Skip Navigation


Botany Technician Resource Assistant


Individual Placement/Internships

Job Location

Payson, Arizona

Tracking Code


Position Type


How to Apply
Apply online at:  To be fully considered you will need to submit a one-page cover letter highlighting why you are interested in this position and how your background and experience will help you succeed in this position your resume.



Term of positions is 6 months (26 weeks), 40 hrs/week


Flexible; preferred location Payson Ranger District Office, Payson AZ or Supervisor’s Office, Phoenix AZ. If candidate decides to live in the Phoenix metropolitan area, they would be required to drive longer distances to project areas and or occasionally camp overnight in the field.

Living Allowance:


Start Date:

Desired: June 6, 2022 (no later than June 27, 2022)

Application Due Date:

Applications will be reviewed as they are received.

Title of Position

Botany Technician Resource Assistant


Tonto National Forest Botany Program

The Tonto National Forest is one of the most floristically diverse forests in the Southwestern Region – in large part due to the forest’s position across three distinct ecological sections; the Sonoran Desert, Tonto Transition, and the White Mountain-San Francisco Peak-Mogollon Rim. There are a diversity of ecosystems including Sonoran desert, Arizona chaparral, Semi-desert grasslands, Pinyon Juniper woodlands and grasslands, Madrean oak woodlands, Ponderosa pine forests, and mixed conifer forests. The forest also harbors many endemic, rare plant species, and unique plant communities.

The botany program on the Tonto NF manages our national forest's native plant heritage including federally listed and sensitive plant species and their unique habitats – especially those identified as special interest areas such as Research Natural areas or Botanical areas. Botanists provide support to all other forest programs including recreation, range, engineering, wildlife, aquatics, minerals, special uses, invasive species work, forest products, timber, and fuels management projects. Botanists are actively involved and lead in habitat restoration efforts, endangered species recovery efforts, rare plant surveys and monitoring, vegetation sampling, and riparian monitoring.


Position Details

Stewards Individual Placements (Stewards) provide individuals with service and career opportunities to strengthen communities and preserve our natural resources. Participants work with federal agencies, tribal governments, and nonprofits building institutional capacity, developing community relationships, and supporting ecosystem health. Stewards in partnership with the Tonto National Forest to hire a Botany Technician Resource Assistant.


The Botany Technician Resource Assistant position is being hired through the Forest Service Resource Assistant (RA) program to support the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) on the Tonto by accomplishing required at-risk plant species surveys. This entry-level position will receive developmental experience in rare plant surveying and monitoring and mentorship from the more experienced Botanist RA and Forest Botanist. The botany technician will work closely with the Botanist RA and report to the Forest Botanist at the Supervisor’s Office in Phoenix AZ. This position is mostly field-going but may include some office work such as setting up field equipment, compiling survey and monitoring forms, data entry, or other routine project tasks.  


Position Responsibilities will include:

  • Conduct rare and invasive plant surveys
    • Essential Functions and Responsibilities:
      • Follow USFS protocols for collecting rare and invasive plant surveys
      • Collect field data using Field Maps app on tablet device
      • Track and report weekly survey progress; track survey locations on topo maps or use GPS apps such as Avenza
      • Follow all safety measures outlined in Job Hazard Analysis and check in and out procedures with supervisor and district.
    • Support and assist seasonal Arizona Conservation Corps botany crew
      • Essential Functions and Responsibilities:
        • Assist botany crew as needed with invasive species surveys and opportunistic rare plant surveys
        • Assist botany crew with loading tablets with project maps, accessing and logging into Field Maps app, and other technical logistics
        • Perform weekly tasks including downloading crew survey and inventory data from tablets, charge tablets and other devices, assist with loading maps or other reference data to tablets
      • Assist with rare plant monitoring at treatment areas for timber and fire
        • Essential Functions and Responsibilities:
          • Use established data collection protocols
          • Collect vegetation and fuels data at established plots
          • Enter field data into MS excel or Access database


Minimum Requirements:

  • Familiarity with the basic methods, techniques, and procedures necessary to conduct plant species inventories, surveys, and monitoring.
  • Familiarity with identifying plant species in the field and working knowledge of using dichotomous keys or other resources to identify plant species (through applied experience or through coursework)
  • B.S. degree in plant biology or related field
  • Effective communicator; ability to follow direction, asks questions as problems arise, and works well with others
  • Physically able to work regular and recurring physical exertion during fieldwork that may be moderately strenuous in nature, including long hours in the field (10-12 hour days at times), hiking over rough and uneven ground, exposure to high temperatures during the summer, recuring bending or crouching or stooping. Occasional overnight camping in wilderness areas may be required at times.
  • Follows all FS safety requirements including check-in and check-out procedures during fieldwork
  • Possesses a good driving record and ability to drive a 4-wheel vehicle on difficult roads.
  • Driver’s License and ability to pass MVR through Conservation Legacy (must be over 21 years old or have had a license for 3 years)



 Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience surveying and monitoring rare and sensitive plant species.
  • Knowledge of Arizona flora and special status or rare plant species is sufficient to locate species during vegetation inventories or monitoring.
  • Ability to use dichotomous keys and other botanical resources (species treatments, floras, review of herbarium specimens, etc.) for identifying plant species
  • Skills in assembling or compiling data for analysis or reporting.
  • Technical proficiencies in data collection methods, including using digital tablets or other electronic devices, making any necessary updates to datasheets in Microsoft Word, Excel, or other software
  • Experience working with GIS software; accessing data, creating layers, exporting data, conducting geo-spatial analyses, and producing maps



  • $12.50/hour
  • $1000/month housing allowance (pre-tax)
  • $50/monthly commuting reimbursement. (pre-tax)
  • $2750.00 Professional Development and Training fund.
  • Training:
    • In-the-field training on species identification
    • Training on identifying plants using local flora manuals, access to Tonto Herbarium for referencing specimens or confirming identification
    • Field Maps training and support offered by Forest Botanists and GIS Specialists
    • FS protocols for data collection and other FS protocols Forest Botanist
    • Monitoring protocols (vegetation; line-point-intercept, fuels; browns line)
    • Plant identification
    • Lawnmower and weed eater operation
    • Hand tool usage
    • SDS review of herbicides


Term Schedule:

The typical schedule will be 8- or 10-hour days Monday – Friday. Schedule flexibility is beneficial so that the individual can join opportunities to accompany the agency heritage professionals. The participant can expect a mix of field and office days during the week. Teleworking opportunities may be available.


*The USFS Resource Assistant Program (RAP) is a rigorous, immersive, paid internship providing developmental and training opportunities for individuals interested in learning more about Forest Service careers. After completing a minimum of 960 hours of satisfactory work and an associate degree, RA’s may acquire a two-year certificate of non-competitive hiring eligibility. The certificate enables participants to apply to internal merit announcements for qualifying permanent General Schedule FS positions as well as a Direct Hire Authority for FS Career positions.


Stewards Individual Placements Program does not and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, age, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all.

This position is located in Payson, AZ. View the Google Map in full screen.