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Environmental Specialist - Stream Fish Field Taxonomist

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Environmental Specialist - Stream Fish Field Taxonomist - Full time benefitted position based in Topeka, KS.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is participating in the 2023-2024 National Rivers and Streams Assessment. This project is associated with the state’s Stream Probabilistic Monitoring Program and is part of an effort to apply uniform methodologies to assess the health of streams and rivers across the US. We are seeking to hire a fish taxonomist for the duration of the project.

The job is physically demanding, with extended workdays and multi-day trips from April through October. However, travel is confined to the workweek (M-F), and staff stay in hotels and receive per diem. Sample sites are distributed statewide and may be far from the roads, so the crew may drive long distances, then travel overland to the site on foot and navigate stream banks and channels, typically working in chest waders and carrying equipment and/or samples. Outside the field season, the incumbent will assist with data management, curation of the fish reference collection, and logistics; they will also have the opportunity to cross-train with other programs in the Bureau of Water.

This position requires a Bachelor’s Degree in biology or appropriate natural sciences; a Master’s Degree or equivalent work experience is preferred. Ability to identify most Kansas fishes in the field is a core requirement. Understanding of fish ecology and familiarity with fish sampling methods are also important, as is general experience with fieldwork and field protocols. All crew members are expected to demonstrate professionalism, a strong work ethic, and the ability to work well in a team environment to produce consistently high quality results. Other desirable characteristics of the successful candidate may include: knowledge of aquatic entomology, malacology, hydrology, earth science, and/or riparian botany; experience with boats and boating; familiarity with water quality sampling or water chemistry analysis; competence with data management, statistics, and quality assurance; and practical skills such as map navigation or wilderness first aid.

This is a full time (40 hrs/week) Environmental Specialist position, with a pay range of $23.31 - $25.68/hr depending on education and experience. Benefits are those offered by the State of Kansas: We ask the fish taxonomist to commit to at least one year of work (through December 31, 2023), but the position is funded through December 31, 2024, and it is anticipated that the incumbent will remain on staff for the second year of the project.

To apply, visit the Kansas State Jobs website at and search for Job ID 207011, Environmental Specialist in KDHE Watershed Planning Section.