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  • Environmental Scientist II - Marsh Bird Biologist

    Patricia Risher
    • Employer: Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control/Division of Fish and Wildlife/Wildlife
      Location: 6180 Hay Point Landing Road, Smyrna, DE 19977
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 01/06/2022
      Open Until Filled: No



    The Kent Conservation District, in cooperation with the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, is seeking a Marsh Bird Biologist within the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Species Conservation and Research Program. This program is responsible for conducting research and monitoring activities on Delaware’s wildlife (plants and animals) and developing actions to protect, conserve, and promote responsible resource management of these species for wildlife related recreational and educational opportunities.

    Delaware provides critical habitat for several marsh bird species identified as Species of Greatest Conservation Need, including the federally threatened Black Rail and priority species such as the Saltmarsh Sparrow, and the Coastal Plains Swamp Sparrow. These birds use Delaware for breeding and migration and are at risk from climate change and landscape modification. The primary responsibilities of this position will be to develop and implement a marsh bird monitoring plan for the Division to monitor population trends of Delaware’s marsh birds, and to add survey locations as Delaware begins marsh restoration efforts targeted for marsh nesting birds. This position will also serve as the DFW liaison to the saltmarsh sparrow and black rail working groups within the Atlantic Coast Joint Venture and work with state and federal agencies towards conservation and restoration of Delaware’s expansive saltmarshes. The Marsh Bird Biologist may assist with other projects within Delaware as needed.


    • Develop and lead marsh bird and associated wetland habitat research and monitoring activities for Delaware.
    • This position will work directly with a program manager and coastal avian biologist that implement conservation efforts on a broad suite of avian species, including breeding and migratory shorebirds, marsh birds, and colonial water birds.
    • Collect data in the field using point counts or other field techniques, and conduct data analysis to estimate density and occupancy, species richness, and population parameters of various marsh bird species and associated upland and wetland habitats.
    • Implement actions to protect and conserve marsh birds and associated upland and wetland habitats identified in the Delaware Wildlife Action Plan.
    • Organize, process, and analyze large amounts of data.
    • Ensure data is disseminated to partners in a timely manner.
    • Provide technical assistance by performing site evaluations or assisting other staff biologists to assess habitat or species population status.
    • Provide guidance on wildlife habitat restoration and management projects on private and public lands and assist with setting land-protection priorities for conservation partners and for state agencies.
    • Supervise seasonal staff.
    • Represent the Division of Fish and Wildlife on various technical committees.
    • Salary Range:  $39,984/year + Benefits


    1. Possession of a bachelor’s degree or higher in Life, Physical, or Applied Science or related field.

    2. Six months experience in analyzing and evaluating scientific data.

    3. Six months experience in interpreting laws, rules, regulations, standards, policies, and procedures.

    4. Six months experience in using an automated information system to enter, update, modify, delete, retrieve/inquire and report on data.

    5. Six months experience in technical report writing.

    6. Applicants must be legally authorized to work in the United States. DNREC does not provide sponsorship for holders of H-1B Visas.


    1.      Six months experience conducting avian surveys and identifying birds by sight and sound, ideally focused on marsh birds.

    2.      Six months experience operating and navigating boats.

    Due to a new Interim Federal Rule (IFR) from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) the following mandate is effective Nov. 19, 2021, as a condition of employment, employees providing health care services and/or support services in covered facilities must show proof that they have received the first dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or the one-dose COVID-19 vaccine of a one-dose vaccine by December 6, 2021; or as of December 6, an employee may not provide any care, treatment, or other services until proof is provided. The IFR further requires that these employees (covered by the IFR) are required to be fully vaccinated and provide proof by January 4, 2022; or as of January 4, 2022, employees may not provide any care, treatment, or other services until proof is provided. The only exception to these requirements is for those employees granted medical or religious exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccine as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which may require weekly COVID-19 testing. This will be in effect until further notice.


    This position offers a comprehensive benefit package including: 37.5-hour work week with flexible scheduling options, 15 paid vacation days the first year, 9 paid holidays a year and 15 paid sick leave days per year.  Pension and health insurance are also included in the benefits package. Direct Deposit of paychecks will be required as a condition of employment for new employees.


    Please send (as one pdf) a cover letter expressing your interest and how you meet each of the 6 minimum qualifications, a completed Kent Conservation District application (see below), and a copy of your resume to: Delaware Division of Fish & Wildlife, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, 6180 Hay Point Landing Rd., Smyrna, DE 19977, Attn: Patricia Risher or via email to Patricia.Risher@delaware.gov by midnight EST January 7, 2022. Interviews are required and will be scheduled following the application deadline.

    Kent Conservation District application can also be found at this location: http://www.kentcd.org/EmploymentOpportunities.htm

    Contact for more information: Samantha Robinson, Program Manager for Avian Conservation at (302) 735-8667 or via e-mail at Samantha.Robinson@delaware.gov


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