The Oak Bluffs select board unanimously appointed assistant health agent Garrett Albiston as its new conservation agent on Tuesday, filling a six-month vacancy in the position.

Mr. Albiston said during Tuesday’s meeting that he moved to the Island from Oregon approximately three years ago, working for the town shellfish department before taking his position with the board of health. He said his broader goal was to work in environmental stewardship.

The town conservation agent serves as an administrator for the conservation commission, tasked with enforcing and overseeing state wetlands protection law, as well as preserving and managing open space in the town.

“What I enjoy doing is taking care of the environment and issues that have to do with that,” Mr. Albiston said. “So I’m looking forward to doing my best for the board, and doing my job well.”

Mr. Albiston was one of two finalists for the position. The conservation commission also interviewed Jack Sipperly, according to administrative assistant Alice Butler.

The town has struggled to fill the conservation agent role following the departure of Liz Durkee in 2020. A previous hire, Elisabeth Peterman, abruptly left the role earlier this year, soon after her hiring in January of 2021. On Tuesday, conservation commission member Joan Hughes said that Ms. Peterman had initially intended to work remotely from her home in Rhode Island, but the logistics proved too challenging.

“She was a woman with a great deal of experience,” Ms. Hughes said. “Unfortunately she lived in Rhode Island, and it turned out to be an insurmountable difficulty for her to come to the Island...this time around, we were looking for someone who was invested in the Island.”

The select board and conservation commission said Tuesday Mr. Albiston’s intent to remain on the Vineyard, as well as his administrative and managerial experience with the town, made him an ideal candidate for the position.

“His background, in terms of his training and experience, are a really good match,” said conservation commission member Terry Appenzellar. “We were impressed with his experience, his maturity, his suggestions about what he might do and proof processes. And we feel he’s a very good fit for what we are looking for.”