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Spatial Ecologist

Monday, July 25, 2022

The Tennessee Aquarium celebrates the rich biodiversity of the Southeast through its exhibits and is actively engaged in preserving and restoring that biodiversity through its work in the field. The Aquarium's research arm, the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute, has a focused expertise in restoring freshwater ecosystems and helping people appreciate the need for environmental health in our region.

The Spatial Ecologist manages geospatial data and conducts fieldwork for southeastern aquatic species to advance the freshwater conservation mission of the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute. They will compile and georeference locality data for imperiled southeastern fauna to integrate into and expand the Freshwater Information Network ( This position creates interactive maps and predictive models to assist with conservation prioritization of aquatic species, will routinely conduct aquatic fieldwork to verify locality data or support ongoing conservation status surveys at the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute, and serves as a liaison and resource for spatial analyses for conservation scientists working on other freshwater fauna (fish, reptiles, amphibians, crayfish, etc) in the Southeast. The Spatial Ecologist will participate in the design and delivery of outreach programs or Aquarium exhibits that connect science students of all ages with geospatial data.

Key Responsibilities

  • Creates and maintains maps with distribution data for southeastern aquatic species for the Freshwater Information Network website.
  • Oversees geospatial data management and storage at the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute.
  • Conducts fieldwork in aquatic habitats, both as team leader and team member, to inform conservation programs at the Aquarium.
  • Performs spatial data analysis for grants and projects.
  • Administers, publishes, and maintains geodatabases, SDE and ArcGIS server data.
  • Creates interactive applications for both internal and external users on aquatic species, primarily in the Southeast.
  • Updates species distribution maps as requested by species experts, scientists, and resource managers.
  • Assists with outreach activities, with particular emphasis on high-achieving science students and/or citizen scientists, to promote TNACI’s Freshwater Information Network and other spatial ecology programs.

Key Qualifications

  • Bachelors of Science degree in relevant scientific discipline is required. Masters of Science degree or graduate certificate in GIS preferred.
  • Proficiency with all major functions of ESRI ArcGIS suite.
  • Proficient with Excel, Access and other databasing tools.
  • Good written and oral communication skills.
  • Ability to work independently with little supervision, and as part of a team.
  • Expertise in aquatic fieldwork, including field identification of freshwater fishes.
  • Ability to lift and carry 50 pounds

Full-time, hourly; Salary range starts at $18/hour; Work requires occasional overnight trips to conduct aquatic fieldwork, research and conservation support activities, and to attend various meetings.

Interested candidates area asked to apply online through the Aquarium’s career site at 

All submissions must be received by July 25, 2022.

The Tennessee Aquarium is an equal opportunity employer committed to promoting an inclusive environment that values and supports diversity and equality among staff, volunteers and all of its audiences.