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Data Systems Specialist

Closing Date: Open until filled.

This role provides scientific support to Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) and its member tribes so that they can meet their fishery management and restoration goals for salmon, sturgeon, and lamprey in the Columbia River basin. You will collaborate with data professionals, scientists, and fisheries managers at CRITFC and CRITFC’s four member tribes as a member of the Inter-Tribal Monitoring Data (ITMD) project group. The ITMD Project supports coordination and collaboration to develop data products and efficient strategies for Columbia Basin tribal fisheries data management efforts, and to support tribal data sovereignty. Inherent in this effort is to develop and maintain accessible, interoperable, and re-usable data products and services. The Project is the only mainstem Columbia River Basin data project that serves as a forum for CRITFC member tribes to coordinate and collaborate with each other as they develop best practices for data management strategies. Project members are data and GIS professionals who are partially funded by the ITMD Project and are positioned at each tribe. Learn more about the Project in the ITMD project Annual Reports.

We are seeking a person who has a unique combination of skills and experience: a strong scientific and software development background and a sincere interest the natural world or background in natural resources. You will assist us to develop and improve data management systems used to capture, store, query, and report fisheries and other aquatic monitoring data from scientific and fisheries management projects. As the lead support for database systems, you will collaborate with data professionals at CRITFC and its four member tribes, and others to provide technical expertise to develop workflow and data-flow solutions for data producers and data consumers.

CRITFC offers competitive compensation and an exceptional benefits package, including medical, dental, 401(k), 8 hours of vacation accrued each month (to start), 12 paid holidays, and paid sick time. We provide professional development opportunities, promote from within, and have a Native hiring preference as part of our commitment to our people. As a result, you will find a work environment that supports and inspires our shared goals of protecting the natural world and the tribal cultural connection to it. This position is a two-year term, with the possibility of renewal.

Position Details

  • Department: Fishery Science
  • Classification: Regular, Full-time, Exempt
  • Work Schedule: Monday – Friday, typically 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a one-hour unpaid lunch
  • Salary: $63,600 – $85,080 annually
  • Location: Based in Portland, Oregon. Position can be partially or fully remote in Oregon, Washington, or Idaho. Onboarding and initial two months will require periodic in-office work.
  • Closing Date: Applicants are encouraged to apply early. Application review begins immediately and will continue until position is filled.


Responsibilities include participation in and assistance with all functions, meetings, and objectives of the ITMD project as a member of the ITMD project working group. Major Duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Developing, improving, and maintaining database systems through all phases of the software development lifecycle, specifically CRITFC and the tribes’ centralized data management systems – data capture, to data storage, to data display/extraction software applications. This will comprise ~50-70% of the position and is performed in coordination with small teams.
  • Providing data stewardship and data management duties as needed for CRITFC and CRITFC member tribes’ projects in collaboration with program biologists. These roles may include dataset QA/QC, documentation, implementation, training and technical help desk support for all phases of the scientific data life cycle.
  • As part of a team, assist developing Data Governance and Data Management guidance for CRITFC and member tribes, and edit/write portions of grant reporting requirements.
  • As part of a team, develop software applications from end to end, including: analyzing and refining system requirements, creating a finished documented program, implement product production, and train staff to operate a data management system (database, applications, etc.).
  • Perform helpdesk functions providing technical guidance and assistance to users, including writing user manuals and application training.
  • Evaluation of user’s requirements or problems to support science operations and respond to user input, including effective communication with scientists for their software requirements and end-user needs and wants.
  • Writing SQL queries, views, and design reports that support the scientific mission of the organization. Teach others to write their own reports.
  • Documenting software operations and maintenance for operations staff and scientific users (data producers and data consumers).
  • Documenting program source code so that the code can be efficiently updated using tools such as GitHub.
  • Developing documentation for procedures/protocols of software design and usage by using and creating: workflow and data flow diagrams to describe process, Entity Relationship (ER) diagrams, user interfaces, data dictionaries, data models, metadata repositories, metadata application tools, and other data management tools.
  • Transferring legacy datasets into datastores via applications and database tools and developing automated dataset transfers into and between various data repositories.
  • Performing long-term strategic change management: Analyze and plan for anticipated changes: analyze and refine systems requirements, and translate systems requirements into application prototypes, then plan, and design systems and applications architecture as a part of a team.
  • Other duties as assigned.



  • Problem Solving – Ability to identify problems; determine accuracy and relevance of information; use sound judgment to generate and evaluate alternatives, consult colleagues and stakeholders to assist convergence on best solutions, and to make recommendations.
  • Attention to Detail – Ability to perform thorough work and conscientiously attend to detail.
  • Customer Service – Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships. As part of a team, work with individuals who use services or products that your work unit produces, including the general public, CRITFC and CRITFC member tribes’ staff, other federal or state agencies, or other organizations, to assess their needs, provide information or assistance, resolve their problems, or satisfy their expectations; knows about available products and services; is committed to providing quality products and services.
  • Oral and Written Communication – Can effectively communicate technical/scientific data both orally and in writing in a team setting, and to diverse audiences. Excellent technical writing skills. Expresses information (for example, ideas or facts) to individuals or groups effectively, considers the audience and nature of the information (for example, technical, sensitive, controversial); makes clear and convincing oral presentations; listens to others, and responds appropriately.
  • Ability to effectively manage your tasks and meet project timelines, and to effectively work independently to complete tasks.
  • Ability to analyze and define data, database, application, and website requirements to capture scientific data securely and effectively; and manage, store, access, extract, package data for various end users (analysts, public, individual requests for partial datasets).
  • Ability to design, write, test, debug, and maintain software applications or add-ins, including development of automated data flow pipelines between various data repositories.
  • Ability to design or prepare databases and web interfaces for importation of legacy datasets into databases via applications and database tools.
  • Skills to develop and improve metadata, schema, data exchange standards, data definitions, and controlled vocabularies for databases.
  • Knowledge of, or familiarity with modern code versioning tools and continuous integration and testing environments.
  • Knowledge of web services and data visualization tools (Business Logic/Data Access using ASP.Net, XML, APRI restful endpoints, Esri dashboard or storymap, React, Vue, R Shiny, or similar).
  • Knowledge of and demonstrated proficiency with the following, or with similar tools and apps: MySQL, SQL server (MS SQL 2012/2018 R2 server or later version), Angular JS/JavaScript, C#, JQuery, Sequel, CSS3, HTML5, WordPress, PHP, storage solutions and the use of scripts or software tools such as R to import, export, format data for visualization or use by analysts; JavaScript API; MS Access.
  • Knowledge of software development and tracking tools (Pivotal, Jenkins, GitHub, MS BI), or similar.


  • Knowledge of or willing to learn about tribal culture and values.
  • Skill with and knowledge of development of User Interfaces (UI) and User Experiences (UX) design, or desire to learn.
  • Knowledge of fisheries biology and fishery management or other natural resources, and the scientific production and uses of data.
  • Knowledge and understanding of scientific data life cycles, the FAIR and CARE concepts of data management, and best practices for data management and data governance.
  • Knowledge of, or familiarity with Esri Survey123, ArcGIS Server and Desktop, AGOL. Support for ESRI solutions to assist the GIS coordinator may be requested as needed.


  • Minimum: Bachelor’s degree or 2 years of coursework plus 4 years’ experience relevant to the Responsibilities listed. Preferred: Master’s or PhD
  • Relevant experience can be substituted for an academic degree. Degrees preferred are in a natural resources field with experience developing and maintaining database systems; or a degree in computer science, information science, statistics, or similar, with some coursework in a natural resources field. Academic degrees and coursework must be from accredited or pre-accredited institutions. Candidates in the final round of selection may be asked to provide unofficial copies of college transcripts or professional certificates.


This employee reports to the CRITFC’s Inter-Tribal Monitoring Data project manager in the Fishery Science Department and will have no supervisory duties.

Working Conditions

CRITFC Motor Vehicle Policy

This job frequently requires driving a CRITFC vehicle or your own vehicle for business (mileage compensated), and therefore you must be able to meet the terms of the CRITFC Motor Vehicle policy. Per the policy, applicants are required to have a valid driver’s license and a clean driving record for the past three years. This includes a three-year record clear of the following:

  • Reckless Driving
  • Driving Under the Influence
  • Suspension or revoked license
  • No more than two at-fault accidents
  • One major violation or two minor violations.

Application Procedure


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Contact Sheryn Olson, ITMD Project Lead, if you would like to ask questions or discuss the position informally before you submit an application.

The Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) requires all new employees be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to the first day of employment.

Submit application form and any additional application materials by email to Include job title in the subject line. We will confirm receipt of your submission.

Hiring preference:
CRITFC implements a tribal preference policy and encourages citizens and descendants of our member tribes (Nez Perce, Umatilla, Warm Springs and Yakama) and other federally recognized tribes to apply.

CRITFC is committed to building a culturally inclusive community and a work environment that respects and inspires every person. Members of historically marginalized groups including women, people of color, those with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ+ community, those who have served in the military, and members of other underrepresented communities are invited to apply.

CRITFC will consider non-citizen applicants who are authorized to work in the U.S. If not authorized to work in the U.S., CRITFC will provide reasonable support and accommodations to the candidate in obtaining U.S. work authorization. With the exception of certain employer required costs, CRITFC will not pay for costs related to applicant’s legal representation, filings for work authorization or immigration, or other costs related to obtaining work authorization.

*Please note: the term “Commission” as used in this description refers to CRITFC’s governing body. CRITFC is a tribal organization that is wholly owned and governed by the Nez Perce Tribe, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, The Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon, and the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation. As a tribal organization, CRITFC is subject to a unique blend of policies and laws.