Mountain Wildlife Conservationist

Wildlands Network

Asheville , North Carolina

Position Summary

Wildlands Network seeks to hire a Mountain Wildlife Conservationist to manage our efforts to improve wildlife habitat connectivity in the Southern Appalachian region. The primary responsibility of the position will be coordinating the field work, data analysis and advocacy associated with a collaborative effort to identify priority wildlife road crossing sites along Interstate 40 and other major roads near Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We are deploying GPS collars on elk to track their movements near the highways, and may expand to collar black bears and other species as well. We will also likely be using motion-sensitive wildlife cameras along the highways (and under bridges) to survey animal movement patterns. The Conservationist will collect and analyze field data and communicate the results with project sponsors, agency officials, the media and the general public, helping to maintain a high profile for a flagship effort to promote connectivity in one of the most biologically diverse regions in the world.

Additional responsibilities will include collaborating with local, regional and national land trusts to help protect other high priority wildlife corridors in the Southern Appalachians. The Conservationist will seek to identify gaps in corridor protection efforts in the region and initiate new conservation actions to assure that priority wildlife movement areas are protected before they are destroyed. The position will also involve working with outdoor recreation groups (e.g. Appalachian Trail enthusiasts) to advocate for the protection of areas of mutual interest to recreationists and wildlife conservationists. In addition, the Mountain Wildlife Conservationist will assist other Wildlands Network staff with running a North Carolina Wildlife-Roads working group.

About Wildlands Network

Wildlands Network ( is a 501c3 nonprofit founded in 1991 by a group of visionary conservationists who were concerned that existing land protection efforts in North America were not going to be sufficient to meet the needs of our continent's tremendous biodiversity, particularly large wide-roaming species like grizzly bears and wolves. Our mission is to reconnect, restore, and rewild North America so that life in all its diversity can thrive. We design and advocate for large-scale wildlife corridors, identify key places to install wildlife road crossings to help species navigate busy highways, and push for the return of top carnivores to ecosystems across the continent.

Minimum Qualifications

*Master's Degree (or Ph.D.) in Conservation Biology, Wildlife Biology, Environmental Policy and Management, or related field

*Excellent verbal, written, and multi-media communication skills; ability to give engaging and persuasive public presentations on relevant topics.

*Familiarity with principles of conservation biology, landscape ecology and habitat connectivity

*Deep personal commitment to the mission of Wildlands Network and the goal of saving biodiversity in North America from extinction

*Familiarity with the impacts of roads and urban development on wildlife populations

*Demonstrated ability to work independently and productively with infrequent onsite supervision

*Demonstrated ability to work well as a part of small or large teams (including with staff from other organizations) on group projects and campaigns

*Ability to maintain professional relationships and achieve respect from colleagues in wildlife conservation and the news media

*Ability to relate well with donors, foundations, and other funding organizations

*Ability to set goals and timelines for achieving them, and following through on those goals to completion

*Ability to work energetically and safely in the field in multiple southeastern environments, including rugged mountainous terrain, and under bridges/along steep or rocky road embankments. Must be capable of walking 5 miles in two hours with a 20-lb backpack on a trail with considerable elevation gain, and must be capable of hiking through thick brush, downed timber, and other constraints typical of off-trail wilderness environments in the Southern Appalachian Mountains

*Proficiency with ArcGIS software for spatial mapping and modeling purposes, including working with existing data and creating new data sets in various projections

*Proficiency with Microsoft Office software and in efficiently handling and processing large batches of photo and video files

*must possess a valid state-issued driver's license and clean driving record

Preferred Qualifications

*Strong familiarity with the flora and fauna of the Southern Appalachian Mountains, particularly with rare and endangered species, and a commitment to continuing to develop natural history expertise

*Experience working with wildlife tracking data (e.g. from GPS or VHF collars) and with capturing or collaring large mammals

*Experience deploying wildlife camera traps and analyzing the results

*Possession of an extensive network of contacts with conservationists, wildlife biologists, and environmental advocates in the Southern Appalachian region

*Experience successfully managing field research projects to completion and publishing reports and scientific journal articles

*Demonstrated ability to recruit and manage student interns and volunteers

*Demonstrated ability to search for grant funding opportunities and write high-quality grant proposals

Job Location

The Mountain Wildlife Conservationist will be expected to live and work in Asheville, North Carolina (or within 10 miles of Asheville). The Conservationist will work out of a home office, with frequent travel expected across the Southern Appalachian region from Alabama to West Virginia.


Hiring Schedule and Appointment terms

Applications will be due by June 1, and the position will run from June 2018 to May 2019, with extensions considered likely pursuant to renewed funding. 

Salary and Benefits

The starting salary for the position will be $40,000/year gross, paid twice monthly. Benefits include 4 weeks of paid vacation/year, in addition to 10 paid holidays per year. An additional 10 days of paid sick leave are available as needed, along with a generous 12-week family leave policy for major life events.

How to apply

Applicants should email a cover letter (addressing your specific qualifications for the job in question) and a resume/CV, to Please include the word "application" in the subject line of your email to ensure consideration. No phone calls please.

Wildlands Network's policy is to provide equal employment opportunity (EEO) to all persons regardless of race, sex, age, color, national origin, citizenship status, religion, physical or mental disability, religion, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, genetic information, marital status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law.

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