Fisheries Biologist - Atlantic Salmon Habitat Needed

Woods Hole MA, Gloucester MA, or Portland ME. Full Time

Job Details

Remnant populations of US origin Atlantic salmon are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act and have been designated as the Gulf of Maine Distinct Population Segment (GoM DPS). The recent identification of Atlantic salmon as being one of the most vulnerable species to climate change in the northeastern Atlantic emphasizes the critical need to consider how climate-related changes may affect riverine/marine habitats and species survival. However, uncertainty surrounding climate variability and change can complicate management decisions and actions.

The Fisheries Biologist will assist with describing key habitat attributes of the physical environment, focusing on all habitat types that are utilized by US Atlantic salmon population, from the headwaters of the rivers that comprise the GoM DPS to the west coast of Greenland. Key habitat elements considered include streamflow, stream temperature, marine temperatures at the surface and depth, ocean salinities at the surface and depth, currents, primary production, secondary production, and others to be identified. Contemporary conditions will be described using existing data, and future conditions (~75 years into the future) will be characterized from available climate projections. Describing contemporary conditions and comparing future projections against life stage-specific tolerances will allow for the consideration of impacts due to a changing climate in contemporary management and for the development of realistic expectations for species recovery. 

The tasks include:
  • Describing, to the extent possible, key habitat elements and features (freshwater and marine) across the full range of GoM DPS Atlantic salmon by life stage.
  • Describing the available information for life stage-specific environmental preferences and tolerances related to these key habitat elements and features.
  • Describing contemporary conditions experienced by Atlantic salmon with respect to these key habitat elements and features.
  • Describing projected future conditions for these key habitat elements and features, based on available climate model projections.
  • Describing life stage-specific vulnerabilities by relating environmental tolerances to contemporary and projected future conditions.
  • Meeting with the oversight group at least two times a year to provide progress reports and receive feedback and guidance as necessary.
  • Providing a verbal interim report (at ~6 months), which summarizes progress to date and expected outcomes and timeline.
  • Developing an overview of available information describing Atlantic salmon life stage-specific environmental tolerances.
  • Providing a final report for dissemination to a wider audience within NOAA and its partners, including both an overview of work completed and a submission-ready manuscript for consideration for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
  • Presentation(s) at local, domestic, or international scientific and/or public meeting(s).
  • Minutes for two oversight group meetings during the year.
  • Interim report (verbal).
  • Final report (written).
  • Manuscript(s) for submission to a peer-reviewed journal, describing contemporary and projected key habitat feature characteristics, life stage-specific environmental tolerances and vulnerabilities, and their potential impact on US Atlantic salmon recovery and persistence potential.


The successful candidate will possess:
  • MS (or higher) in a scientific field that included quantitative coursework.
  • Strong quantitative skills, including experience with statistical analyses (e.g., regression, time series, spatial, and/or multivariate statistics).
  • Demonstrated proficiency with programming languages and environments for statistical computing and graphics, preferably R.
  • Proficiency in working with large data sets to extract, manipulate, and summarize findings.
  • Proficiency in the spatial display/summation of large environmental datasets.
  • Ability to work independently to defined milestones, while also being responsive to guidance from supervisors and diverse partners.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills are required.
  • Experience working with NetCDF files preferred.
  • Familiarity with Atlantic and/or Pacific salmon life history preferred.
  • Familiarity with climate model projections preferred.
  • Demonstrated presentation and public outreach skills are preferred.

The rate of pay is $26/hr. The position is eligible for the benefits described on the Integrated Statistics website, and is expected to last six months to one year.

Contact Information

Integrated Statistics

To apply:

Post Date: 3/15/2019 9:23:25 AM
Closing Date: 3/29/2019 12:00:00 AM