Water Project Manager, Upper San Pedro River (Arizona)

The Nature Conservancy (TNC)

Tucson, AZ, USA 🇺🇸

Sierra Vista, AZ, USA 🇺🇸



Tucson, Arizona, USA

Sierra Vista, Arizona (remote)



Since 1951, The Nature Conservancy has been doing work you can believe in protecting the lands and waters that all life depends on. As a science-based organization, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that we can create a world in which people and nature thrive. 

We’re rooted in our Mission and guided by our Values, which includes a Commitment to Diversity and Respect for People, Communities, and Cultures. We know we’ll only achieve our Mission by hiring and engaging a diverse workforce that reflects the communities in which we work. Whether it’s career development, work/life balance, or a rewarding mission, there’s lots of reasons to love life #insideTNC. Our goal is to cultivate an inclusive work environment so that all of our colleagues around the globe feel a sense of belonging, and that their unique contributions to our mission are valued.

In addition to the minimum requirements in our postings, we recognize that people come with talent and experiences outside of a job. Passion, innovation, and diversity are all key components to advancing our Mission and we encourage you to apply.

All TNC staff based in the U.S. or a U.S. Territory are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Proof of receiving one of the vaccines approved in the U.S. (Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson) shall be condition of employment and must be provided prior to starting work. TNC is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and reasonable accommodations for candidates who cannot be vaccinated due to a valid medical or religious reason will be considered. 


Based either in the Tucson, AZ’s Conservation Center or remotely from Sierra Vista, AZ., the Upper San Pedro Project Manager develops, manages, and advances freshwater conservation programs, plans, and methods focusing on the Upper Pedro River Basin, reporting to the Upper San Pedro Program Director. In addition, the position also assists other western water projects and/or policy initiatives within Arizona or of other BU’s, as requested by the Arizona Water Program Director.


The Upper San Pedro Project Manager provides technical leadership and operational support to the Arizona Chapter by planning, directing and implementing projects and information systems to conserve freshwater systems, and helps to foster cross-site learning regarding regional water management. The position works with a diversity of external conservation planning teams, providing landscape level information relevant to regional water management to conserve freshwater systems. They develop and implement regional groundwater recharge, conservation and management strategies, and employ a variety of strategies to secure public and private support for TNC conservation priorities, including the coordination of community support. May supervise staff or volunteers; helps to oversee a massive binational citizen science wet dry mapping program, and manages multiple external engineering and hydrologic consulting contractors. Assists with land acquisition and/or management activities associated with aquifer recharge projects as needed.

1) Regional water management, planning, and project development (30%)

Provides technical leadership to gain cooperation from outside parties, including the Upper San Pedro Partnership (21 agencies and organizations) to inform regional water planning and management, and water project development efforts and the Cochise Conservation and Recharge Network. Communicates best practices and coordinates with diverse federal, state, and local agencies on an ongoing basis.

2) Hydrologic monitoring, data management, and development of information systems (15%)

Assists with management of web-based hydrologic information platforms and data exchange, and with implementation of regional groundwater and surfacewater monitoring programs and/or accountability measures with conservation partners. Helps oversee the coordination of a large (100+ people) binational citizen science volunteer workforce for the San Pedro River Basin wet dry mapping program.

3) Contract and Budget Management (25%) negotiates and contracts with vendors (may oversee approx. $100K of contracting services annually) toward the design, development, and monitoring of multi-million-dollar aquifer recharge infrastructure projects and/or flow restoration projects. Works closely with AZ Ops staff on all aspects of contract administration. Financial responsibility includes working within/managing a budget to complete projects, negotiating, and contracting with vendors, assisting with budget development. Ensures program compliance with internal policies and external requirements.          

4) Supports public and/or private fundraising efforts (5%) to meet fundraising targets for program operations as well as the development of a $20 million network of groundwater replenishment infrastructure projects with external partners, including grant writing and reporting.

5) Fosters cross-programmatic and cross-cultural learning (15%) Provides support and information exchange relative to western water management practices, policies, and/or infrastructure projects as directed by the AZ Water Program Director.  

6) Other Functions (10%): Attend BU/TNC meetings and trainings as needed, prepare timecards, expense reports, complete performance reviews and other ongoing activities related to being a TNC employee. Other duties as required.


  • Primary geographic focus is the Upper San Pedro River Basin from the U.S. Mexico Border to approximately the I-10 bridge, with secondary responsibility to support freshwater conservation work in the Arizona Water Program, Colorado River Basin Program, NA and/or other TNC programs as needed to ensure larger business unit conservation objectives are met.
  • May manage volunteers or multi-disciplinary administrative and professional staff, with responsibility for performance management, training and career development.  
  • Financial responsibility may include working within/managing a budget to complete projects, negotiating and contracting with vendors, assisting with budget development, and meeting fundraising targets.        
  • Gain cooperation from outside parties to accomplish program goals.
  • Ensures program compliance with internal policies and external requirements.           
  • Completes tasks independently with respect to timeline(s).
  • Under minimal supervision, makes independent decisions based on analysis, experience and context.
  • May work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain and under physically demanding circumstances.
  • Lift, move, push or pull 25 pounds on a regular basis.
  • Travel: occasional within Arizona with possible over-night stays as well as within U.S. with over-night stays.


  • BA/BS degree and 5 years’ experience in natural resource management or related field or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience negotiating contracts and/or agreements. 
  • Project management experience.
  • Experience communicating with the public and/or media both in writing and verbally.
  • Experience using applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and Web Browsers.
  • Experience working with diverse interests and stakeholders.
  • Experience with principles of land acquisition.
  • Youth safety qualified (within initial 30 days of employment and yearly thereafter).
  • Valid driver’s license.


  • Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.
  • Experience in western water management and/or water conservation practices.
  • Knowledge of land management conservation practice, conservation science, hydrology, riparian ecology.
  • Ability to explain conservation practices to technical and non-technical audiences.
  • Knowledge of current trends and practices in conservation, and natural resource management.
  • Supervisory experience.
  • Excellent communication skills via written, spoken and graphical means in English and other relevant languages.


The Nature Conservancy offers a competitive, comprehensive benefits package including; health care benefits, flexible spending accounts, 401(k) plan including employer match, accrued paid time off (including annual, personal, and sick leave), life insurance, disability coverage, employee assistance program, other life and work wellness benefits. Benefits may be subject to generally applicable eligibility, waiting period, contribution, and other requirements and conditions.  Learn more about our benefits at nature.org/careers. We’re proud to offer a work-environment that is supportive of the health, wellness, and flexibility needs of the people we employ.


This position requires a valid driver’s license and compliance with TNC’s Auto Safety Program. Employees may not drive Conservancy-owned/leased vehicles, rental cars, or personal vehicles on behalf of the Conservancy if considered “high risk drivers.” To learn more about the Auto Safety Program, visit https://www.nature.org/en-us/about-us/careers/recruitment/ under the FAQ section.

Employment in this position will be contingent upon completion of a Vehicle Use Agreement, which may include a review of the prospective employee’s motor vehicle record.


To apply for job ID 50629, submit your materials (a current resume and a personalized cover letter) online by using the Apply Now button at https://careers.nature.org/. Need help applying? Visit our recruitment page or contact [email protected].

The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Our commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our conservation mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of people of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and culture. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects our global character is a priority and we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military, protected veteran status or other status protected by law.

Do you have military experience? Visit our U.S. Military Skills Translator to match your military experience with our current job openings!

TNC is committed to offering accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans in our job application process. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, please send a note to [email protected] with Request for Accommodation in the subject line.





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