Mammal Community EcologistColumbia MO
The Mammal Community Ecologist’s principle responsibilities are to provide statewide mammal expertise for the Natural Heritage Program in the Resource Science Division’s Heritage Unit, focusing on mammal species of conservation concern and mammal communities; collaborate with the Wildlife Diversity Coordinator and other program managers on wildlife diversity and mammal community topics; serve as co-principle investigator on a spotted skunk and gray fox research study on Missouri populations; collaborate with the furbearer biologist on furbearer population and regulatory recommendations; assist the State Wildlife Veterinarian on wildlife health topics, projects and policy development; and provide strategies and plans to recover and/or maintain resilient populations of terrestrial wildlife species.
Essential Job Duties
- Serve as a statewide expert on mammal species of conservation concern, mammal diversity, furbearers, and wildlife ecology topics as related to mammal communities.
- Work independently and collaboratively with animal resource scientists, Natural Heritage Database Coordinator, and resource managers from the Department and individuals from other partner agencies to develop, maintain and use scientific information on mammal species of conservation concern and mammal communities within Missouri’s ecoregions, and maintain current information on mammals in the Natural Heritage Database.
- In cooperation and collaboration with Resource Science Division staff, personnel from other Divisions, and university and partner researchers, develop, design, budget and conduct statistically sound research, monitoring and survey projects of Missouri’s mammals and mammal communities, and other wildlife diversity topics, including wildlife community management evaluation projects.
- Collaborate with the Department’s furbearer biologist and university researchers to conduct a study to assess mesocarnivore distribution, occupancy and relative abundance, with a focus on plains spotted skunk and prairie gray fox in Missouri, and to aid in species status assessments.
- Assist the Department’s furbearer biologist with certain furbearer population/harvest management and regulatory recommendations.
- Assist the State Wildlife Veterinarian on wildlife health issues and policy development.
- Solicit, collect, organize, evaluate, prepare, and populate data for database entry, and incorporate information into various databases such as the Natural Heritage Database and State Mammal Database.
- Create statistically sound research study designs, and conduct research and surveys.
- Train and educate staff and partners on animal identification and sampling, and the use of and interpretation of Natural Heritage and State Mammal databases and other databases, through workshops and training sessions.
- Monitor listing status of animal species, coordinate and prepare species status assessments, and work collaboratively with the Wildlife Diversity Coordinator and other specialists on information needs for Endangered Species Act listings and other wildlife diversity topics,
- Lead or participate on species recovery teams and species advisory groups relating to endangered animals and other animal species of conservation concern.
- Assist Wildlife Division coordinators with updating and maintaining the State Wildlife Action Plan.
- Review and approve/deny Wildlife Collector’s Permit applications.
- Participate and/or lead Missouri Department of Conservation Strategic Plan strategies associated with the Natural Heritage Database, species of conservation concern and furbearers.
- Develop working relationships with academic and partner agency researchers and managers to help enhance delivery of conservation projects.
- Prepare various technical and non-technical presentations and publications for scientific journals, papers, posters, pamphlets, websites, and popular articles.
- Develop, administer, coordinate, and implement policies, surveys, protocols and projects.
- Recruit, hire, train, supervise, and evaluate staff, including potential seasonal crews.
- Participate in budget, contract, and federal aid and/or other grant proposal preparation.
- Respond to oral and written requests for information.
Ancillary Job Duties
- Serve on internal and external regular and special committees, including Department’s Wildlife Diversity Team, Natural Heritage Program Team, and Wildlife Disease Team.
- Participate in agency-wide priority projects and initiatives as needed.
- Other duties as assigned.
Education and Experience
- Master’s Degree in Wildlife Science, Wildlife Management, Biological Sciences, or related.
- At least three (3) years of relevant professional experience.
- Must maintain a valid, current driver's license.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
- Advanced animal taxonomy knowledge.
- Familiarity with statistical analysis.
- Ability to define a problem, analyze relevant information, and develop solutions and plans to solve the problem.
- Ability to maintain focus and intensity, and remain optimistic and persistent even under adversity.
- Ability to develop and sustain cooperative working relationships.
- Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written.
- Ability to make independent decisions and act quickly and decisively on the determined course of action.
- Ability to handle multiple, diverse tasks of a complex nature and employ good time management techniques.
- Ability to travel overnight and work varying hours and shifts
- Strong knowledge of Missouri’s mammalian fauna and ecology is preferred.
- Familiarity with a variety of animal sampling techniques including sampling diverse mammal communities, rare species and furbearers.
- Training in and experience with Natural Heritage Program procedures and wildlife diversity programs.
- Ability to apply critical thinking to common management evaluations for designing studies that reduce uncertainties and produce an Adaptive Resources Management approach to conservation issues.
- Regularly work in outdoor environments where hot, cold, wet and/or humid conditions exist.
- Remain in a stationary position up to 70% of the time.
- Move about grounds, both inside and outside of buildings.
- Constantly operate a computer and other office productivity machinery.
- Frequently communicate and exchange accurate information.
- Clarity of vision and three-dimensional vision.
- Regularly lift up to 5 pounds, correctly lift up to 50 pounds.
- Regular attendance is a necessary and essential function.
This job description is not intended to be all-inclusive; an employee will also perform other reasonably related job responsibilities as assigned by immediate supervisor and other management as required. The Missouri Department of Conservation reserves the right to revise or change job duties as the need arises. This job description does not constitute a written or implied contract of employment. Management reserves the right to change job descriptions, job duties, functions, and requirements.