Ocean Career: FDEP Environmental Specialist

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship—protecting our air, water, and land. The vision of DEP is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystem.

The Work You Will Do

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provides funding to state governments and universities to administer the National Estuarine Research Reserves (NERRs) currently implemented at 30 sites around the coastal US and its territories. In Florida, the DEP works with the federal government to maintain the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve (ANERR), located in Eastpoint, Florida. Designated in 1979, ANERR has conducted research, monitoring, education, training, and stewardship activities for over 40 years. ANERR’s research and monitoring team is seeking an OPS Environmental Specialist II to work under the direction of the Research Coordinator to manage the Reserve’s System-wide Monitoring Program (SWMP) and the Sentinel Site Program, which are multi-tiered research initiatives to track weather, water quality, climate change, and sea level.

The Difference You Will Make

The data collected and managed under this program will provide invaluable information to the state of Florida and the federal government. These important datasets are owned by the public and will be used by government and academic institutions.

Where You Will Work

The position will reside at the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve, located in Eastpoint, Florida, within Franklin County. The surrounding area is rural and dominated by a working waterfront. Eastpoint is a small community reliant on tourism and the fishing industry. It is located across the bay from the city of Apalachicola and St. George Island. ANERR’s offices are positioned directly on the coast of the St. George Sound and Apalachicola Bay. Less than 5% of a working day is required to travel to locations within the county to perform mission critical duties.

Your Specific Responsibilities

The qualified candidate will assist with maintenance of the Reserve’s SWMP and Sentinel Site Program. Maintenance will include the general upkeep of telemetry and marsh monitoring systems. The candidate will also be responsible for data collection, management, QA/QC, and submissions to the Centralized Data Management Office under the NOAA NERRs System. The candidate will be expected to participate and work effectively as an individual and as a member of a highly skilled and integrated research team. Research team members must be able to translate their work to the public, including upper-level academics, state, and federal agency staff.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of estuarine ecology and the dynamics of how estuaries function regarding the interaction of physical, chemical, and biological components.
  • Knowledge of the procedures, techniques, and equipment used in a scientific laboratory.
  • Knowledge of field techniques involving the sampling of physical, chemical, and biological parameters.
  • Knowledge of electronics hardware and software, including the ability to troubleshoot issues while in the field.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and written.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with others to achieve a singular goal.
  • Skill and experience with public speaking to a wide and diverse audience.
  • Experience or willingness to gain agency certification for operating and trailering boats up to less than 40 ft.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a major in one of the biological, aquatic, marine, or environmental sciences.
  • Nationally recognized diver certification (NAUI, PADI, SSI).
  • Willingness to participate in the DEP dive program (requires medical monitoring)
  • The ability to swim and snorkel, sometimes in conditions with low visibility and strong currents.
  • The ability to safely lift and carry items up to 50 pounds while navigating through soft marsh sediments, climbing ladders more than 10 feet under harsh outdoor conditions such as heat and cold in areas without access to normal telecommunications services.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite.
  • A valid driver’s license.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience working with electronics, computer hardware and software systems. Those specifically related to telemetry and data logging systems.
  • Experience with ecological data analysis, more specifically biological communities and associated environmental data sets.
  • Experience in scientific peer-reviewed writing.

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

Our Partners

Frontiers in Marine Science

ECO Magazine is a marine science trade publication committed to bringing scientists and professionals the latest ground-breaking research, industry news, and job opportunities from around the world.


8502 SW Kansas Ave
Stuart, FL 34997


Newsletter Signup

The ECO Newsletter is a weekly email featuring the Top 10 stories of the past seven days, providing readers with a convenient way to stay abreast on the latest ocean science and industry news.