Ocean Career: FWC Biological Scientist IV (Artificial Reefs)

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Division of Marine Fisheries Management Artificial Reef Program is currently seeking a Biological Scientist IV to work with local coastal governments, state universities and stakeholders from across the state of Florida to execute artificial reef construction and monitoring projects—ranging from small inshore reef deployments, to managing large projects such as the 30,800 ton Oriskany Reef.

If you are interested in fisheries biology and have strong skills in grant administration, project management, and scientific diving, consider applying to this large-impact position.

The successful candidate will manage state and federal grants and contracts for artificial reef development and research, compile, interpret, and analyze biological data, conduct assessments of artificial reef habitat, and compile technical reports.

This is a full-time position and includes a competitive benefits package. The normal FWC Monday-Friday work week is 40 hours; however, occasional evenings, weekends, and multi-day trips may be required. SCUBA certification, with a minimum Bachelor’s plus 4 years of experience or Master’s plus 2 years of experience are required.

Minimum qualifications:

Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of four years of professional experience in life or physical sciences. Master’s degree and a minimum of two years of experience in life or physical sciences preferred. SCUBA certification required.

Salary: $48,000.0 – $52,000.00 Annually
Posting Closing Date: March 5, 2023
Location: Tallahassee, FL

Licensure, Certification, or Registration Requirements:

  • Must possess and maintain a valid driver’s license
  • Must possess SCUBA certification from a nationally recognized agency


  • Manages multiple assigned artificial reef construction, monitoring, and research contracts with local coastal governments, select 501(c)(3) non-profit corporations and state universities.
  • Develops and maintains effective working relationships with other agency managers, state and federal regulatory staff, local coastal government managers, media, public and affected artificial reef stakeholders.
  • Serves on the Division of Marine Fisheries Management Dive Team to assess and develop reports on the performance/compliance of previously deployed artificial reef projects.
  • Manages and regularly validates and updates Florida’s Artificial Reef GIS Geodatabase. These include tracking artificial reef development activity statewide, maintaining accuracy by receiving updates from local artificial reef managers on any changes in condition and location of past reef deployments, tracking FWC funded dive monitoring activities, reef fish census data.
  • Operates side scan sonar, towed video cameras, and other remote sensing equipment to validate artificial reef locations and footprints.
  • Assists in developing or revising rules, management plans, and other policy documents related to the artificial reef program.
  • Provides regulatory review and agency comment on state and federal permits for artificial reef construction.
  • Develops visual presentations and speaks at public meetings and workshops when required.
  • Assists in the development and monitoring of project work plans and budgets.
  • Operates/maintains project equipment including vehicles, boats, motors, trailers, and other field sampling equipment.
  • Responsible for the timely and accurate processing and/or approval of vendor invoices and warrants for payment of goods received or services rendered.
  • Responsible for adhering to the provisions and requirements for Section 215.422.F.S., related State Comptroller’s rules and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation invoice processing and warrant distribution procedures.
  • Courteously assists Commission constituents to resolve questions or problems and matters relating to the Commission or fish and wildlife conservation. Seeks to garner public support for agency objectives and programs by serving Florida’s citizens in a positive and proactive manner.

Preferred Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Ability to work with the general public, public officials, regulatory agencies and local governments and to conduct communications in a tactful and courteous manner.
  • Knowledge of personal computers and related software (spreadsheet, database, data analysis, digital photo/video processing programs, etc.).
  • Knowledge of marine construction and contract management.
  • Ability to use ArcGIS and other GIS–related software applications.
  • Skilled in SCUBA diving (minimum open water certification required, advanced open water certification or higher preferred) and ability to obtain AAUS scientific diving certification through the Commission’s certification process within 6 months of employment.
  • Ability to work effectively in a team situation with one or more individuals in a strenuous field situation over a multi-day period and demonstrate ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships in both a close-quarters field working environment and an office environment.
  • Ability to trailer and operate vessels up to 32’ in length.
  • Ability to successfully work independently on projects that involve coordination, monitoring, problem solving skills.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, orally, graphically, and in writing including production of formal technical and annual reports.
  • Ability to organize and prioritize workloads.
  • Ability to think critically and develop logical responses to problems.
  • Ability to identify Florida coastal marine fishes and major reef associated invertebrate taxa.
  • Ability to endure long work hours and extensive periods of time in the field.
  • Must be able to perform strenuous physical activities under arduous conditions (e.g. inclement weather, rough water), lift heavy equipment up to 50 lbs., and participate in heavy physical exertion while swimming or diving.
  • Must be willing and able to travel and work some overtime hours including occasional weekends, and weeknights.

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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