Biological technician/field assistant

Agency:Great River Greening
Location:St. Paul, Minnesota

Great River Greening is a rapidly growing nonprofit conservation organization based in St. Paul, Minnesota, with a mission to secure the legacy of Minnesota land and water through community restoration, stewardship and partnerships. Since our origins in 1999, Greening has restored more than 12,000 acres of natural habitat across the state, while engaging more than 35,000 volunteers in the process.

Great River Greening has grown significantly in its geographic scope over the last five years through development of its three conservation programs: 1) Twin Cities Metro; 2) Anoka Sandplain; and 3) Minnesota River. Despite our growing reach and impact, our staff size remains small and we work collaboratively as a friendly and committed team. We maintain a workplace culture that is driven toward mission success, yet recognizes the value of work­life balance.

The Field Assistant joins Great River Greening’s team of conservation professionals that works with conservation partners and local communities to conserve and restore natural resources across Minnesota. The Field Assistant will be one of Great River Greening’s field staff within the Anoka Sandplain, and will be a key member of our conservation team. The position will be based at and supervised by the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge office in Zimmerman, Minnesota.

Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge is the focus of an expansive oak savanna restoration effort in the Anoka Sandplain; it is the nation’s largest restoration of this habitat type. The Field Assistant will work alongside Greening’s Habitat Monitoring and Management Technician and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff in monitoring the impact of cattle grazing as a habitat management practice at the refuge and assisting with a variety of habitat management activities on the refuge. The position will provide critical information necessary to both understand the impacts of grazing in prairie, oak savanna and wetland habitats at the refuge and adaptively manage grazing practices accordingly.

Full­time, seasonal (40 hours per week), Monday through Friday, with occasional evenings and Saturdays. Compensation is $13.08-14.68 per hour based on qualifications.  As a seasonal position, it is not eligible for benefits.

At the present time the position is funded for a total of 12 weeks during the 2017 field season: May 23rd- August 12th.

Assist Great River Greening’s Habitat Monitoring and Management Technician in completing the following tasks:

  • Carry out monitoring to track the impact of cattle grazing on vegetation within the refuge –pre­grazing and after onset. Monitoring may be extended to also track the impact of prescribed fire on vegetation over time.
  • Assist in biological surveys potentially including; songbird, woodcock, waterfowl, wild turkey, water quality, wood duck banding, and fire effects monitoring
  • Locate invasive species infestations and apply herbicide as directed by refuge staff
  • Analyze collected data to determine what impacts are occurring as a result of grazing (and potentially prescribed fire).
  • Participate as a staff member of Great River Greening in the organization’s activities as assigned


  • This position is physically demanding and requires 8­10 hours/day working at times in difficult terrain, under adverse field conditions and during inclement weather. The work often requires repetitive actions such as squatting, bending, kneeling, lifting, hiking, carrying and using tools and equipment for extended periods of time.
  • May be subjected to moving mechanical parts, light to heavy duty machinery, vibrations, fumes, odors, dusts, gases, chemicals, and intense noises.
  • Field work requires strenuous activity for significant periods of time, often walking over rough terrain and in muddy conditions; on rough or uneven surfaces; wading through vegetation choked marshes, lifting and carrying heavy objects, and in many instances during difficult weather conditions.
  • Collection of bird survey data requires good vision and field work results in exposure to such things as: poison ivy insects, sun, wind, temperature variation and many varieties of pollen.
  • Seasonal field studies involve considerable physical demands, such as frequent, extensive travel on foot; bending; crouching; and climbing; exertion from lifting and carrying equipment; and energy drain from cold, wet and windy weather. The incumbent must be in good physical condition and anticipate the demands of each field trip. Occasionally lifts containers weighing up to 50 pounds.
  • Work includes office and outdoor settings. There is regular exposure to high and low temperature extremes, inclement weather, dusty/noisy environments, working near heavy equipment. The incumbent is expected to perform duties in a safe and orderly manner, so as not to endanger self, fellow workers, or property. Field activities are normally conducted in remote locations and often under primitive living conditions.


  • Background in and technical knowledge of principles, practices and terminology related to wildlife biology and wildlife management and a familiarity with related disciplines.
  • Ability to use computer technology to maintain and retrieve information from automated data systems, develop spreadsheets, and use word processing and statistical software programs in order to develop reports.
  • Attention to detail, ability to record meticulous detail, and strong problem­solving and trouble­shooting skills.
  • Familiarity with geographic information system, aerial photography and survey techniques, and global positioning systems.
  • Ability to communicate orally in order to meet and deal effectively with people of different backgrounds including representatives of state, Federal and private agencies and organizations.
  • Ability to operate small water craft, cars, trucks and farm tractors. Must have a valid state driver’s license.
  • Ability to use various specialized tools and equipment required to conduct wildlife studies/surveys.
  • Ability to execute physically and mentally demanding work under a diversity of outdoor settings and weather conditions.
  • Strong work and team ethic, and desire to learn.
  • First aid training is preferred.
Salary:$13.08-$14.68 per hour, based on qualifications


Electronic submissions only. Submit your cover letter addressing each of the qualifications, resume, and salary history to Cody Carlstrom ( and Todd Rexine ( The position is open until filled.

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.  Upon submitting application materials, please consider completing our optional self-identification application information form found here: