Forest Pest Coordinator

Hiring Organization: Mason-Lake Conservation District
Employment type: Full-Time
Job Location: Scottville, MI
Application Deadline: April 18, 2021

The Mason-Lake Conservation District is seeking a Forest Pest Coordinator to focus on management of invasive hemlock woolly adelgid. The position is based in Scottville, MI (near Ludington), with work to focus in Mason county and occasionally other shoreline counties throughout west and northwest Michigan.


Term: This is a full-time, limited term, grant-funded position. Two-year term ends June 2023 with potential to extend dependent on funding.

Duty Location: Mason-Lake Conservation District office, Scottville, MI

Schedule: 40 hours/week, Monday-Friday, 8:00am – 4:30pm; hours may vary due to site access or weather Start Date: early May, 2021

Compensation: Starting at $18 - $20/hour, dependent on experience

Benefits: Paid federal holidays, paid vacation and sick leave, IRA option with matching employer contribution

Closing Date: April 18th, 2021


Over the past several years, the invasive insect hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) has been spreading northward along the west coast of Michigan. The Forest Pest Coordinator with Mason-Lake Conservation District is a new position, but will be part of an existing, collaborative, effort, between federal, state and local agency partners, to detect and control HWA. The incumbent’s focus will be to expand survey and control efforts in and north of Mason County. With support from program partners, the successful candidate will be responsible for growing the HWA management program at Mason-Lake Conservation District.

The Forest Pest Coordinator will be responsible for coordinating all aspects of HWA survey and treatment in Mason County. This includes the necessary permitting, grant reporting, field survey and treatment, data management, and budget tracking related to project activities. The Coordinator will independently create strategic work plans to accomplish survey and treatment goals, and meet grant deliverables. They will lead and work side-by-side with the HWA Field Crew in conducting detection and delimitation surveys, and chemical treatment of HWA. Most work is conducted on privately-owned lands. The Forest Pest Coordinator will be responsible for acquiring appropriate permissions from landowners before work commences. This necessitates effective communication, and working cooperatively with all types of landowners. The collaborative nature of the state’s response to HWA further requires coordination with a variety of partners on project planning and implementation. As needs arise for allocating additional efforts toward HWA management, or other initiatives to address priority forest pests, the Forest Pest Coordinator will be responsible for future project development and applying for appropriate grant funds to initiate such projects.

While office duties are part of this job, this position is largely a field position. The Forest Pest Coordinator should be prepared to work in inclement weather, such as rain and extreme heat, while doing physical work, such as hiking for extended periods on uneven terrain while carrying a 40-pound backpack sprayer or similar equipment. This position also requires the employee to have sufficient strength to lift supplies weighing up to 50 pounds. Routine handling of pesticides is a requirement of this position.


  • Responsible for becoming well-versed in job-related knowledge, encompassing invasion history, life cycle, and modes of spread for HWA, plus all laws and regulations pertinent to HWA control
  • Must stay abreast of best management practices for HWA and follow guidance of the State HWA Committee
  • Responsible for performing and overseeing all the duties necessary to coordinate HWA management efforts in Mason and neighboring Counties. These include planning, coordinating, and participating in day-to-day field crew operations, project spending and tracking in accordance with approved grant budget, achieving grant deliverables and reporting on such to granting agency
  • Act as lead for partnership building and public engagement related to HWA, including planning and implementing outreach events and trainings, and providing support for partner groups in conducting outreach, survey and treatment work
  • Responsible for seeking funding to continue the program, as deemed necessary, and writing related grant proposals, as opportunities present themselves
  • Responsible for hiring, training, preparing work plans, and supervising the HWA Field Crew
  • Research, obtain and maintain equipment and supplies necessary to complete treatment and survey work
  • Ensure accuracy of data collection for survey and treatment methods, and track and report pesticide use as required by law
  • Complete surveys and treatments with the HWA crew; data will be collected using handheld GPS units, data sheets, electronic tablets, and Survey123 (smart phone app)
  • Utilize ArcGIS or GIS Online to develop functional maps for various projects; reference print and digital maps, including parcel and aerial maps
  • Attend trainings to improve working knowledge on conservation, HWA management, pesticides, grants, leadership, and any other topics relevant to this role
  • Actively represent Mason-Lake Conservation District at regional HWA management collaboration meetings when requested to attend


  • Bachelor’s degree in natural resource management, forestry, ornamental horticulture or related field and at least 2 years of experience in invasive species control, or forest management or related work
  • Experience developing and coordinating work plans and providing leadership for a team
  • Experience with various invasive species control techniques
  • Experience safely applying pesticides
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office suite (Word, PowerPoint, Publisher, Excel)
  • Experience producing maps in ArcMap
  • Familiarity with using handheld GPS units for field navigation and data collection
  • Ability to work and problem solve with little to no supervision
  • Skilled with data entry, data management and quality control measures
  • Must be detail oriented with strong organizational skills
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in the English language
  • Exhibit excellent social and interpersonal skills; relates professionally and effectively to diverse clientele
  • Be able to collaborate with others as well as motivate others with differing points of view
  • Able to conduct work successfully in various field conditions as well as office settings
  • Must be self-directed, responsible, and highly motivated, able to work independently and as a team leader
  • Must have a Valid driver’s license with a clean driving record


  • Master’s degree in natural resource management, forestry, or a related field, and at least 2 years of experience in forest pest management OR a related Bachelor’s degree and 4+ years of experience
  • Michigan Commercial Pesticide Applicator Certification in Categories 2, 3B
  • Familiarity with pesticide laws and regulations
  • Ability to recognize and properly identify forest pests and diseases
  • Experience using Survey123
  • Experience writing grant applications and completing grant reports
  • Experience obtaining permits and meeting reporting requirements through EGLE’s MiWaters system for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System
  • Experience managing project budgets
  • Experience collaborating on, developing, and delivering conservation education programs to a variety of audiences in diverse settings
  • Proficient in using ArcMap to produce field maps and maps for presentation/reporting


Send cover letter, resume, unofficial transcripts and three references as a single PDF to with “Forest Pest Coordinator” in the subject line.

Application deadline: April 18th, 2021, midnight.

If you have any questions, please email Dani McGarry at the above address.