Assistant Ecologist position

Closing date: 2021-12-31

Position: Assistant Ecologist/ Associate Ecologist

Organization: Jodi McGraw Consulting

Country: United States

State: California

Contact: Jodi McGraw

Contact Email:



Jodi McGraw Consulting (JMc), a Santa Cruz County-based environmental consulting firm, seeks qualified applicants for the positions of Assistant Ecologist or Associate Ecologist. The positions will report to the Principal Ecologist and are responsible for leading or assisting with a variety of ecological consulting projects in Central Coastal California (, including:


  • Habitat restoration and management;
  • Conservation planning at the site, local, and regional levels;
  • Rare species habitat enhancement and population management; and
  • Research, surveys, and long-term monitoring of populations and sensitive communities.



Typical responsibilities and the approximate time dedicated to each are as follows:

  • Design and implement habitat restoration and management projects including revegetation, exotic plant management, and site and species-specific habitat enhancement projects (35%);
  • Design and conduct field surveys, assessments, mapping studies, experiments, and long-term monitoring studies for rare and endangered species, sensitive plant communities, and habitat management and restoration projects, including experimental trials (25%);
  • Conduct data analyses, and prepare technical plans, reports, databases, and other products (15%);
  • Develop conservation strategies for biodiversity and co-benefited natural resources (e.g., water resources, scenic resources based on a critical synthesis of scientific reports and literature (10%);
  • Facilitate endangered species protection during large-scale restoration and construction projects occurring in their habitat (10%); and
  • Conduct project management and administrative duties (5%).


Applicants proficient in geographic information systems, who are strongly encouraged to apply, will also implement cartography, spatial analyses, and spatial database management.



The Assistant/Associate Ecologist is responsible for a high level of professionalism in both field and office environments. As a member of a small, dedicated, and highly collaborative team, these positions involve both expertise-based leadership and hands-on program implementation. This requires a high level of energy, productivity, flexibility, durability, attention to detail, and commitment to the projects.


The qualified candidates will have:

  • A background in biology, environmental studies, or a related field;
  • A minimum of one year’ experience in the field (Assistant-level position), or either five years’ experience or a master’s degree and two years’ experience for the Associate-level position;
  • Keen attention to detail and commitment to high-quality work;
  • Strong quantitative skills and experience and proficiency working with quantitative data;
  • Experience in habitat management and restoration strategies, including active revegetation, used to conserve biodiversity in Mediterranean-type ecosystems;
  • Strong natural history and botanical field identification skills and an interest and ability to develop expertise in the California flora and fauna;
  • Strong organizational and professional skills, and capability of prioritizing and managing diverse tasks independently and with direction and support from the Principal Ecologist;
  • The ability to work, and supervise others to work, safely, responsibly, and independently outdoors, and under physically or mentally demanding conditions including inclement weather;
  • Strong interpersonal skills with an ability to effectively communicate with people with a broad spectrum of backgrounds and interests;
  • An entrepreneurial, self-starting, and highly collaborative approach to work, and the ability to teach, train, and inspire effective work by others, including staff and university interns; and
  • An ability to be flexible, adaptable, perform within a time-sensitive environment, and maintain a positive solution-oriented attitude.


Candidates who are proficient in the use of geographic information system for spatial analysis and cartography, and spatial database management are strongly encouraged to apply.


Additional requirements include:

  • Proficiency in data entry, database management, and statistical analyses, with proficiency with geographic information systems highly desirable;
  • Proficiency in English, and strong written and verbal communication skills;
  • High level of proficiency with common computer applications including MS Office Suite;
  • Willingness to work alone in remote locations, on weekends, evenings, and out of town for up to two weeks at a time; and
  • A valid California Driver’s License, a good driving record, and a vehicle for travel to field sites.


The positions offer the right candidates the opportunity to contribute to a diverse suite of conservation efforts on California’s Central Coast, while developing a broad range of technical and professional skills related to biodiversity conservation. Individuals with strong interest and experience in restoration ecology, conservation biology, and/or plant and insect ecology and their applications to real-world conservation projects, as well as enthusiasm for natural history and working outdoors are strongly encouraged to apply.


Compensation will be commensurate with the selected applicants’ skills, experience, and other qualifications. Jodi McGraw Consulting offers a benefits package including health insurance, vacation leave, sick pay, paid holidays, and a 401(k).


Interested individuals should email: 1) a cover letter identifying the requested position (Assistant or Associate Ecologist) and describing the candidate’s qualifications and interests as they relate to the position, and 2) a professional resume noting relevant skills, experience, and salary history to: info at (Replace ‘at’ with ‘@’ when e-mailing).


Applicants whose experience and qualifications are a good fit for this position will be contacted. We regret that we are not able to respond personally to all submissions, but each will be reviewed. Applications accepted until filled. Target start date is January 3, 2021.


About Organization

Jodi McGraw Consulting (JMc) is a professional environmental consulting firm that assists clients with projects to conserve rare species and sensitive habitats, including as part of larger infrastructure, operations, and development projects. Jodi McGraw founded the firm in 2001 to integrate the latest conservation ecology science and approaches to enhance the effectiveness of public and private efforts to conserve habitat and rare species populations.