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Burns & McDonnell Aquatics Studies Project Manager - Environmental Services (Chicago) in Chicago, Illinois


Burns & McDonnell's regional operation in Chicago is looking for a Project Manager to help continue to grow the aquatics group within our Environmental Services global practice. Burns & McDonnell is a 100% employee-owned firm ranked numerous times on FORTUNE's List of 100 Best Companies to Work For and voted as a Best Place to Work in cities across the United States.

The successful candidate will work with team members in conducting aquatic studies primarily related to Sections 316(a) and (b) as well as 404 and 401 compliance requirements in freshwater rivers and lakes. We are seeking a versatile and motivated professional with applied technical experience, team leadership abilities, project management and a desire to advance the discipline as well as professionally.

The Project Manager will work within our Environmental Services Global Practice and perform the following duties:

  • Develop the scope of work for aquatic studies and associated cost estimates, data management and analysis, and technical report writing.

  • Plan and lead aquatic field studies (e.g. fisheries, aquatic habitat, water quality, hydrographic) as well as assist with terrestrial studies (e.g. wetlands, terrestrial habitat, wildlife) in accordance with state and federal guidelines.

  • Coordinate with state and federal agencies to obtain approval of work plan and authorizations to implement the work.

  • Conduct all work in compliance with company and site safety policies.

  • Manage, reduce, analyze, and synthesize large datasets for technical reports and for presentation at industry conferences.

  • Compose high-quality technical reports and permit applications for various regulatory approvals.

  • Stay abreast of developments relative to the discipline including techniques for sampling and analysis of aquatic data.

  • Develop and prepare technical proposals.

  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor's degree in Biology, Environmental Science, Fisheries, Ecology, Natural Resources or a related field.

  • Master’s degree preferred.

  • Minimum 7 years of applicable professional experience conducting aquatic studies in freshwater systems.

  • Previous project management experience preferred.

  • Demonstrated experience identifying freshwater fish and using fisheries sampling techniques (e.g. electrofishing, ichthyoplankton tows, seining).

  • Mussel identification and/or sampling experience a plus.

  • Previous consulting experience is a plus.

  • Strong research, technical writing, and verbal communication skills.

  • Strong problem-solving skills with initiative to develop creative solutions to changing field conditions or other project challenges.

  • Willingness to assist multidisciplinary teams with related fieldwork such as wetland delineations, bird/bat surveys, endangered species habitat surveys, etc.

  • Willingness to travel with irregular frequency.

  • Must be willing to work independently effectively as well as part of a multidisciplinary team.

  • Ability to work under pressure and meet tight deadlines.

  • Must be proficient in the use of computer software (i.e., Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint).

  • Experience using GIS is a plus.

  • Ability to safely lift and carry up to 50 lbs and work outside during all types of weather conditions.

  • Valid driver's license required.

  • In addition, must meet standards to qualify for and maintain the Company's vehicle driving privileges as outlined in the Company's Motor Vehicle Safety Policy.


Job Project Management

Primary Location US-IL-Downers Grove

Other Locations US-IL-Chicago

Schedule: Full-time

Travel: Yes, 25 % of the Time

Req ID: 222530