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Senior Fishery Scientist / Habitat Group Leader

Closing Date: Open until filled.

The Senior Fishery Scientist / Habitat Group Leader oversees a team of scientists, biologists, and technicians who develop methods to promote riverine ecosystem recovery in accordance with the organization’s fish restoration plan, Wy-Kan-Ush-Mi Wa-Kish-Wit “Spirit of the Salmon”. The aim of this work is to ensure that the four CRITFC member tribes (Nez Perce, Umatilla, Warm Springs, and Yakama) have a sustainable salmon fishery.

The Senior Fishery Scientist will develop research, monitoring, and evaluation programs to related to recovery of anadromous fishes of the Columbia River basin. This role collaborates closely with other internal and external scientists, partners, and policy makers who have similar interests in restoring watersheds and salmon populations.

The Habitat Program is one of four groups within CRITFC’s Fishery Science Department. The mission of the Habitat Program is to evaluate salmonid and stream ecosystem response to conservation measures and environmental stressors in the Columbia River basin.

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: $92,839 – $102,123 (GS 13, steps 1-4)

Location: Portland, Oregon

Closing Date: Application review begins on 10/20/22 and will continue until position is filled. Applicants are encouraged to apply early. Contact Doug Hatch, Interim Fishery Science Department Manager, if you wish to have an informal conversation in advance of a formal application.


  • Lead CRITFC’s research program focused on evaluating factors limiting salmonid populations in the Columbia River basin. Develop innovative solutions to restoring and evaluating riverine habitat.
  • Lead the Habitat Group, comprised of a Fishery Scientist, Quantitative Fishery Scientist, Fishery Biologist, and seasonal Fishery Technicians.
  • Develop project proposals including writing statements of work and budgets. Many of these proposals will be developed in collaboration with the four member tribes, however the Senior Fishery Scientist will take a lead role in coordinating the group.
  • Execute projects by developing group work plans, work schedules, data collection plans, and protocols. Provide expert supervision of staff.
  • Participate in interagency and regional work groups to advance the understanding and implementation of stream ecosystem preservation and restoration. Participate in regional project solicitation, selection, evaluation, and review processes.
  • Provide technical support to tribal staff on fish/stream/river ecology:
    • Review tribal proposals for habitat or watershed restoration for consistency with principles of Wy-Kan-Ush-Mi Wa-Kish-Wit.
    • Provide training to tribal staff on implementation of river health and salmon habitat assessment protocols.
    • Assist tribal staff with study designs and provide advice on analyses and interpretation of fisheries and habitat datasets.
  • Complete research deliverables for the Evaluating Salmonid and Stream Ecosystem Response to Conservation Measures and Environmental Stressors in the Columbia River Basin Accords Project.
  • Further the science of the Columbia River basin ecosystem by publishing articles in peer-reviewed journals and presenting research findings at professional meetings.
  • Coordinate closely with local landowners, watershed councils, tribes, states, and federal officials.


  • PhD in fisheries, biology, aquatic ecology, or a related field. A MS degree plus five years of relevant experience may be substituted for the PhD requirement.
  • Five years’ experience in experimental design, data analysis, drawing conclusions from scientific data, and developing management or policy recommendations.
  • Strong field experience, ideally in monitoring fish ecology, fish habitat, or aquatic ecosystem health.
  • Three years’ direct supervisory experience. Strong drive to be a capable coach and mentor for those you supervise.
  • Ability to reach out and initiate collaborations, including to people with whom you don’t already have a working relationship.
  • Publication record of articles in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Expert level knowledge of analytical programs such as SAS, R, and GIS.
  • Strong statistical modeling competency including general linear modeling (e.g. multiple linear regression, ANOVA, logistic regression). Familiarity with additional, more advanced statistical procedures is preferred.
  • Familiarity with life cycle models for anadromous fishes.
  • Thorough knowledge of aquatic habitat evaluation and monitoring techniques, e.g., Columbia Habitat Monitoring Program (CHaMP), Action Effectiveness Monitoring Program (AEM), Oregon’s Aquatic Inventories Program (AIP), or other standardized national or regional protocols.
  • Thorough knowledge of techniques to evaluate aquatic biota (e.g., snorkeling for fish density and distribution or aquatic invertebrate sampling).
  • Familiarity with the use of remote sensing applications for fish habitat or river health assessments (e.g., UAVs, LiDAR, satellite imagery).
  • Expertise in distilling complex scientific data into understandable and useful information for policy makers and other partners.
  • Familiarity with co-manager (i.e. federal, state, or tribal) recovery plans and restoration prioritization programs.


Supervision received: This role reports to the Fishery Science Department Manager.

Supervision given: This role will supervise three full time CRITFC staff (Fishery Scientist, Quantitative Fishery Scientist, and Fishery Biologist) and occasionally supervise volunteers, interns, undergraduate students, and postdocs.

Working Conditions

This position is frequently sedentary work in an office setting, however day or overnight travel is required occasionally during the field seasons (May to October) and to meetings and conferences in the off season. Week-long field hitches to remote field sites in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho are required each field season. Fieldwork involves difficult outdoor conditions, including extreme heat or cold and exposure to insects.

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

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.

To apply, submit the following:

  1. Resume
  2. Cover letter
  3. Two recent writing samples (primary author publications or reports)
  4. CRITFC job application (download at link below)

Contact Doug Hatch, Interim Fishery Science Department Manager, if you wish to have an informal conversation in advance of a formal application.

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.

Submit by mail:
Attn: Human Resources
700 NE Multnomah Street, Suite 1200
Portland, OR 97232

Hiring preference:
Hiring preference will be given to qualified enrolled members of the four CRITFC member tribes (Warm Springs, Yakama, Umatilla, and Nez Perce) and other federally recognized tribes and Alaskan Natives. Veterans will also be given preference.

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.