The Trustees of Reservations

200 High St.
Boston, MA 02110


Date Posted:
March 02, 2021




Coastal Ecologist - Islands, South Coast, Cape


The Opportunity.

The Coastal Ecologist performs a suite of duties focused on active stewardship, assessments, and monitoring of coastal shorebirds, priority habitats and species, coastal resiliency, and the engagement of staff, volunteers, community, and partners in coastal and ecology activities. Priority habitats include approximately 600 acres of uplands at six properties managed through mowing and prescribed fire; and 20 miles of barrier beach and associated coastal habitats. The position requires daily travel throughout Martha’s Vineyard with regular visits to Nantucket during the spring and summer. Occasional visits to the mainland will also be necessary.

While the position is based on 40 hours per week, due to the demands of seasonal fieldwork, unpredictable weather and the need to attend evening or weekend meetings, a flexible schedule is required. The Ecologist is also expected to participate as a member of the Islands staff team and the Ecology Program team. This position supports the Ecology Program’s priority management goals and will work closely with the Lead Coastal Ecologist, other Ecologists, Habitat Specialist, Stewardship staff, and Volunteer Program.

In This Role You Will:

  • Lead implementation of shorebird conservation program on Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket

These responsibilities include -

    • Hire seasonal shorebird technicians

    • Train, support, and direct seasonal staff and volunteers

    • Implement actions to comply with State and Federal Guidelines

    • Track and report status of program activities and outcomes weekly and annually

    • Reduce or mitigate impacts from predators on shorebird populations and productivity

    • Guide implementation of Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) on Trustees managed beaches

  • Serve as project managerfor ecology-specific management including predator control, habitat maintenance and restoration projects. Specific project management tasks include –

    • Manage expenditures and tracking of project budgets

    • Comply with organizational operational and administrative processes

    • Develop scope of services, specifications, timeline, cost, and best management practices

    • Solicit and secure contractor proposals

    • Communicate project details and status to internal project teams and external stakeholders in collaboration with stewardship manager

    • Secure local, state, or federal permits

    • Supervise contractors and consultants, monitor performance of deliverables, and provide feedback for corrective actions

  • Implement and conduct annual monitoringto access program success including habitat impacts from overabundant deerand hunting program design

  • Assist coastal project manager(s) in planning of innovative coastal resiliency projects (e.g., assess potential negative impacts on significant ecological resources) as well as oversees pre and post monitoring of coastal resiliency projects

  • Assess the condition of priority habitats based on baseline standards and direct implementation of annual maintenanceincluding the application of invasive control, mowing, grazing, and prescribed fire.

  • Conduct surveys and prepare plans to manage rare species populations

  • Identify and develop coastal ecology needs for annual planning, performance metrics and targets, budgets, workplans, and assisting in the development and renewal of Beach Management Plans.

  • Provide support and guidance to scientific research focused on rare species habitats, globally rare barrens, and coastal habitats vulnerable to climate change.

  • Assist with fundraising by writing grants and participating in donor site visits and presentations

  • Engage volunteers and citizen monitors in coastal and ecology projects

    • Identify opportunities for volunteer and citizen science engagement.

    • Train and direct volunteer involvement in coastal and ecology projects (e.g., beach profiling)

  • Guide and train seasonal staff to ensure compliance with coastal and ecology policies and best practicesincluding the implementation of The Trustees’ Hunting, Over Sand vehicle and Invasive Control policies

  • Provide guidance on environmental regulatory compliance to Island staff (e.g. rare species, wetlands)

  • Promote and share program outcomes, best practices, policies, and expertise with staff, partners, communities, and professional networks including but not limited to shorebird management, barrens management and coastal resiliency and restoration.

  • Maintain equipment in safe and functional condition

  • Purchase and manage necessary inventory of supplies and materials


Education and Experience:

  • BS or higher in wildlife biology, ecology, zoology, environmental science, or related field or equivalent experience.

  • At least 1year of previous supervisory and field coordination experience.

  • 6-12 months prior experience with species or habitat monitoring and management.


  • Supervisory and field coordination experience.

  • Strong verbal and written communication skills.

  • The ability to work independently and closely with other staff and the public.

  • The ability to take initiative and problem solve (i.e., critical thinking).

  • Possess strong time management skills.

Preferred applicants will have:

  • MS or higher in wildlife biology, ecology, zoology, environmental science, or related field or equivalent experience

  • Knowledge of the flora and fauna of Massachusetts

  • A Massachusetts Pesticide License (can be acquired on the job)

  • Experience with rare species management and/or research

  • Experience with managing beach-nesting shorebirds on the Atlantic coast

  • Experience with prescribed (controlled) fire and invasive species control

  • Knowledge and practice of coastal habitat resiliency and nature-based solutions

  • Experience operating tractors and a Hoisting License (can be acquired on the job)

  • Skills and experience in project management


  • The ability to work outdoors daily, and at times, under rigorous conditions and perform physically strenuous duties including hiking steep slopes, participating in prescribed fires, and walking miles of beach with soft sand.

  • The ability to lift /carry 50 pounds

  • A valid driver's license, as well as a satisfactory driving record as outlined in The Trustees’ driving policy and a satisfactory criminal background check (CORI)

  • Access to a personal vehicle required

Organizational Relationships/Scope:

  • Reports to Lead Coastal Ecologist

  • Works closely with other Ecologists, Seasonal Technicians, Program Teams, Stewardship and Regional Staff, and Volunteers

About The Trustees

The Trustees is one of Massachusetts’ largest non-profits and the nation’s first conservation and preservation organization. Today, the places we care about are going fast, and the forces undermining them, including climate change, are moving faster.?Our passion is to protect and share with everyone the irreplaceable natural and cultural treasures under our care.?We are funded and supported entirely by our visitors, supporters, volunteers, and more than 60,000 member households.


The Trustees has been featured in the Top 100 Women-Led Organizations in Massachusetts for six consecutive years.


In addition to being an Equal Opportunity Employer, The Trustees aims to create a thriving, inclusive workplace that values each member of its team. We aspire to reflect and effectively serve the residents and communities of Massachusetts who are at the core of our mission.


The Trustees is a signer of the Boston Women’s Workforce Council and a Member of the Boston College Center for Work and Family.

We kindly request that you do not call to inquire about the status of your application. Those candidates chosen for interviews will be contacted.

How To Apply:
Please apply online via The Trustees website linked here.
Apply by:
April 27, 2021
$40,000 - $70,000
About this Organization:
The Trustees of Reservations is one of Massachusetts’ largest non-profits and the nation’s first conservation and preservation organization. We preserve and protect places of natural, scenic and historic beauty and hold these “reservations” in “trust” for public use and enjoyment. Our passion is to improve the quality of life in the Commonwealth, using our properties and their many programs as a powerful and compelling platform to engage more residents and visitors in our mission-driven work. We believe in protecting the irreplaceable forever, for everyone.  Today, we care for 117 special reservations -- from beaches to farms, gardens and historic sites – within minutes of every resident. Funded and supported entirely by our nearly 2 million visitors and supporters, and more than 60,000 member households, we invite you to find your place.