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 motivated expert who can join our team of Endangered Species conservation biologists to launch a new Firefly Atlas initiative with an eye toward comprehensive conservation planning for North American fireflies.

At Xerces, we harness the knowledge of scientists and the enthusiasm of the public to implement conservation programs. We take action by conducting applied research to advance invertebrate conservation, engaging the public in community science efforts to track the status of imperiled species, producing ground-breaking publications on insect conservation, training thousands of land managers and farmers to protect and manage habitat for beneficial insects, and advocating for the protection of endangered species and their habitat. Our methods focus on education, scientific analysis, advocacy, applied research, community science, and habitat restoration to conserve invertebrates, including bees, butterflies, mollusks, and fireflies.

Note:  In our effort to keep our employees, partners, clients and the public safe, Xerces Society follows a mandatory vaccination policy, requiring employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19.


Reporting to the Xerces Society’s Endangered Species Program Firefly Lead (Portland, OR office) and working in collaboration with other Xerces Society conservation staff and project partners, the Endangered Species Conservation Biologist will focus on developing and launching a new nationwide Firefly Atlas initiative, with an initial focus in three targeted areas: the Southwest, Mid-Atlantic, and Southeast.

The successful candidate will help develop and manage a large, national project that engages land managers, biologists, researchers, and community scientists in effective conservation science, while increasing awareness of firefly conservation and helping to develop effective, evidence-based habitat management recommendations. The Endangered Species Conservation Biologist will collaboratively focus on developing survey protocols and conservation guidance, launching a new Firefly Atlas website, coordinating with partners and land managers, organizing and delivering training events, conducting surveys, assisting with species identification (Lampyridae spp.), and providing ongoing support and technical expertise to Xerces staff, partners, and the public. The Endangered Species Conservation Biologist will also write scientific listing petitions to request that some of the most imperiled firefly species be listed under the Endangered Species Act. In addition, the Endangered Species Conservation Biologist will use data from this project to inform best management practices and species assessments and make recommendations for the conservation of imperiled and data deficient firefly species across the US.

The ideal candidate will have a strong scientific background, and also have excellent outreach and presentation skills, as well as experience managing projects, developing and conducting field-based research projects, writing management guidance, and contributing to evidence-based species assessments and conservation plans. The ability to work collaboratively and build lasting conservation partnerships with diverse groups of people will be crucial to the candidate’s success. This position will be based in a home office in the eastern U.S., preferably in the southeast or the Mid-Atlantic region.


Working as a team with other Xerces Society Endangered Species staff, the person who fills this position will:

  • Develop and launch a new Firefly Atlas initiative, engaging land managers, researchers, and other key partners.
    • Working with a web developer, assist with development of a new Firefly Atlas website, including content creation and advising on functionality.
    • Conduct targeted outreach to firefly researchers, land managers, and agency biologists to participate in the Atlas and form lasting partnerships
    • Coordinate and provide educational trainings on firefly conservation issues, survey techniques, and species identification.
    • Conduct surveys for threatened and data deficient firefly species, which can include daytime surveys for diurnal species and habitat assessments, as well as nighttime surveys for nocturnal and crepuscular species.
    • Accurately identify fireflies to genus or species and coordinate with regional experts and museum curators to resolve difficult taxa.
    • Maintain a database of firefly observations and associated data.
    • Develop Atlas outreach tools, including survey protocols, participant handbooks, and pocket identification guides for species of conservation concern.
    • Analyze data from the Atlas and other sources to identify spatial patterns, habitat associations, and conservation hotspots, and communicate those results.
    • Use appropriate communication channels (website, social media, traditional media, email, etc.) to engage and coordinate with project participants, partners, and the general public.
    • During the firefly field season (approximately May – August), spend ~40% of the time conducting fieldwork and providing in-person trainings.
    • Travel out of town for multiple days (up to 15 overnights per month during the field season and possibly during other seasons) to support the Firefly Atlas and related projects. (Note: overnight travel timing may sometimes be flexible around personal schedule requirements and current overnight travel requirements are dependent upon the status of COVID-19).
  • Develop evidence-based, species-specific management guidance, using results from the Firefly Atlas, and disseminate this information to public and private land managers through outreach and technical guidance.
  • Coordinate with state wildlife agencies to advance conservation of imperiled firefly species.
  • For firefly species that face high risk of extinction, write and submit federal and state Endangered Species Act petitions, working in collaboration with other researchers and species experts.
  • Conduct outreach to public land management agencies to ensure that fireflies of conservation concern are added to relevant sensitive species lists.
  • Engage in federal, state, and local projects by preparing comments and attending public meetings on proposed actions that will affect imperiled fireflies.
  • Respond to requests for information from Xerces Society team members, natural resource agencies, researchers, and the public about conserving fireflies and their habitats.
  • Maintain regular communication with a remotely based supervisor.
  • Engage in other endangered species research, education, outreach, restoration, and conservation projects and campaigns.



  • Strong knowledge of and experience with the conservation of invertebrate taxa with knowledge of fireflies and their conservation issues strongly preferred.
  • Strong background conducting field-based species surveys, preferably with fireflies or other invertebrate taxa.
  • Experience working with researchers, land managers, and community scientists, building diverse partnerships and coalitions.
  • Proven capacity to manage databases, including database development, management, and query.
  • Proficiency with ArcGIS software to conduct basic spatial data analyses.
  • A strong conservation ethic.
  • Ability and willingness to work collaboratively with other Xerces Society staff members and with a wide variety of partners, stakeholders, and a diversity of others in a respectful, equitable, and inclusive fashion.
  • Excellent written communication skills in English, including the ability to write clear emails, conservation guidance, and technical documents for diverse audiences.
  • Exceptional verbal communication, presentation, and public speaking skills for diverse audiences that include land managers, conservation partners, community scientists, and others.
  • Excellent organizational skills and ability to manage multiple, complex projects, to prioritize work, and to consistently deliver high quality work products on schedule.
  • Working knowledge of common software applications (e.g., Word, Excel, and PowerPoint).


  • Knowledge of and experience with firefly conservation issues, survey techniques, and species identification, especially in the central and eastern US.
  • An understanding of major land managers and firefly researchers in the US and an ability to develop partnerships to further the goals of our conservation projects.
  • Ability to conduct habitat occupancy modeling.
  • Website design, editing, and social media communication experience.
  • Project management skills including staff and/or volunteer oversight.



  • Graduate degree in ecology, conservation biology, entomology, wildlife biology, natural resource management, or other relevant field; or Bachelor’s degree in one of these fields of study plus at least 2 years of experience working in wildlife conservation; or more than 4 years of experience working in wildlife conservation.
  • Valid driver’s license in the United States and a motor vehicle records check allowing employee to be insured under Xerces corporate liability insurance.
  • Must have current authorization to work in the United States with any employer. Visa sponsorship is not provided for this position.


  • Bilingual (English and Spanish) or multilingual (including English, Spanish, and French)


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

  • Move and transport supplies, materials, and equipment weighing up to 30 lbs.
  • Work outdoors in the field for 8-10 hours per day, often in sparsely populated, remote locations and under potentially adverse or difficult conditions such as high heat and humidity, rain, darkness, biting and stinging insects and other dangerous wildlife (snakes, alligators, large mammals), or abrasive or poisonous vegetation, among others.
  • Frequently traverse across unpaved roads and walkways, unimproved trails, and rugged terrain such as wetlands, sand dunes, desert canyons, and forested mountainsides for periods of 8 hours or more, often in darkness with minimal use of light.
  • Work unusual hours, including nighttime hours, during the firefly field season, which is roughly from May-August.
  • Drive vehicle for periods of time of up to 8 hours.
  • Operate a computer and other office productivity machinery, such as a telephone or computer printer for periods of time up to 8 hours.


Full-time, salaried, exempt position, scheduled to work ~40 hours/week.  Schedule can be made flexible consistent with work requirements.

: This position includes a generous benefits package: eleven paid holidays including two floating holidays that may be used for a personal or religious holiday observed by the employee or other occasion per policy; paid time off; paid health, dental, and disability insurance; option to participate in a pre-tax flexible spending account for medical and dependent care expenses; participation in a 401k retirement program upon eligibility; and a flexible work environment.

: 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 identify and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the required employment eligibility verification form upon hire.

: For more information on the Xerces Society and our programs, please see our website: www.xerces.org.


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: https://xerces.org/job-opportunities.