Forest Pest Coordinator in Mason County

Hiring Organization: Mason-Lake Conservation District
Employment type: Full-Time
Job Location: Scottville, MI
Application Deadline: July 11, 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. This is a fast-paced job as part of a welcoming team in a beautiful area with an opportunity to make a major positive impact on forest health in 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: Late July 2021
Compensation: Starting range $18 - $22/hour, dependent on experience
Benefits: Paid federal holidays, paid vacation and sick leave, IRA option with matching employer contribution Closing Date: July 11th, 2021 at 11:59pm


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.
While office duties are part of this job, this 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.


With some assistance from the Executive Director, the Coordinator is responsible for performing 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 of survey and treatment
• Becoming well-versed in project background, encompassing invasion history, life cycle, and modes of spread for HWA
• Utilization of best management practices, following guidance of the State HWA Committee
• Acting as lead for public engagement related to HWA, including direct landowner consults, planning and implementing outreach events and trainings
• Obtaining and maintaining equipment and supplies necessary to complete treatment and survey work
• Ensuring accuracy of data collection for survey and treatment methods
• Following laws and regulations pertinent to HWA control, tracking and reporting pesticide use
• Seeking funding to continue the program, as needed, and writing related grant proposals
• Tracking project spending in accordance with approved grant budget, achieving grant deliverables and reporting on such to granting agency
• Utilizing 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 resources, forestry, biology, or related field and 1 year of experience in invasive species control, forest management or related work
• Experience developing and coordinating daily work plans and providing leadership for a team
• Michigan Commercial Pesticide Applicator Certification in Categories 2, 3B or willingness to obtain
• Proficient in Microsoft Office suite (Word, PowerPoint, Publisher, Excel)
• 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
• Excellent social and interpersonal skills; relates professionally and effectively to diverse clientele
• Able to collaborate with others as well as motivate others with differing points of view
• Able to conduct work successfully in field in inclement weather as well as office settings
• Able to lift and carry up to 40 pounds
• 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 • Must possess critical thinking skills, creativity, and a positive attitude supporting a fun workplace


Education as above or higher with greater than two years of experience in invasive species control, safely applying pesticides or herbicides
•Familiarity with pesticide laws and regulations
•Ability to recognize and properly identify forest pests and diseases
•Experience producing maps in ArcMap or ArcGIS online
•Experience writing grant applications and completing grant reports
•Experience managing project budgets
•Experience collaborating on, developing, and delivering conservation education programs to a variety of audiences in diverse settings

To Apply:

Send cover letter, resume, unofficial transcripts and three references as a single PDF to with “Forest Pest Coordinator” in the subject line. Application deadline: July 11th, 2021 at 11:59pm.
If you have any questions, please email Dani McGarry at the above address. Learn more at