Aquatic Ecologist

Dept Fish Wildlife Env Law Enf - Westborough, MA

Full-time$66,000 - $96,000 a year
The Massachusetts Department of Fish & Game works to preserve the state's natural resources and people's right to conservation of those resources, as protected by Article 97 of the Massachusetts Constitution. To carry out this mission, the Department exercises responsibility over the Commonwealth's marine and freshwater fisheries, wildlife species, plants, and natural communities, as well as the habitats that support them.

The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW) is responsible for the conservation - including restoration, protection and management - of fish and wildlife resources for the benefit and enjoyment of the public.

The Department of Fish and Game, Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, seeks applicants for the Aquatic Ecologist (Conservation Biologist IV). The Aquatic Ecologist implements inventory, research, and management programs to conserve the Commonwealth’s endangered, threatened, and special concern aquatic invertebrate and fish species, and compiles and analyzes data on the distribution of the state’s aquatic invertebrate and fish fauna, especially its rare and endangered species. The Aquatic Ecologist works with the Fisheries Section of the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, and other partners to implement ecosystem based conservation projects at key aquatic biodiversity sites with the Commonwealth.

Specific Duties include:
Works with partners to manage, protect, and research vulnerable aquatic ecosystems; develop and implement aquatic habitat and population management programs with emphasis on state-listed aquatic invertebrates.
Complies and analyzes data on rare aquatic invertebrate populations and habitats, and applies data to maintaining and updating the Commonwealth’s rare species list; reviews and evaluates individual aquatic invertebrate species for appropriateness of inclusion on or deletion from the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act (MESA) list; researches taxonomy as necessary; develops listing criteria; screens rare aquatic invertebrate species observation records for accuracy and completeness before acceptance into NHESP databases; and prepares species habitat maps for aquatic invertebrate species.
Plans, supervises, and /or conducts field surveys and scientific investigations of populations of endangered, threatened, and special concern aquatic invertebrate species; oversees and administers short-term aquatic invertebrate research and inventory projects to be contracted-out; hires and supervises seasonal staff to assist in biological surveys and research as needed; analyzes conservation research and inventory results and prepares studies, technical reports, and scientific papers for publication.
Applies knowledge of the abundance, distribution, ecology, and management needs of rare aquatic invertebrates through participation in regulatory reviews, land protection and ecological restoration planning, and in other DFW/NHESP projects.
Develops and maintains professional relationships with habitat land managers, the environmental and scientific communities; develops and implements conservation partnerships to advance aquatic invertebrate conservation; interacts professionally with biologists at the state, regional, and nation level; coordinates efforts with the DFW Fisheries Section.
Prepares and delivers presentations, develops informational material, and conducts other targeted education and outreach to increase awareness of the status and conservation needs of the biodiversity of the Commonwealth; works with DFW/NHESP administrators to seek and obtain funding and/or other material support for aquatic invertebrate conservation.

Preferred Qualifications:
M.S. or Ph.D. in Biology, Ecology, or related discipline.
Extensive knowledge of the principles and practices of aquatic ecology, fish biology, invertebrate biology and biological conservation.

Thorough knowledge of the identification, ecology, and habitat requirements of a component of the aquatic invertebrate fauna of the Northeastern U.S. (especially rare species) and some knowledge of the geography and eco-regions of Massachusetts.

Detailed knowledge of rare species, their habitat requirements, and survey methodology for two or more of the following taxonomic groups: Native Freshwater Mussels (Unionoida), Freshwater Fishes, Native Freshwater Snails, Odonates.

Working knowledge of the principals of aquatic ecology including one or more of the following subdisciplines: stream ecology, limnology, large river ecology, ecohydrology, and/or fluvial geomorphology.

Interest and/or ability to conduct taxonomic or habitat surveys using mask & snorkel and/or SCUBA.

Experience and ability to work productively in the Microsoft Office Suite, and ArcGIS.

Demonstrated experience and familiarity with statistical analysis of ecological and biological data, and experience in the use of a statistical programming language (i.e., R, Python).

Demonstrated experience with GIS technology and ability to read topographic maps.

Experience with or knowledge of NatureServe/Natural Heritage methodology.

Ability to speak and write clearly and effectively.

Ability to deal effectively with a diverse group of individuals.

Willingness to travel extensively throughout the state, and to work in the field under adverse weather conditions.

A cover letter and resume must be submitted as part of the application process and attached “as relevant” to the requisition.


First consideration will be given to those applicants that apply within the first 14 days.

Applicants must have at least (A) five years of full-time, or equivalent part-time, professional, paraprofessional or technical experience in work involving the protection, preservation and/or management of endangered and protected species, of which (B) at least three years must have been in a professional capacity and of which (C) at least two years must have been in a supervisory capacity, or (D) any equivalent combination of the required experience and the substitutions below.

I. A Bachelors degree with a major in zoology, botany, ornithology or herpetology, may be substituted for a maximum of two years of the required (A) experience on the basis of two years of education for one year of experience.*

II. A Graduate degree with a major in zoology, botany, ornithology, or herpetology, may be substituted for one year of the required (A) experience on the basis of two years of education for one year of experience.*

  • Education toward such a degree will be prorated on the basis of the proportion of the requirements actually completed.
NOTE: Substitutions will not be permitted for the required (C) experience.

Based on assignment, possession of a current and valid Massachusetts Class D Motor Vehicle Operator's license may be required.

An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. Females, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.

Official Title: Conservation Biologist IV
Primary Location: United States-Massachusetts-Westborough-Rabbit Hill Road
Job: Science
Agency: Department of Fish And Game
Schedule: Full-time
Shift: Day
Job Posting: Jun 12, 2019, 10:37:42 AM
Number of Openings: 1
Salary: 65,946.66 - 96,327.40 Yearly
If you have Diversity, Affirmative Action or Equal Employment Opportunity questions or need a Reasonable Accommodation, please contact Diversity Officer / ADA Coordinator: Johanna Zabriskie - 617-626-1599
Bargaining Unit: 09-MOSES - Engineers/Scientists
Confidential: No