, Rapid Response: Work with EMSWCD staff to investigate reports of weeds on our early detection list, map infestations, obtain landowner permission, determine most effective control methods, and treat confirmed infestations.
• Team Member: This position is part of the Rural Lands Team of the EMSWCD and will assist other team members as needs arise. Work closely with Sr. Conservationist, fellow staff, as well as members of partner organizations to plan work and complete reporting requirements. Attend meetings of the Columbia Gorge CWMA.
• Outreach and Education: Lead efforts to contact landowners through mailings followed by direct door to door contact in target areas. Build relationships and communicate with project stakeholders in person, via email, and over the phone. Give presentations on conservation topics.
• Information management and reporting: Utilize computer technology to maintain accurate, detailed records of activities, and relevant analysis. Track new contacts, landowners, properties visited, number of site visits, areas surveyed, extent of infestation, type of treatment conducted, etc.
• NONDISCRIMINATORY POLICY: Deliver services without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital or family status. Perform all job duties in a manner that consistently demonstrates fairness, cooperation, and respect toward co-workers, office visitors, landowners, and all others in the performance of official business. Must be proficient in English (spoken and written) for communicating with landowners and staff. Demonstrate an awareness of EEO policies and responsibilities.
• SAFETY POLICY: Perform all job duties in a safe manner with guidance from EMSWCD and NRCS regarding federal, state, and local laws pertinent to job safety. Participate in safety training and staff safety meetings as scheduled.

Other Responsibilities:
● Active participation in team and organization-wide meetings
● Represent EMSWCD in a positive and professional manner to constituents, clients, public officials, community groups, and other partners. Attend business related functions as requested by the Executive Director or Program Supervisor.
● Actively participate and contribute to equity related efforts.
● Other duties as assigned by the Program Supervisor or Executive Director.

Supervisory Responsibilities: None

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
● Skill in vegetation management. Skill and/or ability to identify and treat a variety of invasive plants.
● Understanding of I.P.M.
● Knowledge of local ecological and biological processes.
● Ability to identify plants native to the geographic area.
● Skill and/or ability to utilize GPS technology and GIS software to map weed infestations and treatment areas. Possession of general computer skills, including the ability to use Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel.
● Ability to work at diverse project sites, including steep areas of the Columbia Gorge where hazards include falling rocks and loose unconsolidated rocky slopes.
● Ability to navigate throughout the district landscape, often off trail.
● Ability to communicate and work effectively with a variety of individuals, including landowners and labor crews. Experience leading or working on a crew preferred. Spanish language knowledge a plus.
● Ability to ensure compliance with EMSWCD policy, state, federal and local requirements.
● Excellent organizational, time management, and project management skills
● Ability to multi-task efficiently and switch priorities as needed. Ability to work calmly and effectively under deadlines.
● Excellent written & verbal communication skills including plain language skills.
● Ability to appropriately use discretion in all work activities. Ability to ensure confidential information is managed appropriately.
● The ability to present in an engaged manner with diverse populations, to include constituents, clients, public officials, community groups, and other partners.
● Ability to work independently, be proactive and self-directed.
● Cooperative & collaborative team member. Ability to communicate in a professional and respectful manner with all colleagues, constituents, clients, public officials, community groups, and other partners.
● Proficient in standard office procedures, software, and communications technology. Ability to use Microsoft Office, Google-Suite, and standard communications platforms effectively and efficiently.
● Commitment to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
● Performance of assigned duties is completed in accordance with established procedures. Procedures that cover the assigned work include EMSWCD annual work plans, EMSWCD policies and procedures, Oregon Department of Agriculture Guidelines for SWCDs, and Oregon public meetings law.

Desired Qualifications:
• Bachelor’s degree or higher in natural resource management, ecology, agriculture, forestry or related field. A combination of relevant experience and education may substitute for the education requirement.
• Minimum of four years of field-based experience. This may be in farming, restoration, forestry, or other work relevant to vegetation management.
• Experience coordinating, implementing, monitoring, tracking, and reporting project activities.
• Experience with GPS and GIS data management.
• Combination of equivalent lived experience and/or related professional work may be considered.

Working Conditions/Physical Requirements:
The following work conditions/physical requirements are required of the person in this position, with or without reasonable accommodations.
• Work in an outdoor environment is required. The employee may be subject to inclement weather as part of conducting required activities. It requires walking long distances across sloped, uneven terrain, often in inclement weather. This may include utilizing ropes to access cliff side areas and kayaks to access inaccessible riparian areas. The work involves bending, lifting, and stretching. Technician/Specialist may work alongside the landowner or crew and perform the physical work of weed removal. The Technician must be able to lift 50 pounds from the ground and load/unload heavy, cumbersome objects.
• The work involves possible exposure to herbicides. Protective gear and clothing such as gloves and eye protection may be necessary and will be provided.
• Work environment is oriented to client service and subject to constant work interruptions. Employees may work under the stress of continual client and/or inter-departmental contact and pressure to meet deadlines.
• This position will require you to travel, participate in conferences, give presentations internally and externally.
• Evening and weekend work may be required to meet project deadlines and complete position responsibilities.
• Access to reliable transportation is required.
• Valid driver’s license and driving record which meets EMSWCD insurance standards is required.
• Some work activities are performed in an indoor office environment with long periods at a desk.
• The employee must be able to move about the facility to communicate with staff members.
• The EMSWCD office is the primary work location for this position and is a smokefree and drug-free environment. Work is to be conducted primarily from the EMSWCD facilities, or specific work site locations identified by EMSWCD.
• The individual who holds or desires the position must be able to perform all tasks and responsibilities in this job description unaided or with the assistance of a reasonable accommodation. Nothing in this job description restricts management’s right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time.