Environmental Specialist II (Integrated Water Management/GIS - Temporary)

Nebraska Department of Natural Resources

Lincoln, NE, USA 🇺🇸


The Water Planning Division (Division) at the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (NeDNR) works with local, regional, state, and interstate partners and stakeholders on integrated management of surface water and groundwater and on interstate water agreements.   Our vision is advancing collaborative water management across the State of Nebraska based on sound science, and our mission is to sustain and protect Nebraska’s water supplies and water users for both the near and long term.  The Division’s work blends hydrogeological modeling and analyses with water policy and planning. 
Under limited supervision, the Environmental Specialist II in this position will assist the Division with geographic information systems (GIS)-related activities for the analysis of hydrologically connected groundwater and surface water supplies for the implementation of state statutes and integrated management plans. The successful candidate will also play a role in the implementation of basin wide drought plans; key aspects include data acquisition and organization, public outreach, meeting coordination, and conveying complex scientific concepts to a variety of audiences. This position also performs work as assigned.

This advertisement is for a temporary position that is expected to last one year from date of hire.Examples of Work

Assist the Water Planning Division (Division) of the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources with the development and implementation of integrated surface water/groundwater management plans and with interstate compacts, decrees, and agreements:

  • Organize data and required information for integrated water management planning, implementation, and compliance, and for compliance with interstate compacts, decrees, and agreements   
  • Assist with stakeholder input processes, public participation, and community outreach 
  • Determine required actions and deadlines related to integrated management plans, compacts, decrees, and interstate agreements; and obtain official documents as necessary   
  • Write, review, and edit water management plans and reports
  • Provide meeting support and coordination for the Division and outside agency partners

Assist with development and maintenance of the Division’s data and official documents and records:

  • Acquire and organize pertinent data such as surface water diversions and use, water rights information, and changes in irrigated acres and land use/land cover  
  • Develop and maintain databases and information management systems to ensure reliable storage and efficient retrieval of the Division’s data and records  
  • Use and create content for Division GIS-related education and outreach materials. This includes ESRI experience builder content, ESRI Story Map content, general ArcGIS Online data/content, brochures, and other publications. This will include using the web as a medium for communication
  • Maintain and uphold Division standards for GIS figures
  • Maintain and follow established procedures for the management of GIS data
  • Maintain and follow established procedures for the creation and upkeep of standard Division GIS tools/base data
  • Assist in editing spatial and tabular data, spatial analysis, image analysis, map layout design, web mapping, and/or image classification that support land and water data development in Nebraska
  • Determine the type of technical data needed to support and implement integrated surface water/groundwater management plans

Communicate with a variety of audiences:

  • Explain scientific and planning-related laws and concepts to a variety of audiences using strong communication skills and multiple communication platforms
  • Prepare and edit educational and public relations materials such as maps, graphics, newsletter articles, technical reports, and handouts to disseminate information about the Division’s activities  
  • Assist with maintaining and managing content on the Division’s website
  • Represent the Department and Water Planning Division at public education and outreach events and assist in coordination of such events  

Qualifications / Requirements

REQUIREMENTS: Bachelor’s Degree in the physical sciences, natural sciences, environmental science, geology, biology, agronomy, civil engineering, environmental engineering, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, hydrology, community and regional planning, or a related field. Experience may substitute for education or a year-for-year basis.
PREFERRED: Experience in writing and editing reports and other documentation; records and data organization and management; creating meeting materials such as agendas, handouts and minutes; using geographical information systems (GIS) to create map graphics or solve a problem; stakeholder input or public participation processes; creating figures to explain a complex concept; quantitative or qualitative data collection and analysis; natural resources or environmental planning; and/or education and outreach.

  • A valid driver’s license
  • The ability to work overtime and weekends if the need arises
  • Some travel is required for this position, including occasional overnight travel.  When not traveling, the employee’s work time will include a mixture of teleworking and in-office work.

NeDNR will not sponsor non-immigrant work visas for this position.Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Knowledge of:  

  • Hydrogeology, hydrology, natural resource sciences, agricultural sciences, and/or natural resources planning  
  • Methods for collection, maintenance, and analysis of large, multidisciplinary scientific and technical datasets  
  • Water management planning processes, policies, rules, and regulations   
  • Public participation methods and community outreach
  • Basic field-scale irrigation and agricultural practices used across the state
  • Basic subsurface geology and characteristics of primary/secondary aquifers in Nebraska  
  • Basic remote sensing techniques and its application of land use/land cover delineation

Skill in:   

  • Writing and editing publications for a general audience
  • Meeting or event planning (in-person and via virtual platforms- Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, etc.)  
  • Creation of figures and presentations using computer software such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Publisher, Microsoft PowerPoint, Adobe InDesign, CorelDraw, Prezi, ArcGIS, and/or Geocortex
  • Using software such as Excel and/or ArcGIS (ArcPro, ArcMap, Arc Catalog) to distill information, perform analyses, and present results from technical datasets  
  • Using ArcGIS/ArcCatalog to construct, maintain and distribute File Geodatabases.
  • Organizing information and records using tools such as records management systems (e.g., OnBase), Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, OneNote, and intuitive filing structures
  • Constructing documentation files that accurately outline methods used to complete projects, such that utilized methods can be easily repeated and evaluated in the future • ArcGIS Model Builder and/or Python/Arcpy programming a plus

Ability to:  

  • Learn and apply Nebraska’s surface and groundwater laws
  • Think logically and understand surface and groundwater systems  
  • Communicate effectively and appropriately with diverse constituents
  • Clearly convey technical information to the public and colleagues
  • Organize, write, review, and edit technical reports and memorandums, meeting agendas, meeting minutes, outreach materials, and other documents
  • Independently compile, and analyze information as necessary to identify, substantiate, and solve a scientific or technical problem and prepare reports based on that analysis
  • Effectively develop workplans, ensuring adherence to project deadlines
  • Efficiently self-manage and operate in a remote setting/virtual workplace
  • Improve skill deficiencies/interest in developing said skills with on-the-job training





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