Title:  Science Branch Chief


Requisition Id: 1982 

Salary: $97,452 - $126,588 

Salary Grade: S15

Job Location:  Conservation Headquarters (JEFFE1) 

Closing Date: August 26, 2022 


This position is eligible for relocation benefits.  


Our Culture: The Missouri Department of Conservation supports a family culture focused on diversity of thought, where all employees openly share ideas and turn their passion into purpose. 


To learn more about this exciting role, please feel free to contact the hiring supervisor- Jason A Sumners at Jason.Sumners@mdc.mo.gov or at 573 5224115x3118.  


Provide counsel, strategic direction, and vision to the Resource Science Branch.

Essential Job Duties

  • Oversee implementation of Department policies and procedures within the Branch and ensure compliance with such policies. 
  • Collaborate to ensure that science-based social and biological information is considered in administrative, policy, management, and regulation development.
  • Provide science-based information to inform management decisions through applied research, management evaluation and application of social science to engage public in decision making process.
  • Monitor research to conserve the diversity of fish, forest, and wildlife.
  • Implement programs responsible for harvest regulation and statewide population management of wildlife and sportfish; fish and wildlife diversity; wildlife health; ecological/environmental health; aquatic and terrestrial habitat research; and social sciences.
  • Develop and implement strategic communication plans for issues and initiatives.
  • Approve and oversee the implementation and monitoring of fiscal budgets and departmental goals and objectives.
  • Recruit and select, monitor performance, recognize achievements, and provide appropriate disciplinary actions for staff.

Ancillary Job Duties

  • Serve on internal and external regular and special committees.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Education and Experience

  • Master’s Degree in Fisheries, Forestry or Wildlife Management, Biological Sciences, or related.
  • At least eight (8) years of progressively responsible professional experience, three (3) years which must have been in a supervisory and/or administrative capacity.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Ability to demonstrate a strong working knowledge of science sufficient to direct research in wildlife, forestry, ecology, or fisheries.
  • Ability to conceptualize and implement research projects within the framework of structured decision making and/or adaptive resource management.
  • Ability to administer financial resources in a manner which instills public trust and accomplishes the Department’s mission.
  • Ability to be flexible in adapting to changing conditions, organization and emphasis.
  • Ability to coach and challenge others to achieve their potential.
  • Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.
  • Ability to define a problem, analyze relevant information, and develop solutions and plans to solve the problem.
  • Knowledge to develop a strong vision and connection with the Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit by developing an integrated fish and wildlife unit capable of meeting MDC and other stakeholder needs.
  • Ability to develop and implement effective strategies that are consistent with the Department’s vision and mission.
  • Ability to develop and sustain cooperative working relationships throughout the Department and externally with a variety of stakeholders.
  • Ability to identify internal and external politics that impact the work of the Department.
  • Ability to keep focused on understanding, anticipating and responding to the needs of customers.
  • Ability to maintain a productive, team-oriented atmosphere among peers and subordinates.
  • Ability to serve as liaison with universities and colleges and develop a strong professional, collaborative relationship.
  • Ability to support and promote technological advances in science and business processes.
  • Knowledge of business processes and ability to integrate them into decision making.
  • Knowledge to understand complex resource issues beyond individual training or background and demonstrate the ability to include stakeholders in the process of developing conservation strategies.
  • Knowledge to understand concepts and principles of Structured Decision Making and Adaptive Resources Management.
  • Knowledge to understand the regulations process and become familiar with Wildlife Code to develop regulation strategies and formulation of specific regulations that may affect various parts of the Code.

Work Environment

  • Work is performed in a standard office environment.

Physical Abilities

  • Remain in a stationary position 70% of the time.
  • Move about grounds, both inside and outside of buildings.
  • Constantly operate a computer and other office productivity machinery.
  • Frequently communicate and exchange accurate information.
  • Clarity of vision and three-dimensional vision.
  • Regularly lift up to 5 pounds, correctly lift up to 50 pounds.
  • Regular attendance is a necessary and essential function.


This job description is not intended to be all-inclusive; an employee will also perform other reasonably related job responsibilities as assigned by immediate supervisor and other management as required.  The Missouri Department of Conservation reserves the right to revise or change job duties as the need arises.  This job description does not constitute a written or implied contract of employment.  Management reserves the right to change job descriptions, job duties, functions, and requirements.

Exemption Status/Special Notes

This position has been determined to be Exempt according to the Fair Labor Standards Act.  Employees must agree to accept compensatory time in lieu of cash payments in accordance with the Department's Compensatory Time Off and Overtime Policy. 

Salaried and hourly employees are expected to use a mobile device-cellular phone for Department business, as needed. 

MDC promotes a Tobacco-Free (smoke and smokeless) working environment.

The Department of Conservation will only hire United States citizens and aliens authorized to work in the United States.  All new employees will be required to complete an "Employment Eligibility Verification" (Form I-9) and produce requested documentation after employment.

Candidates seeking initial employment or re-employment must submit to a drug screen following offer of employment.

All persons employed with the state of Missouri shall file all state income tax forms and pay all state income taxes owed.

Nearest Major Market: Jefferson City
Nearest Secondary Market: Columbia Missouri