Suffolk County Water Authority

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Date Posted: March 23, 2018
Type: Full Time
624 Old Riverhead Road
Westhampton, NY 11978


Job Description:


An employee in this title undertakes ecological management and stewardship projects within the Central Pine Barrens to foster biological diversity, natural resource conservation, and ecosystem protection and restoration.  Specifically, this position will be strongly focused on management plan development and implementation; pre and post management monitoring; and long term monitoring to improve forest and grassland health, resiliency to emerging species (such as southern pine beetle) and habitat for rare and endangered species.  Individuals with experience in fire ecology; leading and/or supporting prescribed fires; conducting habitat restorations, and ecological monitoring activities are encouraged to apply.



  • Assesses ecological integrity, identifies and defines conservation and restoration needs and goals; designs; develops and implements ecological restoration plans (including those which draw upon fire ecology and which utilize prescribed fire), makes recommendations and provides scientific basis to decision makers, land owners, colleagues, and other stakeholders;
  • Performs key roles in prescribed fire management activities, including application of fuel models, estimating fire behavior and participating in prescribed fires/controlled burns for ecological and vegetative fuel management;
  • Plans, coordinates, and implements on-the-ground science and stewardship projects (e.g. invasive species control; ecological restoration; prescribed fire; outdoor recreational, cultural and scenic resource enhancement; erosion control; urban and community forestry; park infrastructure improvements and dumping remediation; vegetation inventories; mapping; native seed collection and similar stewardship field work;
  • Supports and facilitates prescribed fire management activities and forest health management and restoration activities including Southern Pine Beetle and Oak Wilt response and response to and control of other emerging forest health threats;
  • Supervises crew members, interns, consultants, contract work crews, and volunteers to deliver high quality projects, completed on time and within required specifications;
  • Develops contract specifications and manages contracts and contractors, including administrative aspects;
  • Assists in and supports the development and management of a multi-disciplinary scientific research program for a state designated natural resource area, including the implementation of collaborative and independent applied research aimed at protecting and restoring ecosystems;
  • Designs and oversees a monitoring program for ecological restoration projects and other projects, including those associated with the restoration of violation sites;
  • Supports and assists in the development and implementation  of a long-term ecological monitoring program, including design, data collection, data analysis, synthesis, archiving, publication, and dissemination;
  • Assesses impacts of land use, contamination, and climate change on ecological and other natural resources;
  • Communicates research findings through written reports and correspondence and may also assist in preparation and submission of research papers to peer-reviewed scientific journals, and professional presentations;
  • Plans and organizes scientific research forums and other professional symposia which promote scientific understanding and management of a regionally significant natural resource area;
  •  Supervises technicians, interns and other subordinate staff in their conduct of research and other activities;
  • Handles administrative aspects of the research program, including, but not limited to, grant preparation and reports, budget preparation, and preparation of research-oriented contracts;
  • Reports directly to the Science and Stewardship Division Manager.


  • Minimum of six years experience in a related field required.
  • Ability to work outdoors and perform labor tasks in woods, fields and other natural settings at various sites in Suffolk County; ability to utilize and maintain various forestry, prescribed fire and scientific tools and equipment preferred.
  • Expertise in pine barrens biota and ecosystems particular to Long Island, including fire & invasive species ecology; knowledge of Federal and State laws and regulations related to wetlands, rare/endangered species and NEPA &  SEQRA.
  • Strong foundation in principles of conservation biology and restoration ecology, especially pertaining to pine barrens ecological communities, fire ecology, prescribed fire and invasive species.

  • Demonstrated experience in ecological field research, experimental design, monitoring and restoration projects.
  • Demonstrated field supervisory experience with natural resource management, stewardship projects, ecological restoration and similar field work.
  • Demonstrated working knowledge of ecological sampling methods, tools and equipment, and statistics.
  • Solid working knowledge of and experience in using GPS units, remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems (especially ESRI ArcGIS software) for data collection, resource inventories and mapping;
  • Experience with performing ecological restoration, planting and cultivating trees and/or other plants and similar work and knowledge of, or direct experience with applying adaptive management principles for natural resource management and the use of various ecological restoration tools.
  • Experienced in and willing and able to participate on prescribed fires, with experience working on/leading prescribed fires preferred.
  • Bachelors degree in Ecology, Conservation Biology, Forestry, or related natural science required; MS or PhD preferred.
  •  Completion of NWCG S130/190 Firefighter training/Intro to Wildland Fire Behavior course preferred; passing of physical pack test for hand crews preferred.
  • Outstanding communication skills and excellent writing skills.
  • Professional Certified Ecologist designation preferred.


Interested candidates should submit their application, resume, and transcripts, including salary requirements via the SCWA website ( and click on "Career Opportunities."  Salary is commensurate with education and experience.


(The Authority shall not employ relatives of employees as defined to mean an employee's spouse, child, stepchild, stepparent or direct descendant of grandparents of the employee as defined in the New York State General Municipal Law 810.)