Missouri Botanical Garden
  • 31-Oct-2017 to 30-Nov-2017 (CST)
  • CCSD (050)
  • 63110, MO, USA
  • Full Time, Regular

The Center for Conservation and Sustainable Development (CCSD) explores and implements new, science-based approaches to the conservation and sustainable use of plant diversity. CCSD's strategies for conservation are based on a sound, scientific understanding of the occurrence and distribution of plants. CCSD applies the knowledge of plant diversity accumulated by Missouri Botanical Garden researchers over many years, making that knowledge usable for conservation planning and decision-making. Operating under the auspices of the Garden and as part of its division of Science and Conservation, CCSD builds upon the Garden's institutional expertise, scientific programs, influence and resources.

Summary:  Under the direction of the Associate Scientist in Conservation Biology, the Science Specialist position coordinates and conducts scientific research projects and activities related to the population dynamics of rare plants, restoration of threatened plant species, seed conservation of rare plant species, utilizing varied techniques and resources. Manages and implements scientific experiments in growth chambers and in natural communities throughout the south-central United States, including the Missouri Botanical Garden's Shaw Nature Reserve. Maintains and manages ex situ collections of rare plants and the day-to-day activities in CCSD's Plant Conservation Science Lab with or without direct supervision. Coordinates relationships with collaborative partners, governmental, and scientific agencies. Prepare technical reports and scientific publications.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Conducts and coordinates scientific research experiments and conservation projects focusing on rare plant ecology and conservation in the south-central United States. This includes field data collection, data curation (Microsoft Excel and Access), summary statistical analysis, generation of scientific graphics, and preparing technical reports and scientific publications.
  • Manages CCSD's Plant Conservation Science lab. Orders supplies, maintains laboratory equipment, and scientific experiments in growth chambers.
  • Coordinates relationships with governmental and scientific agencies to exchange population and spatial data on rare plants.
  • Manages spatial and geographic data of rare plant occurrences.
  • Coordinates, supervises, and manages work assignments for interns, students, and volunteers in the field and in the lab.
  • Ensures that ex situ collections of rare plants are processed, labeled, stored, and maintained in appropriate conditions.
  • Implement and manage GIS and GPS equipment and software, and databases of seed bank accessions, GIS data, scientific literature and information on endangered plants.
  • Demonstrates highest level of professional and ethical conduct.
  • Adheres to all health and safety guidelines.Adheres to guidelines and protocols for working with plant species listed on the Endangered Species Act.
  • Behaves and communicates in a manner that promotes and fosters a culture of teamwork and cooperation, within our division and throughout the Garden, with co-workers, supervisors/managers, volunteers, visitors and employees.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Supervisory Responsibilities:  Lead and direct work assignments for interns, students, and volunteers in the field and in the lab.


  • Change Management - Develops workable implementation plans; Communicates changes effectively; Builds commitment and overcomes resistance; Prepares and supports those affected by change; Monitors transition and evaluates results.
  • Organizational Support - Follows policies and procedures; Completes administrative tasks correctly and on time; Supports organization's goals and values; Supports affirmative action and respects diversity.
  • Strategic Thinking - Develops strategies to achieve positional goals; Understands department's strengths & weaknesses; Adapts strategy to changing conditions.
  • Innovation - Displays original thinking and creativity; Meets challenges with resourcefulness; Generates suggestions for improving work; Develops innovative approaches and ideas; Presents ideas and information in a manner that gets others' attention.
  • Motivation - Sets and achieves challenging goals; Demonstrates persistence and overcomes obstacles; Measures self against standard of excellence; Takes calculated risks to accomplish goals.
  • Judgment - Displays willingness to make decisions; Exhibits sound and accurate judgment; Supports and explains reasoning for decisions; Includes appropriate people in decision-making process; Makes timely decisions.
  • Dependability - Follows instructions, responds to management direction; Takes responsibility for own actions; Keeps commitments; Commits to additional work hours when necessary to reach goals; Completes tasks on time or notifies appropriate person with an alternate plan.
  • Oral Communication - Speaks clearly and persuasively in positive or negative situations; Listens and gets clarification; Responds well to questions; Demonstrates group presentation skills; Participates in meetings, as required.
  • Interpersonal - Focuses on solving conflict, not blaming; Maintains confidentiality; Listens to others without interrupting; Keeps emotions under control; Remains open to others' ideas and tries new things.
  • Written Communication - Writes clearly and informatively, using correct spelling and grammar; Varies writing style to meet needs; Presents numerical data effectively; Able to read and interpret written information.
  • Ethics - Treats people with respect; Keeps commitments; Inspires the trust of others; Works with integrity and ethically; Upholds organizational values.
  • Professionalism - Approaches others in a tactful manner; Reacts well under pressure; Accepts responsibility for own actions; Follows through on commitments.
  • Safety and Security - Observes safety and security procedures; Determines appropriate action beyond guidelines; Reports potentially unsafe conditions; Uses equipment and materials properly.

Scheduling flexibility to work evenings and weekends when needed.


  • Minimum of 2+ years' experience conducting field work for scientific experiments.
  • One year of experience working in plant conservation or a related field preferred
  • Strong technical skills; demonstrated ability to use Microsoft Excel.
  • Strong experience with GPS navigation units and managing spatial data.
  • Prior course work in plant systematics/taxonomy, field botany and ecology.
  • Knowledge of the south-central United States Flora and plant communities.
  • Willingness and flexibility to travel for extended periods in the region.
  • Strong organizational skills and ability to effectively multi-task.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills; demonstrated ability to communicate effectively at all levels and work with diverse teams.
  • Scheduling flexibility that allows occasionally working weekends, holidays and evenings.
  • The requirements and duties listed above are representative and do not constitute an exhaustive list of the knowledge, skill, and/or abilities required.


  • Master's degree in ecology, botany or related discipline required
  • An equivalent combination of skills, education and experience may be considered.

Computer Skills: Proficient with Microsoft Office suite (i.e., Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.). Proficient with GIS software. Solid skills to accurately perform basic statistical analyses using commercial software or R desirable.

Other Skills and Abilities: N/A

Language Skills: Ability to communicate effectively in English (oral/written)

Mathematical Skills: Proficient college math aptitude ability to work with basic statistics.

Reasoning Ability:  Requires ability to actively participate in team work; apply facts and principles for developing approaches and techniques to problem resolution; represent the interests and projects a positive image of the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Certificates, Licenses, Registrations:  Required to maintain a valid driver's license.

Physical Demands:

  • Ability to lift 35 lbs. and over.
  • Manual dexterity to use a computer keyboard for the purpose of accurately communicating, writing, and managing research data.
  • Ability to walk, stand, kneel, bend, or climb as required and move about for extended periods of time in indoor and outdoor environment.
  • May be required to perform tasks at varying heights and at high altitudes.
  • Physical fitness necessary for field studies involving multi-week hikes/rides/camping in difficult terrain at times, in inclement weather.
  • Ability to travel with others for long-periods of time in an automobile.
  • Ability to wear personal protective equipment, as needed.

Work Environment:

  • Indoor office and laboratory environment.
  • Ability to travel and work outdoors in glades, prairies, and forests in all weather conditions and stay in motels/hotels in rural areas of the south-central United States.
  • Occasional exposure and handling of laboratory chemicals according to MSD guidelines.

Contacts with Individuals/Organizations inside/outside the Garden:  Employees, Volunteers, Collaborators, Guests, International Scientists and Counterparts, Professional Organizations, Governmental Officials, and Colleges/Universities.

Missouri Botanical Garden
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