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Scientist Lead, Estuarine Ecologist

South Florida Water Management District

West Palm Beach, FL

Nat. Resources/ Restoration

Skill Level: Senior Level

Position Type: Full Time

~The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) is a regional governmental agency that manages the water resources in the southern half of the state, covering 16 counties from Orlando to the Florida Keys and serving a population of 8.1 million residents. ~

It is the oldest and largest of the state's five water management districts. Created in 1949, the agency is responsible for managing and protecting water resources of South Florida by balancing and improving flood control, water supply, water quality and natural systems.

A key initiative is the restoration of America's Everglades - the largest environmental restoration project in the nation's history. The District is also working to improve the Kissimmee River and its floodplain, Lake Okeechobee and South Florida's coastal estuaries. 

Position Overview 

The Coastal Ecosystems Section at the South Florida Water Management District seeks a broadly trained estuarine ecologist.

While the area of expertise is open, candidates with strong quantitative skills (statistics, spatial analysis, or modeling) whose research emphasizes watershed-estuarine interactions will be given preference.

This position will work with a multi-disciplinary team applying linked watershed, estuarine hydrodynamic/water quality, and ecological response models, to the study and evaluation of responses of coastal ecosystems to changing freshwater inflow and nutrient loading associated with water resources management and ecosystem restoration projects.

The successful candidate should have knowledge of the theories, principles, and methods of estuarine ecology; demonstrable familiarity and experience working in Florida's coastal ecosystems and the ability to apply basic science to the solution of applied problems.


  • This lead technical contributor is fully responsible for interpreting, organizing, coordinating and executing assignments, setting measureable goals and objectives, formulating scopes of work with teams of scientific specialists/practitioners responsible for both large complex projects as well as smaller projects and order to meet District priorities.
  • Works and makes decisions on technical matters independently, in alignment with District priorities.
  • Requires minimal supervision and guidance but escalates critical issues to management and keeps management current on the status of projects and assignments; seeks feedback to enhance technical development regarding overall objectives, critical issues, new concepts and policy matters.
  • Work products are reviewed by supervisor for desired results, adequacy of meeting objectives and for application of sound professional judgment. 



  • Typically has Master's Degree (PhD preferred) in marine/estuarine ecology or related discipline and 8+ years' experience that demonstrates measurable career progression within a scientific discipline that can be applied to support the District's strategic goals and objectives as they relate to South Florida Coastal systems. 

Physical Requirements/Working Environment: 

  • Due to the District's response role and in the total scope of emergency management, this position may at times, be required to provide support before, during and after major storm events and emergency situations, such as hurricanes or other declared emergencies, depending on assigned emergency response role. 

Compensation: Salary minimum is $62,961.60; salary midpoint is $74,838.40.

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