Ecologist SME/Coordinator

La Crosse, WI
Work Type: Remote
  • Job Category: Life, Physical & Social Science
  • Travel: Yes, 25 % of the Time
  • Clearance: Not Applicable
  • Shift: Day Job
  • Req ID: ASE00609

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Job Summary:

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP) is a long-term program of navigation improvements and ecosystem restoration for the upper Mississippi River and Illinois Waterway System. The plan includes large scale navigation measures, small scale navigation measures, nonstructural navigation measures, large scale fish passage and dam point control measures, and a programmatic authorization for various ecosystem restoration projects.

Like other large rivers, the Upper Mississippi River System (UMRS) serves a diversity of roles. The UMRS is one of this Nation's unique natural resources. The UMRS provides commercial and recreational fishing, floodplain agriculture, drinking water for many communities, an important bird migration pathway, a variety of recreational activities, and a navigation system that transports much of the country's agricultural exports.

The NESP requires substantial inter-agency collaboration to plan, design, implement, and evaluate effective ecosystem restoration projects. NESP involves personnel from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Headquarters, Mississippi Valley Division and three Districts (St. Paul, Rock Island, and St. Louis)); other Federal agencies (such as the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service); and the five Upper Midwest States (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri).

Akima is hiring a SME/NESP Coordinator to be involved in collaborative work across broad, multi-agency partnerships including federal and state agencies mainly in the field of restoration ecology. We are seeking a candidate with experience in collaborative work across broad, multi-agency partnerships, science translation (i.e., translate science to management applications, especially ecosystem restoration), identifying interdisciplinary science needs, and oral and written communication to various groups. Experience in adaptive management and previous work in large rivers are a plus.

Under the guidance of the Supervisory Ecologist, the coordinator will participate in planning, design, and adaptive management of NESP projects. This will include 1) planning and designing studies to address critical uncertainties hindering restoration of the UMRS and to assess the effects of NESP projects on the river ecosystem, 2) contributing to regional programmatic efforts related to NESP, 3) providing scientific leadership on research and monitoring in the UMRS in support of the implementation of NESP, 4) providing scientific and programmatic expertise to implement adaptive management through a shared approach across agencies to define system goals and objectives, 5) identifying critical data needs and sources, and 6) developing adaptive management strategies for NESP projects.

Job Rsponsibilities:

  • Provide scientific and programmatic expertise to leadership to develop and implement adaptive management strategies for NESP projects through a shared approach with states/agencies to define system goals and objectives.

  • Identify critical data needs and sources.

  • Assist in development of conceptual models and data collection, management, and analysis.

  • Provide scientific and technical expertise and identify/communicate USGS perspective related to the identification, selection, implementation (planning, design, construction), and evaluation of systemic mitigation, cultural resource mitigation, and habitat restoration and rehabilitation projects.

  • Work across existing partnership structures to identify, synthesize, and address science needs.

  • Participate in NESP deliberations of policy, budget, and programmatic related matters.

  • Participate in strategic planning for key elements of the program (e.g., project selection discussions, adaptive management, cultural resource mitigation, systemic mitigation).

  • Evaluate issues facing the UMRS and define potential options to resolve them or ways to advance solutions.

  • Engage leadership and technical staff to develop positions and carry-forward implementation responsibilities.

  • Coordinate with Project Delivery Teams (or similar).

  • Assist in developing and implementing communications strategies and initiatives through agency channels.

  • Review Project Implementation Reports and NESP Design pamphlets and fact sheets.

  • Attend NESP conference calls and meetings including Coordinating Committee meetings and River Teams meetings.

  • Attend Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program Long-Term Resource Monitoring element programmatic meetings and Long-Term Resource Monitoring Branch meetings to facilitate collaboration and identify opportunities for collaboration and cooperation between programs.

  • This position is located at the Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center (UMESC) in La Crosse, WI. The coordinator will be expected to travel occasionally throughout the work period for project site visits, partner meetings, scientific meetings and conferences. Travel is estimated to occur 1-2 times per month.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Masters or equivalent graduate degree in ecology, biology, environmental/ecological restoration, or other directly related field if it provides the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to do the work.

  • 1-2 years’ experience in the following: 1) planning and designing studies to address critical uncertainties hindering restoration of local to regional areas and to assess the effects of environmental/ecological restoration projects on riverine ecosystems, 2) contributing to regional programmatic efforts related to large-scale restoration projects, 3) providing scientific leadership on research and monitoring in the local to regional areas in support of the implementation of restoration.

  • Able to obtain and maintain the equivalent of a Public Trust.

  • Able to travel 1-2 times a month for meetings (some would be local travel).

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