Watershed Ecologist

Massachusetts Department of Fish & Game

Boston, MA, United States 🇺🇸


The Massachusetts Department of Fish & Game (DFG) 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 fisheries, wildlife species, plants, and natural communities, as well as the habitats that support them.  The Department’s Division of Ecological Restoration (DER) works with many partners to restore and protect the Commonwealth’s rivers, wetlands and watersheds for the benefit of people and the environment.


The Department of Fish and Game, Division of Ecological Restoration seeks applicants for the position of Watershed Ecologist (Environmental Analyst IV).


The Watershed Ecologist provides overall leadership and administration of the Division of Ecological Restoration’s Flow Restoration Program and manages staff and fiscal resources to achieve Program goals.  The position directs and oversees the priorities, strategic planning, resource allocation, scientific integrity, and overall operations of the Program and coordinates flow restoration activities within the Division.  The position supervises staff scientists as well as interns, ensuring that their work is scientifically sound and supports DER and DFG strategic priorities.  This position also serves as an advisor to state agency workgroups, commissions, and initiatives to inform science, policies, and regulations that impact in-stream flow and aquatic ecosystem protection and restoration.


General Duties

  • Oversees and directs the in-stream flow restoration work of the Division of Ecological Restoration.
  • Develops and manages Flow Restoration Priority Projects.
  • Oversees in-stream flow monitoring, including the River In-stream Flow Stewards (RIFLS) program.
  • Designs and supports efforts to enhance and apply the scientific knowledge of ecological, social, and economic factors that influence environmental streamflow and aquatic ecosystem health.
  • Provides technical guidance to communities, watershed associations, state agencies and others in the identification, protection and stewardship of waters with ecological significance.
  • Develops annual program priorities, workplans, and budgets, prepares employee performance evaluations, and supervises staff to ensure goals and objectives are clearly defined and successfully met.

Plan, develop and manage flow restoration priority projects

  • Conducts watershed and state-wide evaluations of streamflow stressors and develops priorities for streamflow restoration efforts that maximize ecological, social, and economic benefits.
  • Investigates and evaluates potential in-stream flow restoration projects.
  • Provides project management and support as needed, including forming teams, developing project plans, securing technical services, obtaining funding, developing public support, coordinating interagency activities, and guiding project implementation.
  • Manages consultant contracts and ensures successful contractor performance of scopes of work and production of quality deliverables.
  • Maintains current project digital and paper files, including Division project database and GIS assets, and reports on projects as needed.
  • Assists with preparation and execution of RFRs, including solicitations for Priority Projects and pre-qualified DER vendors.

In-stream flow monitoring

  • Supervises in-stream flow monitoring, working with staff to: (1) evaluate and refine monitoring priorities and workplans, (2) meet quality controls for monitoring, (3) interpret data and identify streamflow restoration and protection strategies, (4) evaluate and meet equipment needs, and (5) incorporate volunteer activities under the RIFLS program. Conducts field work as necessary to meet program goals.


  • Coordinates DER in-stream flow activities with DFG and other state and federal programs relating to streamflow, aquatic ecosystems, and watershed-based ecological planning, protection, restoration, mitigation, and stewardship.
  • Represents the Department and the Division at interagency meetings, commission hearings, task forces, boards, conferences, and state and non-government committees as needed to share information and develop guidelines, recommendations and policies.
  • Coordinates review of various laws, regulations, policies, plans and other actions affecting streamflow.  Drafts policy and regulatory positions and comment letters for the Division.

Other activities

  • Provides information as requested to support Division outreach such as marketing material, newsletters, brochures, social media postings, and Program reports.
  • Assists Division strategic planning and budget development and shares programmatic and administrative duties as needed.
  • Represents the Division in public forums and presents at professional conferences.
  • Prepares educational materials such as public presentations, articles, fact sheets, and web-content.


A masters degree in environmental science, ecology, natural (water) resources, or a related field with five or more years of professional experience in wetland/river ecology and hydrology.

Strong scientific and applied professional experience relating to environmental hydrology, in-stream flow, ground water, surface water, aquatic ecology, water use and watershed management, including experience interpreting, reviewing, and commenting on hydrologic calculations and models, planning and managing hydrologic data collection and analysis, and ensuring quality control.

Ability to effectively manage and lead programs, plan and implement program priorities, prepare and oversee workplans and budgets, and supervise staff.  Ability to plan and utilize internal and external resources to meet goals and deadlines.  Ability to coordinate and collaborate with local, state and federal partners and to work with the public and other parties to support in-stream flow restoration.

Ability to manage and lead complex and often abstract projects with multiple stakeholders, make budgetary decisions, and facilitate effective progress toward goals.  Extensive project management experience, including developing project plans, coordinating project teams, developing stakeholder and public support, coordinating interagency activities, preparing scopes of work and budgets, managing consultant contracts, complying with regulations, obtaining funding through grants and other sources, and guiding project implementation.

Knowledge of social, political, and economic factors that affect streamflow stress, such as laws and regulations, water rate structures and other market mechanisms, economics of water supply, and barriers and motivations to human behavior change that influence water demand.  Experience working with water suppliers, managers, regulators, and consumers to address water management challenges and develop solutions that reduce streamflow stress.

Strong leadership and interpersonal skills.  Excellent written and verbal communication skills.  Proven ability to exercise sound judgment, problem-solve, forge and maintain partnerships, motivate and persuade others, and develop and implement collaborative solutions.  Proven ability to work effectively in a collaborative team environment on multiple tasks with varying deadlines.  Ability to work independently and with self-initiative, while having a keen sense of when to ask questions and seek input.

Excellent all-around computer skills with an emphasis on data management and use of GIS software, as well as full competency with MS Office.


Valid MA drivers license


Position requires frequent in-state travel to conduct field work and collaborate with partners.  Occasional attendance at night meetings is also required.

All applicants must submit a cover letter and resume as part of the application process.


This requisition will remain open until filled; however, first consideration will be given to those applicants that apply within the first 14 days.

MINIMUM ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS: Applicants must have at least (A) five years of full-time, or equivalent part-time, technical or professional experience in the field of environmental science, biology, chemistry, earth science, environmental health, meteorology, natural science, toxicology or public health, of which (B) at least three years must have been in a professional capacity, and of which (C) at least one year must have been in a supervisory, managerial or administrative capacity, or (D) any equivalent combination of the required experience and the following substitutions.


I. An Associate’s degree with a major in the field of environmental science, biology, chemistry, earth science, environmental health, meteorology, natural science, toxicology or public health may be substituted for a maximum of one year of the required (A) experience.*  

II. A Bachelor’s degree with a major in the field of environmental science, biology, chemistry, earth science, environmental health, meteorology, natural science, toxicology or public health may be substituted for a maximum of one year of the required (A) experience.* 

III. A Graduate degree with a major in environmental science, biology, chemistry, earth science, environmental health, meteorology, natural science, toxicology or public health may be substituted for a maximum of 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 one year of the required (B) experience.  No substitutions will be permitted for the required (C) experience.

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

Official Title: Environmental Analyst IV

Work Location

Boston – 251 Causeway Street 
251 Causeway Street 
 Boston 021142104

Primary Location

: United States-Massachusetts-Boston-Boston – 251 Causeway Street


: Science


: Department of Fish And Game


: Full-time


: Day

Job Posting

: May 6, 2016, 8:51:39 AM

Number of Openings

: 1


: 64,586.08  91,072.54 Yearly
If you have Diversity, Affirmative Action or Equal Employment Opportunity questions or need a Reasonable Accommodation, please contact Diversity Officer / ADA Coordinator: Johanna M. Zabriskie  617-626-1599
Bargaining Unit: 09-MOSES – Engineers/Scientists