Watershed Restoration Director via Idealist

Watershed Management Group (WMG)

Tucson, AZ, USA 🇺🇸

  • Start Date: November 2021 or when position filled
  • Location: Tucson, AZ
  • Hours:  Full-time, salaried position, some weekend and evening hours
  • Pay Rate: $58,000 – $70,000, annual salary
  • Benefits: Matching retirement fund, health care coverage, paid vacation and sick leave, alternative transportation benefits

 About the Organization: At Watershed Management Group (WMG), we envision a world where the relationship between the Sonoran Desert and its people creates prosperity for all. This includes all people, plants, animals, land, and waters of the United States, Mexico, and Native American nations found in the Sonoran Desert. Our mission is to develop and implement community-based solutions to ensure the long-term prosperity of people and health of the environment. We provide people with the knowledge, skills, and resources for sustainable livelihoods. Founded in 2003 in Tucson, WMG is sustained by a talented team of thought-leaders, educators, natural resource managers, designers, ecologists, planners, and community organizers, as well as thousands of passionate volunteers. 

At the core of our work is the value and practice of diversity, equity, and inclusion with the goal of advancing care for people and the environment. The collective sum of the individual and group differences, life experiences, knowledge, innovation, self-expression, and talent that our employees invest in their work represents not only part of our culture, but our reputation and WMG’s achievement as well. In recruiting for our team, we welcome the unique contributions that you can bring in terms of education, opinions, culture, ethnicity, race, sex, gender identity and expression, nation of origin, age, languages spoken, veteran’s status, color, religion, disability, sexual orientation and beliefs.

Job Description: The Watershed Restoration Director will oversee watershed restoration projects that fulfill WMG’s strategic goals, including our 50-year goal of restoring flow and ecological function to Tucson’s rivers and creeks, as well as our long-term efforts to steward watershed health and Hydro-Local water supplies. WMG’s restoration project work primarily encompasses the urban and rural areas within the bi-national Santa Cruz and San Pedro watersheds with a focus on work in the greater Tucson area.

The Director will be responsible for supervising an interdisciplinary staff team dedicated to stewarding Sonoran Desert rural and urban ecosystems in order to regain natural hydrological and ecological function, increase community (plant, animal, and human) resilience, and foster community-based stewardship of our land and waters. The Program Director will oversee field-projects across several WMG programs, with the goal of aligning and advancing restoration and stewardship efforts, including the Green Living Co-op, neighborhood green infrastructure, and the River Run Network program. Projects will include small home-based projects, neighborhood green space projects, and upland arroyo and riparian restoration projects. The Director will lead restoration planning and fundraising, restoration project oversight, as well as integrating community engagement and education. 

Duties and Responsibilities:  

Restoration Planning (20%)

  • Develop strategic initiatives, partnerships, funding opportunities (fee-based, writing grants, and building sponsorships) and annual budget for watershed restoration projects to achieve WMG’s 50-year vision. 
  • Collaborate with community-based organizations, agencies, and Indigenous tribes to identify restoration opportunities, select culturally appropriate approaches, and to develop successful proposals to fund restoration projects. 
  • Actively participate in regional planning efforts including the Santa Cruz Watershed Collaborative, the Sonoran Desert Cooperative Weed Management Area, and other jurisdictional US-Mexico bi-national advisory groups.

Restoration Project Funding (20%)

  • Prepare grant applications and develop associated budgets and scopes of work. 
  • Negotiate cooperative agreements to secure the funding necessary to successfully implement WMG projects and develop scoping requests for subcontract work and enter into agreements to ensure that cost and quality expectations are met.

Restoration Project Management & Supervision (30%)

  • Supervise project managers through co-developing weekly work plans and ensuring that project deliverables, and budgets are met through regular check-in meetings and annual performance evaluation. 
  • Provide business management of fee-based services offered through the Green Living Co-op and neighborhood programming which includes oversight of inventory management, materials and services pricing, monthly and annual goals, managing conservation kit offerings, and ensuring quality customer service.
  • Oversee watershed consultation services including designs, deliverables, and fee structure.
  • Oversee successful design and implementation of riparian restoration projects along with the establishment of long-term maintenance and monitoring plans.  
  • Oversee hiring, training, and mentoring of restoration staff. 
  • Coordinate with agency staff and conservation partners in the successful implementation of WMG’s projects. 

Community Engagement and Education (20%)

  • Participate in the River Run Network program team with a focus on landowner/homeowner and agency/organizational outreach, riparian protection and restoration activities, and watershed restoration planning.
  • Participate in WMG’s Release the Beavers campaign work to advise and help coordinate habitat restoration, population surveys, and collaboration with agencies and partners. 

Other Duties (10%)

  • Manage watershed restoration interns and/or apprentices.
  • Assist with WMG outreach and fundraising activities through professional networking, attending WMG events, and build relationships with clients, volunteers, donors, and the greater community. Fundraising activities may include direct appeals for donations. 
  • Co-lead strategic planning initiatives. 

Job Requirements:

  • Interest and support of WMG’s mission and vision
  • 5-10 years of experience with project management in related fields
  • 5+ years of experience in program management – including budget development, grant writing and administration, staff management, and program evaluation 
  • Proficient in ecological restoration strategies and Sonoran Desert plants, riparian ecology, hydrology, soils and/or wildlife 
  • Experience and interest integrating traditional ecological knowledge and practices into restoration work
  • Maintain Arizona Register of Contractors dual license (may be acquired on the job) and demonstrate an understanding of environmental permitting requirements and environmental restoration projects
  • Ability to effectively communicate and engage with diverse communities and build relationships built on trust and understanding  
  • Ability to work independently with attention to detail
  • Proficient in use of Google Documents, and MS Excel, Word, and PowerPoint.
  • Ability to work outside in physically demanding environments
  • Able to travel regionally to assist with program and project development
  • Demonstrate good organizational skills, ability to work under multiple deadlines, and flexibility to handle changing priorities
  • Cell phone that can be used to make and receive work calls

Preferred Experience:

  • Bilingual speaker and writer, fluent in English and Spanish
  • Experience in beaver-related riparian restoration strategies 
  • Knowledge of ESRI ArcGIS
  • Meeting facilitation and conflict resolution training
  • First Aid/CPR training/certification
  • Experience managing volunteer-based projects
  • U.S./Mexico border travel


USD 58,000 – USD 70,000


Matching retirement fund, health care coverage, paid vacation and sick leave, alternative transportation benefits

Level of Language Proficiency

English, fluent speaker and writer required

Spanish, fluent speaker and writer preferred

Apply to This Job


Applicants must provide:

  • 1-page cover letter (statement of interest)
  • 1-2 page resume
  • A brief statement of your philosophy, commitment, and contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Phone and email contact for 3 references (at least two professional)



IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development