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Biological Scientist III

Florida Forest Service/FDACS

Job Field:
Job Type:
Full Time
Location Detail:
Lakeland, FL

Job Description:

This professional position is responsible to the Forestry Resource Administrator. This person will work to plan, develop, and coordinate land management practices that enhance and protect natural plant communities and animal species on Lake Wales Ridge State Forest and other state lands as needed. Specific examples of work performed include, but are not limited to, the following:


Survey mapped populations of 16 federally listed species at Lake Wales Ridge State Forest (LWRSF); update GPS/GIS (Global Positioning System /Geographic Information System) maps of populations (or individuals if n<100) of listed species. Conduct floristic surveys on the state forest and assist in floristic surveys on other public lands as needed.


Develop and implement demography projects (i.e., monitor tagged individuals) for at least half of the 8 species subject to level 3 monitoring in order to determine their management requirements. Small, medium, and large populations should be selected so that trends can be detected. Coordinate with outside researchers to design and implement new monitoring projects when appropriate. Conduct population augmentation project(s) to enhance population numbers of federally listed plant species at LWRSF.


Develop Scrub Maintenance Project by establishing a written monitoring protocol to track the success of the application of high intensity prescribed fire to maintain habitat requirements of scrub endemics.


Assist with annual mowing/oak reduction restoration projects with resource staff and monitoring of areas through photo monitoring/plant surveys. Work with forest staff on timber harvest planning in sand pine scrub and cutthroat grass. Continue vegetation-monitoring project and coordinate with forest staff on effects of logging on listed species in sand pine scrub.


Provide input for prescribed fire planning on the state forest and conduct post burn analysis and monitoring of plants.


Conduct field research projects (responses to disturbances, seed viability, etc.) that improve understanding of the effects of management activities on any of the 16 listed species where current knowledge is lacking. Coordinate and collaborate with outside researchers to avoid duplication of effort in these areas. Identifies local (LWRSF) seed sources to obtain and grow ground cover and other listed species to enhance biodiversity in restored management units. Leads ground cover restoration projects when appropriate.


Assist in the development, administration, and implementation of ecologically sound forest management prescriptions that promote native habitat integrity and protect rare, threatened, and endangered species of plants and animals. Promote the enhancement of these populations through specific habitat controls. Coordinate ecosystem management practices with federal, state, other local agencies and appropriate environmental private organizations to ensure a blended, well-balanced management program for these species.


Survey, inventory, and monitor rare, threatened and endangered species of flora and fauna and maintain a permanent record of essential information for future management purposes. Attend and be involved in the Lake Wales Ridge Ecosystem Working Group and other local/regional organizations as appropriate.


Assist other Florida Forest Service (FFS) resource staff in conducting routine field inspections to inventory and monitor condition of forest units, habitats, and plant populations. Assist other state agencies with preparation and update of natural areas inventory as it regards to rare plants.


Coordinate with other FFS resource staff in the relocation of threatened and endangered species and evaluation of ecological mitigation projects. Produce an annual report detailing all monitoring results and summaries of field observations.


Perform other related duties as assigned including the proper maintenance of all assigned equipment and vehicles





A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a major course of study in one of the biological sciences and two (2) years of professional biological experience in a field or laboratory program; or


A master's degree from an accredited college or university with a major course of study in one of the biological sciences and one (1) years of professional experience as described above; or


A doctorate from an accredited college or university with a major course of study in one of the biological sciences. Certain positions within this class require individuals to meet specific federal or state regulations as identified by the employing agency.


Requires possession of a valid driver license.





Occasional to moderate travel required. Position may respond to emergencies, including natural disasters or other type incidents requiring travel, as needed.




The State of Florida is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Affirmative Action Employer, and does not tolerate discrimination or violence in the workplace.


Candidates requiring a reasonable accommodation, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, must notify the agency hiring authority and/or People First Service Center (1-866-663-4735). Notification to the hiring authority must be made in advance to allow sufficient time to provide the accommodation.


The State of Florida supports a Drug-Free workplace. All employees are subject to reasonable suspicion drug testing in accordance with Section 112.0455, F.S., Drug-Free Workplace Act.


VETERANS’ PREFERENCE. Pursuant to Chapter 295, Florida Statutes, candidates eligible for Veterans’ Preference will receive preference in employment for Career Service vacancies and are encouraged to apply. Certain service members may be eligible to receive waivers for postsecondary educational requirements. Candidates claiming Veterans’ Preference must attach supporting documentation with each submission that includes character of service (for example, DD Form 214 Member Copy #4) along with any other documentation as required by Rule 55A-7, Florida Administrative Code. Veterans’ Preference documentation requirements are available by clicking here. All documentation is due by the close of the vacancy announcement.


Salary: $36,467.60 - $45,584.50; The anticipated minimum hiring salary for this position is $36,467.60 annually.



How to Apply:


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