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Headwaters Corporation
Kearney, Nebraska
Starting range of $55,000-$75,000/year + benefits
Closing date
Sep 25, 2022

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Applied ecology, Ecological restoration
Job Type
Researcher, Scientist
Organization Type


Apply your research skills to improve large-scale habitat management for endangered species. Enter a unique working environment where the energetic culture of a small, fast-paced, interdisciplinary research group intersects with one of the most successful collaborative endangered species recovery programs in the nation. Connect cutting-edge science to decision-makers responsible for endangered species management and restoration program governance. Invest your time in making a difference.

Headwaters Corporation is seeking an experienced behavioral ecologist to join a team that conducts interdisciplinary research with a focus on implementation of the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program (PRRIP). Headwaters serves in a unique role as a private consulting firm that carries out the day-to-day functions of PRRIP implementation by providing the Executive Director and all staff. This includes PRRIP administration, managing the PRRIP’s land and water resources, and implementation of a robust science program that uses adaptive management and other science tools to inform the use of those resources. The Headwaters technical team includes biologists, ecologists, an ecological statistician, geomorphologists, hydraulic engineers, water resources planners, a biosystems engineer, and a science policy advisor that specializes in adaptive management and restoration program governance. Candidates must have the independent drive to tackle complex, multidisciplinary problems and the desire to work for a small firm.

This position will be focused on implementation of PRRIP’s Science Plan, specifically coordination of monitoring and research designed to evaluate the response of piping plovers and whooping cranes to alternative management strategies. This coordinator works with the Program’s Science Lead to develop monitoring and evaluation frameworks to gather information relevant to PRRIP management objectives specified in the Science Plan. The Program is authorized by Congress for a First Increment Extension through the year 2032. This position will be part of the PRRIP Executive Director’s Office (EDO), and monitoring and research efforts are funded through the course of the Extension (as determined by the PRRIP annual budget and work plan). Work includes access to data and field sites from ongoing long-term studies.

Major duties include, but are not limited to:
• Coordination of threatened and endangered species monitoring teams.
• Endangered species permitting and MSHA training.
• Field and remote data collection, error checking, online database management, and statistical analyses.
• Interpretation and synthesis of species monitoring data as it relates to associated landscape characteristics and management activities.
• Preparing technical reports and scientific manuscripts in conjunction with other staff.
• Communication of results to stakeholders.
• Presentation of results at public and scientific meetings and conferences.

Highly Desirable Characteristics:
• Mature judgment, initiative, imagination, resourcefulness, energy, tact, and integrity.
• Effective communicator with team mentality.
• Demonstrated skill in writing for both technical and policy-level audiences.
• Experience that includes team management and establishing processes for integrating multiple data sources into a single evaluative process.
• Experience designing and implementing field monitoring studies.

• Experience making careful observations of animal behavior under field conditions.
• Experience utilizing locational data together with landscape characteristics to draw conclusions about habitat suitability.
• Broad-based background in behavioral ecology (animal behavior and movement, migration ecology, population dynamics, wetland and shore bird ecology).
• Working knowledge of methods for collection of animal behavior data and statistical principles of research design and analysis.
• Knowledge of current literature and methods for study of migratory birds.
• Facility with online database management, Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), R statistical packages, and ArcMap.

Headwaters’ main office is located in Kearney, NE, near the midpoint of the Big Bend reach of the Platte River. Program research and monitoring focuses on the ninety-mile reach of the central Platte extending from Lexington, NE to Chapman, NE. Headwaters’ science staff are located in Kearney, water/engineering staff are based in Headwaters’ Lakewood, CO office, and our geoscientists are based in Fort Collins, CO. This position will be housed in Kearney, NE. Periodic travel for meetings and conferences (3 - 5 days a month) will also be necessary.

Minimum of M.S. in Fisheries & Wildlife, Animal Ecology, Behavioral Sciences, Landscape Ecology, Ornithology, or related technical field.

Minimum of 3 years of progressively responsible professional experience. Strongly prefer candidates with at least 5 – 8 years of directly relevant experience.

Headwaters Corporation will offer a competitive salary commensurate with experience and qualifications relevant to this position. Starting range of $55,000-$75,000/year.
Headwaters offers an excellent compensation and benefits package including medical, dental, and life insurance; a 401(K) plan; and paid vacation time and holidays. Headwaters Corporation is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Applications will be considered until the position is filled. Application materials should be submitted electronically and addressed to:

Bridget Barron, Ph.D.
President and CEO
Headwaters Corporation
4111 4th Avenue, Suite 6
Kearney, NE 68845

Please send a cover letter, resume, and three references in PDF format to Dr. Barron at:

Headwaters Corporation is a natural resources management consulting firm that specializes in the review and implementation of large-scale endangered species recovery and river restoration programs; management of independent science review processes; planning, design, and implementation of river restoration and wetland mitigation projects; and application of a variety of areas of scientific expertise to project planning, design, and implementation. We have a small, highly qualified team comprised of leading river restoration program managers and adaptive management practitioners, experts in restoration program governance and function, river ecologists, western water resources experts, biologists, geomorphologists, water resources engineers, and land managers. With offices in Nebraska (Kearney) and Colorado (Lakewood and Fort Collins), Headwaters Corporation provides a broad range of services to public and private clients. Visit our website at for more information on our purpose, our people, and our work.

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