JOB TITLE: Conservation Entomologist, NRCS Western Regional Partner Biologist

LOCATION: Portland, Oregon (Office space at the USDA-NRCS West National Technology Support Center and at Xerces Society Headquarters). Other city locations in western states will be considered upon request.

COMPENSATION: $66,810 per year

JOB START DATE: August 2024



All applications must be submitted via our application website at:

We are committed to creating a more diverse workforce that is welcoming to all employees and the communities we serve. As part of the application process, please be prepared to answer a brief essay question (1,000 characters or less) in which you describe ways you might help Xerces collaborate with diverse audiences or historically excluded communities in this role.

Xerces is happy to provide accommodations for the job application process if needed. If you need an accommodation to complete the job application process, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Come join a growing team of conservation professionals at the Xerces Society who are dedicated to protecting some of the world's most important animals. We are seeking a skilled and collaborative expert in invertebrate conservation, who has an interest in helping federal Farm Bill conservation programs work for pollinator, monarch butterfly, and beneficial invertebrate conservation in the western states. The ideal candidate should have direct experience working with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and be knowledgeable of Farm Bill conservation programs, such as EQIP, CSP, CRP and ACEP. The ideal candidate will also have a strong background in the conservation of pollinators, monarch butterflies, or other important invertebrate species, including those that serve as food for wildlife or that help in pest control.

At Xerces, we harness the knowledge of scientists and the enthusiasm of the public to implement conservation programs. We take action by helping farmers, ranchers, and public agencies develop conservation plans for pollinators and beneficial insects, producing ground-breaking publications on invertebrate conservation, training thousands of farmers, ranchers and land managers to protect and manage habitat for beneficial insects, protecting endangered species and their habitat, and engaging the public to raise awareness about valuable invertebrates.


This position is a partnership with the USDA's National Resource Conservation Service's (NRCS) West National Technology Support Center (WNTSC), located in Portland, OR, generally serving states in the Pacific, Mountain, and Hawaii Time Zones. Taking a technical leadership role in Xerces Society work with senior NRCS regional and state-level technical specialists, Xerces Society Program staff, and regional research partners, the Conservation Entomologist will help develop and implement regional conservation strategies for monarch butterflies, pollinators, invertebrate food for wildlife, and other beneficial insects. In support of these efforts, this position will create and update tools and conservation program technical guidance to help NRCS field staff to evaluate and plan habitat. These tools may include habitat evaluation guides, habitat specifications, restoration guidance, plant lists, and guidance on managing western rangelands for native plant diversity to benefit monarchs, pollinators and other beneficial invertebrates. The person in this position will organize and provide trainings and follow up support to NRCS staff and working lands partners on how to use this guidance consistently.

The Conservation Entomologist will work with NRCS regional and state-level specialists and partners to lead Xerces' work throughout the western region on NRCS wildlife conservation strategies that sustain healthy ecosystems and ensure that abundant resources are available for key invertebrate wildlife, including monarch butterflies, pollinators and food for grassland birds. This position is responsible for understanding the shared goals of the NRCS and Xerces, and for thoughtfully and independently supporting and growing this partnership. Exceptional listening and communication skills are required.


  • Work with Xerces Society and NRCS state and regional specialists throughout the western region to develop and refine technical documents that support the assessment, establishment, enhancement or management of pollinator, monarch butterfly, beneficial invertebrate, and wildlife habitat. Technical documents may include habitat evaluation guides, conservation practice specifications, plant lists, seed mixes, habitat management guidelines, pesticide risk reduction strategies, and habitat restoration guidelines.
  • Assist the NRCS in the implementation of monarch butterfly conservation efforts throughout the western region, with a focus on the western monarch population that overwinters in coastal California. These efforts will include:
  • Developing habitat evaluation and planning guidance, and training NRCS staff,
  • Developing habitat management and restoration guidance in accordance with NRCS standards and specification, with a focus on eastern Washington, eastern Oregon, Idaho Snake River plain, California Central Valley and foothills, Nevada, Utah and Arizona.
  • Collaborating with Xerces Society and NRCS Specialists, monarch experts and researchers, and others to develop models and maps for where to target conservation efforts for the western Monarch population.
  • Collaborate with NRCS technical experts and conservation and research partners to support and facilitate regional efforts targeting the conservation of ecosystem function. These efforts may include finetuning larger scale management efforts of sage brush ecosystems to ensure specific outcomes, such as the diversity of key native plant communities that underpin monarch butterfly conservation or invertebrate food sources for wildlife communities.
  • Establish new and strengthen existing partnerships and collaborations with NRCS regional and state-level staff, other Xerces staff, university or agency researchers, conservation organizations, state and federal agencies, and other partners.
  • Present or coordinate workshops on the conservation of pollinators, beneficial insects for pest control, invertebrate food for wildlife, monarch butterflies, or other conservation entomology topics to a variety of NRCS and working-lands audiences.
  • Develop and lead innovative regional projects that advance pollinator and beneficial insect conservation through collaboration with the NRCS.




  • At least two years of experience working with USDA NRCS conservation programs, or significant knowledge and understanding of USDA Farm Bill conservation programs and the work of the NRCS.
  • Knowledge of the ecology of pollinators, including the biology of monarch butterflies and the habitat needs of bees.
  • Ability to identify native plants that are beneficial to monarch butterflies and pollinators in the western states.
  • Knowledge and experience planning or implementing pollinator habitat restoration in cropland, rangeland, natural areas, or other western landscapes.
  • Knowledge and experience in grassland and wildlife management unique to the western states. This includes experience with native plant restoration, prescribed grazing, prescribed fire, brush management, invasive species control, range planting, or riparian management to benefit both biodiversity and range health.
  • Exceptional presentation, public speaking, and verbal communication skills for diverse audiences that include land managers, ranchers, farmers, conservation agency staff, and others.
  • Exceptional communication skills that foster collaboration with diverse partners.
  • Excellent written communication skills, including the ability to develop technical documents for diverse audiences.
  • Knowledge of wildlife (especially invertebrate) habitat management, plants, natural communities, ecosystems, and ecological processes in western states.
  • Ability to travel out-of-town for multiple days (approximately 4 overnights per month) to support conservation training or planning in other states.
  • Legal authorization to work in the United States at time of hire.
  • Valid driver's license for travel to work in the field and to business meetings.
  • Ability and willingness to work with diverse teams and constituents in a respectful, equitable, and inclusive fashion.
  • Excellent organizational skills and ability to develop work plans and work independently on assigned tasks.
  • Working knowledge of common software applications (e.g., Word, Excel, PowerPoint).


  • NRCS field office experience, implementing the NRCS conservation planning process and using NRCS conservation planning tools.
  • Experiencing working with and performing geospatial analysis with GIS.
  • Habitat restoration experience: site preparation, seed and plant sourcing, seeding and plug-planting, and follow up monitoring and management for successful establishment.
  • Ability to speak Spanish, Hmong, or other languages used by farmers and ranchers in western states.



  • Bachelor's Degree (Master's Degree strongly preferred) in a relevant field of research including; entomology, natural resource management, ecology, conservation biology, wildlife biology, or range management.
  • More than 5 years of experience in biodiversity conservation or conservation planning in agricultural landscapes.
  • Valid driver's license in the United States and a motor vehicle records check prior to employment allowing employee to be insured under Xerces corporate liability insurance. Offer of employment is contingent on this record check.
  • Must have current authorization to work in the United States with any employer. Visa sponsorship is not provided for this position.


  • Master's Degree, or a field listed above.


Be able to perform the following with reasonable breaks and/or reasonable accommodations:

  • Operate a computer and other office productivity machinery, such as a telephone, copy machine, and computer printer for periods of 1-8 hours.
  • Occasionally traverse across unpaved roads, walkways, fields and unimproved trails for periods of 2 to 6 hours.
  • Occasionally work in the field under potentially adverse weather conditions and in difficult terrain.
  • Occasionally lift and move supplies, materials, equipment weighing up to 30 lbs.
  • Occasionally drive vehicle for periods of up to 8 hours;
  • Travel overnight when necessary for meetings, project assessments, implementation, meetings, or planning.

STATUS & SCHEDULE: Full-Time, salaried, exempt position, scheduled to work ~ 40 hours/week. Schedule may be flexible and the opportunity for partial or full-time remote work location can be made, depending on job-specific requirements.

BENEFITS: This position includes a generous benefits package including; thirteen paid holidays, paid time off accrued at a rate of 1.73 hours for every 30 hours of pay (15 days per year for a 40 hour/week schedule), medical, dental, vision, and prescription drug coverage, the option to participate in a pre-tax flexible spending account for medical and dependent care expenses, short-term disability insurance where not provided under state law, long-term disability insurance, participation in a 401k retirement program with employer contribution match upon meeting eligibility requirements, and a flexible work environment.

TERMS: The Xerces Society is an at-will employer. Nothing in this job description restricts management's right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time. In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the required employment eligibility verification form upon hire.

MORE INFORMATION: For more information on the Xerces Society and our programs, please see our website:


All applications must be submitted via our application website at:


The Xerces Society is proud to be an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer including disability and veterans. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran.


We request priority referral of protected veterans for all openings with our organization. In order to be considered for employment, all applicants for employment with Xerces Society, apply through our Job Board. When referring or being referred as a candidate, including protected veterans, please refer them to this applicant site;

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