Conservation Ecologist

Chicago, IL
Full Time


The Field Museum is a not-for-profit museum located on Chicago’s Museum Campus. In the Field's 125+ year history, which started in 1893 at the World’s Columbian Exposition in the “White City,” we have engaged in research on all seven continents, cultivated a collection of over 40 million specimens and objects, engaged with hundreds of thousands of students from Chicago and the surrounding areas, and welcomed millions of visitors to the Museum each year. We accomplish this through the efforts of our dynamic and diverse staff of not only scientists and educators, but also front line staff in Visitor Services and Membership, Protection Services, Facility Planning and Operations, as well as behind the scenes support staff. 


The Field Museum is in search of a Conservation Ecologist to join our Keller Science Action Center (KSAC) team!


The Field Museum’s KSAC translates museum science and expertise into results for conservation and quality of life. The Conservation Ecologist is a naturalist with plant expertise reporting to the Conservation Ecology Manager in the Chicago Region program to advance solutions for a Chicago where all communities and neighborhoods are connected to thriving, healthy nature. The Conservation Ecologist contributes botanical expertise and experience with native plants, horticulture, and restoration management to advise and increase the capacity of conservation partners to restore the health of local natural areas and green spaces. The Conservation Ecologist works frequently with multi-disciplinary Center staff and Chicago Region landowners to expand habitat on the ground, advance restoration, and stewards and monitor priority conservation sites in the Chicago Wilderness region. 


Please include a cover letter with your application. Your cover letter should include a short description of your professional experience with or personal commitment to Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion (DEAI). In general, what does DEAI mean to you?


Duties and Responsibilities

  • Lead the Center’s Chicago Region native planting strategy and oversee its implementation, determining what is planted and where, including native seed collection, partnerships with greenhouses, growers, community organizations, and plant distributions
  • Provide expert plant knowledge to advise and strategically shape KSAC conservation projects and programs in the Chicago Wilderness Region, especially in the Calumet, Pembroke, and/or City of Chicago initiatives
  • Work closely with community groups, public and private landowners, and social science colleagues to expand and restore habitat and support quality of life plans in and around the City of Chicago
  • Work with KSAC staff to support monitoring, training and education, native plant installation, and other stewardship-related programs
  • Identify ways that Field Museum botanical collections can contribute to the region’s understanding of native habitats
  • Support partnerships, events, and programs for the Chicago Region program and museum, as needed, such as leading naturalist walks for various audiences
  • Participate in center-wide working groups, museum committees, and educational programs as appropriate
  • Contribute to grant opportunities as they relate to projects and proposed work
  • Provide in person trainings, webinars, and workshops about native gardening and habitat restoration



  • Bachelor's of Science in Ecology, Botany, Horticulture, or related field and at least four years of experience that includes field work, native gardening, project management, planning, and writing responsibilities required 
  • Thorough botanical knowledge – both ecological and taxonomic – of Chicago region and/or the Midwest required 
  • Experience with native gardening and habitat restoration and sharing botanical and plant identification knowledge with the public required 
  • Ability to work with multidisciplinary and multicultural teams and community partners, and to prepare and facilitate meetings
  • Strong writing, editing, and verbal communication skills: able to structure ideas clearly and communicate them
  • Commitment to continued learning in justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion competencies
  • Proficiency with digital work platforms such as MS Office and Google Workspace
  • Ability to multitask and think critically and creatively
  • Additional skills preferred, but not required: bilingual (Spanish), knowledge of GIS, pollinators, botanical collections, community science programs, landscape analysis and planning, and/or demonstrated experience facilitating collaborative work across organizations


Important Note: In order to protect the health and safety of our employees, guests and their families, the Field Museum is requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Requests for exemptions from the vaccine will not be considered as given the nature of this position, we are unable to provide an accommodation for anyone who has not been vaccinated.


The Field Museum is an equal opportunity workplace and employer. We are committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, gender identity, Veteran status, or any other protected class. We strive to create a working environment that is free of all forms of discrimination and one that promotes human dignity and mutual respect among all staff. We believe every member of our organization enriches our diversity by exposing us to a broad range of ways to understand and engage with the world, to identify challenges, and to discover, design, and deliver solutions.

The Field Museum strives to ensure that our career website and recruiting process are accessible to all. If you are unable or limited in your ability to use or access our online application, or if you require reasonable accommodation in completing this application, interviewing, completing any pre-employment testing, or otherwise participating in the employee selection process, please direct your inquiries to

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