RAY Conservation Diversity Fellow: At-Risk Species Fish and Wildlife Biologist

Job Location

Annapolis, MD


Published By

Publisher Name

Type of Job




Published Date

Feb 16, 2021

About the job

Apply Now


Inspired by efforts to increase racial diversity in conservation and clean energy, the Roger Arliner Young (RAY) Diversity Fellowship Program aims to increase and facilitate environmentally-related career pathways for emerging leaders of color. The RAY Fellowship Program is a paid fellowship designed to equip recent college graduates with the tools, experiences, support, and community they need to become leaders in the conservation and clean energy sectors—one that, in our visions of the future, fully represents, includes, and is led by the diverse communities, perspectives, and experiences of the United States.


Our mission is to work with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are dedicated to the conservation, protection, and enhancement of fish, wildlife and plants, and their habitats. We are the only agency in the federal government whose primary responsibility is the conservation and management of these important natural resources for the American public.  We are dedicated to working with private landowners; federal, state, and local governments; and other traditional and non-traditional partners to conserve our nation’s wildlife and plants.  It is important to us to bring nature to the American public to all different communities and backgrounds.  We build trust through empathy, competency, equity, and inclusion, and we are committed to creating a more diverse workforce.

The RAY Fellow will work in a Coastal Program and Ecological Services field office.  The office works with a variety of partners to achieve on the ground conservation by connecting people to nature; working on endangered and at-risk species; and addressing aquatic connectivity and coastal resiliency. The fellow will also work remotely with our Science Applications program out of our Regional Office located in Massachusetts.


The Fellow will serve as a fish and wildlife biologist working on a daily basis with our different programs and partners on at-risk species and listed species, which include monarch butterfly, saltmarsh sparrow, Chesapeake logperch, frosted elfin butterfly, bog turtle, and Bethany beach firefly.


The fellow would focus on restoration of habitat that supports at-risk species and listed species on private lands, refuge owned lands, and partner lands, and could include the following tasks:

  • Assisting with restoration projects associated with wetlands (freshwater and saltwater), streams, meadows, forest buffers, fish passage, and coastal resiliency with the goal of leading and implementing 1-2 projects, which could include: work at Poplar Island Restoration project; pre-construction evaluation of thin layer spread projects at Mid-Bay and Deale Island; living shorelines and artificial reefs; culvert assessments for fish passage; salt marsh restoration projects to benefit saltmarsh sparrow; and pollinator habitat projects.
  • Assisting with surveys and data in-put for listed and at-risk species.
  • Assisting with implementing research and developing a species status assessment for Bethany beach firefly.
  • Assisting with developing habitat management plans for the federally threatened bog turtle.
  • Attend Chesapeake Bay Field Office Strategic Resource Conservation Division meetings (weekly) and full staff meetings (once a month), and Regional Science Applications staff meetings (weekly).


In addition to the responsibilities at the host institution outlined above, RAY Fellows will spend, on average, 2-4 hours per week (5-10% of work time) on the following:

  • Actively communicating and building community with their RAY Fellow cohort and previous RAY Fellows.
  • Attending monthly check-ins calls (including 1-on-1 check-ins with RAY program staff and group calls with their RAY Fellow cohort).
  • Meeting regularly with mentors both inside and outside the host institution.
  • Attending monthly professional development webinars, trainings, and other opportunities to build knowledge and skills.
  • Developing a Personal Leadership Plan (PLP) in their 2nd year with the support of supervisor(s), mentors, RAY program staff, and their RAY Fellow cohort. The PLP will serve as a tool for self-reflection, planning, and assessing progress towards professional, personal, and leadership goals.
  • Preparing and leading an hour-long end-of-fellowship webinar highlighting their Fellowship experience.

RAY Fellows will also attend:

  • A 3-day Orientation Retreat in August 2021.
  • A 3-day Mid-Fellowship Leadership Retreat in August 2022.
  • At least one other in-person training or workshop with their RAY Fellow cohort.


Eligible RAY Fellow applicants will:

  • Come from a racial / ethnic background underrepresented in conservation and clean energy and demonstrate a commitment to the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Be no more than 1 year out of college and have a Bachelor's Degree by July 2021 (we are not considering individuals with graduate degrees at this time).
  • Have not had a full-time job in conservation or clean energy.
  • Have the ability to work in the United States and commit to the entire fellowship.


  • A college degree by the time of employment.
  • An interest in the field of conservation.
  • Demonstrated intellect and leadership.
  • Effective written and verbal communication skills.
  • An eagerness to learn.
  • Able to perform fieldwork, which could require long days in extreme conditions.
  • GIS skills helpful but not required.
  • A valid drivers-license.


This is a two-year, full-time fellowship (one year with a one year renewal) starting on or after July 15, 2021.


The Fellowship is compensated and sponsored by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Fellow will be provided all necessary field and office equipment through the sponsor organization.  The Sponsor organization is located in Annapolis, Maryland in the heart of the Chesapeake Bay.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife service offers a competitive benefits package as well as training and professional development opportunities.


To apply for the RAY Fellowship Program, applicants must:

  1. Complete the online application survey on the RAY Fellowship Program website: https://rayfellowship.org/apply
  2. Follow the instructions on the linked application webpage to submit a curriculum vitae or a resume, two essay and one short answer responses, and a letter of support.

Applications must be submitted to the RAY Fellowship Program no later than March 26, 2021. Transcripts and additional writing samples are not required. Questions about the application process can be submitted to the RAY Conservation Program Manager, Guilu Murphy, via email at guilu@elpnet.org.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, sex, handicap, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, or veteran status. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is continually seeking to diversify its staff, particularly to broaden opportunities for individuals from demographic groups that are historically underrepresented in the sciences and in environmental advocacy.