Freshwater Mussel Biologist

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Gainesville, FL, USA
Posted on Monday, June 17, 2024

Requisition No: 830531

Agency: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Working Title: Freshwater Mussel Biologist

Pay Plan: Temp

Position Number: 77902077

Salary: $18.50 per hour

Posting Closing Date: 07/12/2024

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FWC Fish and Wildlife Institute – Freshwater Fisheries Research Section

Biological Scientist II – OPS Position

$18.50 per hour

7386 NW 71st St.

Gainesville, FL

Freshwater Mussel Conservation Program

Biological Scientist II - OPS 77902077

Gainesville, Florida - $18.50 per hour

Our organization:

The FWC envisions a Florida where fish and wildlife are abundant and thriving in healthy and connected natural landscapes with vital working lands and waterways; where natural resources are valued and safely enjoyed by all; and wherein natural systems support vibrant human communities and a strong economy.

Our Mission: Managing fish and wildlife resources for their long-term well-being and the benefit of people.

Every organization has an identity that is forged not only by what it does, but by how it conducts itself. The values embedded in our mission and expressed in the vision of the FWC are to make quality decisions by being dynamic, science-informed, efficient, ethical, collaborative and committed to the vitality of the state and its environment.

Minimum Qualifications:

5 years professional experience in a closely-related biological field or laboratory program is required.

A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a major in one of the biological sciences and one year of professional biological experience in a field or laboratory program; or

A master's degree from an accredited college or university in one of the biological sciences can substitute for the required experience.

Preferred Qualifications:

Preference may be given to candidates with the following qualifications: A master’s degree in one of the biological sciences from an accredited college or university is preferred.


Employment in this position is contingent upon a satisfactory Level 1 background check at no cost to the candidate. Office hours are from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday. Not eligible for Telework.

Position Overview and Responsibilities:

We are seeking a motivated individual to join the FWC Freshwater Invertebrate Conservation Group’s Freshwater Mussel Research Program. The duties include but are not limited to: Contributing to the implementation of a long-term monitoring program designed to assess the status of freshwater mussel communities and their habitat in the major river basins of Florida. Sample freshwater mussel communities using quantitative and qualitative methods. Species level taxonomic identifications of freshwater mussels and other aquatic invertebrates. Maintenance of project vehicles, boats, motors, trailers, sampling gear, and lab equipment. Assist with compiling and maintaining statewide aquatic invertebrate databases. Purchase relevant equipment and supplies strictly following State of Florida purchasing rules and protocols. Remain current with scientific literature and issues pertinent to freshwater invertebrate taxonomy, ecology, and environmental requirements. Assist Research Coordinator with data analysis using a variety of statistical software; using GIS to produce maps and analyze distribution and habitat data; and production of annual reports, scientific publications, and reviews in a timely manner. Production of oral presentations and posters for exhibition at state and national conferences, as well as outreach events.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

Knowledge of field methods used to sample freshwater mussels and other freshwater invertebrates. Knowledge of current issues and literature in aquatic invertebrate ecology.

Ability to identify freshwater mussels to species level and curate collections.

Strong ability to swim in outdoor settings.

Ability to skin dive using mask, snorkel, and weight belt.

Ability or desire to obtain AAUS SCUBA diving certification.

Ability to work long hours in sometimes unpleasant field conditions that may include rain, high winds, rough water, heat, cold, low visibility, biting insects, snakes, and alligators.

Ability to frequently conduct overnight travel for up to four consecutive nights, sometimes for successive weeks.

Ability to communicate effectively with co-workers in a team environment.

Ability to work independently.

Ability to record data accurately.

Knowledge of operation, trailering, and basic maintenance of boats.

Ability to operate YSI multiparameter meters, flow meters, and GPS units.

Ability to operate a computer with Windows operating system.

Ability to use Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, knowledge of Access is desired but not required.

Ability to manage Excel databases and data entry.

Working knowledge of basic R and ArcGIS operations is highly desired but not a requirement.

Ability to complete assigned tasks on, or before, deadlines.

Ability to communicate study results effectively in written reports, peer-reviewed scientific publications, and oral presentations.

Ability to conduct administrative functions associated with project management, including purchasing and detailed record keeping.

Why should I apply?

The Benefits of Working for the State of Florida:
*Eligible OPS positions and qualifying applicants may enjoy top-tier benefits offerings including comprehensive health coverage to meet the needs of you and your family while maintaining low deductibles and low monthly out-of-pocket contributions. .

Health Premiums $25.00- Single / $90.00- Family Biweekly

Low Cost $25,000 Life Insurance

OPS FICA Alternative Retirement Plan

On the Job Trainings

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

For a more complete list of benefits, visit


  • Any form of paid leave
  • Paid holidays
  • Participation in the Florida Retirement System
  • Reinstatement rights or retention rights

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

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.