Forest Ecologist

Forest Ecologist in Bozeman, MT

Position Classification: Exempt Grade 5

Salary Range: Competitive

Reporting Relationship: Director of Ecology

Starting Date: July 1, 2009

Position Summary (General Description): The Wilderness Society seeks an ecologist with experience in natural resource issues and an interest in restoration to join its Ecology & Economics Research Department as part of an interdisciplinary regional conservation team working to protect Montana’s wildlands. This is an exceptional opportunity for a conservation scientist interested in applying his or her scientific expertise to real world land management challenges and working at the nexus between science and public policy. We seek an applied ecologist to synthesize and analyze existing scientific information, develop new information, and translate these ideas into a format that will influence federal land management decisions in Montana and federal policies.

Founded in 1935, The Wilderness Society seeks to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. We work from a foundation in science and through collaborations with local and regional and national conservation partners to achieve protection and improved stewardship of (primarily) federally owned wildlands in the United States. In addition to the two overarching goals of increased wildland designation and improved stewardship of public wildlands, we pay particular to three issues affecting wildland health and management: climate change; energy; and recreation.

The principal role of the scientist in this position is to develop and deliver scientific understanding of the ecosystems of the Northern Rockies in order to strengthen conservation practices on federal lands managed by the Forest Service. This position will be a critical part of our multidisciplinary team with expertise in economics, landscape analysis, communications, outreach, organizing and advocacy. The ecologist provides the foundation for science-based advocacy in Montana and the broader Northern Rockies, as well as contributing to the overall efforts of our Ecology and Economics Research Department.

The ecologist will be involved in numerous aspects of The Wilderness Society’s program, but project work will be centered on the development of ecological information needed to shape the Forest Service’s decisions regarding forest restoration, management and protection. . The ecologist will lead the development of ecological information relevant to restoring watersheds and forest ecosystems, habitat fragmentation, and wildland fire management. Analyses will help quantify values, threats, and develop restoration solutions.

The ideal candidate has substantial scientific experience post graduate school, experience with land conservation issues and policies, expertise in Northern Rockies ecosystems, outstanding communication skills, and a proven ability to translate ecological information into public policy and land management recommendations. This is a senior science level position within The Wilderness Society and compensation is competitive with university and governmental science programs.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Work closely with research department, regional conservation, and stewardship climate change, and other program staff to develop and integrate scientific program priorities into the campaign to influence forest management in Montana national forests;
  • Design and develop scientific analyses that bring ecological information, including results from spatial analyses, to bear on forest restoration and protection plans for priority areas in Montana;
  • Develop scientific reports, white papers, peer-reviewed papers and science and policy briefs needed to build the scientific case for protection, restoration, and good stewardship of wildlands;
  • Help develop policy recommendations based on scientific data;
  • Analyze select federal land management plans, policies, and environmental impact statements to assess ecological impacts on Montana wildlands;
  • Communicate research, analytical findings, and policy recommendations to government agencies, elected officials, conservation partners, and other audiences;
  • Share scientific findings and related policy recommendations with the media;
  • Where appropriate, use scientific research and information from Montana to help influence national level policy issues;
  • Support development of funding proposals;
  • Manage contract research, internships, and other means of augmenting analytical capacity; and
  • Travel to attend short-duration meetings, give presentations, and visit specific project sites

Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in forestry, ecology, wildlife biology, landscape ecology or related field;
  • Passion for and commitment to wildland conservation;
  • Familiarity with Northern Rockies ecosystems;
  • Working knowledge of GIS concepts and principles;
  • Knowledge of conservation issues on western public lands and how they relate to natural resource management and federal public land policy;
  • Understanding of federal environmental laws;
  • Ability to work with the media, elected officials, and the public;
  • Exceptional communication skills and demonstrated ability to translate complex ecological information into terms that can be understood by a non-scientific audience;
  • Ability to think strategically and develop conservation advocacy programs;
  • Ability to work with diverse stakeholders and interact in a group setting;
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently, think creatively, and write convincingly

This position is available July 1, 2009 and is located in our Bozeman office. The Wilderness Society is an equal opportunity employer. The Wilderness Society offers a competitive compensation and benefits package.

Application review will begin in early-May and applications will be accepted until the position is filled. To apply please submit a cover letter explaining your qualifications for this position, resume, samples of both technical and popular writing in relevant fields, and names, addresses, phone numbers of three references to:

Forest Ecologist Search
The Wilderness Society
1615 M Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
email: research_jobs@tws.org