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Spatial Ecologist

Tennessee Aquarium

Job Field:
Water and Soil Resources
Job Type:
Full Time
Location Detail:
Chattanooga, TN
Job Description:

Spatial Ecologist


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 (TNACI). They will compile and geo-reference locality data for imperiled southeastern fauna to integrate into and expand the Freshwater Information Network. This role will also create interactive maps and predictive models to assist with conservation prioritization of aquatic species, routinely conduct aquatic fieldwork to verify locality data or support ongoing conservation status surveys at TNACI and serve as a liaison and resource for spatial analyses for conservation scientists working on other freshwater fauna (fish, reptiles, amphibians, crayfish, etc.) in the Southeast. Finally, the Spatial Ecologist will participate in the design and delivery of outreach programs or Aquarium exhibits that connect science students with geospatial data.


Key Responsibilities

1. Create and maintain maps with distribution data for southeastern aquatic species for the Freshwater Information Network website.

2. Oversee geospatial data management and storage at TNACI.

3. Conduct fieldwork in aquatic habitats, both as team leader and team member, to inform conservation programs at the Aquarium.

4. Collaborate with TNACI team on conservation project development and perform spatial data analysis for existing and newly developed projects.

5. Administer, publish, and maintain geodatabases, SDE and ArcGIS server data.

6. Create interactive applications for both internal and external users on aquatic species, primarily in the Southeast.

7. Update species distribution maps as requested by species experts, scientists, and resource managers.

8. Maintain relationships with current GIS partners including UTC’s IGTLab and Tennessee Tech’s iCube.

9. Assist 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

• A Bachelor of Science degree in relevant scientific discipline is required. Master of Science degree or graduate certificate in GIS preferred.

• Proficiency with all major functions of ESRI ArcGIS suite.

• Proficiency with Excel, Access and other databasing tools.

• Proficiency with using GPS equipment to pinpoint coordinates and measurements in the field.

• 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 a group of aquatic organisms.


Work requires occasional overnight trips to conduct aquatic fieldwork, research, conservation support activities, and to attend various meetings.

Compensation range starts at $19.63/hour


Comprehensive package of benefits including health, dental, vision, retirement with match and base, sick and vacation time, holiday pay, and more!

How to Apply:

Interested candidates are asked to apply and submit a resume and cover letter online through the Aquarium’s career site at

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