Polar bear (Ursus maritimus)
Polar bear (Ursus maritimus) USFWS

Charles Monnett, an Alaska scientist who was suspended for suspended for six weeks, is back at work.

A spokeswoman for the Bureau of Ocean Energy, Management, Regulation and Enforcement told the Associated Press that Monnett was returning to work on Friday.

Melissa Schwartz told the press agency in an email that Monnett was told he wouldn't have any role in developing or managing contracts. Instead, he would work in the agency's environmental assessment division.

In a letter last week, the Interior Department's Office of Inspector General said Monnett had assisted a researcher in preparing a proposal while being the government official responsible for the reviewing of the proposal.

The New York Times has reported that in a letter sent to Monnett earlier in August, Special Agent in Charge David Brown alleged that the biologist assisted Andrew Derocher in preparing a response to the government's request for proposal for a current study on polar bears.

The sole-source contract was subsequently awarded to Derocher's employer, the University of Alberta in Canada.

Monnett was chairman of the Technical Proposal Evaluation Committee and by helping Derocher draft that proposal, Monnett essentially reviewed a document he helped write, the Times reported about the letter.

Advocacy group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility has claimed Monnett was targeted for his paper on drowned polar bears that prompted publicity on climate warming.