Plant Taxonomist - Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

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The Plant Taxonomist is responsible for preparing a flora of Santa Catalina Island, California, for publication. Existing specimens and databases will be utilized to prepare taxonomic keys and descriptions, working under the advisement of our Research Associates. Funding is available for 12 months, with the potential for transition to a permanent taxonomy/systematics position upon mutual agreement. This is a full-time (40 hours per week), hourly position.

Applicants should submit electronically a statement of interest, curriculum vitae, and contact information (names, email addresses, and phone numbers) for three references to: Denise Knapp, Director of Conservation and Education, at . Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until a suitable candidate is chosen. The position will begin, at the latest, at the end of March, 2014.

Duties and Responsibilities:

•Verify specimens at selected herbaria;
•Prepare taxonomic keys and descriptions for approximately 25 plant families, 138 genera, and 209 species;
•Prepare additional chapters including a history of botanical collecting trips, list of herbarium voucher specimens, and doubtful and excluded plant taxa as needed;
•Work with Research Associate(s) to ensure accuracy and consistency of products;
•Conduct additional field work if needed;
•Identify botanical specimens and generate labels using an herbarium database when needed;
•Coordinate and execute mounting, repairing, and accessioning of herbarium specimens when needed;
•Other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

•Academic background in plant taxonomy, systematics, botany, or closely related area (Ph.D. preferred);
•Experience with and knowledge of basic taxonomic principles, floristics, morphology, and biometrics (knowledge of molecular systematics desirable);
•Working knowledge of California flora essential (knowledge of CA Channel Islands flora preferred);
•Understanding and appreciation of herbarium collections, including curatorial experience and skills required to manage a herbarium, and ancillary databases;
•Ability to conduct field work for the collection of herbarium samples in a remote setting with rugged terrain under a variety of environmental conditions;
•Willingness and ability to work cooperatively with peers at SBBG and other institutions;
•Support of the Garden’s mission and goals; ability to provide vision and inspiration to others in support of this mission;
•Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines, communicate well both verbally and in writing;
•Computer proficiency including ability to use Microsoft Access, Outlook, Excel, Word, and PowerPoint, and to learn new computer programs as necessary;
•Manual dexterity sufficient to prepare specimens neatly and quickly;
•Ability to follow instructions; work successfully with others and independently with minimal supervision critical.

Certificates and Licenses:

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

Physical Requirements:

•Ability to stand/walk for extended periods of time, bend, squat and hike rugged trails, and safely lift and carry boxes of specimens and supplies (30+ 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.

About the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden:

Established in 1926, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden fosters the conservation of California’s native plants through our gardens, scientific research, and education programs, and serves as a role model for scientific action. We focus on the flora of the Central Coast, including Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Monterey counties, as well as the California Channel Islands and Baja California Islands. Our expertise includes plant identification and distributions, rare plant conservation, and habitat restoration. Our Herbarium currently houses over 150,000 specimens. Services we provide include the creation of floras of critical regions, plant surveys and monitoring of specific populations, seed collection, storage and propagation of threatened species, restoration planning and design, development of adaptive management plans, and professional classes, workshops, and symposia.

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