The Nature Conservancy
JOB TITLE: Watershed Scientist (APPLIED SCIENTIST II)
JOB FAMILY: Science
SALARY GRADE: 7
FLSA STATUS: Exempt
LOCATION: Bethesda, Maryland
The Nature Conservancy seeks an experienced Watershed Scientist to help lead and support the implementation
of the Conservancy’s watershed-based strategies in the Chesapeake Bay basin, including improving and restoring
water quality, providing ecologically sustainable freshwater flows, and restoring connectivity among bay and
tributary habitats. The Watershed Scientist will work collaboratively with Conservancy staff and partners to
provide technical guidance and leadership in several areas, including completing environmental flow
assessments, monitoring pollution reduction from staff and partner implementation of best management practices
(BMPs), designing and evaluating stream and aquatic habitat restoration and connectivity projects, and targeting
other freshwater conservation and restoration strategies in priority watersheds. Expertise in hydrology and
aquatic ecology is essential, as is familiarity with monitoring protocols, hydrologic modeling approaches, and
statistical analysis. Ability to apply scientific findings to defining management needs and policy objectives is
critical. See bottom of this job description for details on how to apply.
Graduate degree in science-related field such as aquatic ecology, hydrology, geology, agronomy, or soil
science, and at least two to four years of related experience, or equivalent combination of education and
Experience in watershed modeling and assessment, such as approaches focused on environmental flows,
water quality, and connectivity.
Experience evaluating, synthesizing, and communicating scientific information; designing, performing,
interpreting, and communicating statistical analyses; and preparing written and verbal reports on findings.
Experience managing complex and/or multiple projects, workloads and finances under deadlines.
Experience working with Microsoft Office Suite software.
Experience working and communicating with diverse stakeholders.
The Watershed Scientist provides scientific leadership and technical support for conducting watershed
assessments, implementing freshwater conservation and restoration activities, and measuring conservation
success. S/he independently evaluates, selects, and applies best scientific methods and techniques. This may
include the following functions:
Serve as scientific and technical lead for environmental flows projects, providing strategic guidance for
project partnerships with river basin commissions and Federal and state agencies. Related functions include
providing technical support to: 1) state-level environmental flow assessments; 2) development of large river
hydro-ecological monitoring plans; 3) state-level policy initiatives related to meeting scientifically defined
environmental flow protection needs; and 4) development of environmental flow water resource advisory
Provide technical and scientific support to other staff and partners for the Conservancy’s efforts to reduce
pollution, including the targeting, design, and measurement of best management practices (BMPs), including
in agriculture, forestry, road and ditch design, etc. Provide technical input to hydraulic and hydrologic studies
of large rivers, such as assessing Susquehanna River flows to the Chesapeake Bay, modeling sediment build-
up behind Conowingo Dam, and hydrological and ecological studies related to hydropower dam
Contribute to and apply results of ongoing Chesapeake Bay stream connectivity analysis, help design related
implementation projects, and contribute to funding proposals for priority connectivity restoration projects.
Develop collaborative relationships and partnerships (e.g., with freshwater ecology and watershed science
experts in Federal, state, and local governments, academic institutions, and non-government organizations
throughout Maryland, Virginia, and the other Chesapeake Bay watershed jurisdictions) that support the
development of innovative scientific methods, analyses, tools, and frameworks, and communicate solutions
and best practices to multiple audiences.
Plan and perform fieldwork, including ecosystem assessment and field monitoring, and provide support to
other staff and partners for research, project development, monitoring, and measuring ecological outcomes.
Develop conceptual models, help develop adaptive management plans, and identify and design ecosystem
conservation strategies related to freshwater habitats and species, including identification of environmental
flow needs, aquatic habitat restoration priorities, and threat reduction actions.
REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS:
Graduate degree in science-related field and at least two to four years of related experience, or equivalent
combination of education and experience.
Knowledge of aquatic species, natural communities, ecosystems, and terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem
processes and their conservation needs, ideally in the mid-Atlantic region.
Familiarity with common watershed hydrologic, nutrient, and sediment models, and ability to select best
model for a specific application given time and data constraints.
Knowledge of current scientific trends and practices in relevant disciplines and region.
Knowledge of threats to ecological integrity, and appropriate management and policy approaches to address
them. Experience identifying and communicating policy or management alternatives related to scientific
Ability to collect, manipulate, analyze, and interpret scientific data, evaluate data quality, conduct complex
statistical analyses, and prepare reports on findings.
Ability to synthesize, interpret, and communicate scientific information to influence conservation practice.
Experience working with spatial data and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
Experience and facility with common software applications (e.g.; Word, Excel, web browsers), and ability to
use computer technology to enhance the quality of work.
Ability to manage time and diverse activities under deadlines while delivering quality results
Ability to manage complex and/or multiple projects, including directing staff and volunteers as needed, and
to coordinate external partnerships, workloads and project finances.
Ability to communicate clearly via written, spoken and graphical means in English.
Peer-reviewed publication record.
Prior field experience preferred.
Cultivates and develops creative ideas to improve conservation strategies and practices.
Anticipates, analyzes, diagnoses and solves complex ecological and hydrologic problems.
Compiles and organizes scientific data with attention to detail.
Analyzes situations, evaluates alternatives and implements solutions.
Interprets guidelines, evaluates information and modifies processes to adapt to changing circumstances.
Makes independent decisions based on analysis, experience and judgment.
Ability to act independently on assigned tasks.
RESPONSIBILITY/OVERSIGHT – FINANCIAL AND SUPERVISORY:
Designs and implements experiments relative to program area.
May supervise a small staff of scientists, technicians, interns and/or volunteers on a project basis.
May manage a grant or contract or write a request for proposal.
May negotiate and contract with vendors.
Ability to work cooperatively with a number of staff and external public and/or private parties, sometimes
under pressure and with diplomacy and political sensitivity, in order to complete project work and goals in a
Ability to influence and guide team of partners over which you have no direct authority.
Provide a variety of information to staff and others, contributing to conservation projects and assisting
workflow throughout the organization.
Work and communicate effectively with a diverse group of people, including scientists, government agency
partners, TNC staff and others, providing and obtaining needed information.
Demonstrated experience writing grants and research proposals.
Ability to simplify and explain complex scientific data to general audiences in written and verbal form.
WORKING CONDITIONS/PHYSICAL EFFORT:
The Applied Scientist II may work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous
terrain and under physically demanding circumstances. These conditions may:
require physical exertion and/or muscular strain
present possibility of injury
require long hours in isolated settings
require occasional travel domestically and/or internationally
require occasional evening and weekend hours
HOW TO APPLY
To apply for this position please visit www.nature.org/careers/, click How to Apply and then click View
Positions. You may now search for position #12958 by the position title and location. All resumes must be
submitted through The Nature Conservancy's online application. Please submit resume and cover letter as one
The online application must be completed in its entirety, including work history, education and all required
attachments, in order to be considered for a position. When using the online application, do not click the back,
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You must click submit to apply for the position. Click save if you want to be able to return to your application
and submit it later. Once submitted, applications cannot be revised or edited.
All applications must be submitted in the system prior to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on March 11, 2011.
The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer.