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Roadside Biologist (Salary as of 7/1/2023)

Posted 05/24/2023
County Polk
Location Des Moines ,Iowa
Salary $64,258.00 - $84,155.00 Annually
Deadline 06/14/2023


Under general supervision of the Water Resources Supervisor, coordinates the operations and performs labor associated with the Polk County Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management (IRVM) program.

Illustrative Examples of Work

  1. Prepares and updates a five-year Polk County Integrated Roadside & Trail Vegetation Management Plan; carries out plans, programs, and tasks outlined in the plan and updates the plan as required to maintain eligibility for Living Roadside Trust Fund grants.
  2. Performs and maintains an inventory of roadside and trail conditions, including but not limited to vegetation types, noxious weed issues, physical characteristics, safety concerns, erosion issues, and other features germane to the effective management of roadside and trail rights-of-way.
  3. Controls noxious weeds, invasive species, brush, and trees through mechanical or chemical methods, including mowing, cutting, spraying, competitive seeding, prescribed fire and/or other appropriate methods; performs manual labor as required to haul equipment and materials in trucks or trailers and cleaning up debris within rights-of-way.
  4. Performs vegetative and/or structural stabilization of areas disturbed by construction and maintenance activities within county roadside and trail rights-of-way.Helps plan, implement, and maintain green infrastructure and water quality features in rights-of-way.
  5. Leads seasonal, part-time, or volunteer staff for various types of work including but not limited to noxious weed/brush control, mowing, prescribed burning, seeding and equipment operation.
  6. Informs and educates property owners about the principles of Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management; drafts correspondence and/or educational information for the Polk County Public Works website.
  7. Represents Polk County at the annual Roadside Conference and other meetings related to roadside vegetation management. Service in leadership positions of related organizations is encouraged, but not required.
  8. Coordinates with Public Works management personnel to identify and apply for grants and other cost-sharing opportunities.
  9. Operates assigned equipment skillfully, safely and in conformance with regulations and directions; performs preventative maintenance on assigned equipment. 
  10. Trains employees in the operation of specified equipment as needed; ensures the proper use of safety devices, equipment, and signage on work projects. 
  11. Assists Public Works and Conservation crews with tasks and projects, including snow removal operations, as needed.
  12. Performs related duties as assigned.

Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Knowledge of basic mechanical principles.
  • Knowledge of the safe operation of equipment.
  • Knowledge of advanced methods and techniques in vegetation establishment, management and control.
  • Knowledge of advanced principles and practices of noxious weed control and the safe use of pesticides.
  • Knowledge of elementary engineering principles and practices involved in road and trail maintenance and construction.
  • Knowledge of green infrastructure and water quality principles and practices.
  • Knowledge of advanced erosion control principles.
  • Knowledge of basic GIS applications for tracking practices (e. g. spraying), roadside infrastructure, and other features/uses.
  • General knowledge of grant funding processes. 
  • Skill in the identification of trees, shrubs, grasses, wildflowers, noxious weeds and invasive plant species.
  • Skill in the operation of medium to heavy trucks, trailers, tractors and attachments, mowers, chainsaws, chippers, lift/boom trucks, skid steers, hand & power tools and other equipment used in vegetation management.
  • Skill in record keeping for seeding, spraying and other operations.
  • Skill in operating spraying equipment and utilizing herbicides appropriately and safely.
  • Ability to effectively plan and lead projects designed to address roadside vegetation and natural resource management needs.
  • Ability to efficiently use a personal computer and Microsoft Office programs.
  • Ability to communicate effectively verbally and in writing.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with co-workers, vendors, landowners, other agency representatives, and the general public using courtesy, patience, and tact.
  • Ability to lift up to 75 pounds. 
  • Ability to intermittently sit, stand, stoop, bend, crouch and walk. 
  • Ability to climb, use tools requiring high degree of dexterity, distinguish shades of color, and utilize sense of smell.
  • Ability to work outdoors in all types of weather and tolerate exposure to dust, dirt, grease, chemicals, poisonous plants, machinery with moving part and other hazards while wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, goggle, gloves, etc.

Training and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a major in natural resource management, AND
  • Two years’ experience in vegetation management, OR
  • Any equivalent combination of training and experience that will have provided the required knowledge, skills, and abilities.

Special Requirements:

  • Candidate must pass a post-employment offer physical examination and Physical Capacity testing to ensure candidate meets the essential physical requirements of the position.
  • A criminal background check is required.
  • A drug screen is required prior to final offer of employment.
  • CPR/AED and First Aid training is required within three months of hire.
  • Iowa Pesticide Applicators Certifications in Categories 2 (forestry) and 6 (right of way) per Code of Iowa Sections 206.4 and 206.5 is required within six months of hire.
  • A valid State of Iowa driver’s license is required. A Class A Commercial Driver’s License issued by the State of Iowa for the type of vehicle or equipment operated is required within six months of hire.
  • Completion of National Wildland Coordinating Group (NWCG) coursework including S-130, S-190 and L-180 is required within six months of hire.

Candidate selected for hire will not start until 7/1/2023 or after.

Training and Experience
Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a major in natural resource management, AND
Two years’ experience in vegetation management, OR
Any equivalent combination of training and experience that will

To Apply

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