Conservation Specialist (Living Lakes)

Windom, MN, US

Ducks Unlimited is a seeking a wildlife biologist or natural resource specialist to deliver on-the-ground habitat conservation activities as part of DU’s shallow lakes and prairie pothole wetland conservation programs in Minnesota and Iowa. This position identifies, develops and delivers prairie and wetland restoration and shallow lake enhancement projects with state, federal, and NGO partners in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa, and coordinates closely with Ducks Unlimited engineering staff on project delivery. This position will assist on DU land protection projects in Minnesota and Iowa including facilitative land acquisitions, conservation easement acquisition and monitoring, and other land protection opportunities. This position reports to the Manager of Conservation Programs and works closely with the Minnesota biologist, Iowa Regional Biologist, and DU engineers to manage and develop new projects, secure and utilize public grants and philanthropic funding, and implement DU’s conservation plan and strategies for the Living Lakes area. The position requires strong communication and coordination skills with DU staff, private landowners, and conservation partners, and good public speaking and presentation skills. The position also assists with volunteer events, major donor fundraising and stewardship, public policy efforts, and the development of outreach, education, and communication materials. 

Essential Responsibilities
As part of DU’s Living Lakes team with the Manager of Conservation Programs, Minnesota Biologist, and Iowa Regional Biologist, the candidate will:

  1. Develop, coordinate, and guide field-level implementation of DU conservation projects in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa with agency and NGO partners, including shallow lake and large wetland engineering enhancements, and prairie and small wetland restorations.    
  2. Identify and help deliver facilitative fee-title land acquisition, conservation easements, and prairie wetland restoration projects. 
  3. Conduct annual monitoring on DU conservation easements.
  4. Assist with public and private grant proposal solicitation, writing, and reporting, including developing project cost estimates for future budgets and grant proposals, such as:
    1. Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Fund proposals and grants;    
    2. NAWCA grants & proposals;
    3. Other public funding opportunities;
    4. Private philanthropic funding proposals to individuals, foundations, clubs, and others.
  5. Support public policy objectives in coordination with Manager of Conservation, Director of Public Policy and DU volunteers.
  6. Support state and regional efforts as needed, including:
    1. Promoting the Living Lakes Initiative and other regional and national conservation fundraising priorities;
    2. Assist fundraising staff with foundation, corporate, and individual major donor philanthropy cultivation and stewardship;
    3. Assist in developing communication resources;    
    4. Participate in staff meetings and partner meetings as necessary;
    5. Other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications

Must have a Bachelor of Science in a wildlife or related field from an accredited university. A Master of Science degree in a natural resource field is preferred, ideally focused on waterfowl, wildlife, wetlands, and/or prairie. At least two years of professional work experience is preferred, with knowledge of prairie and wetland habitat restoration planning and delivery highly preferred. Experience with prairie and wetland restoration and/or shallow lake enhancement and management a plus. Experience with land protection, funding proposal writing and grant administration, regulatory permitting, and GIS mapping tools preferred. This position requires frequent work out-of-doors, possibly in inclement weather, and may require physical exertion or lifting as needed.

Travel: Candidate must be able and willing to travel frequently, including overnight travel.
To Apply: Please send cover letter, resume and references to Jocelyn Bautista at [email protected], (734) 623-2000. Additional forms will be provided once the cover letter and resume are received. For questions regarding this position, please contact Jon Schneider, Manager of Conservation Programs, at (320)762-9916 or [email protected] Application Deadline is Friday October 7, 2016.