Science to Implementation Coordinator, Intermountain West Joint Venture

Missoula, MT

Job Title: Science to Implementation Coordinator

Organization: Intermountain West Joint Venture

Location: Negotiable, but preference is Missoula, MT

Organization Overview: The Intermountain West Joint Venture (IWJV) is hiring a Science to Implementation (S2I) Coordinator that works across the 11-state region of the Intermountain West, overseeing the IWJV’s efforts to integrate science into habitat conservation delivery. The S2I Coordinator is a newly created position that will be a critical team member working across the 11-state region of the Intermountain West. This position will coordinate and support the IWJV’s efforts to integrate science, local, and traditional knowledge* into strategic habitat conservation delivery with measurable impacts on the landscape. The IWJV has a legacy of advancing on-the-ground conservation through a strong science-based foundation and longstanding relationships with a multitude of partners. The IWJV has increasingly recognized the gaps that exist between the development of science and the transfer of science into conservation outcomes, and is now capitalizing on the opportunity to increase strategic conservation through recruiting for a dedicated staff member to work on science to implementation full time.

*While this position was developed out of a need to translate a significant body of science developed by the IWJV into conservation outcomes, they recognize that a holistic view of a landscape and the people of the landscape are needed to effect durable change and that includes local and traditional knowledge.

Position Overview: The initial emphasis of this position will be on supporting Water 4 and integration with the IWJV’s sagebrush conservation efforts. The position will work hand-in-hand with multiple science and habitat delivery partners to catalyze science-driven habitat conservation. The S2I Coordinator is expected to pioneer and lead science-to-implementation efforts that integrate the ecological, traditional, and social science produced by the IWJV and/or key partners into habitat conservation delivery approaches, tools, practices, and programs. Work is guided by the IWJV’s Implementation Plan and Annual Operational Plans—currently emphasizing sagebrush, wetlands/water conservation, and the inter-related connections of watershed function, including forest health. The areas of emphasis, geographies, and partners may shift over time, requiring a high level of adaptability and ability to envision and develop new opportunities. The position works hand-in-hand with multiple science and habitat delivery partners to catalyze science-driven habitat conservation. The position is hosted by the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) with day-to-day supervision by IWJV senior staff. The location of the position is negotiable within the Intermountain West, but the preferred location is the IWJV Headquarters Office in Missoula, Montana. This position requires a moderate level of mission-critical travel.

Duties: The fundamental focus of this position is supporting conservation delivery partners implementing habitat conservation by providing science in usable manners to inform conservation prioritization, delivery, funding for projects, and measurable outcomes. The need for this position was built from an understanding that science is only as good as it can be accessed, interpreted, and applied to spur conservation outcomes. This position is intended to serve as a bridge between the research and habitat conservation delivery communities.
Primary duties include:
• Understand the needs of people implementing on-the-ground conservation: Work with partners to understand conservation approaches, needs, and insights in integrating science into their specific conservation activities.
• Develop and strengthen relationships and partnerships with a wide array of science producers – across agencies, academic institutions, and disciplines – to impact on-the-ground conservation delivery. This includes practitioners in, but not limited to, natural resources, ecological, traditional, and social sciences.
• Help partners access science that is relevant to and could support strategic habitat conservation delivery. This involves meeting partners where they are in terms of technical capabilities (e.g., GIS skills), professional disciplines, organizational science support, and delivery tools for landscape-scale conservation.
• Interpret scientific findings and other relevant information with partners to inform strategic conservation delivery. This consists of brokering mutual respect among scientists and conservation delivery professionals to enable the understanding and adoption of science into conservation programs and on-the-ground delivery.
• Support conservation partners in applying science to address key landscape threats through voluntary, proactive conservation delivery. Develop, lead, and or support workshops, landscape-based collaborations, and a host of communications tactics and tools designed to help partners apply science in conservation delivery.
• Integrate population-habitat and landscape-level spatial models that help prioritize key landscapes, maximize conservation efficiency, drive public and private funding, leverage existing capacity, and bring people with diverse perspectives and conservation priorities around common ground. This involves integrating models and tools, assisting staff and partners with synthesizing models, building spatial tools, and supporting the GIS needs of partners to further strategic conservation.
• Lead the IWJV’s efforts to explore, identify, track, and evaluate the conservation outcomes and impacts of strategic, science-based conservation delivery by partners within key landscapes.
• Support the adoption of key science findings in conservation programs and initiatives through the IWJV’s deep relationships with national, regional, and state-level conservation decision-makers, and through the work of the IWJV’s Government Relations Committee.
• Bring the voice and needs of conservation delivery partners into the co-development of future research and science applications to address information needs most relevant at various scales.
• Collaborate with and support IWJV communications staff in the work of providing access, interpretation, and application of key findings, decision-support tools, and other prominent science via digital platforms, success stories, and workshops.
• Engage with and support the work of IWJV committees as needed.
• Provide direction, oversight, and supervision to IWJV GIS staff as needed.

Qualifications: The IWJV recognizes that working effectively with people is fundamental to our success in catalyzing landscape-scale conservation outcomes within the Intermountain West. Although this position requires specific technical skills, there is a human element component, which is mission critical. They view the attributes for this position in three ways:

(1) Ability to connect and communicate with, and listen and learn from people with diverse perspectives, experiences, and values.
● Excellent communication skills—both in the receiving of information and sharing of information. Ability to connect with individuals and audiences by recognizing preferred communication formats and accommodating accordingly.
● Demonstrated ability to work with a multitude of partners including, but not limited to: private landowners, tribes, researchers, locally and nationally based organizations, funding entities, industry partners, state and federal agencies.
● Ability to share information effectively and create new platforms of communication using both oral, written, spatial, and other manners of information sharing.
● Ability to outreach and communicate scientific results to wide ranging audiences using a multitude of platforms and communication techniques to effect desired change.
● Ability to forge lasting relationships and build partnerships to find common ground among those with diverse perspectives on issues involving natural resource conservation and management.
● Demonstrated practice of emotional intelligence through exercising self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management.
● Experience in Zoom and/or Microsoft Teams, video, and other online presentation formats.

(2) Skills, abilities, and experience expected at the time of hire for this candidate to be proficient in performing.
● Detailed knowledge of Geographic Information Systems, spatial modeling, and other science tools, as well as their role, utility, and application in characterizing, analyzing, and assessing ecological processes, systems, and conditions, and conducting integrated landscape-level planning.
● Ability to synthesize science and technical information in a meaningful way and translate that information through spatial tools and other means to inform and effect change.
● Detailed knowledge of landscape and/or wildlife ecology, and other facets of ecological science utilized in strategic habitat and landscape conservation.
● Demonstrated abilities in written and oral communications and collaboration with academia, habitat managers, conservation administrators, and the public.
● Excellent writing skills with proven ability to translate complex concepts into succinct, clear, accessible language for multiple audiences.
● Proficient in Google Workspace applications.
● Bachelor’s degree or higher in wildlife biology/management, range science, restoration ecology, or related field. Advanced degrees are preferred.
● Minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in science and/or conservation implementation associated with wildlife, fisheries, water, range management, land conservation, or other aspects of natural resources conservation.

(3) Experience or knowledge that is desired but can also be learned on the job for the right candidate.
● Knowledge of habitat conservation actions, approaches, and conservation programs utilized to conserve habitat in the Intermountain West.
● Familiarity with key western water issues.
● Ability to effectively supervise and mentor staff.

Start Date: Negotiable, but target is February 2022

How to apply & application deadline: Applicants should submit the following materials in electronic format (a single PDF preferred) to Lori Reed at lori.reed@iwjv.org:
-A cover letter that addresses your approach to learning new skills and developing new partnerships.
-Resume (including three references preferred).
-A one-page statement (as a writing sample) describing your vision for linking science to conservation outcomes that are inclusive to western, local, and traditional knowledge, recognizing the importance of people and place on the landscape.
Contact Dave Smith at dave_w_smith@fws.gov or (406) 370-7729 for more information or with questions.