Scientists on the Utkholok river

Scientists on the Utkholok river

About Us

The mission of Wild Salmon Center is to promote the conservation and sustainable use of wild salmon ecosystems across the Pacific Rim. We identify science-based solutions to sustain wild salmonids and the human communities and livelihoods that depend on them.

Wild Salmon Center is an international organization with programmatic activities in the Russian Far East, Japan, Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and California. The home office is located in Portland, Oregon in the Jean Vollum Natural Capital Center.

Work with Us

Open Positions

  1. Director of Science

Volunteers and Interns
Want to make a differnece in protecting some of the most beautiful and diverse ecosystems across the northern Pacific Rim? Check out our volunteer page.

Director of Science

Reports to: Executive Vice President

The Director of Science is an exciting, new position of Wild Salmon Center envisioned as a full-time, regular exempt position eligible for all WSC benefits. The person in this position will build and maintain WSC’s Science Program.  The purpose of the Program will be to: 1) ensure that WSC’s conservation programs are driven by state-of the-art conservation science; 2) integrate the science and conservation planning tools into the organization’s ongoing conservation and advocacy efforts; and 3) assist partners in addressing critical science needs.

The person in this position will maintain and enhance WSC’s reputation and standing as the leading science-based Pacific salmon conservation organization.  S/he will be responsible for interpretation and communication of critical salmon information in innovative ways to develop and prioritize conservation strategies and responses. Because of the breadth of issues covered by the Science Program, s/he will design and supervise work not only with WSC staff, but also subcontractors who can bring specialized expertise to specific policy questions of importance to the organization and its partners.

The Director will develop annual plans and budgets, and work closely with the Development Program to secure funding for critical science supporting WSC’s conservation strategies.

Key Responsibilities and Accountabilities

  • Collaborate with WSC program staff and partners to prioritize and deliver the most appropriate science and technical assistance to each given project or initiative.
  • Cultivate collaborative relationships with agency, academic, NGO and private-sector peers to provide guidance and access to the best available science.
  • Provide counsel and develop WSC responses regarding threats, best management practices, harvest and escapement targets, approaches to hatchery reform, etc.
  • Work with WSC’s Communications Program to develop science communications, using a variety of approaches, which effectively educate and motivate target audiences on key salmon conservation issues. 
  • Work with WSC's Development Program to secure funding for the Science Program and priority science initiatives.

Position Requirements

  • Standing in the conservation science community; professional and academic stature and relevant publications.
  • Well-versed in the area of habitat science and practical experience and demonstrated expertise using science and planning tools to protect and restore salmon populations.
  • Active participation in and familiarity with salmon conservation initiatives, as well as the role of science in setting habitat and fishery policies and ensuring protection and restoration of critical habitat/ecosystem functions.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills; effective, diplomatic and friendly communication style and ability to translate complex science and conservation issues into clear and understandable language to diverse audiences.
  • Demonstrated leadership skills, including proactively developing new initiatives, and ability to negotiate, influence, and collaborate with a variety of stakeholders within the natural resource conservation and management community.
  • Flexibility regarding travel and hours; this position requires domestic and international travel up to 20% of the time, often for several weeks at a time in Russia, Alaska, British Columbia or the continental US.
  • Passion and commitment to the conservation of wild salmon and their ecosystems.
  • Russian language skills a plus, but not required.


Advanced degree in Fisheries, Conservation Biology or related field (Ph.D. preferred).


The total compensation package is comprised of a competitive salary commensurate with experience and qualifications, and a comprehensive benefits package including: medical and dental coverage, generous paid time off benefits, retirement plan match, HRA, and a flexible spending account.

To Apply:

Send cover letter, resume and list of references to with "Director of Science" in the subject line.

This job description is not an employment agreement or contract.  Management has the exclusive right to alter this job description at any time without notice.

Wild Salmon Center is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer.