we're hiring a Watershed Restoration Specialist

Join our team as a Watershed Restoration Specialist

McKenzie River Trust seeks an interdisciplinary, skilled, dynamic individual to join our team as a Watershed Restoration Specialist. This position will work collaboratively with current staff, private landowners, public land managers, Tribes, agencies, and other nonprofit partners. Primary duties include project management, design, community engagement, and fundraising to support projects that restore ecological processes and function within the McKenzie River Sub-basin. The position will focus on wildfire recovery efforts on private lands and non-federal public lands impacted by the Holiday Farm Fire. The position will work directly with a collaborative team organized through the Pure Waters Partners (PWP) www.purewaterpartners.org.

To Apply:

please prepare a resume and cover letter describing your interest addressed to Eli Tome, Director of Conservation. Send that letter and a resume, combined in one PDF no longer than 4 pages total, via email to jobs@mckenzieriver.org with the title Watershed Restoration Specialist in the subject line of your email. Applicants’ materials are redacted for personal information to reduce bias by hiring managers, please do not reach out to our staff members about your application.

Applications are due by September 2nd, 2022, and applicants will be notified of the next steps in the review process beginning September 6th, 2022. We expect to make final hiring decisions by September 23rd, 2022, and are hopeful that the successful candidate will begin work soon thereafter.

Position Title: Watershed Restoration Specialist

Reports to: Director of Conservation

Status: Full-time, exempt

Compensation: +/-$53,000 annual salary DOE

Benefits: Supportive benefits package including employer-paid health, dental, vision, short term disability, and life insurance. MRT offers a competitive PTO package starting at 3 weeks of paid vacation, 2 weeks of paid sick leave, and 10 floating holidays per year. MRT offers a Simple IRA retirement benefit with up to a 3% employer match contribution.

A Note on the duration of this position: We have currently secured funding for this position for two years only. While not guaranteed, there is a possibility that the position could be extended with new funding or a shift in job duties.

 

Summary of Position

McKenzie River Trust (MRT) seeks an interdisciplinary, skilled, dynamic individual to join our team as a Watershed Restoration Specialist. This position will work collaboratively with current staff, private landowners, public land managers, Tribes, agencies, and other nonprofit partners. Primary duties include project management, design, community engagement, and fundraising to support projects that restore ecological processes and function within the McKenzie River Sub-basin. The position will focus on wildfire recovery efforts on private lands and non-federal public lands impacted by the Holiday Farm Fire. The position will work directly with a collaborative team organized through the Pure Waters Partners (PWP), www.purewaterpartners.org and will be supervised by the Director of Conservation with support from partners at the McKenzie Watershed Council, Upper Willamette Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) and Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB)—all core partners in the Pure Water Partners. Secondary responsibilities will be to support stewardship of McKenzie River Trust owned and leased properties throughout the upriver corridor and caretaking MRT’s upriver office location near Finn Rock.

Key Responsibilities

Project Management and Technical Assistance (50% FTE)

  • Coordination and scheduling of projects in cooperation with local partners
  • Provide technical assistance to private landowners/managers focusing on conservation practices that address riparian function and enhancement in a burned landscape.
  • Conduct landowner site visits to assess resource conditions and identify restoration and conservation opportunities.
  • Project oversight, including ensuring adherence to designs, permits, timeline, and contracts.
  • Contracting processes including writing and advertising Requests for Proposals (RFPs), bid review, and contract preparation.
  • Project monitoring and reporting.
  • Recommend conservation practices in accordance with Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) standards or SWCD and PWP specifications.
  • Steward MRT owned properties throughout the McKenzie River corridor and manage the maintenance of MRT’s upriver satellite office in Finn Rock.

Restoration Project Design (35% FTE)

  • Planning and development of restoration actions in cooperation with local partners.
  • Use ArcGIS and other mapping and design tools to develop conceptual designs.
  • Write assessment reports and management plans for PWP sites in cooperation with landowners and PWP partners.
  • Serve as project manager on designated projects. Successfully obtain permits and obtain permits, grants and implement projects on the ground in coordination with contractors.
  • Prepare reports to fulfill agreements, contracts, and other obligations to various local, state, and federal agencies.

Fundraising and Fiscal Stewardship (5% FTE)

  • Assist with the development of grant proposals, and solicitation of consultants and contractors for project work in adherence to MRT contracting and procurement policies.
  • Assist with the development of project budgets.
  • Manage site-level project budgets.

Community Engagement (5% FTE)

  • Public outreach to promote and raise awareness of habitat restoration projects
  • Assist with the design, planning, facilitate, and coordination of activities, workshops, and events such as tours and public presentations.
  • Assist with the development and sustaining relationships with a wide range of landowner/manager stakeholders in the McKenzie Watershed, including specific attention to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities.

Administrative, Partner and Board Support (5% FTE)

  • Present to staff, board, and committees on project opportunities and details.
  • Support MRT volunteer projects, interns, and summer youth crews.
  • Attend and participate in MRT team and staff meetings. 
  • Keep up to date on professional developments by participating in trainings offered through the Land Trust Alliance (LTA), Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts (COLT) and other sources.
  • Represent the Trust on technical teams, advisory groups, working groups, and in other venues to further the Trust’s conservation work and the work of our partners.
  • Participate in other activities which contribute to the mission of the Trust as needed.

Position Requirements

  • Previous professional diversity, equity, inclusion and justice (DEIJ) training or lived experience
  • Commitment to collaborative teamwork both in person and in a hybrid remote work environment.
  • Previous work history, lived experience, or educational background that demonstrates an interdisciplinary understanding of hydrology, forestry, and applied ecology, including:
  • Ability to observe the landscape and document conditions and processes
  • Ability to develop and implement habitat restoration projects that restore ecological processes and function, with a particular focus on riparian ecosystems and in-stream and floodplain reconnection.
  • Ability to incorporate social perspectives into restoration work
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Interpersonal skills, including a personal commitment and demonstrated ability to work with people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives in an inclusive and cooperative fashion
  • Position requires sitting, typing, standing, and carrying up to 40 pounds. Comfort in conducting fieldwork, often in remote areas, including walking over uneven terrain and on steep slopes, wading through swift streams, and working in inclement weather. Travel on gravel roads is expected.
  • Familiarity with programs such as Microsoft Office Suite, Zoom, Avenza, Slack, Dropbox, Insightly (or other CRM software) and ESRI ArcGIS. MRT uses a cloud-based database for stewardship management called Salesforce and LOCATE.
  • Valid driver’s license and reliable personal transportation. While MRT has a fleet of 3 work trucks available to employees, personal vehicle use is also required and employees are reimbursed at federal mileage rates (as of July, 2022 $0.625/mile).
  • Willingness to have a flexible work schedule

Key Attributes of a Successful Candidate

  • A Bachelor’s degree with major course work in natural sciences, natural resource management, landscape architecture, agricultural sciences, soils, water quality, or a related discipline is desired, or 3 years of experience working in the natural resource field. Any combination of education and experience that prepares the applicant to perform the duties and responsibilities of the position will be considered.
  • Knowledge of a wide range of conservation principles, methods, and techniques sufficient to assess, analyze and evaluate resources and recommended practices.
  • On-the-ground experience working with landowners and conducting project design and implementation.
  • Experience collecting field data, especially plant and riparian function related data, and maintaining field notes.
  • Experience with regular upkeep and maintenance of buildings and grounds.
  • Exhibits a personal and professional commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Values building and maintaining authentic relationships with community members and partners.
  • Excellent organization and communication skills.
  • A willingness and desire to learn new skills.
  • Wilderness First Aid certification or similar outdoor safety awareness. (MRT provides annual safety trainings and every other year all staff NOLS WFA training)

Working Conditions and Physical Effort:

The Watershed Restoration Specialist will work across field sites primarily in Lane County and from an office base in Eugene, Oregon. Many tasks will require significant physical exertion, being outdoors in all weather conditions and on difficult and sometimes hazardous terrain. Some weekend and/or evening work will be necessary. 

The McKenzie River Trust is committed to cultivating an inclusive work environment and providing equal opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, color, age, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic disposition, neurodiversity, disability, veteran status or any other protected category under federal, state and local law. In accordance with the American with Disabilities Act, it is possible that requirements may be modified to reasonably accommodate disabled individuals. However, no accommodations will be made which may pose serious health or safety risks to the employee or others or which impose undue hardships on the organization. The McKenzie Trust maintains its status as an at-will employer.

Organizational Background

Since 1989, the McKenzie River Trust (MRT) has helped people protect and care for the lands and rivers they cherish in western Oregon. From the Cascade Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, MRT envisions a future in which conservation lands are at the core of community efforts to sustain clean water, abundant fish and wildlife, and diverse natural resource economies. We work at the intersection of ecological systems and human community needs to ensure the health of both in the face of changes in climate and land use. MRT protects over 7,000 acres of land through ownership and conservation easement. Grounded in science, we work collaboratively to heal, restore, and enhance regionally important natural systems, and connect people to places they care about. MRT is based in Eugene, and our work is centered in the upper Willamette River Basin, but we also carry out work in the Umpqua, Siuslaw, and coastal river basins. In 2021 we opened our first field office on the central Oregon coast.

On Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice:

Having invested in staff training in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ) for several years, we are currently crafting a DEIJ commitment statement and plan. For over 30 years, the McKenzie River Trust (MRT) has pursued our mission by focusing on habitat diversity and health, river dynamism, and wild landscapes. But we need to more explicitly acknowledge that people and communities have been and continue to be part of these ecosystems, and that the helping people part of our mission compels us to ensure that our work benefits and engages all people, not just some. Bringing DEIJ values to bear in our work will support us in maintaining the landscape-scale vision required to address climate resilience and community resilience as we work to maintain the ecological integrity of western Oregon’s landscapes. We have work to do. We encourage all candidates, particularly those with diverse backgrounds in culture, education, and professional experience, to apply for this position. 

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