Urban Conservationist

  • Full Time
  • Portland, OR
  • June 3, 2024

Website West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District

Urban Conservationist

West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District

3236 S. Kelly Ave., Suite 200, Portland, Oregon 97239

Position Type: Permanent, Full-Time In office/in field/remote work hybrid position, At-Will, FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) Exempt

Starting Salary: $5,965 to $7,251 per month, commensurate with experience.

Work hours: 40-hour weeks. Mon-Fri, with occasional evening and weekend events and meetings

Initial Posting Date: Monday May 13, 2024

Application due date: Monday June 3, 2024 by 5:00 pm (PST)



Who We Are

The West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District mission is to provide resources, information, and expertise to inspire people to actively improve air and water quality, fish and wildlife habitat, and soil health. We are a publicly funded special district conservation organization. We partner with many organizations and individuals, including residents and private landowners to accomplish our mission in our service area. Our services include conservation planning, financial assistance for conservation projects and community partners, wildlife habitat and stream restoration, invasive weed management, establishing school and community gardens, and workshops.


The West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District strives to build and sustain an inclusive environment that embraces and values diversity. Employees at the District work together to foster fairness, equity, inclusion, and belonging. We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, ethnicity, veteran, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, or physical or mental disability. Candidates from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply. We are most interested in finding the best candidate for the job, and that candidate may not meet every one of the job responsibilities. Lived experience may count towards the qualifications. If you are excited about this position, we encourage you to apply.


Job Description
This full-time position provides conservation planning and technical assistance to private landowners, businesses, non-governmental organizations, residents, communities, schools and other entities to address natural resource concerns and create public conservation benefits through healthy soil, clean water and diverse habitats. Conservationists also conduct program outreach, develop and manage a program budget, and facilitate access to internal and external funds for implementing actions identified in conservation plans, including via partner organizations. Conservationists provide program management in their natural resource expertise. They are self-directed, work as a part of a team, are well versed in the technical aspects underlying natural resource issues and have an operating understanding of programs and disciplines relating to soil health, water quality and wildlife habitat.


The Urban Conservationist represents the District in a number of local partnerships related to urban conservation, equity, and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) allyship.  The position also serves as a conservation planner for urban and suburban site plan development, management, and monitoring. This position manages the budgets for the District’s partner grants, and school and community gardens.  The Urban Conservationist may spearhead equity related initiatives and is engaged in the District’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) activities.


General responsibilities include:

  • Develops and tracks short-term and long-term goals for the District’s urban conservation activities.
  • Conducts individual site visits with private landowners and land managers (including renters, schools, businesses) to better understand their land management goals, identify resource concerns, and suggest conservation practices that can resolve resource concerns and achieve desired outcomes. An important part of this process is initiating discussion regarding technical and/or financial assistance programs.
  • Writes conservation plans with land management practice specifications to address property goals in natural resources management and conservation.
  • Analyzes data and creates technical and programmatic reports, fact sheets, and presentations for District staff, Board of Directors, landowners, and the public.  Uses the District databases for contacts and program data.
  • Reviews and prepares maps using tools such as geographic information system (GIS), global positioning system (GPS), field mapping applications, spreadsheets and specialized databases.
  • Contributes to District education and outreach functions, such as writing newsletter and annual report articles, tabling at events and speaking at conferences, workshops and other outreach and education forums.  Performs program outreach, such as targeted mailings, in partnership with communications staff.
  • Develop and foster partnerships with federal, state, local agencies as well as individuals and other organizations to avoid duplication of efforts, achieve shared conservation goals and increase overall impact.
  • Coordinates urban conservation program and manages project budgets, cost-share agreements with landowners, and contractor scopes-of-work and contracts to carry out on-the-ground conservation projects.  Assists landowners to secure project materials and contractors and directs work in the field as needed.
  • Participates actively as a member of the technical staff team, including attending and contributing to meetings, collaborating on projects and program planning, and sharing timely program and technical information.
  • Supports diversity, equity and inclusion by incorporating these principles in all aspects of the urban conservation program design, implementation and evaluation using tools such as the District’s equity lens and by participating in provided or self-directed diversity, equity and inclusion trainings. 
  • Maintains scientific and technical expertise in urban conservation issues including, but not limited to urban heat island impacts, wildfire risk reduction, stormwater management, habitat connectivity, community engagement, naturescaping, and gardening.
  • Assumes other duties as assigned, based on the needs of the organization.


Minimum Qualifications (required to be eligible for this position; experience level used in evaluation)

  • Five years experience in ONE of the following ways:
  • Bachelor’s or graduate degree in environmental science, ecology, forestry, natural resource management or a related science field plus one year of experience demonstrating the general responsibilities for the position, OR
  • Three years of experience demonstrating the general responsibilities for the position plus a two-year Associate’s Degree or equivalent certification in environmental science, permaculture, ecology, forestry, natural resource management, or a related science field can substitute for the Bachelor’s or graduate degree requirement, OR
  • Five years of experience demonstrating the general responsibilities for the position can substitute for the Bachelor’s or graduate degree requirement.
  • Excellent writing and verbal communication and presentation skills as well as communications with partners across cultures.
  • Demonstrated partnership development and maintenance.
  • Demonstrated ability to use computerized programs for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, posters, virtual meetings, project management, and basic map making.
  • Proficient in native and non-native Pacific Northwest plant identification.
  • Has a valid driver’s license or the commitment to obtain one within 3 months of hire (may be exceptions for special circumstances).
  • Willingness to abide by District workplace policies (including safety and equity).

Candidates who are most competitive will also reflect the following competencies:

  • Demonstrated experience in conservation planning and securing technical and financial assistance. 
  • Serves as an expert in at least one or more areas in the field of conservation such plant ecology, habitat restoration, sustainable gardening/permaculture, forestry, invasive plant species management, climate change, or traditional ecological knowledge.
  • Experience convening and facilitating meetings and collaborative efforts.
  • Experience in using geographic information systems (GIS) programs and global positioning systems (GPS) technology for mapping.
  • Experience in successfully planning, leading, managing and monitoring complex restoration projects or programs involving multiple participants.
  • Experience developing and managing an annual work plan and administrating a program budget for a natural resource conservation program.
  • Proficient in grant writing and applying for other sources of funding with demonstrated success.
  • Experience administering small grants program including creating criteria, convening review groups, executing grant agreements, and evaluating grant reports.
  • Experience working on Indigenous land care and/or land access issues including working with or as part of a Tribe or Indigenous partner organization.
  • Personal and professional commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, including exploration of power and privilege, a willingness to self-reflect, and experience engaging with marginalized communities and individuals in a welcoming and respectful manner.


What’s in it for you!

The opportunity to work on a productive and creative team in support of local environmental conservation where no two days are ever the same! We offer a generous benefits package with comprehensive medical, dental, and vision plans for the employee and their qualified family members, as well as paid sick leave, personal time off, and 10 paid holidays a year. In addition, we offer membership in Oregon’s Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) and in a Health Reimbursement Arrangement Voluntary Employees’ Beneficiary Association (HRA VEBA).


Working Conditions

  • This position is based out of West Multnomah SWCD office and is an in office/in field/remote work hybrid position. The logistics of hybrid office and remote work will be confirmed prior to hire and may be changed at any time given specific job duties and organizational needs. West Multnomah SWCD will provide necessary hardware (laptop, monitor, keyboard, mouse) for an employee to successfully work remotely. This position requires occasional travel by car both in-state and occasionally out-of-state on official District business for meetings, conferences, and trainings, some of which may be held in the evenings. At the West Multnomah SWCD office, all staff have access to a workspace, however, it may be shared with other employees.


  • This position includes work in the field approximately 35% of the time, and office work approximately 65% of the time (dependent on field work/site visit needs and conditions). Physical exertion is commonly required for field tasks, such as hiking outdoors and carrying equipment and tools. Work outdoors is in a range of weather and terrain conditions. Outdoor work may occur in and around urban areas, farms, forests, water bodies, land with steep and slippery slopes, dense and thorny vegetation or other hazardous terrain, farm animals and pets. Potential physical hazards include stinging insects, high summer temperatures, pollen, poor air quality, and use of various tools.


  • District vehicles are available for fieldwork and site visits use (once the results of a motor vehicle report are determined to be satisfactory). Miles driven for work in a personal vehicle can be reimbursed.


To Apply
To be considered for this position, please submit a 1) cover letter and 2) resume demonstrating how you meet both the Minimum Qualifications and additional competencies to [email protected] by Monday June 3, 2024 at 5:00 pm (PST). Cascade Employers Association is assisting with this recruitment.


Helpful Tips to Apply:

  • Read all instructions, general responsibilities, minimum qualifications, and additional competencies carefully and thoroughly respond.
  • Allow yourself plenty of time to complete and submit BOTH your resume and cover letter.
  • Save a copy of the job announcement for your reference, as it may not be available for you to view after the job posting closes.
  • We are most interested in finding the best candidate for the job, and that candidate may not meet every one of the job responsibilities. Lived experience may count towards the qualifications. If you are excited about this position, we encourage you to apply.


District Redaction of Your Application Material
In pursuit of our equity goals and to reduce the potential for unconscious bias, a District representative will redact certain personal information from submitted application materials before evaluation by the review team. Redacted information includes name, contact information, links to social media accounts and personal websites/webpages, photographs, graduation dates and names of schools. Degrees obtained and number of years attended will be retained for review.


Veterans Information:

Applicants are eligible for Veterans’ Preference when applying with West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District. For more information on required materials to submit, please see our Veterans’ Preference Policy.


Pay Equity:

As an employer, the District complies with HB 2005, the Pay Equity Bill. We do not discriminate based on protected class in the payment of wages, and we do not screen applicants based on their current or past compensation.


For questions about the application process, or to request an accommodation to access and participate in this recruitment, please email [email protected]

To apply for this job email your details to recruitment@cascadeemployers.com

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