Dam Removal Program Manager

Posted 1 month ago

Ecological Restoration Program Manager – Dam Removal  (230001LE)


The Massachusetts Department of Fish & Game works to preserve the state’s natural resources and people’s right to conservation of those resources, as protected by Article 97 of the Massachusetts Constitution. To carry out this mission, the Department exercises responsibility over the Commonwealth’s marine and freshwater fisheries, wildlife species, plants, and natural communities, as well as the habitats that support them.

The Division of Ecological Restoration is charged with restoring and protecting the health and integrity of the Commonwealth’s rivers, wetlands, and watersheds for the benefit of people and the environment. This mission is critical to the success of the Department of Fish and Game that manages, protects, and restores the natural resources of the Commonwealth. The Division of Ecological Restoration works with community-based partners to restore aquatic ecosystems. The Division’s ecological restoration work brings clean water, recreation opportunities, and other ecosystem services to the citizens of Massachusetts.

General Statement of Duties and Responsibilities

The Environmental Analyst IV / Ecological Restoration Program Manager manages DER’s Dam Removal Program, a program dedicated to restoration of Massachusetts rivers and wetlands, by helping municipal and private dam owners remove unwanted dams.  The Ecological Restoration Program Manager partners with landowners, non-profit organizations, communities, and agencies to prioritize potential dam removal projects, secure funding, and plan and carry out restoration projects.  This position will also provide support for DER’s Habitat Restoration Branch and requires significant leadership, sound professional judgment, collaborative spirit, and a high level of professional expertise with ecological restoration, program management, and staff supervision. The Ecological Restoration Program Manager will serve as a senior project manager for selected restoration projects and will contribute to internal and external capacity building for DER’s habitat restoration activities. The position requires excellent strategic planning, problem solving, and partnership building skills. The Ecological Restoration Program Manager also performs duties in support of general DER operations.

A cover letter and resume must be submitted as part of the application process and attached “as relevant” to the requisition.

The Ecological Restoration Program Manager – Dam Removal will be based in DER’s Boston office; the position will follow a hybrid schedule, consisting of in-office and telework. In-state travel to conduct fieldwork is also required.

Detailed Statement of Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Manages DER’s Dam Removal Program, a program dedicated to helping municipal and private dam owners remove unwanted dams, resulting in healthy, resilient rivers and wetlands. (60%)
    1. Builds DER’s and partnering organizations’ capacity to meet Dam Removal Program needs.
    2. Supervises Dam Removal Program staff and provides technical guidance and support to other DER staff assisting the Program.
    3. Develops and implements Program strategic plans and annual work plans.
    4. Develops and maintains annual Program budget and pursues project and Program support through external funding opportunities.
    5. Develops and maintains partnerships with federal, state, and local organizations and landowners to support river restoration through dam removal.
    6. Develops tools and approaches for restoration project selection, prioritization, and progress tracking.
    7. Develops, documents, and institutionalizes dam removal best practices.
    8. Provides training, mentoring, and troubleshooting to local partners managing dam removal projects.
    9. Coordinates research, monitoring, or data collection that tracks project outcomes and effectiveness of restoration practices; identifies learning priorities.
    10. Builds Program awareness and support through public interaction and presentations.
  2. Provides support and leadership for DER’s Habitat Restoration Branch and contributes to internal and external capacity building for DER aquatic habitat restoration activities, as requested. (20%)
    1. Develops relevant and timely guidance on ecological restoration topics for DER staff, other agencies, ecological restoration practitioners, and the general public.
    2. Works with other DER Branches and Programs to advance an integrated approach for ecological restoration activities and practices.
    3. Works in collaboration with other Program Managers to support and advance the goals of DER’s Habitat Restoration Branch.
    4. Explores and evaluates new areas of project or policy emphasis for DER’s Habitat Restoration Branch, as requested.
    5. Provides leadership, coordination, and troubleshooting for aquatic habitat restoration technical, regulatory, policy, and project support needs.
    6. Assists with management of DER’s ecological restoration database, Restoration Potential Model Tool, and GIS assets.
    7. Assists with Habitat Restoration Branch programmatic development and budget planning.
    8. Develops public support and provides public education, technical assistance, and outreach for aquatic habitat restoration priorities statewide.
    9. Manages interagency contracts and agreements.
  3. Serves as project manager for selected ecological restoration projects including dam removal, culvert removal/replacement, retired cranberry bog restoration, salt marsh restoration, freshwater wetland restoration, or other project types. (15%)
    1. Coordinates and maintains communication between DER staff, and state, federal, and other project partners; ensures project goals are clear and objectives met.
    2. Identifies potential restoration projects and works with landowners and partners to develop project plans.
    3. Manages implementation of aquatic ecological restoration projects from inception to completion, including overseeing feasibility assessment, project design, permitting, and construction. Directs the work of consultants carrying out technical work.
    4. Develops and leads restoration project teams.
    5. Obtains project funding through grants and donations of in-kind services.
    6. Conducts fieldwork in support of dam removal projects, including field evaluations, hydrological and biological monitoring, and other work.
  4.  Performs duties in support of DER operations (5%):
    1. Contributes to DER’s strategic and annual work planning processes.
    2. Provides support for DER’s budget and program development.
    3. Provides monitoring, technical, and research support to DER projects and other activities.
    4. Provides information as requested to support DER outreach, such as project updates, newsletters, website content, and program reports.
    5. Conducts training and participates in other outreach and education activities related to ecological restoration.
    6. Provides technical and organizational support to other DER staff and directors.
    7. Contributes to interagency coordination and policy activities.
    8. Represents DER in public forums and present at professional conferences.

Preferred Qualifications

  • A Master’s degree in environmental science, ecology, natural resources, or a related field.
  • Seven or more years of professional experience in river, wetland and/or other aquatic ecosystem restoration experience, river and wetland ecology, and/or hydrology.
  • Proven professional experience training, mentoring, supervising, or directing staff; two years minimum experience.
  • Program development and management experience, including building internal and external partner capacity to meet identified program needs.
  • Experience developing and maintaining a program budget.
  • Demonstrated ability to strategically manage large and complex projects, direct and coordinate work of project teams, and make management and budgetary decisions.
  • Ability to work effectively and manage staff in a hybrid work environment, using both synchronous and asynchronous communication tools.
  • Extensive aquatic ecosystem restoration field experience and ability to identify aquatic habitat stressors and potential restoration treatments.
  • Experience identifying, assessing, leading, and completing complex proactive, partner-driven aquatic ecosystem restoration projects with infrastructure components or constraints such as dams, roads, bridges, culverts, utilities, and buildings.
  • Experience developing restoration project plans, coordinating project teams, preparing and managing project budgets, developing public support, preparing scopes of work, and managing consultant contracts.
  • Experience in aquatic ecosystem monitoring and data collection, analysis, and reporting for parameters in freshwater and coastal environments, including vegetation, water chemistry, nekton, and hydrology.
  • Experience working with federal, state, and local agencies and non-governmental organizations on collaborative projects involving natural resource management or ecological restoration.
  • Experience coordinating interagency activities and deliberations
  • Solid knowledge and work experience with environmental permitting at local, state, and federal levels.
  • Experience interpreting, reviewing, and commenting on hydrologic and hydraulic calculations and models, and engineering designs and specifications, including elements such as elevations and datums, resource delineations, geotechnical analysis, dewatering, erosion controls, construction staging and sequencing, and overall best management practices.
  • Ability to work effectively in a collaborative team environment on multiple tasks with varying deadlines.  Ability to work independently and with self-initiative, and to exercise sound judgment and discretion.
  • Must be a team player with strong interpersonal skills and a proven ability to motivate and engage others, effectively manage controversy, and forge and maintain partnerships.
  • Ability to manage teams through change, growth, and innovation.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Exceptional troubleshooting and problem-solving skills.
  • Knowledge of social, economic, legal, technological, and scientific factors, trends and problems associated with planning and implementing aquatic habitat protection and restoration activities.
  • Proven ability to write successful funding proposals and administer multiple funding sources.
  • Ability to travel statewide and to participate in occasional evening and weekend site visits and meetings.
  • Excellent all-around computer skills including data management and use of GIS software. Full competency with the MS Office Suite is expected.

Qualifications Acquired on Job

Understand and apply the laws, rules, regulations, permits, policies, procedures etc. governing implementation of habitat restoration projects in the Commonwealth.


First consideration will be given to those applicants that apply within the first 14 days.

MINIMUM ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS: Applicants must have at least (A) five years of full-time, or equivalent part-time, technical or professional experience in the field of environmental science, biology, chemistry, earth science, environmental health, meteorology, natural science, toxicology or public health, of which (B) at least three years must have been in a professional capacity, and of which (C) at least one year must have been in a supervisory, managerial or administrative capacity, or (D) any equivalent combination of the required experience and the following substitutions.


  1. An Associate’s degree with a major in the field of environmental science, biology, chemistry, earth science, environmental health, meteorology, natural science, toxicology or public health may be substituted for a maximum of one year of the required (A) experience.*
  2. A Bachelor’s degree with a major in the field of environmental science, biology, chemistry, earth science, environmental health, meteorology, natural science, toxicology or public health may be substituted for a maximum of one year of the required (A) experience.*

III. A Graduate degree with a major in environmental science, biology, chemistry, earth science, environmental health, meteorology, natural science, toxicology or public health may be substituted for a maximum of three years of the required (A) experience and one year of the required (B) experience.*

*Education toward such a degree will be prorated on the basis of the proportion of the requirements actually completed.

NOTE: Educational substitutions will only be permitted for a maximum of one year of the required (B) experience.  No substitutions will be permitted for the required (C) experience.

Comprehensive Benefits

When you embark on a career with the Commonwealth, you are offered an outstanding suite of employee benefits that add to the overall value of your compensation package. We take pride in providing a work experience that supports you, your loved ones, and your future.

Want the specifics? Explore our Employee Benefits and Rewards!

Executive Order #595: As a condition of employment, successful applicants will be required to have received COVID-19 vaccination or an approved exemption as of their start date. Details relating to demonstrating compliance with this requirement will be provided to applicants selected for employment. Applicants who receive an offer of employment who can provide documentation that the vaccine is medically contraindicated or who object to vaccination due to a sincerely held religious belief may make a request for exemption.

An Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action Employer.  Females, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.

The Commonwealth is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, disability, national origin, veteran status, or any other basis covered by appropriate law.  Research suggests that qualified women, Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Color (BIPOC) may self-select out of opportunities if they don’t meet 100% of the job requirements.  We encourage individuals who believe they have the skills necessary to thrive to apply for this role.

Official Title: Environmental Analyst IV

Application link:

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$74,573.46 - $109,775


Hybrid, based in Boston, MA

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