Aquatic Ecologist position at The Nature Conservancy of Washington

The position will be open until December 14 and can be found on TNC’s careers website. Attached is a shorter form of the job description, which can be circulated at will. Below is a brief description of the essential functions, duties, and qualifications for the position:



The Nature Conservancy’s Washington Chapter seeks an Aquatic Ecologist to provide scientific and technical leadership for the Conservancy’s conservation projects in Washington. S/he will lead projects that emphasize conservation and restoration of freshwater and aquatic habitats and improvements to water quality in urban, agricultural, and forested settings. S/he develops and leverages networks of external scientific colleagues who provide peer review, and deliver information, research capacity, models, and decision support tools for conservation. To export the Conservancy’s knowledge and attract peer review s/he writes scientific papers and articles for publication, and presents at conferences and other meetings. S/he will represent the Conservancy and conservation science with a wide variety of private, local, state, and federal conservation partners and stakeholders and will be capable of developing and maintaining productive relationships within politically charged environments.


The Aquatic Ecologist is a member of the Washington Program’s Science Team and is supervised by the Puget Sound Conservation Director. S/he works closely with the Directors of Forest and Marine Conservation in Washington and functions as a team member for the Puget Sound, Marine and Forest conservation programs.  This is a full-time position located in either Seattle or potentially in Mt. Vernon, Cle Elum, Yakima, Wenatchee, or Olympia, WA.



  • Developing restoration strategies to integrate upland, instream, floodplain, and nearshore salmon habitat restoration for use by land management stakeholder collaboratives in coastal, central, and eastern Washington.
  • Engage on collaborative projects with Puget Sound agricultural and shellfish partners to implement best management practices (BMPs) to improve water quality and improve salmon habitat.
  • Developing and implementing a social-ecological framework for prioritizing and tracking progress of actions that address critical water quality issues, including urban stormwater management, in Washington.
  • Providing analysis and input on the anticipated conservation benefits and impacts for aquatic/freshwater systems of forest acquisitions and forest management plans and prescriptions.
  • Developing and maintaining a strong network of collaborators and contacts.
  • Writing proposals and project reports, and effectively managing multiple grants and contracts.



  • Graduate degree in ecology, aquatic or fishery sciences, hydrology, environmental science or a related field and 2 years related experience or equivalent combination of education and experience. Ph.D. in ecology, aquatic or fishery sciences, hydrology, environmental science preferred.
  • Demonstrated interest and ability to work across a diverse range of subject areas in aquatic ecology.
  • Knowledge of climate-related drivers for watershed planning, policy, and management.
  • Commitment to practical solutions to conservation challenges. Experience designing and conducting applied field research and/or spatial analyses to inform immediate and long-term conservation actions.
  • Proven ability to work effectively with a wide range of people, including government agencies, partner organizations, local constituencies, and Conservancy volunteers and staff. Strong team ethic required.
  • Ability to communicate complex scientific information to a lay audience, including media (print, radio and television) and the general public.
  • Experience manipulating, analyzing, and explaining spatial data.
  • Moderate to strong proficiency with GIS, including ability to use basic spatial analysis tools, configure map layer symbologies, and manipulate tabular data.
  • Knowledge and appreciation of the people, cultures, values, and current conservation issues in the Northwest.
  • Experience managing time and diverse activities under deadlines while delivering quality results. Strong organizational skills.
  • Record of peer reviewed publications in scientific journals.


Please refer questions to Jodie Toft (; 206-436-6207) or Ryan Haugo (; 509-248-6672).


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