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The Whitefish Lake Institute (WLI), a leader in water quality research and education, is seeking a Limnologist to join our non-profit team in Whitefish, Montana. Reporting to the Executive Director, the Limnologist will be the lead scientist for the organization. As part of a small but high impact non-profit team, the Limnologist will play a significant role helping WLI fulfill its mission to protect and improve water quality in the Whitefish area. 

Core Responsibilities

  • Manage the Whitefish Long-term Water Quality Monitoring Program that includes Whitefish Lake and local streams
  • Develop study methodologies and QA/QC documents
  • Collect water chemistry samples, physical parameters, and stream flow information
  • Manage and create databases 
  • Statistical interpretation of data and reporting of key findings
  • Preparation of management / study reports
  • Publish significant findings
  • Identify research needs based on data analysis and land use pressures
  • Database management and reporting for the Northwest Montana Lakes Network
  • Scientific equipment calibration and maintenance
  • Boat and trailer up-keep
  • Manage and coordinate the Science Advisory Committee
  • Develop work plans and implementation schedules with the ED

Other Responsibilities

  • Participate in staff meetings, board meetings and WLI sponsored events
  • Team member in organizational planning
  • Assist in the planning and execution of the Montana Lakes Conference (4-year cycle)
  • Assist in the planning and execution of the WLI Science Quencher (quarterly)
  • Assist in management of undergraduate summer intern 
  • Assist in educational programing 
  • Draft articles for WLI quarterly newsletter LakeFront
  • Serve on external committees
  • Fulfill miscellaneous tasks associated with a small non-profit corporation as assigned by ED, including but not limited to grant writing, budgeting, fundraising, and special events


  • Master’s degree in Limnology or closely related field. Current graduate or PhD students may be considered given certain circumstances
  • Previous field work experience
  • Demonstrated strong analytical and data interpretation skills
  • Fluent in R software and programming
  • Command of major software programs including the Microsoft Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Publisher)
  • Exceptional oral and written communication skills, including public speaking experience, and the ability to effectively communicate ideas across disciplines and the public 
  • Capacity to juggle multiple tasks in a high-energy environment
  • Flexible, reliable, and self-directed work style
  • Ability to work collaboratively in a team environment
  • Proven collaboration and relationship-building skills and ability to work effectively with diverse people, funders, and partners.
  • Positive, motivated, energetic, and empathetic attitude
  • Must be able to operate multiple types of watercraft, including trailering and transport
  • Must be able to lift 50 pounds
  • Passion for the aquatic resources of a small but vital watershed located at the headwaters of the Columbia River Basin


  • $60,000-$65,000 DOE
  • 3 weeks paid vacation
  • Paid winter break between December 25 and January 1
  • Health Stipend
  • Retirement contribution


Supply the following documents in a single PDF in the order listed below:

  • Cover Letter
  • Resume
  • Three professional references
  • One scientific writing sample 
  • Supplemental Question: List three things that appeal to you the most about working for WLI (word count maximum= 300) 

Submit required information electronically to: Mike Koopal, Executive Director, Put “Limnologist Application” in the subject line

Review of applications will begin December 1, 2022

Position open until filled 


Founded in 2005, WLI is a science and education based 501(c)(3) non-profit led by a volunteer board of directors and assisted by a Science Advisory Committee. WLI partners with various organizations to creatively fund research and develop programs for Whitefish Lake and Whitefish area water resources. WLI is not an advocacy organization—instead we conduct research and provide scientific data to resource managers and citizens to aid in the decision-making process. We are funded by a broad base of members, research and education grants, and programmatic partnerships with other organizations and resource management agencies. We accomplish our work through three program areas: Science, Education, and Aquatic Resource Initiatives. Further information about the organization can be found at 


Located in the heart of the spectacular northern Rocky Mountains, Whitefish is home to approximately 8,000 residents. Named one of the "Top 25 Ski Towns in the World" by National Geographic, Whitefish is located on the shores of Whitefish Lake and at the base of Big Mountain—home to Whitefish Mountain Resort. A short jaunt to Glacier National Park, Whitefish is a year-round destination with plentiful attractions and a mixed array of shops, coffee houses, restaurants, accommodations, community gatherings, and nightlife. Cultural opportunities abound with two local professional theaters, area museums and many diverse musical offerings. Public and state lands offer exceptional downhill and Nordic skiing, snowboarding, hiking, hunting, biking, and boating. Amtrak's Empire Builder stops daily in Whitefish, and Glacier Park International Airport is only 15 minutes away.