Rare Plant Program Manager

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Deadline to Apply:

Friday, October 28, 2022, 11:45pm


Sacramento, CA
United States

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The Rare Plant Program Manager is a full-time, exempt staff position responsible for developing, implementing, and managing a portfolio of primarily field-based projects focused on the rare plants of California. As part of the RPP, they will be dedicated to developing and maintaining information about the California flora (including the California Floristic Province in Baja California Norte) and promoting the use of sound conservation science. The Program Manager will work with dedicated staff, professional botanists, and smart and devoted volunteers to scope projects, develop funding, manage budgets, ensure training and engagement of volunteers, prioritize species/populations/sites, and report to funders and the public. 

CNPS Rare Plant Program

The CNPS Rare Plant Program (RPP) develops current, accurate information on the distribution, ecology, and conservation status of California’s rare and endangered plants for its effective use in science-based plant conservation. For over 50 years, the Rare Plant Program has mostly focused on gathering and assessing rare plant data but has since expanded to special projects involving the inventorying and collecting of data for the entire California flora.

What You'll Do

Develop and Manage Projects

In coordination with the Rare Plant Program Director and lead staff, you will develop goals and objectives for new and current, primarily field-based projects, and develop budgets and timelines. You will:

  • Lead a team of 3-5 employees and associated contractors to coordinate, manage, and assist with primarily field-oriented projects, including the Rare Plant Treasure Hunt, California Plant Rescue, Locally Rare Plants, and Ventura Marsh Milk-Vetch Recovery Project.
  • Facilitate and assist with the collection of plant vouchers and tissues for research, support assessment of taxa to determine extinction probability, and participate in prioritizing taxa and populations for field assessments or conservation actions.
  • Secure funding through contracts, grants, donations, and alternative funding sources such as crowdfunding.
  • With support from staff, negotiate and review grants, contracts, and agency agreements.
  • Work with field staff to plan seasonal field work, hire and schedule staffing, and manage and implement projects.
  • Supervise staff to ensure tasks are completed and grant/contractual obligations are met. Coordinate with staff and funders to adjust project details, as necessary.
  • Ensure completion of data analysis, evaluation of projects, and dissemination of results. Write progress and final reports for funders. Share project reports with committee members, CNPS leadership, partners, and stakeholders.

Engage and Support Volunteers and Partners

  • Engage, listen to, and work cooperatively with CNPS chapters, volunteers, and partners.
  • Expand the volunteer community by recruiting new individuals, engaging new volunteer groups, including students, and supporting involvement of underrepresented communities.
  • Ensure that volunteers are supported by promoting excellent field safety practices; developing and providing training; evaluating and matching individual skill sets with appropriate responsibilities; providing reference materials and curricula for training events; developing and distributing plant survey assignments (including maps and targets); assisting with acquisition of collecting permits; answering questions and providing volunteer support.
  • Provide or coordinate detailed planning for volunteer events, including transportation, lodging, maps/directions, meals, permits/permissions, reimbursements.
  • Work with CNPS administrative staff to maintain database of volunteers, so that they are recognized for their work, apprised of developments, and informed of opportunities to participate.
  • Lead and co-lead rare plant survey trips and training events with volunteers and partners that often include a plant voucher collecting component.
  • Work with Communications staff to publicize events and communicate successes to CNPS chapters and the public via email, websites, brochures, newsletters, blogs, broadcast, and social media.
  • Foster relationships with experienced botanists who can assist with field trips.
  • Expand relationships with other organizations, agencies, land trusts, and private landowners to secure site access and collecting permits, cultivate partners and funders, and represent CNPS and the Rare Plant Program.

Advance Plant Science

  • Working with the Rare Plant Program Director, CNPS staff, volunteers, and in consultation with other experts, compile and analyze rare plant data to prioritize taxa and populations for field surveys, listing petitions, and other activities.
  • Adopt, synthesize, or develop maps, identification materials, survey protocols, and other resources to support field work by colleagues and volunteers.
  • Support the Rare Plant Botanist to maintain and updated California Rare Plant Ranks (CRPRs) by leading or co-leading field surveys to identify taxa in jeopardy of extinction, obtain data to reassign CRPR 3 taxa, and to develop occurrence information for plants proposed for status addition or change in the CNPS Rare Plant Inventory.
  • Collect plant specimen vouchers and prepare labels for submission to herbaria. 
  • Represent CNPS at professional conferences and meetings. Maintain relationships with botanists, academia, agencies, NGOs, CNPS members, volunteers, land managers, and funders.
  • Complete field work and other activities as required to ensure project success, and to maintain expertise in California botany.

Who You Are

  • Broad botanical knowledge, including plant identification and conservation biology. Direct experience with California native plants is required.
  • Excellent writing and verbal communication skills.
  • Experience performing public presentations and a wide variety of outreach to promote projects and engage public.
  • Experience hiring and supervising staff and contractors.
  • Strong project management experience.
  • Skill at working with volunteers and supporters to accomplish challenging projects, while keeping it a positive and fulfilling experience that builds joy and goodwill inside and outside the workplace.
  • Strong computer literacy and data entry/analysis proficiency.
  • Strong analytical, organizational, and time management skills, with excellent attention to detail.
  • Ability to plan and manage multiple complex projects simultaneously, independently, and efficiently.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of the CNPS team; demonstrated ability to be a self-starter and exercise sound judgment; a clear belief in the principle that CNPS is a Society in which every individual is unique and valuable.

Nice to Have’s

  • Strong grant writing and reporting experience, with a proven record of funds development. 
  • Strong volunteer development and coordination experience.
  • Strong grounding in the value of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice; understanding of how those values intersect with science and conversation.

What You'll Get

  • Annual salary starting at $87,449.
  • 100% of employee premiums for Kaiser health, life, dental, and vision insurance
  • 401(k) retirement plan with up to 6% matching contributions, eligible immediately
  • Annual paid leave benefits include 13 holidays, 12 sick/wellness days, and 15 paid vacation days to start
  • A CNPS-issued laptop and a $750 home office stipend to set up your home office
  • $50 monthly internet/phone stipend
  • Paid parental leave
  • Field gear stipend

About California Native Plant Society

The California Native Plant Society (CNPS) is a statewide non-profit conservation organization (www.cnps.org) founded in 1965, with more than 11,000 members in 35 chapters across California and Baja California Mexico. The mission of CNPS is to increase understanding and appreciation of California’s native plants and to conserve them and their natural habitats through scientific study, education, advocacy, horticulture, and land stewardship.

How to Apply:

To Apply 
Submit a cover letter and resume here. Please include any pertinent information, including professional and personal experience, that is relevant to the position. The deadline to apply is October 28, 2022. 

Equal Opportunity Policy
CNPS's policy is to afford equal employment opportunities to all persons, regardless of age, ancestry, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, marital status, medical condition, military or veteran status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation. This policy demonstrates CNPS's commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive environment that values different perspectives and fosters belonging. To better understand the demographic profile of applicants, CNPS requests candidates to fill out the volunteer questionnaire that is part of the application form. Your responses will remain confidential, anonymized, and not shared with the hiring committee.