Ecological Restoration Partnership Specialist

Boston, MA, US


The Department of Fish & Game works to preserve the state’s natural resources and people’s right to conservation of those resources, as protected by Article 97 of the Massachusetts Constitution. To carry out this mission, the Department exercises responsibility over the Commonwealth’s marine and freshwater habitats that support them.

The Division of Ecological Restoration is charged with restoring and protecting the health and integrity of the Commonwealth’s rivers, wetlands, and watersheds for the benefit of people and the environment. This mission is critical to the success of the Department of Fish and Game that manages, protects, and restores the natural resources of the Commonwealth. The Division of Ecological Restoration works with community-based partners to restore aquatic ecosystems. The Division’s ecological restoration work brings clean water, recreation opportunities, and other ecosystem services to the citizens of Massachusetts.

The Department of Fish and Game, Division of Ecological Restoration is accepting resumes and applications for the position of Ecological Restoration Partnership Specialist (Regional Planner III).

A cover letter and resume must be submitted as part of the application process and attached “as relevant” to the requisition.

The Ecological Restoration Partnerships Specialist leads DER’s Regional Restoration Partnerships Program and develops, coordinates, and oversees DER’s restoration partnerships with watershed groups and other regional organizations.  With funding and support from DER, Regional Partners provide technical and financial assistance to help municipalities, NGOs, and others develop and implement high-value restoration and protection projects and actions that target DER’s priority ecological stressors, including habitat degradation, streamflow stress, impaired water quality, and climate change impacts.

This position engages with regional partners to assess needs, identify shared priorities, and develop and implement effective partnership structures and workplans.  The position manages and provides technical and programmatic guidance for multiple DER-supported regional partnerships that are established via competitive procurements.  The position also assists other DER programs and practice areas with their efforts to build effective partnerships focused on targeted restoration practices.  Finally, the position ensures that the goals and activities of each Regional Restoration Partnership are integrated effectively with other DER programs and practices.

Establish and Manage the Division’s Regional Restoration Partnerships Program (75%):

  • Build relationships with, and assess and track the restoration priorities and capacity needs of, regional organizations, regional networks, and municipalities that are advancing ecological restoration and protection actions.
  • Evaluate partnership structures and operational strategies that effectively support and advance the needs and priorities of DER and Regional Partners.
  • Develop, implement, and manage DER’s Regional Restoration Partnerships Program.
  • Develop and administer competitive procurements and contracts to select, establish, and operate multiple regional restoration partnerships; maintain all financial and other Partnerships Program records; and continually evaluate the program to identify barriers and capitalize on opportunities to increase regional and local restoration capacity.
  • Work with selected Regional Partners to evaluate restoration and capacity-building needs in their respective regions; determine priorities for restoration assessment, planning, and action; develop strategies for advancing identified priorities; and establish annual Partnership work plans that document strategies and priorities and guide implementation of actions.
  • Provide and coordinate assistance to support the planning and implementation of specific restoration projects and activities that are managed and/or supported by Regional Partners.
  • Work with DER program managers and practice area leads to effectively integrate Partnerships Program priorities and activities with other DER programs and practices.
  • Work with DER directors, program managers, and staff to evaluate, plan, and coordinate technical and financial support for the Partnerships Program, selected Regional Partners, and their respective projects and activities.
  • Identify performance metrics for Regional Partnerships and implement systems to evaluate, track, and report on performance.

  • Coordinate and communicate the needs and activities of the Partnerships Program with other restoration-adaptation stakeholders to capitalize on synergies of goals, resources, and activities.

Support the development of other DER restoration partnerships (15%):

  • Advise staff from other DER programs and practice areas in order to assist with evaluation, development, and implementation of various partnerships targeting specific restoration practices.
  • Build relationships, and coordinate Partnerships Program projects and activities, with EEA’s Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program and other state-wide and regional public and NGO programs that support restoration / adaptation work.
  • Represent the Partnerships Program through outreach and engagements with interested NGOs, agencies, and other stakeholders.  Develop working relationships with these partners in order to solicit feedback, share ideas, and collaborate on approaches.
  • Work with staff from DER and other state and regional restoration / adaptation programs to evaluate the needs and obstacles for regional and local restoration capacity building; contribute to the development of tools, approaches, trainings, and best practices that address capacity building needs; and work with partners to share and help implement capacity building solutions.

Perform duties in support of the Regional Restoration Partnerships Program and overall DER operations (10%):

  • Assist in preparing federal, state, and NGO grant applications.
  • Provide information as requested to support Division outreach efforts, such as tools, newsletters, brochures, social media and website content, and program reports.
  • Provide information as requested to support strategic planning and budget and program development.
  • Conduct trainings and participate in outreach and education activities related to the Regional Restoration Partnerships Program and other Division outreach priorities.
  • Participate in general interagency coordination and policy activities.
  • Represent the Division and Partnerships Program in public forums and present at professional conferences.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Masters degree in environmental planning, natural resources management, or closely related field with at least five years of relevant professional work experience.
  • Demonstrated interest, knowledge, and experience in ecological restoration and protection, including but not limited to stream flow, water quality, and aquatic habitats.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of, and experience working with, public agencies, non-profit organizations, and municipalities, and engaging effectively with staff and executive-level officials to advance projects and promote and develop program collaborations
  • Demonstrated experience planning, building, managing, and evaluating complex programs, making management and budgetary decisions, and ensuring that planning effectively supports program goals.
  • Demonstrated experience forging and maintaining partnerships among stakeholders with disparate interests.
  • Demonstrated experience working with, and effectively planning and coordinating the activities of, external organizations and partners to accomplish short- and long-term goals.
  • Demonstrated proactive and action-oriented approach to advancing program and project goals and tasks.
  • Ability to allocate time and resources to sound, science-based evaluation and planning, balanced appropriately with the need for action.
  • Demonstrated experience preparing and managing procurements and contracts.
  • Ability to understand, interpret, and communicate technical and scientific information and data.
  • Knowledge of social, political, economic, legal, technical, and ecological factors, trends and challenges associated with planning and implementing ecological restoration and climate adaptation activities.
  • Ability to plan strategically and to collaboratively develop and meet programmatic goals and deadlines.
  • Demonstrated leadership and facilitation abilities to overcome barriers and find meaningful collaborative solutions.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with a wide variety of staff, demonstrating personal initiative as well as the ability to work well in a team.
  • Excellent organizational and documentation skills.
  • Excellent writing, interpersonal, and overall communication skills.
  • Excellent all-around computer skills, including for natural resources assessment and planning, data management, and use of GIS software, as well as full competency with MS Office.
  • Ability to travel statewide and to participate in site visits and meetings.

First consideration will be given to those applicants that apply within the first 14 days.

MINIMUM ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS:  Applicants must have at least (A) four years of full-time, or equivalent part-time technical or professional experience in urban or regional planning, environmental planning, transportation planning or land use planning, and (B) of which at least two years must have been in a professional capacity or (C) any equivalent combination of the required experience and the substitutions below. 


I. A Bachelor’s degree with a major in urban or regional planning, environmental planning, urban studies, architecture, landscape architecture, civil, environmental, or transportation engineering or environmental sciences may be substituted for two years of the required (A) experience.* 

II. A Graduate degree with a major in urban or regional planning, environmental planning, urban studies, architecture, landscape architecture, civil, environmental, or transportation engineering or environmental studies may be substituted for three years of the required (A)experience and one year of the required (B) experience. 

*Education toward such a degree will be prorated on the basis of the proportion of the requirements actually completed. 

NOTE: Educational substitutions will only be permitted for a maximum of three years of the required experience.  Substitutions will only be permitted for a maximum of one year of the required (B) experience. 

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: Based on assignment, possession of a current and valid Massachusetts Class D Motor Vehicle Operator’s License.

An Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action Employer.  Females, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.