Job Title: Rare Species Data Manager
State of New Jersey's Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
Location: Trenton, NJ
* Pay rate: $33/hr *
Each year, DFWs Endangered and Nongame Species Program (ENSP) receives notification of approximately 2,500 occurrences of rare animal sightings from the general public, consultants, government agencies, and ENSP staff surveys. ENSP inputs and maintains rare animal occurrence data in the Oracle/GIS cloud-based database, Biotics. Biotics was developed by NatureServe, a nonprofit organization representing a network of member programs comprising more than 80 independent centers (including all 50 states) that are considered the leading sources of information on the precise locations and conditions of rare and threatened plants, animals, and ecological communities in the Western Hemisphere. Consistent standards for collecting and managing data allow information from different programs to be shared and combined at regional, national, and international levels. On the state level, Biotics is the principal repository for geographic data on the location of rare wildlife in New Jersey. Biotics data not only documents the location of rare species throughout the state, but is also used to monitor the condition and conservation status of, and threats to, species occurrences and assists with tracking trends in species numbers.
Maintain and update data in the Biotics database to ensure it is the most accurate and current data possible to best support DEP's regulations and permitting decisions.
Data management duties to include review, compilation, GIS mapping and modeling, entry, updates, and quality control of backlogged and ongoing records for rare animal occurrences received from the general public, consultants, government agencies, and Division of Fish & Wildlife staff surveys, as well as to respond to information requests.
Major duties and responsibilities:
Respond to all inquiries on how the ENSP sighting process works and the status of submitted sightings.
Coordinate with groups that possess rare species location data and provide them with DEP developed standards and database designs to streamline the entry of their data into the Biotics database.
Compile and enter approved data into Biotics database:
- Review all rare species occurrence records received for completeness, obtain any missing information from observer, track all records in a Microsoft Access tracking database, map the location of the record in GIS, and compile all information into a complete occurrence packet.
- Submit occurrence packet to appropriate DEP biologist for review, track biologist response in tracking database.
- Enter approved information provided within occurrence packet into Oracle/GIS cloud-based Biotics database that includes a tabular Oracle component and a GIS mapping component for the spatial information pertaining to the observation record in accordance with DEP and NatureServe data and mapping standards and practices.
Collaborate with DEP personnel to develop and implement GIS mapping methodologies to develop Species Occurrence Areas (SOA) products every 6 months using information originating from the Biotics database.
Provide training, based on Biotics Core Training information, instructing ENSP biologists and/or interns on standardizing data recording and entry techniques, including the use of the Biotics database and geographic information systems (GIS) software.
Compile and prepare data for DEP use such as to respond to OPRA requests, for inquiries by Division of Land Use Regulation, or ENSP biologists.
Assist in public outreach efforts, which include manning booths at high volume public areas to explain the need for public reporting of rare species sightings, to aid in soliciting new or unreported rare species occurrences and seek new sources of rare species data.
A qualified candidate should have, at a minimum, a Bachelors degree in the natural sciences, such as Biology, Natural Resource Management, Environmental Science or related discipline; strong GIS background, including a minimum of 2 years experience using ArcGIS10.x; demonstrated experience and competence with Windows operating systems; strong proficiency in using MS Office software including Access; and general knowledge of New Jersey threatened and endangered species ecology. An ideal candidate will have NatureServe Core Heritage Methodology Training certification and demonstrable knowledge of Biotics and NatureServe methodology; experience with Oracle and SQL; and specific knowledge of New Jersey threatened and endangered species ecology.
Candidate must have excellent organization skills and meticulous attention to detail.