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Sentinel Site Technician / OPS Environmental Specialist II

Apalachicola Natl. Estuarine Research Reserve / Florida Dept. Environmental Protection
Job Field:
Water and Soil Resources
Job Type:
Full Time
Location Detail:
Job Description:

The ANERR research and monitoring team is seeking to hire full-time OPS Environmental Specialist II to maintain the Reserve’s Sentinel Site Program infrastructure and associated data collection activities. The infrastructure within this research program include but are not limited to 5 telemetered water quality and weather stations, 24 Surface elevation tables (SETs), 6 vegetation transects with sediment pore water wells, and three submerged aquatic vegetation transects. Maintenance will include the general upkeep required to keep the infrastructure running as well as the associated data collection and data management activities. The candidate will also be responsible with the submission and quality assurance requirements to the national Centralized Data Management Office under the NOAA NERRs System.

This position is expected to participate and work effectively as an individual and as a member of a research team to facilitate the requirements of the NERRs Sentinel Site Program and the System-wide Monitoring Program. A successful candidate will possess skill and abilities required to take initiative to keep on task while still being a functional member of a highly skilled and integrated research team. The candidate must also be able to translate the work the ANERR research team does to the general public and to higher level academics and state and federal agency staff.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

• Knowledge of estuarine ecology and the dynamics of how estuaries function regarding the interaction of physical, chemical, and biological components.

• Knowledge of the procedures, techniques and equipment used in a scientific laboratory.

• Knowledge of field techniques involving the sampling of physical, chemical, and biological parameters. 

• Experience maintaining tide stations and telemetry systems associated with them

• Experience maintaining and collecting data from SETs (surface elevation tables)

• Experience identifying marsh plant species/communities

• Knowledge of electronics hardware and software, including the ability to troubleshoot issues while in the field.

• Knowledge and experience with geodetic leveling systems, including RTK, sprinter levels, and related geospatial systems and tools

• Skill in using GIS software 

• Skill in various data management and statistical software programs, including Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint is required. Skill in the use of statistical software such as R, SAS, SPSS, JMP, PRIMER or other software is preferred. 

• Ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and written.

• Ability to work collaboratively with others to achieve a singular goal.

• Skill and experience with public speaking to a wide and diverse audience


Minimum Qualifications:

• A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a major in one of the biological, aquatic, marine, or environmental sciences with an emphasis on estuarine communities AND at least three (3) years of related professional experience working in estuarine and tidal freshwater marshes.

• The ability to swim, snorkel, sometimes in conditions with low visibility and strong currents.

• Experience in the field with operating and trailering of boats is required.

• The ability to safely lift and carry items up to 50 lbs. while navigating through soft marsh sediments, climbing ladders in excess of 10 feet while working under harsh outdoor conditions such as heat and cold in areas without access to normal telecommunications services.

• A valid driver’s license

Preferred Qualifications:

• A master’s degree from an accredited college or university with a major in one of the biological, aquatic, marine, or environmental sciences with an emphasis on estuarine communities AND at least one (1) years of related professional experience working in estuarine and tidal freshwater marshes.

• Experience with data analysis, more specifically plant communities and associated environmental data sets

• Experience in report and scientific peer-reviewed writing

• Certification or the desire to become a certified drone pilot


Our Organization and Mission: 

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship - protecting our air, water, and land. The vision of DEP is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystem. 

The Work You Will Do:

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provides funding to state governments and universities to administer the National Estuarine Research Reserves (NERRs) currently implemented at 29 locations around the coastal US and its territories. In Florida, the DEP works collaboratively with the federal government to maintain the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve (ANERR), located in Eastpoint, Florida. Designated in 1979, ANERR has conducted research, monitoring, education, training, and stewardship activities for the public for over 40 years. 

The ANERR research and monitoring team is seeking to hire an OPS Environmental Specialist II to work under the direction of the Research Coordinator to manage the Reserve’s Sentinel Site Program, which is a multi-tiered research initiative to track changes in climate, sea level, and how those changes will impact ecological communities within an estuarine system. 

The Difference You Will Make:

The best qualified candidate will possess the education, skills, and experience to work independently to assist the Research Coordinator with the management and daily activities required to maintain the Reserves climate monitoring infrastructure. This initiative is not only beneficial to understanding the effects of climate change in the state of Florida. The data collected under this program will provide invaluable information to the NOAA including the national status and trends for the Coastal U.S.

How You Will Grow:

DEP encourages its leaders to constantly innovate and seek efficiencies. We believe in supporting and encouraging you as you take on important and often complex projects while offering you the opportunity to gain valuable experience quickly.

Where You Will Work:

The position will reside at the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve, located in Eastpoint, Florida, in Franklin County. Franklin County is a rural area dominated by a working waterfront across the bay from Apalachicola and St. George Island. Eastpoint is small area reliant on tourism and the fishing industry.

The Reserve is located directly on the coast of the St. George Sound and the Apalachicola Bay. Due to the location of the Reserve in the heart of Franklin County, less than 5% of a working day is required to travel to locations within the county to perform mission critical duties.

There is no state income tax for residents of Florida.


The Benefits of Working for the State of Florida:

Working for the State of Florida is more than a paycheck. The State’s benefits package for eligible OPS employees include:

• Participation in state group insurance (must meet eligibility requirements). For more details consult with People First at 877-562-7287 or here:…

• State of Florida 401(a) FICA Alternative Plan (tax deferred Retirement Savings Plan) For more details consult here:…

For a more complete list of benefits, visit


The approved pay rate for this position is $15.00 per hour for 40 working hours per week.

How to Apply:

Applicants must apply through the State of Florida People First system (…), search by position number 37979081.…;

For additional information, contact