Position: Native Plant Nursery Coordinator
Location: Thibodaux, LA
Deadline: Feb. 22
The Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program is a unique and complex, multi-year program of the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency and the State of Louisiana’s Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON).
Essential to the effectiveness of the National Estuary Program is the significant participation of other state and federal agencies, local governments, university scientists, educators, and other citizens and stakeholders of the Barataria-Terrebonne estuarine complex.
During its initial five years, the program was tasked with developing a comprehensive regional restoration plan, the Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP), to address environmental issues. In 1996, the CCMP was formally approved by the State of Louisiana and the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Since 1996, the program has been coordinating the implementation of the 51 Action Plans of the CCMP with many different stakeholders.
This multi-faceted position offers an opportunity to help protect and restore critical coastal Louisiana habitat by maintaining and increasing herbaceous and woody plants utilized in vegetative plantings for restoration projects within the Barataria-Terrebonne estuarine basins. These plants provide habitat for Neotropical migratory birds, resident birds, mammals, and fish; reduce soil erosion through binding soil in place, and provide protection from storm events.
The successful candidate will also have the knowledge and experience to perform maintenance on the facility and equipment necessary to maintain BTNEP’s Habitat Restoration and Native Plant Production Facility.
In addition, the successful candidate will assist in leading volunteers in large-scale habitat restoration projects.
The position serves under the direct supervision of the Habitat Restoration Coordinator (and ultimately the Program Director) and is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of BTNEP’s Native Plant Nursery (NPN).
This position requires the care and maintenance of the plants and facility, as well as the supervision of student workers employed at the facility. The Native Plant Nursery Coordinator (NPNC) will also lead activities at the NPN through engagement with members of the public through volunteer group events and school and public educational events. The NPNC is expected to develop and implement avenues, programs, and activities designed to fully engage and connect citizens to the BTNEP philosophy of community-led restoration through active involvement with BTNEP functions, events, and projects. The NPNC must communicate well with the student workers and volunteers and maintain good public relations in all interactions with the public.
The successful candidate is expected to familiarize themselves with the issues and ecology of the Barataria Terrebonne National Estuary system. The Native Plant Nursery Coordinator must develop an understanding of the BTNEP’s Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) and the consensus-building process used by the BTNEP.
The duties of this position are to assist the Habitat Restoration Coordinator in increasing and maintaining plant production at the Native Plant Nursery; help maintain BTNEP’s Field Operations Center; manage the student workers employed at the facility, and assist with volunteer and educational events related to the preservation and restoration of the estuaries through native plantings, invasive species removals, and educational outings within the estuaries.
Some Outreach and Education projects implemented by BTNEP, such as Paddle Bayou Lafourche and Discover the Estuary, are very large efforts requiring the involvement of multiple staff members. The Native Plant Nursery Coordinator will have a role in implementing these larger efforts of the BTNEP organization. The NPNC will work closely and under the direction of the Habitat Restoration Coordinator.
Must have a valid driver’s license and maintain an acceptable driving record.
Bachelor’s degree (B. A. or B. S.) from a four-year college or university; or relevant experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience.
Examples of responsibilities of the Native Plant Nursery Coordinator include the following:
- Plant production including seed collection, sowing seeds, transplanting, and dividing and increasing herbaceous and woody plants;
- Plant cultivation including watering, weeding, applying fertilizer, fungicides, and pesticides;
- Prepare soil media for plant propagation;
- Maintain operation records including information about seeding, plant inventory, etc., and order supplies when materials run low;
- Keep facility and equipment clean and organized;
- Operate, care and maintain gas auger drills, weed trimmer, blower, pressure washer, and other power and hand tools;
- Operate and maintain irrigation system;
- Ability to interact with others and cooperate in a team environment;
- Scheduling work and activities of student workers;
- Train and teach student workers and volunteers skills to accomplish tasks and activities;
- Assist in the coordination of volunteer activities. Track volunteer activities and public involvement for grant recording purposes;
- Perform physical activities related to the job requiring considerable use of arms and legs. Able to lift heavy potting soil bales, plant trays, etc. utilizing proper lifting techniques. Able to stand/walk for extended periods of time;
- Ability to tolerate outdoor work environment including exposure to hot and cold temperatures, dust, allergens, insects, and sun exposure;
- Operate state vehicles, trailers, tractors (including bush-hogging and use of forklift and front end loader attachments), and ATV. Light equipment maintenance ability a plus;
- Operate boats in assistance to the Habitat Restoration Coordinator restoration activities. Follow all Coast Guard boat operation rules and requirements;
- Maintain and clean boats and bring in for repairs as needed;
- Some woodworking skills needed to maintain structures and fixtures as well as constructing new tables, shelving, etc. a plus;
- Assist the Habitat Restoration Coordinator in surveying, planning, and execution of native vegetative planting events beneficial to species and habitats within the Barataria-Terrebonne Estuary;
- Assist the Habitat Restoration Coordinator and/or the Public Involvement Coordinator and/or the Invasive Species Coordinator in invasive plant removals with or without the utilization of volunteers;
- Participate in the implementation of special BTNEP events such as Paddle Bayou Lafourche and Discover the Estuary;
- Assist the Habitat Restoration Coordinator in all activities the Habitat Restoration Coordinator does in conjunction with his duties and deems appropriate;
- Any other duties assigned by the Habitat Restoration Coordinator, the Program Director, or the Deputy Director.