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Private Lands Biologist

Job Description

The PLB will be responsible for conducting landowner outreach within targeted watersheds to provide education about hellbender conservation, increase awareness about WLFW, and promote landowner participation in the WLFW hellbender project. PLBs will be expected to provide verbal, written and on-site technical assistance to interested private landowners. PLBs will work directly with landowners to identify options for applying NRCS technical and financial assistance to their lands, guide each landowner through the NRCS application process, and develop hellbender-specific conservation plans following the NRCS planning requirements. They will provide technical assistance to landowners to ensure that conservation plans are correctly implemented, evaluate the effectiveness of conservation practices, provide technical guidance during project construction, and coordinate post-project monitoring. PLBs will be expected to work to build supportive relationships with landowners and communities within each priority watershed, both through targeted individual outreach and through participation in partner-supported community outreach events such as farm demo days and Shade your Stream workshops. These relationships will help identify opportunities to target lands with the greatest potential to improve habitat conditions for hellbenders.

The PLB will also establish and maintain consistent communication with NRCS Field Offices and staff to identify potential projects, provide technical support to existing projects relevant to WLFW, and schedule and attend field days and outreach events, among other coordination needs. They will work closely with the NRCS State Biologist to periodically develop and/or refine program ranking questions, Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Guides for hellbenders, and lists of approved conservation practices for hellbender WLFW projects. PLPs will create and maintain partnerships with local and regional partners to identify common conservation goals and opportunities to collaborate and magnify results of WLFW efforts.

Required Qualifications

- B.S. degree in aquatic ecology, hydrology, wildlife science, fisheries science, natural resource management, agricultural sciences or similar discipline with demonstrated experience in private lands management and technical assistance.
- Excellent communication and organizational skills and demonstrated ability to communicate clearly and effectively with diverse audiences.
- Ability to work independently with little supervision and with diverse clientele.
- Knowledge of wildlife ecology principles, and the ability to apply those principles utilizing various habitat management tools, in order to develop NRCS, or other types of conservation plans.

Preferred Qualifications

• M.S. degree in aquatic ecology, hydrology, wildlife science, fisheries science, natural resource management, agricultural sciences or similar discipline with demonstrated experience in private lands management and technical assistance.
• Experience working with NRCS conservation programs and/or software.
• NRCS Conservation Planning certification and/or Job Approval Authority and/or Technical Service Provider status.
• Knowledge of federal and state agency conservation and wildlife programs such as the Farm Bill, the Endangered Species Act, or State Wildlife Agency Private Lands Programs. Also, knowledge of how these programs are implemented in an agricultural landscape.
• Demonstrated experience working with agricultural land owners.
• Demonstrated superior skill with communications.
• Experience with geospatial information systems.

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Additional Information

The successful candidate will be required to have a criminal conviction check.

About Virginia Tech

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech pushes the boundaries of knowledge by taking a hands-on, transdisciplinary approach to preparing scholars to be leaders and problem-solvers. A comprehensive land-grant institution that enhances the quality of life in Virginia and throughout the world, Virginia Tech is an inclusive community dedicated to knowledge, discovery, and creativity. The university offers more than 280 majors to a diverse enrollment of more than 36,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in eight undergraduate colleges , a school of medicine , a veterinary medicine college, Graduate School , and Honors College . The university has a significant presence across Virginia, including the Innovation Campus in Northern Virginia; the Health Sciences and Technology Campus in Roanoke; sites in Newport News and Richmond; and numerous Extension offices and research centers . A leading global research institution, Virginia Tech conducts more than $500 million in research annually.

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or military status, or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants, or on any other basis protected by law.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Jennifer Phillips at during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.

Advertised: November 4, 2022
Applications close:

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