Inventory and Monitoring Protocol Support Specialist

  • The Great Basin Institute
  • Sacramento, CA, USA
  • Sep 25, 2018
Full time Biology - Ecology Conservation/ Natural Resources Wildlife - Endangered Species - Biodiversity

Job Description


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Inventory & Monitoring (I&M)Program ( biological surveys throughout the National Wildlife Refuge System ( to asses status and trend of habitat, vegetation, and wildlife, and to evaluate responses to management actions. Developing and maintaining Natural Resource Management Plans requires survey and analysis of previously implemented I&M protocols for each wildlife refuge. GBI is recruiting an Inventory and Monitoring Protocol Support Specialist to perform survey protocol documentation and data management to advance priorities of the FWS PSW Region I&M program through performance of the following scope of work: 

  1. Protocol documentation: Document existing refuge monitoring activities following standardized structure in the Survey Protocol Handbook (USFWS, 2013a);
  2. Monitoring data evaluation: Evaluate existing monitoring datasets for National Wildlife Refuges in Region 8; and
  3. Program evaluation and communication: Document the Inventory and Monitoring (I&M) products and support efforts, prepare written summaries I&M activities, and provide easy access to I&M products. 

The I&M Protocol Support Specialist will document biological survey protocols, evaluate availability and condition of data, and track project out comes in support of  the Pacific Southwest Region National Wildlife Refuges, starting with the San Francisco Bay Complex National Wildlife Refuges. 

Specific activities and approaches include: 

  • Gather and organize existing documentation and datasets for priority refuge surveys identified in a Natural Resource Management Plan.  
  • Use existing documentation and refuge staff interviews to develop “Initial Survey Instructions and Standard Operating Procedures” using the National Wildlife Refuge System Survey Protocol Template ( and the “How to Develop Survey Protocols: A Handbook ( for guidance.  Gaps in the documentation will also be identified.  A record will be developed, for the USFWS centralized repository, for each survey, and final documents will be uploaded into the system.  
  • Develop a checklist for evaluation of the condition of existing survey data including elements such as data format, data structure, meeting data standards, and completeness of the data record.  In addition, make recommendations for next steps for data standardization.
  • Perform project management tasks such as compiling records from projects, verifying completion of projects, summarizing results from projects, developing outlines for standardized reports, and assisting with program planning efforts.  
  • Develop workflow and checklists to support project implementation:For example, compile existing guidance documents, workshop material, and tools for implementing the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation used to develop Region 8 Natural Resource Management Plans.  After materials are compiled, a checklist and workflow would be developed. 

The position will be primarily working on Refuges that have completed or are in the process of developing a Natural Resource Management Plan, and on regional I&M planning efforts. About 75% of the time will be spent working on writing standardized protocols and evaluating data for existing surveys and assisting with planning efforts.  The remaining time could include participating in field surveys to better understand the protocols, and travel to refuges to meet with staff. 

Career development: GBI’s Research Associate Program presents emerging professionals with career-enhancing opportunities in natural/cultural/recreation resource management, ecological conservation, environmental stewardship, and related fields. This position provides opportunities to interact with USFWS I&M and Refuge staff, support science-based approaches to conserving natural resources and gain exposure to policies and initiatives for managing public lands.

Contract Timeline:• Annual appointment: December 2018 – December 2019; possibility of an annual extension pending performance and funding availability
• Full time, 40 hours per week

Location:This work will be performed predominantly at the USFWS I&M Program Office and the USFWS Pacific Southwest Regional Office in Sacramento, CA, with occasional travel to Pacific Southwest Region National Wildlife Refuges such as the San Francisco Bay Complex: Farallons, San Pablo Bay, Marin Islands, Antioch Dunes, Don Edwards, Salinas River, and Ellicott Slough National Wildlife Refuges.
Compensation and Benefits:• Rate of Pay: $26.50/hour
• Health and dental benefits
• Paid time off (holidays, vacation, and sick)

Job Qualifications:

FWS requires a qualified Inventory and Monitoring Protocol Support Specialist with strong technical writing and organizational skills, an ability to develop and meet documented data standards, and familiarity with developing workflow processes. To provide such expertise, GBI seeks an individual who fulfills the following qualifications:

·         Master’s degree (minimum) in natural resource management or related discipline;

·         Experience in field implementation of detailed protocols for sampling wildlife, vegetation, habitat characteristics, or other environmental features;

·         Experience in data collection and management, subjecting data to quality checks, and data compilation, analysis, and interpretation;

·         Familiarity with organizing legacy data records and documenting survey protocols;

·         Experience following standardized protocol templates and instructions;

·         Ability to develop standardized processes/workflows, and keywords/taxonomy to compile and organize legacy data from multiple sources;

·         Experience in summarizing and documenting program outcomes;

  • Ability to communicate with a diverse audience, both in writing and verbally;
  • Strong skills in technical writing to clearly develop, describe, and document survey instructions, standard operating procedures, and survey summaries;
  • Familiarity with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service mission, goals and operations, and the Inventory and Monitoring Program of the National Wildlife Refuge System, preferred;
  • Familiarity with the San Francisco Bay Refuge Complex and associated resource features and issues, preferred;
  • Experience with applications of GIS mapping and other software, technologies and products;
  • Strong organizational skills and ability to work independently;
  • Ability to synthesize input from multiple sources and ensure smooth coordination of work flow and processes;
  • Facility with use of the MS Office suite of software;
  • Willingness to travel as needed to gather data from refuges and attend meetings with refuge staff;
  • Valid, clean, state-issued driver’s license and familiarity driving 4WD vehicles on pavement and on unimproved roads; and

·         Willingness and ability to consistently enact high performance standards and a strong work and team ethic in support of the mission of GBI and the goals of the USFWS.

The successful applicant must complete a Department of Interior (DOI) Background Investigation (BI) or submit paperwork indicating an active and fully adjudicated BI has already been completed. If you already have a fully adjudicated BI, please let us know in your application.

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