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27 Jan 2020

Full-Time Salmon Watershed Scientist

Wild Salmon Center – Posted by kholven Portland, Oregon, United States

Job Description

Salmon Watershed Scientist

Reports to:

Director of Science

The Organization

The mission of the Wild Salmon Center (WSC) is to promote the conservation and sustainable use of wild salmon ecosystems across the Pacific Rim. We do this by establishing a local presence and/or providing technical and financial assistance to local partners to help them secure the health of the most productive salmon ecosystems on earth. We depend on the best conservation science to guide pragmatic, implementable solutions to sustain wild salmonids, as well as the human communities and livelihoods that depend on them.

Wild Salmon Center is an international organization with programs in Alaska, the Russian Far East, Sakhalin Island, Kamchatka, Japan, British Columbia, and the California, Oregon and Washington coasts. The home office is located in Portland, Oregon in the Jean Vollum Natural Capital Center.

Position Summary

Salmon Watershed Scientist is an exciting, new position at Wild Salmon Center envisioned as a full-time, regular exempt position eligible for all WSC benefits. The position is based in WSC’s home office in Portland, Oregon.

The person in this position will work with WSC’s Science Director to develop, manage, and execute applied salmon conservation research, provide scientific support to WSC’s conservation initiatives, collaborate with WSC program staff and communicate science findings to policy makers, managers, and the general public.

The person in this position will help maintain and enhance WSC’s reputation and standing as the leading science-based Pacific salmon conservation organization.  They will be responsible for interpretation and communication of critical salmon information and concepts in innovative ways to help WSC develop, prioritize and communicate conservation strategies.  Because of the breadth of issues covered by the WSC, they will work not only with WSC’s Science Director, but also subcontractors and collaborating scientists who can bring specialized expertise to specific policy questions of importance to the organization and its partners.

Responsibilities and Qualifications Summary

The successful candidate will have an advanced degree (MS or PhD) in fisheries, freshwater ecology, geomorphology, watershed science, or related field; track record of peer-reviewed publication. Preference will be given to candidates with demonstrated proficiency with some combination of the following: GIS/spatial analysis; statistical modeling and the R programming language; knowledge of Pacific salmon life histories; hydrology; geomorphology; climate change; and salmon habitat dynamics. They will be mission-driven, and possess collaboration and communication skills.  They will have experience or the capacity to develop skills to work with partners from diverse nations and cultures. We are especially interested in candidates with a strong passion for Pacific salmon conservation and the ability to work with diverse

Primary Responsibilities 

  • Work with the Science Director and Program Directors to prioritize and deliver the most appropriate science and technical assistance to each given project or initiative.
  • Work with WSC’s Science Director and Communications Program to publish peer-reviewed research and to develop science communications that educate and motivate target audiences on key salmon conservation issues.
  • Provide technical expertise in one or more of the following fields: spatial analysis and statistical modeling; spatial conservation planning; geomorphology of Pacific salmon watersheds; salmon ecology; climate change and freshwater ecosystems.
  • Cultivate collaborative relationships with agency, academic, NGO and private-sector peers to provide guidance and access to the best available science.
  • Work with WSC’s Development Program to secure funding for priority science initiatives.

Position Requirements

  • Knowledge of Pacific salmon life histories and watersheds.
  • Experience with GIS, statistical modeling and the R programming language.
  • Active participation in and familiarity with applied salmon conservation science.
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills; effective, diplomatic and friendly communication style and ability to translate complex science and conservation issues into clear and understandable language to diverse audiences.
  • Passion and commitment to the conservation of wild salmon and their ecosystems.
  • This is a full-time exempt position. Work will involve occasional evening or weekend hours.
  • The position involves regional and international travel.
  • Ability to participate in field work including hiking in diverse terrain in and around flowing water.
  • Ability to attend meetings and workshops outside of regular work hours as requested.


Advanced degree (MS or PhD) in fisheries, freshwater ecology, geomorphology, watershed science, or related field.


Salary range starts at $65,000 but will be determined commensurate with experience, plus a comprehensive benefits package including: medical and dental coverage, retirement plan match, and a flexible spending account.


How to Apply

TO APPLY Send a cover letter summarizing qualifications and interest in the position (2 pages maximum), and 2) curriculum vitae to [email protected]. Position will be open until filled, but applications should be submitted by February 27, 2020 to receive full consideration. The preferred start date is spring 2020. Note:  Management has the exclusive right to change or alter this position description at any time without advance notice.

Job Categories: Wildlife. Job Types: Full-Time. Salaries: 60,000 - 80,000.

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