Working Lands Biologist

Ducks Unlimited

Remote, Maryland

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details $55,000 - $65,000/year
Deadline Apr 15, 2024
Required Experience 2 - 6 years

Position Overview:

Ducks Unlimited, Inc. and our conservation partners are seeking three (3) Working Lands Biologists to deliver wetland and wildlife conservation practices on private lands within Southwest New Jersey, the Western Shore of Virginia, and the Delmarva Peninsula.  The selected candidates will work as part of a collaborative partnership between Ducks Unlimited (DU), National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), delivering Farm Bill programs to private landowners. The position’s work area includes a priority landscape for migratory bird’s dependent on wetland habitats for all or part of their life cycle. This includes waterfowl, large wading birds, secretive marsh birds, shorebirds, and migratory songbirds within the Atlantic Flyway. NRCS and DU recognize the value and need for additional staffing resources in this area to develop relationships with landowners, provide technical assistance for wetland development and management, and work with additional partners to create, restore and protect critical wetland habitats. 

Delmarva Peninsula Working Lands Biologist:

The Delmarva Peninsula Working Lands Biologist position is dedicated to addressing wildlife, water quality, and soil health concerns and provides a unique opportunity to build relationships with a wide range of landowners. The Working Lands Biologist will work with field offices to provide technical, biological, and conservation planning expertise in the delivery of the NRCS Working Lands Programs, DU’s Conservation Delivery Programs, and will have a working knowledge of other programs available to support wetland conservation on private lands. The incumbent will have access to high quality training programs and mentorship opportunities, while providing both programmatic and technical assistance to private landowners. This is a full-time, term DU position with excellent advancement opportunities. It is supported through a partnership with the NFWF, NRCS, and DU.

This position will work closely with existing DU Working Lands staff to deliver outreach efforts for the Working Lands for Wildlife Black Duck Initiative. This position will be part of a collaborative effort known as the Delmarva Wetlands Partnership, which consists of state, federal, and NGO partners to deliver targeted wetlands outreach efforts throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The successful applicant will be a fulltime employee of DU’s Great Lakes Atlantic Regional Office in Dexter, MI, but will primarily work remotely.

Specific Duties and Responsibilities:

(Approximate percent time spent annually accomplishing each)


  • Provide in-the-field, programmatic and technical assistance for state and federal wildlife conservation programs to private landowners.
  • Conduct site visits to develop wetland habitat management plans and determine eligibility for USDA Farm Bill, DU land protection, and other private land programs.
  • Work closely with participating landowners to promote and enhance wetland and wildlife conservation management to improve water quality and wildlife benefits.
  • Assist local offices and private landowners in facilitating program applications and enrollment, support county offices in the development and assessment of project ranking, assist county offices in the development site specific conservation plans through NRCS’s Conservation Desktop (CD) program, contracts and other documentation required for participation in all wetland-friendly conservation programs;
  • Develop compatible use authorizations (CUAs) for approval under USDA-NRCS WRE Program.
  • Use knowledge of general life history of terrestrial and aquatic species to develop tree planting plans, grass planting plans, water level management plans and moist soil/emergent marsh management plans matching plant and wildlife species to hydrology, topography and landform.
  • Promote and encourage private landowners to participate in USDA Farm Bill programs along with the suite of other wetland-friendly conservation programs available to them as private landowners.
  • Work closely with the NRCS and other conservation partner staff to ensure wetland conservation programs are implemented on private land in a manner that maximizes the water, soil, waterfowl/wildlife and other benefits of the programs.
  • Coordinate with other conservation interests to effectively leverage conservation resources for delivery of conservation programs.
  • Assist all involved agencies with wetland management workshops, promotions, and training.


  • Provide support and lend expertise to partners on working lands projects within the work area. 
  • Serve on a team to help create, enhance, and modify wetland conservation programs to increase product delivery.
  • Submit monthly activity progress reports to include names of landowners receiving technical assistance, number of acres by county of wildlife habitat planned/improved, and staff time allocated to each program request.
  • Annual summary report of activities.
  • Assist with other wetland/wildlife enhancement/restoration and private land duties as needed.


  • Expand knowledge of coastal systems and further develop technical skills to support the design and management of wetland communities by participating in available training/educational opportunities.

Minimum Education and Experience Requirements:

4-yr. Bachelor of Science degree in natural resource conservation, agriculture, wildlife management, or a closely related natural resources field.  At least 2 years of experience with the management of wetland or wildlife systems is highly preferred.  Duties will consist of both office and field work and may require infrequent overnight travel, both in and out of state.  Duties may require field work in extreme weather conditions. 

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Working knowledge of wetland, coastal, grassland systems, including identification skills of wetland associated flora and fauna.
  • Knowledge of principles used in the management of migrating waterfowl.
  • Specific knowledge in writing and delivering wetland habitat management conservation plans.
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office and ArcGIS software.
  • Knowledge of the USDA Wetland Reserve Easement Program, Farm Bill Programs, and other programs that support wildlife conservation on private lands in New Jersey.
  • Ability to work effectively both independently and as a member of a team.
  • Ability to work outside in a wide range of weather conditions and in remote areas.
  • Ability to operate and maintain UTVs/ATVs, trucks, trailers, and other field equipment.
  • Ability to effectively plan, organize and prioritize work activities and complete tasks to meet deadlines.
  • Ability to prepare and present information on conservation programs to peers and the public.
  • Possess strong personal skills in order to effectively communicate with private landowners, USDA staff, other wildlife professionals and the general public.
  • Possess good writing skills for preparation of reports, management plans, etc.
  • Possess a valid driver’s license and be willing to drive personal vehicle for federal mileage reimbursement rate when a fleet vehicle is not available.

Please fill out the application materials at this link DU Opportunities and attach a resume, cover letter and references by April 15th, 2024.  Please direct any questions regarding application materials to DU Human Resources hr@ducks.org.  For further information regarding this position, please contact Chase Colmorgen – ccolmorgen@ducks.org .  The position will be open until filled.

Application Deadline:  Applications will be accepted through April 15th, 2024 or until a qualified applicant is identified.

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

Category General / Stewardship , Hydrology , Wildlife
Tags GIS , Wetland , Sustainable Agriculture