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Appalachian LCC Science Coordinator Position Announcement

The Wildlife Management Institute is accepting applications on behalf of the Appalachian Landscape Conservation Cooperative (AppLCC) for a 3-year, full-time limited-term position as Science Coordinator. This position is based at the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) in Shepherdstown, WV. The incumbent will report to the AppLCC Coordinator, also located at NCTC.

The Department of the Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and other land and natural resource management partner organizations have organized a coordinated network of Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCC) to develop shared science capacity for partners and link science to conservation decisions to address major challenges to sustaining natural and cultural resources in the face of landscape-level threats including climate change.

The AppLCC is a partnership of State and Federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, university and research partners, and existing regional conservation partnerships across a 15-state geographic extent stretching from southern New York to northern Alabama and Georgia, and east-to-west from Virginia to lower portions of Illinois and Indiana.  Cooperative members and key partners work together to identify and address common science needs, build capacity to utilize and share information and tools, and to help plan and coordinate natural and cultural resource conservation actions across the region based on the best available science and share commitment and resource conservation priorities.


This position serves as the Science Coordinator (SC) for the Appalachian Landscape Conservation Cooperative (AppLCC), and is supervised by the LCC Coordinator through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service).  This involves coordination with organizations throughout the LCC conservation community to initiate, facilitate, integrate, and communicate LCC work and activities that address limiting factors affecting fish and wildlife and cultural resources.  Work and activities relate to several primary functional aspects of Strategic Habitat Conservation (SHC) implementation and administration, including biological planning, conservation design, assumption-driven research, and monitoring/evaluation.  The social components of conservation planning are also integrated into the work of the SC including an understanding and ability to communicate the human benefits of ecosystem services and preservation of cultural, historic and national heritage resources.  The SC (1) works collaboratively with State agencies, DOI bureaus and other Federal agencies, tribes, and other research or non-governmental organizations as appropriate; (2) represents the interests of the Cooperative members and conservation community in a variety of professional fora; (3) plays a key role as liaison among these agencies, organizations, and partnerships; (4) develops, maintains and advances strategic, landscape-oriented, science-based, partnership-driven integrated natural resource and land conservation efforts.


The SC plays a key role in collaboratively developing, maintaining, and advancing a strategic, landscape-oriented, partnership-driven approach to integrated fish and wildlife and priority resource conservation by initiating, facilitating, integrating, coordinating, overseeing and communicating the LCC’s, conservation planning and design work, capacity-building and science-delivery, and coordination of collaborative activities and communication.  Work and activities relate to several primary functional aspects of SHC implementation, including scientific and technical coordination of biological planning, conservation design, assumption-driven research, and monitoring and evaluation; includes partnership development and national and international coordination.

1.  National and International Coordination: Ensures landscape conservation efforts are coordinated across geographic areas/boundaries; collaborates within a seamless national network of LCCs and represents the interests of the Cooperative members and key partnerships across landscape conservation initiatives and other national conservation and climate adaptation efforts.  The SC will serve on or advise various ad hoc or standing committees working on landscape conservation issues at local, regional, national and international levels.

2.  Science and Technology Support: Provides scientific and technical coordination support in progressively refining the scientific and technical underpinning of conservation strategies, plans, and tools for species, cultural resources, habitats, and ecological systems within the LCC boundary and regions.  Collaborates and explores innovative means to leverage human and financial assets among agencies, organizations, and partnerships to help implement the functional elements of the SHC framework, in pursuit of sustainable landscapes.

a. Biological Planning: Facilitates scientific expertise and coordination and leadership in developing and refining the biological foundation underlying fish and wildlife conservation strategies and plans. This duty includes coordinating, facilitating, and conducting the science-based planning and assessments necessary to establish explicit population/on-the-ground habitat objectives for representative species that are linked to population goals and objectives as identified by the Cooperative.  Linkages should take the form of documented assumptions grounded in transparent, repeatable, and the most defensible methodologies available.  Develops through coordination, habitat suitability models that link population response with measurable habitat variables and with habitat management prescriptions.  Provides coordination support in spatial data development and analysis and desktop or web-based applications supporting biological planning at the scale of the assigned geography as well as site-scale conservation actions.  A strong understanding of the observed and projected climate change and advances in natural resource adaptation will serve as a strong underpinning at the national level and across the LCC network.

b. Conservation Design: Provides leadership for conservation plans and tools that integrate biological goals and objectives established for species groups; management practices, and/or ecological functions and processes.  Coordinates the development and refinement of landscape-level conservation priorities and decision support tools to facilitate conservation planning at multiple spatial and temporal scales and to guide the implementation of private, state, and federal conservation programs.

c. Science Translation, Conservation Adoption, and Conservation Delivery: Supports the integration, translation, and adoption of cooperative-based outputs from biological planning and conservation design (spatially explicit decision support tools) into existing projects and programs among organizations, agencies, and partnerships.  Facilitates development of new interagency projects and programs and seeks out and works with existing conservation delivery programs and partnerships to formulate policies, programs, and budgets that take advantage of new opportunities to deliver conservation on the ground.  Coordinates with existing programs and partners to translate science-based habitat objectives into objectives that provide guidance and direction to the implementation of private, state, and federal conservation programs on both public and private lands.  Helps develop adaptation demonstration projects.  Development of on-line, asynchronous training courses to help build and expand the community’s capacity and ability to best utilize science information and tools is an integral part of the translational role of the SC.

d. Decision-based Monitoring: Facilitates scientific expertise and coordination support in development of sound procedures and protocols for monitoring habitat change and population response to refine the linkage between regional population goals and population-based habitat objectives.  Works to develop of geospatial datasets to track conservation actions implemented by the private, state, and federal conservation community.  Develops means and methods to monitor and assess the change in fish and wildlife sustainability based on land use and land cover changes and document the sources of change (e.g., urban sprawl, climate change, policy).  Applies the use of geospatial and remote sensing technology to monitor and evaluate biological and programmatic performance at multiple spatial and temporal scales.  Facilitates technology support to include data management systems for collecting, storing, managing, retrieving, and disseminating data and information flowing from collaborative monitoring efforts.  Coordinates closely with all relevant inventory and monitoring programs.

e. Assumption-driven Research: Facilitates technical expertise and collaborates with the scientific community on research projects focused explicitly on the key biological and spatial-data assumptions and uncertainties documented in biological planning and conservation design.  Coordinates the development of spatial and relational datasets that support statistically valid study designs and the analysis of priority research projects.

3.  Partnership Development and Coordination: Through well-developed interpersonal communication skills and expertise, provides leadership in creating, guiding, facilitating, and nurturing an interdependent network among the State and federal conservation agencies, sister bureaus in the Department of Interior, and Service programs, as well as other agencies, organizations, and partnerships sufficient to support the iterative, interagency application of the SHC Framework and integration of planning and consultative processes.  Serves as a liaison and provides a forum for private, state, and federal entities interested in a sustainable assigned geography to exchange ideas, information, and technology; strong ability to integrate scientific disciplines and to actively engage in leveraging and targeting their collective assets to achieve desired landscape conditions.


Education: Completion of graduate-level degree (preference to PhD and highest preference to post-doctoral-level research or research management positions)

Experience: Preference will be given to those applicant who demonstrate experience and success in:

  1. Scientific training and expertise: applying advanced theories, principles, concepts, practices, standards, and methods towards the  conservation of biological diversity,  ecosystem management of species and their habitats or to sustain natural resources;
  2. Planning at multiple spatial and temporal scales: application of landscape ecology, landscape conservation, and adaptive resource management and to conservation involving multiple partners, sectors, or agencies;
  3. New trends in conservation: demonstrating an understanding of, and exposure to, the mission and natural resources programs, combined with an understanding of strategic planning, adaptive management and US FWS Strategic Habitat Conservation framework and efforts to address climate change within the federal agencies or national initiatives, in order to provide expert advice, determine compliance, and evaluate the need for and propose corrective actions; and
  4. Wildlife and Natural Resource Management: multi-scale population-based planning, designing, coordinating, conducting, reporting on, and evaluating scientific studies, related to landscape conservation and adaptive management in meeting goals and objectives of state, national, and international conservation efforts.
  5. Geospatial and modeling approaches: Technical skills in geospatial information systems and analysis, application of climate modeling projections, data management, landscape-level or system-level modeling, and experience using or programming in open-source programming are highly desirable.



This position requires only minor physical exertion and/or physical strain.  The work environment is an office setting and only involves infrequent exposure to disagreeable elements.  Frequent travel throughout the Appalachian LCC region and occasional nationally or international travel is required.


The salary range for this position is $96,794 to $112,926, including adjusted salary for benefits self-provision, commensurate with education and professional experience.  This position will be classified as a limited term employee of the WMI.  Direct supervision of day-to-day activities will be provided by the AppLCC Coordinator.

Limited-term employees are defined as employees of WMI retained to provide a specific scope of services as defined within one or more grants or contracts awarded to WMI.  WMI bases your employment upon your skills and knowledge and ability to achieve desired outcomes defined by AppLCC.

As a limited term employee:

  • You will be expected to work full-time with an average of 37 hours per week in any 12-month period.
  • You will be eligible for WMI 401(k) retirement benefits and WMI will provide workers’ compensation, general liability protection, and professional liability protection and unemployment insurance benefits.  WMI will withhold taxes including social security.
  • WMI will not provide health or dental insurance or benefits.  However your salary will be adjusted to compensate for self-provision of those benefits.
  • Total annual compensation will reflect your base salary plus the amount contributed to your 401(k) by WMI.  In addition to salary but contingent upon the funding available within the contract or grant that defines your scope of services, WMI will reimburse you for any travel expenses that are necessary and reasonable to perform the duties assigned to you.
  • Your employment will be “at-will,” which means that either you or WMI can end the employment relationship at any time, for any reason or no reason, with or without notice.
  • Relocation costs, if any, will be the responsibility of the individual selected.



Interested candidates must submit a cover letter, not to exceed 2 pages, resumes, transcripts and/or other documentation to Pat Ruble:

The cover letter must address the following points:

  • Your understanding of, and interest in supporting, Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, including  prior experience working with any of the 22 LCC’s, DOI Climate Science Centers, regional fish habitat partnerships or bird joint ventures, or related work with FWS or natural resource partners programs.
  • Your experience with collaborative processes and efforts to work in teams or facilitate large stake-holder consultation, planning, and prioritization efforts.
  • Experience in the identification of science needs at a programmatic- vs. project-level, preparation of research proposals and grant administration and project management and reporting, and analysis and publication and public presentation of scientific research results.
  • How your education and prior experience have prepared you to fulfill the duties of this position.


Screening of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.  Candidates may be invited to prepare a web presentation and conference and briefing materials as part of the selection and interview process.

For further information, please contact: Pat Ruble -

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