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  • Natural Resources Specialist Senior - Wildlife Research Biologist

    Nicole Davros
    • Employer: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
      Location: Madelia, MN or Rosemount, MN with opportunity to telework
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 01/10/2022
      Open Until Filled: No

    Job Class: Natural Resources Specialist Senior - Wildlife Research

    Working Title: Wildlife Research Biologist

    • Job ID: 51103
    • Who May Apply: Open to all qualified job seekers
    • Date Posted: 12/14/2021
    • Closing Date: 01/10/2022
    • Hiring Agency/Seniority Unit: Department of Natural Resources
    • Division/Unit: Fish and Wildlife / Region 4 / Madelia
    • Work Shift/Work Hours: Day Shift; 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
    • Days of Work: Monday - Friday
    • Travel Required: Yes
    • Salary Range: $24.63 - $36.12/hourly; $51,427 - $75,418/annually
    • Classified Status: Classified
    • Bargaining Unit/Union: 214 - MN Assoc of Professional Empl/MAPE
    • Work Location: Madelia, MN or Rosemount, MN with opportunity to telework
    • Employment Condition: Unlimited, Full-Time
    • FLSA Status: Exempt
    • Connect 700 Program Eligible: Yes

    Job Summary

    The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) provides outdoor recreation activities and manages Minnesota’s natural resources to create economic opportunity and a sustainable quality of life. We are driven to find talented, innovative employees to help us carry out this mission.

    The DNR is currently seeking a Wildlife Research Biologist to support the Farmland Wildlife Populations and Research Group (hereafter, FaWPRG) in Minnesota’s farmland landscape. This position assists the Upland Game Project Leader/Research Scientist 2 (hereafter, RS2), who provides overall direction for the FaWPRG’s upland game research program. The biologist collaborates with the RS2, the FaWPRG Supervisor, and other FaWPRG scientists by: 1) planning, executing, and reporting original research on upland game populations (particularly ring-necked pheasants and wild turkeys) and their habitats statewide; 2) evaluating the impacts that wildlife management policies, government farm programs, and changing land-use practices have on upland game and other farmland species; 3) developing and evaluating new techniques to assess and manage upland game populations; 4) disseminating advanced technical expertise to Wildlife staff, other natural resource professionals, and the public; and 5) representing the Department in public.

    Responsibilities include:

    1. Perform all job responsibilities in a manner that supports a healthy, safe, and productive work environment for all employees. Encourage a diverse workplace, treat others with respect, and contribute to work groups. Support the overall mission of the Department.
    2. Assist the RS2 with identifying and designing independent and original research and population monitoring projects concerning the ecology, conservation, and management of upland game, especially ring-necked pheasants and wild turkeys, and their habitats in Minnesota to increase scientific knowledge, improve management effectiveness, and conserve the resources.
    3. Plan, organize, implement, and direct research and population monitoring projects using appropriate research and sampling techniques so study objectives are met, hypotheses are tested, and conclusions are drawn that are statistically and scientifically valid.
    4. Prepare technical and popular research reports and oral presentations for dissemination to technical, public, and media clientele that state the project rationale and techniques, basic results, and the interpretation and application of these data within the context of existing knowledge.
    5. Present data and/or provide technical assistance to committees and other professional and non-professional clientele in verbal and written form so they can make and implement sound management decisions regarding the conservation and management of upland game birds and their habitats.
    6. Advance wildlife science in Minnesota by remaining current in wildlife and other biological sciences, statistical design and analyses, computer applications, technology relevant to wildlife research and management, and peer collaborations.

    Minimum Qualifications

    • A Master’s degree in wildlife ecology or closely related field, and two (2) years of professional (post-graduation) wildlife research experience; or a PhD in wildlife ecology or closely related field.
    • Knowledge of wildlife ecology and conservation, including habitat management and regulated harvest.
    • Experience designing, organizing, and conducting management-oriented wildlife research.
    • Experience conducting many phases of field work including capturing and handling of wildlife, terrestrial radiotelemetry, wildlife surveys, and vegetation surveys.
    • Computer proficiency, including knowledge of databases, spreadsheets, and statistical programs sufficient to manage data input, retrieval and compilation, maintain databases, and train others to use these systems.
    • Knowledge of statistics sufficient to interpret and analyze ecological data properly.
    • Experience using ArcGIS and R.
    • Experience communicating orally and in written form with diverse audiences, including both lay and peer groups, sufficient to document and disseminate completed research results.
    • Capability to operate and maintain a variety of equipment including traps and nets designed for capturing birds, telemetry equipment, ATVs/UTVs, and trailers.
    • Ability to work in adverse weather and environmental conditions such as heat, rain/humidity, extreme cold, and being exposed to ticks and biting insects.
    • Ability to work effectively and courteously with people.
    • Experience leading the work of others.
    • Experience preparing final reports, including authoring and publishing of scientific journal articles.
    • Communication skills sufficient to maintain exemplary relationships with Minnesota wildlife managers and answer relevant research questions.

    Preferred Qualifications

    • PhD in wildlife ecology or a closely related area.
    • Research experience in avian ecology, particularly field-based research with upland game birds, wild turkeys, or grassland songbirds.
    • Research and/or management experience with grassland wildlife and their habitats.
    • Demonstrated proficiency with Program R and ArcGIS.
    • Experience with radiotelemetry projects, including operating traps and nets designed for capturing birds, fitting radio collars, and responding to and investigating mortality events.
    • Knowledge of methods for estimating parameters of animal populations.
    • Experience in the design, collection, and analysis of quantitative human dimensions surveys to assess hunter harvest and attitudes.
    • Knowledge of Midwest Farm Bill programs.
    • Publication of research results in the peer-reviewed literature, including at least 1 manuscript in review, in press, or already published in a wildlife management-oriented or applied focus journal.
    • Successful participation in the State of Minnesota Star of the North Fellowship program.

    Physical Requirements

    Occasionally lifting such as 50-pound bags of feed maximum and frequently lifting and/or carrying objects such as heavy tools and file boxes. This job may require walking or standing to a significant degree on rough terrain or may involve sitting most of the time with pushing and pulling of arm and/or leg controls.

    Additional Requirements

    This position requires an unrestricted Class D Driver’s License with a clear driving record.

    It is policy of the Department of Natural Resources that all candidates submit to a background check prior to employment. All job offers are contingent upon passing the following components:

    1. Employment Reference Check
    2. SEMA4 Records Check
    3. Criminal History Check
    4. Education/license verification

    Why Work For Us

    Our goal as an employer is to actively recruit, welcome, and support a workforce, which is diverse and inclusive of people who are underrepresented in the development of State of Minnesota policies, programs, and practices, so that we can support the success and growth of all people.

    We are proud to operate within a Culture of Respect that provides a healthy, safe, and productive work environment for all employees.  This means that our employees are respectful to one another and to our customers.  We believe that promoting a Culture of Respect allows our employees to do their best work in support of the agency’s mission.

    GREAT BENEFITS PACKAGE! The State of Minnesota offers a comprehensive benefits package including low cost medical and dental insurance, employer paid life insurance, short and long term disability, pre-tax flexible spending accounts, retirement plan, tax-deferred compensation, generous vacation and sick leave, and 12 paid holidays each year.

    Our differences make us stronger and leveraging them helps us create a workforce where everyone can thrive. The State of Minnesota is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to embedding diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility at our workplace. We do this by developing strong leaders and advocates, increasing cultural competence and understanding among all employees, and removing institutional barriers and attitudes that prevent employees from advancing as far as their talents will take them. We prohibit discrimination and harassment of any kind based on race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions), marital status, familial status, receipt of public assistance, membership or activity in a local human rights commission, disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, or age.

    How to Apply

    Navigate to https://mn.gov/mmb/careers/search-for-jobs/ and search for Job ID 51103. Once on the job posting's page, select “Apply for Job” at the top of the page. If you have questions about applying for jobs, contact the job information line at 651-259-3637.  

    For additional information about the application process, go to http://www.mn.gov/careers.


    If you have questions about the position, contact Dr. Tim Lyons at timothy.lyons@state.mn.us or 507-578-8914.

    If you are a Connect 700 applicant, please submit your certificate to Chelsie Fisher at chelsie.fisher@state.mn.us by the job posting close date.


    The State of Minnesota is an equal opportunity, affirmative action, and veteran-friendly employer. We are committed to providing culturally responsive services to all Minnesotans. The State of Minnesota recognizes that a diverse workforce is essential and strongly encourages qualified women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans to apply.

    We will make reasonable accommodations to all qualified applicants with disabilities. If you are an individual with a disability who needs assistance or cannot access the online job application system, please contact the job information line at 651-259-3637 or email careers@state.mn.us. Please indicate what assistance you need.



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