Employment Opportunity

Conservation Biologist Opportunity

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TITLE: Conservation Biologist
REPORTS TO: Executive Director
HOURS: Full Time Salaried

Betty Ford Alpine Gardens is the highest botanical garden in North America. Our mission is to “deepen understanding and promote conservation of alpine plants and fragile mountain environments”. Based at 8,200 ft in the beautiful ski resort of Vail, Colorado the garden is uniquely positioned to be a leader in alpine plant conservation. With over 100,000 visitors each year this small professional organization is dedicated to providing excellence in its gardens, education programs, and conservation research.

Basic responsibilities:

Coordinates the development of Betty Ford Alpine Gardens (BFAG) conservation efforts, focusing on the North American Botanic Garden Strategy for Alpine Plant Conservations (Alpine Strategy).  Biologist will work closely with the small team at the Gardens in all aspects of conservation including education initiatives, networking, and representing the Gardens in local and national conservation efforts.

Essential Job Responsibilities:

  • Develop conservation programs at BFAG that further the objectives of the Alpine Strategy.
  • Coordinate in-situ and ex-situ conservation projects. Establish new projects when and where appropriate. Participate in any ongoing monitoring projects and develop new as needed. Ensure that methods and results are documented and reported.
  • Develop appropriate projects for scientific research and funding through grant support.
  • Manage interns and volunteers as required.
  • Manage project budgets
  • Respond to inquiries from public and other agencies and organizations.
  • Participate in all facets of alpine plant research cooperative projects with other conservation and research groups and government agencies.
  • Promote public awareness through lectures and teaching about alpine plant conservation.
  • Keep abreast of trends and developments in field, apply appropriate changes, attend technical meetings
  • Coordinate and lead fieldwork for appropriate projects, including managing crews.

Other Job Responsibilities:

  • Assist BFAG staff in writing information for educational programs or displays.
  • Assist with presentations, tours and classes.
  • Work with all staff to assure highest quality experience for all BFAG visitors.
  • Maintain satisfactory working relationships with all staff.
  • Maintain a positive, helpful and solution oriented demeanor when responding to or serving members and visitors.
  • Perform other duties as a member of the small team, as requested by management.


  • Language Skills:  Ability to read, analyze, and interpret common scientific and technical journals.  Ability to respond to questions from visitors, regulatory agencies, or members of the business community.  Ability to prepare presentations and articles for publication that conform to prescribed style and format.  Ability to effectively present information to top management, public groups, and/or boards of directors. 
  • Mathematical Skills:  Ability to apply advanced mathematical concepts as required to analyze research data.  Ability to apply mathematical operations to such tasks as frequency distribution, determination of test reliability and validity, analysis of variance, correlation techniques, sampling theory, and factor analysis.
  • Reasoning Skills:  Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions.


Master’s degree or at least 3 years’ experience in the field of botany, conservation biology, ecology, pollination biology, soil ecology, environmental sciences or related area. Basic knowledge of botanical nomenclature and plant systematics is essential. Database design and management, global position systems (GPS), geographic information systems (GIS), are desirable. Experience acquiring funding and the management of budgets a plus. Must possess strong communication skills, both written and spoken, needs excellent time management skills, and good interpersonal skills. Must be able to work comfortably outdoors in the mountain environment.

Must have a valid driver’s license and an acceptable driving record.

Competitive salary offered based on skills and experience, plus a full benefit package including health and dental insurance, retirement plan, disability insurance.

To apply use the form below or send cover letter and resume to Executive Director, Nicola Ripley

Click or drag files to this area to upload. You can upload up to 4 files.
You may also send a resume and cover letter to nick@bettyfordalpinegardens for Horticulture and for Education to

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