Welcome to Tall Timbers

Employment Opportunities


Smoke Scientist

Tall Timbers is recruiting a scientist to lead applied prescribed fire smoke and air quality research, with an emphasis on smoke management and policy engagement. A major need in wildland fire science is better measurement, prediction, and modeling of wildland smoke. Federal scrutiny on particulate matter, ground level ozone, and other pollutants heighten the need for smoke science to have a seat at the public policy table. The Southeast is the region with the most prescribed fire extent in the US, offering tremendous opportunities for research and for application of findings.
Tall Timbers has been at the center of fire research since its founding in 1958. This position represents an organizational commitment to better understanding prescribed fire smoke, its components, and its impacts on policy and management. The incumbent will work with a team of engaged, collaborative fire scientists at Tall Timbers that focus on related topics of fuels, fire behavior, and ecological effects of fire. The region is rich in potential collaborators across academia, USDA Forest Service R&D, NASA, NOAA, EPA, and other state and federal agencies and NGOs focused on prescribed fire. The Red Hills region and conservation lands across northern Florida and southern Georgia offer an unparalleled natural laboratory to study smoke, both in urban and rural areas.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
The scientist will lead efforts on increasing understanding of wildland fire smoke and engage land managers who deal with these issues. There is an acute need to better characterize prescribed fire smoke transport to inform regional management practices, policies, and regulations. The scientist will understand empirical and process-based smoke generation and transport models, have strong interests in applied fire science questions, and be committed to a productive, collaborative research environment. The incumbent will be expected to build a dynamic, collaborative team focused on relevant issues in the southeastern Coastal Plain and beyond. The proximity to Florida State University and Florida A&M University, both in Tallahassee, offers additional potential to build novel partnerships that leverage local capacity.

Tall Timbers scientists are expected to publish high-quality research in leading outlets, to generate external funding to support world-class research, and to be responsive to applied needs of the fire and conservation community. Supervision of technicians and staff, service on graduate student committees, and a collaborative spirit are expectations of all scientists at Tall Timbers. The scientist will develop proposals in response to related RFPs and interact with numerous academic, NGO, and federal scientists of diverse academic backgrounds. The scientist will engage regional land managers to understand needs, to assist with decision support, and to educate using the latest science. The scientist will work closely with land managers spanning private and public lands to apply lessons learned from research into actionable management.

An advanced degree (Ph.D. preferred) in climatology, meteorology, environmental policy, engineering, forestry, ecology, geospatial analysis, fire behavior, public health, physics or related fields. Candidate should be highly motivated with the ability to work independently. The scientist should have a clear record of relevant peer-reviewed publication on smoke science. Post-doctoral research experience or advanced policy engagement highly desirable. A strong understanding of applied smoke issues in the southeastern Coastal Plain is preferred.

Workplace Environment and Commitment to Diversity:
Tall Timbers is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. We reject racism, prejudice, discrimination or hate toward any race, ethnicity, culture, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability, national origin, veteran status, socioeconomic class, religion, or professional status. We strongly encourage applications from historically underrepresented groups and those that add to and engage the local communities.

Instructions for Applying:
Applications should include 1) a letter of interest that includes educational and experiential preparation and 2) a current CV. All applications should be emailed to Dr. Morgan Varner, Research Director & Senior Scientist (mvarner@talltimbers.org).

Contact: J. Morgan Varner
Contact Email: mvarner@talltimbers.org
Contact Phone: 850-893-4153 x224
Applications Reviewed: May 1, 2024
Position Start Date: Summer/Fall 2024 (negotiable)
Work Location: The position will be located at the 4,000 acre Tall Timbers campus in Tallahassee, Florida. Tallahassee is the capital of Florida and a vibrant small city surrounded by private and public conservation lands. More information on Tallahassee: https://visittallahassee.com . More information on Tall Timbers: www.talltimbers.org.


Wildland Fire Training Specialist

This is a full-time salaried, term position with Tall Timbers supported by a USFS WRR Grant, and will take the lead for the Regional Virtual Prescribed Fire Training Coordination Center, responsible for expanding and building upon the work being implemented by the current Northeast-Midwest Regional Fire Training position. Working with the NE Regional Strategy Committee, the Fire Training Academies within the current Compacts (Northeast, Big Rivers, Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic), the Coalition of Rx Fire Councils, Prescribed Burn Associations (PBA) and others as needed, this position will bring a more regional and national scope to Rx fire training to the Coastal Plain region.

While the specific responsibilities of the Wildland Fire Training Specialist may be adjusted to best align with the skills and strengths of the individual, duties may include the following:

  • Facilitate the delivery of hybrid trainings during the grant timeline, while continuing the long-term objective of fostering improved training collaboration across the NE-MW region and beyond, working towards the overall goal of expanding the safe and effective use of prescribed fire over a large landscape that can be delivered to a diverse group of practitioners and partners.
  • Expand the training program to offer both more prescribed fire courses and as many as possible in a virtual environment, including contractors, NGOs, fire departments, University students and landowners.
  • Assist with a yearly training needs assessment of principals and partners in the prescribed fire community.
  • Work within the Tall Timbers Fire Learning Portal and the Wildland Fire Learning Portal, updating regional fire training calendars and schedules. The Tall Timbers website will function as a “virtual hub” of fire trainings, linking virtual, hybrid, regional and national fire training centers via an online structure.
  • Work with the Tall Timbers Fire Course Creator to develop requested and prioritized fire training.
  • Gather and maintain a list of regional training cadre both for on-the-ground trainings and virtual/hybrid trainings.
  • Develop a yearly region-wide fire training coordination strategy that addresses the gaps/needs in fire training in collaboration with regional fire training specialists.
  • Be on point for the coordination of Engine Academies, Fire Training Exchanges (TREX) and other on-the-ground events.
  • Collaborate with national and regional prescribed wildland fire science programs (e.g. Joint Fire Science Exchange Networks) and regional and state prescribed fire councils to enhance training content and coordination.
  • Manage grants and contracts to ensure compliance with budgets, reporting timelines, and deliverables.
  • Represent Tall Timbers as needed as a fire training subject matter expert to the prescribed fire community and media opportunities as deemed appropriate. Lead and/or participate in monthly training calls with stakeholders to gather feedback,
    prioritize training requests.

Candidates are expected to have a bachelor’s degree. The successful candidate should have experience and expertise in most of the following areas.

  • Experience in coordinating, facilitating and teaching a wide variety of fire courses.
  • Wildfire and Prescribed Fire experience.
  • Experience in course development and delivery (in person, online, and/or hybrid).
  • Knowledge of prescribed fire concepts and principles.
  • Ideally at least Single Resource Boss qualified in order to serve as lead or unit instructor for NWCG courses.
  • Familiarity with State Certified Prescribed Burn Manager Programs and their teaching materials.
  • Knowledge of learning management systems (Moodle, Canvas, etc.), interactive and multimedia applications, authoring tools and standard software packages, including word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, and database programs in support of teaching and learning, in all instructional modalities.
  • Project manager skills
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work effectively with a diverse team and partners while demonstrating high quality course content.

Location: This position can be remotely located within the northeastern/midwest/eastern US. The employee would need to be willing to travel to participate in meetings and events across the region.
Application Timeline: Open until filled
Location: Remote, or Tall Timbers Research Station, Tallahassee, FL
Salary: Commensurate with experience for full-time salaried, term position
Preferred Start Date: May-June, 2024
About Tall Timbers
Tall Timbers is recognized as the home of the study of fire ecology and is an advocate to protect the right to use prescribed fire for land management. It is also recognized as one of the nation’s leading land trusts. Since 1958, Tall Timbers has been using prescribed fire science to solve land
management problems. Their unique perspective is rooted in this long-term practice of working cooperatively with partners to conduct research and apply results on the land.

Tall Timbers provides a package of standard benefits including health care, dental care, vision insurance, life insurance, retirement plan, and medical flexible spending account. These benefits are subject to employee contributions according to Tall Timbers’ policy.
Vacation and Sick Leave: Up to 5 days of leave is available in your first year, following a 90- day probationary period. Employees accrue up to 10 days of annual leave for calendar year two, then 15 days in calendar years three and four, followed by 20 days at years five.
How to Apply: To apply to this position, submit a resume and cover letter explaining why you are the best applicant for the job to: Zachary Prusak (zprusak@talltimbers.org) on or before April 31, 2024. Questions to same.

People from historically underrepresented populations and candidates with non-traditional career paths are especially encouraged to apply. Tall Timbers is an Equal Opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran and disability status.


Avian Research Technician
Area of Specialization: Pine savanna species

The Stoddard Bird Lab of Tall Timbers Research Station is recruiting a full-time Research Technician II to assist in Red-cockaded Woodpecker translocation and Bachman Sparrow monitoring at sites across the Red Hills Region of Florida and Georgia. The research will investigate patterns of occurrence and translocation success of birds in pine savanna ecosystems. The findings are expected to offer insight into whether restoration of fragmented private lands should be prioritized by proximity to fire-maintained habitat. The incumbent will be supervised by Dr. Kate Richardson and work closely with Research Biologist, Rob Meyer. The position is funded for 5 months, with additional support possible based on performance. On-site shared housing is available at no cost.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
The candidate is primarily responsible for collecting field data and data management, but there will be the opportunity to contribute to manuscripts. Additionally, the candidate will assist in project coordination, including administration and supervision of interns.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Completion of at least 60 credit hours of undergraduate coursework and knowledge of the scientific principles of avian biology, ecology, and conservation.
  • Candidate should be highly motivated and organized with the ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Candidate has (or must have the proclivity to develop) the following skills: point count surveys, behavioral observations, and geodatabase management.
  • The successful candidate maintains a positive, professional demeanor and effectively communicates with private landowners and Tall Timbers staff. Valid driver’s license and clean driving record required.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • A completed bachelor’s degree in a biological science and interest in statistical analyses and scientific writing.
  • The candidate should have previous field work and data management experience.
  • Experience handling and banding birds is preferred.

Working Conditions and Physical Effort:

  • Ability to perform routine office work and fieldwork in inclement weather under strenuous conditions in southeastern climates during the summer, including occasional long hours and weekends.
  • Willingness to climb ladders.
  • Ability to drive a 4WD truck daily and long distances among locations within the Red Hills Region. 

Contact: Kate Richardson, krichardson@talltimbers.org
Contact Phone: 850-868-1011
Position Start Date: 05-01-2024 (negotiable but earlier preferred)
Duration: 5 Month
Salary: $18 per hour plus on-site housing
Work Location: Based out of Tall Timbers, Tallahassee, FL (spring and summer).
Benefits: On-site housing, health and dental insurance coverage is available.

How to Apply:
Please email a single pdf to Kate Richardson (krichardson@talltimbers.org) that includes (1) a cover letter that explains your interest in the position, relevant skills and experience, (2) an up-to-date resume, and (3) at least three professional references. Applications will be reviewed upon receipt and the position will be filled as the appropriate candidate is found.

About Tall Timbers
Tall Timbers, a 4,000 acre site founded in 1958, is located in Tallahassee, Florida. Research at Tall Timbers is focused on fire ecology, vertebrate ecology, Northern bobwhite ecology, and applications of fire modeling and training to meet next-generation fire management needs. Tall Timbers also owns and manages the 9,100 acre Livingston Place, near Monticello, Florida. Both sites are frequently burned and have a diversity of ecosystems where fire is a dominant ecological process. More information on Tall Timbers can be found here: www.talltimbers.org

Workplace Environment and Commitments to Diversity:
Tall Timbers has a commitment as an equal opportunity employer, and rejects racism, prejudice, discrimination or hate toward any race, ethnicity, culture, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability, national origin, veteran status, socioeconomic class, religion, or professional status. We strongly encourage applications from underrepresented groups and those that add to and engage the local communities.





Livingston Place Quail Management Internship
The Livingston Place Quail Management Internship is designed for students finishing up at 2 or 4 year programs in Wildlife Management with an interest in working on managed quail land. Livingston Place is a 9,125 acre working quail property near Monticello, FL owned and operated by Tall Timbers Research, Inc. Objectives include:

  1. Quail hunting and field trials,
  2. Preserving the historical, cultural and natural features, and
  3. Education and training.

The internship is a 16 week program usually from Jan-April that is designed to indoctrinate young people to Tall Timbers land ethic of Exemplary Land Stewardship. The student will be housed and employed at Livingston Place and exposed to a wide array of activities in a short time. The end result is expected to be placement of the intern in a position on a managed quail property. A checklist of activities/skills the intern will be exposed to includes the following:

  • Tractor driving (roller chopping, mowing, fire break harrowing, planting, etc.)
  • Basic power equipment operation and maintenance (chainsaw, limb pruner, lawnmower, etc.)
  • Horseback hunting for wild quail
  • Assisting with wild quail field trials
  • Introduction to horse care and maintenance
  • Prescribed burning
  • Supplemental feeding including grain handling/storage
  • Wildlife research (radio-tracking quail, avian census, predator index, small mammal trapping, etc.)
  • Nest predator trapping
  • Quail trapping for research and translocation
  • Feral hog trapping
  • ATV and pickup operation and maintenance

Interested parties should have completed an A.S. or B.S. in wildlife management or be very close to doing so. A cover letter and resume can be sent to the Livingston Place office at 1583 Livingston Road, Greenville, FL 32331. TEL 850.997.1957, or emailed to LivingstonPlace@talltimbers.org.

Fire Ecology Internships

The Fire Ecology Program seeks to provide field and laboratory experience for college students and recent graduates in the areas of plant ecology, ecosystem ecology, and fire ecology. Our research focus includes effects of fire regime on plant communities, soil chemistry and carbon sequestration, long-term pine and hardwood forest dynamics, and natural history of the southeastern U.S. Coastal Plain and Red Hills Region.


Most internships last 8-16 weeks and are largely fieldwork based but include some lab and computer work. Specific activities vary from year to year.

Summer interns(May-August): Summer interns are usually focused on fieldwork in pine savannas with emphasis on identifying, measuring, and collecting plants to characterize changes in vegetation in response to fire regime or land-use history. Summer interns also often help conduct prescribed burns. Fall interns (October-December): Every even year we hire fall interns. Fall interns are focused on measuring trees for a long-term census in an old-growth beech magnolia forest and a shortleaf pine-oak-hickory upland community.

In addition to the above tasks, interns may also help with mapping burned areas with a GPS unit, entering and processing data using database and GIS software, entering data in Excel or Access, collecting and processing soil samples, adding information to a database on local native plants, and drying and weighing fuels. Interns also typically have educational experiences, including an intern exchange with other regional research and conservation organizations, and opportunities assist with research in other programs at Tall Timbers.


Applicants should be college students or recent graduates in biology, wildlife, forestry, natural resources, environmental studies/science, or related fields and have an interest in a career in natural resources. Applicants will be evaluated based on the potential benefit of the experience to his or her career plans and satisfactory references regarding work habits, professionalism, attitude, and physical fitness, as work is sometimes strenuous and conducted in difficult outdoor conditions. Employment will be contingent upon passing a driver’s record background check (no points on driver’s record for the past 3 years) for insurance purposes, although exceptions are sometimes made. We encourage students of varying backgrounds to apply. Deaf and hard-of-hearing applicants are welcome.


Internships are technically unpaid but provide a stipend of $295 per week. Limited on-site housing is available at no cost to full-time interns. For interns that commute, some compensation is provided. Interns will be expected to work full 8 hour days (8-4:30, with a half hour lunch).


Summer internships: Review of applications begins March 1 each year and are filled as appropriate candidates are found.

To apply 

please submit:

  • A resume
  • A 1-2 pg. cover letter describing your qualifications, interests, and how you expect the experience to benefit your career. At the end of the cover letter, please be sure to state the beginning and ending date of your availability and note whether or not you require housing on station.
  • Updated academic transcript (does not have to be official).
  • Full contact information for two or more references from previous employers or educators.
  • Photocopy of your driver’s license (we require no points on the driver’s record for driving work vehicles).

Email application materials to: Cinnamon Dixon

Cinnamon Dixon, Fire Ecologist
Tall Timbers
13093 Henry Beadel Road
Tallahassee, FL 32312

Fire Science Applications Internships
No internships at this time