Pesticide Program Specialist

Portland, Oregon
$42,000-$44,000 (starting) per year, commensurate with experience.
Apr 01, 2019
Apr 22, 2019
Pesticide Program Specialist
Job Level
Mid level
Employment Type
Full time
Salary Type

LOCATION: Portland, OR (alternative locations from home-based office will be considered) 

COMPENSATION: $42,000 - $44,000 (starting) per year, commensurate with experience.




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. Invertebrates are essential to the reproduction of most flowering plants, including many fruits, vegetables, and nuts; they play an important role in pest management; and they are a critical food source for birds, fish, and other animals. Yet invertebrate populations are often imperiled by human activities and rarely accounted for in traditional conservation.

Established in 1971 and based in Portland, Oregon, the Xerces Society is at the forefront of invertebrate protection worldwide, harnessing the knowledge of scientists and the enthusiasm of citizens to implement conservation programs. We take action by helping farmers and federal conservation agencies develop conservation plans for pollinators and beneficial insects, producing ground-breaking publications on insect conservation, training thousands of farmers and land managers to protect and manage habitat for beneficial insects, protecting endangered species and their habitat, and raising public awareness about the invertebrates of farms, forests, prairies, deserts, creeks, wetlands, and oceans. Our methods focus on habitat conservation planning, education, scientific analysis, advocacy, and applied research to conserve invertebrates such as bees, butterflies, mollusks, and dragonflies.


The Pesticide Program Specialist will support diverse efforts to reduce reliance on pesticides and mitigate risks to beneficial insects including pollinators, natural enemies, soil fauna, and aquatic invertebrates. 

The successful candidate will be an integral part of Xerces’ Pesticide Team helping design and fulfill program goals. Key program areas that the Specialist will engage in include outreach to expand ecologically sound pest management in urban and agricultural settings, advocacy for conservation-minded local, state and federal policies, and collaborations to advance research into the risks of and alternatives to pesticides.  


As part of a four-person Pesticide Program team, and reporting to the Pesticide Program Director, the Specialist will: 

  • Assist in creation and dissemination of pesticide related outreach materials. Materials could include community guides, fact sheets, summaries of scientific findings, and position papers. 
  • Provide technical support and clear information on how people can protect pollinators and other beneficial insects to a variety of audiences.
  • Design, coordinate and present workshops and other trainings throughout the United States.
  • Work to enact local and state level policies to reduce the environmental impacts of pesticide use.
  • Evaluate pest management plans to determine potential risk to invertebrates. Provide recommendations to reduce reliance upon pesticides and minimize pesticide related risks.
  • Review pesticide data including risk assessments, use and monitoring data and/or incident reports to assist Xerces in determine priority project areas.  
  • Respond to requests for information from Xerces Society team members, natural resource agencies, and the public.
  • Maintain regular communication with the remotely based Pesticide Program Director.



  • Experience with and understanding of pesticides, toxicology, and pesticide regulation.
  • Ability to understand, interpret, synthesize, and effectively communicate complex scientific information related to pest management plans, pesticide usage, impacts on invertebrates to a range of audiences to influence conservation practice.
  • Excellent written communication skills and exceptional verbal communication, presentation, and public speaking skills for diverse audiences that include farmers, ranchers, conservation partners, policymakers, and others. 
  • Extremely dependable, organized, and with great attention to detail.
  • Ability to manage time and diverse activities under tight deadlines, delivering high quality results.
  • Ability and willingness to work with diverse teams and constituents in a respectful, equitable, and inclusive fashion.
  • Ability to travel out of town up to 5 days/month. 
  • Proficiency with Word, Excel, PowerPoint.


  • Knowledge of the ecology of pollinators and other insects of interest (e.g., natural enemies and pest species)
  • Understanding of and experience with common agricultural practices in the United States
  • Knowledge of Integrated Pest Management practices and strategies for reducing negative impacts of pest management on pollinators and other beneficial insects
  • Background and interest in networking and outreach



  • Bachelor’s in toxicology, entomology, ecology, environmental science, conservation biology, natural resource management, or related field degree with 3-5 years of experience in a relevant field.
  • Current driver’s license and good driving record.


  • Master’s degree in toxicology, ecology, environmental science, conservation biology, natural resource management, entomology, or related field degree with 3-5 years of experience in a relevant field.


  • If hired in a location other than our Portland, OR office, candidate must be able to work from an office in their home.
  • Lift and move supplies, materials, equipment weighing up to 20 lbs.
  • Work in the field for long days under potentially adverse weather conditions.
  • Traverse across agricultural roads and fields, unpaved roads and walkways, and unimproved trails.
  • Drive vehicle for periods of up to 5 hours.


Full-Time, salaried, exempt position, scheduled to work ~ 40 hours/week.

BENEFITS: This position includes a generous benefits package: eleven paid holidays, 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.

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

MORE INFORMATION:  For more information on the Xerces Society and our programs, please see our website:


All applications must be submitted via our application website at: