Posted: Feb 22, 2021

Invasive Species Management Crew Lead

Salary: $15.00 - $17.00 Hourly
Application Deadline: Mar 12, 2021
Natural Resources/Environmental


The SWxSW Corner CISMA Strike Team Crew Lead conducts invasive species management through the use of chemical and mechanical methods on public and private property ranging from highly-invaded to high-quality areas. Primary responsibilities include leading a crew member in invasive species management on predetermined sites using best management practices; helping the Strike Team Coordinator develop management plans; survey/map sites; plan and conduct surveys for the invasive insect, hemlock woolly adelgid (“HWA”, April-May only); and assist with administrative duties (as assigned). This is the first year for the SWxSW Corner CISMA Strike Team, and the Crew Lead will aid the Strike Team Coordinator in developing and implementing the team. The ideal candidate will be enthusiastic about helping develop an invasive species management team from the ground up.


The SWxSW Corner Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CISMA) is a grant-funded collaborative organization that works with regional partners to minimize the impact of invasive species in Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren Counties. The CISMA works to help citizens, land owners, and land managers understand the threats of invasive species and manage them in our area. The CISMA is housed in the Van Buren Conservation District (“VBCD”) office in Paw Paw, MI where the Strike Team will be headquartered. A work truck, trailer, and UTV will be provided by the VBCD.


Skills and Experience

  • At least two seasons of field experience
  • Background/education in Natural Resource Management, Biology, or Ecology
  • Proficient in identifying invasive plant species of the Midwest
  • Strong and proven team-player AND self-motivated worker
  • Experience mixing and applying herbicide with a backpack sprayer
  • Experience operating and maintaining a brush cutter
  • Experience with data recording, managing, and tracking
  • Ability to complete fieldwork in all types of conditions (wetlands, rivers, sand, mud, dense vegetation, rain, sun, hot, cold, etc.) while carrying equipment
  • Work under little or no supervision
  • Strong organizational, recordkeeping, and task prioritization skills
  • Strong professional communication skills (written and verbal)
  • Must have (or be able to obtain) a Michigan Commercial Pesticide Applicator License in Categories 2, 5, and 6 (Note: license fee paid for by employer, if needed)



  • Must be able to navigate off trail or in the backcountry, execute transect paths while treating invasive plants, and use a compass & map and/or GPS unit
  • Experience driving a UTV
  • Experience towing and maneuvering a hitched trailer
  • Proficient in use of Microsoft Office Suite
  • Proficient knowledge of ArcMap, ArcOnline and Garmin handheld GPS for waypoint and path management


  • Must maintain a valid driver’s license and possess a registered, insured vehicle for use during work hours, if needed (approved mileage will be reimbursed)
  • Willing to work flexible hours 


Program Implementation (90%)

  • Help Strike Team Coordinator survey sites, decide treatment details for large properties, and refine data tracking and operational systems
  • Help Strike Team Coordinator complete permit and license applications to establish the Strike Team
  • Plan and coordinate surveys for hemlock trees/HWA on public and private properties (April-May only)
  • Determine necessary supplies and equipment before visiting a site
  • Independently lead one Strike Team Crew Member in daily invasive species management
  • Drive UTV with Strike Team Crew Member and supplies/equipment through large sites
  • Clean, maintain, and keep track of Strike Team equipment and supplies
  • Follow protocols for decontamination, herbicide safety, and brushcutter safety
  • Help Strike Team Coordinator communicate with partners and landowners
  • Create maps in ArcMap/QGIS for field use or for depicting survey/treatment plans, priorities, completion, and/or current status of invasive species
  • Submit data to Strike Team Coordinator for grant reporting purposes
  • Communicates with CISMA partners and the public on invasive species both in the field and at events

Services/Other (10%)

  • Performs other assignments as required


Field work may involve traversing uneven, boggy, or steep terrain in a range of temperatures and conditions. This may require carrying equipment and materials of up to 50 pounds on strenuous hikes. The Strike Team Crew Lead must be ready and willing to work in a variety of conditions, as well as travel through the CISMA’s entire service area. During the HWA season, survey clothing must be decontaminated by using a dryer on high heat. A truck, trailer, and UTV will be provided for navigating to/through sites. Due to COVID-19, applicants should be proactive in practicing social distancing and mask wearing, and should be aware that they will share space with the Strike Team Coordinator and/or Strike Team Crew Member. Office work can be done on a work-from-home basis until it is safe to return to the office.