Program Associate

Deschutes River Conservancy

Bend, OR, USA 🇺🇸

The Deschutes River Conservancy seeks a Program Associate to join our dynamic team in restoring streamflow and improving water quality in the Deschutes Basin.

  • Reports To: Program Director
  • Salary Range: Starting at $50,000
  • Location: Bend, Oregon


The Deschutes River Conservancy (DRC), based in Bend, Oregon, is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization founded in 1996 to restore streamflows and improve water quality in the Deschutes Basin. We bring together tribal, irrigation, environmental, hydropower, and federal, state, and local government interests to accomplish our mission through financing and implementation of voluntary ecosystem restoration projects.

Three major program areas provide focus to our work:

  • Irrigation Infrastructure Improvements: The DRC facilitates water conservation projects that restore streamflows and improve water quality.
  • Voluntary Market-Based Transactions: The DRC integrates technical support, innovation, program design, financing, and project execution to implement voluntary market-based transactions to restore streamflows.
  • Basin-wide Water Management Planning: The DRC leads basin-wide water planning efforts with a wide variety of partners.

We are governed by a 15-person board of directors and managed by a full-time Executive Director with ​nine employees. The DRC has a $2.1 million annual budget.


We are an innovative, consensus-based, and highly collaborative organization. We proactively seek new solutions for solving old problems. We use our organizational expertise to leverage partners’ strengths to get the watershed-scale outcomes we seek. And we live the values of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. Our full Mission, Vision and Values can be found here:

We honor the native people who have called this region home for thousands of years. We join them in stewardship of our rivers for the next seven generations.


You are someone​ who is:

  • Flexible and adaptive
  • Passionate about conservation
  • Detail oriented
  • Committed to collaborative, consensus- and incentive-based conservation methods
  • Eager to learn, grow, and take on new tasks and initiatives as they develop
  • Highly proficient with written English
  • Competent using Microsoft Excel and has excellent analytical and quantitative skills
  • Comfortable doing field work and able to use your own vehicle to do so (with mileage reimbursement at the federal rate)
  • Ready to:
    • Work with staff across program areas
    • Build relationships
    • Think creatively
    • Find common ground with diverse interests
    • Manage projects


  • Water Rights Transactions

    • Process water rights’ leases; work with irrigation districts and landowners
    • Manage leasing grants
    • Create leasing agreements for review by Program Manager
    • Facilitate paperwork collection and submission
    • Assist with water rights’ transfers’ paperwork and grants
    • Assist with Allocation of Conserved Water paperwork and grants
  • Monitoring

    • Collecting water measurements and monitoring photos in the field over uneven terrain
    • Download groundwater data and manage macro-invertebrate collection
    • Enter and analyze water monitoring data
    • Complete monitoring grant reporting with input and review by program staff
    • Maintain and evaluate streamflow and water rights data
    • Manage data and/or databases
    • Help to use monitoring data to inform larger DRC program strategies
  • Grant Reporting and Management

    • Keep track of deadlines
    • Prepare grant reports with input and review by program staff
    • Help to identify and pursue funding opportunities and assist in preparing funding proposals
  • Program Assistance

    • Learn about and contribute to all the DRC programs, including water rights transactions, water banking, on-farm program, and the Deschutes Basin Water Collaborative
    • Assist and provide support to program staff
    • Attend program meetings
    • Build and maintain trusting relationships with a diverse set of stakeholders, including landowners, irrigation districts, government agencies, and other conservation organizations
    • Work collaboratively (with staff and others) primarily in our office in downtown Bend, with some remote work flexibility
    • Assist in communication and marketing efforts of the DRC, as needed
    • Work with DRC staff and Board to strengthen DRC’s institutional capacity, including advancing internal and external work on Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity.


    Email resume and cover letter in pdf format to [email protected].

    Position is open until filled. We will begin reviewing applications beginning August 10th.

    This is a full-time, exempt position. Benefits include a group medical and dental insurance policy, access to a retirement plan with an employer contribution, and competitive vacation and personal paid-time-off. The DRC values personal and professional growth and supports continuing education opportunities for all staff.

    DRC is actively working to diversify its staff and encourages applications from people of all races, ages, gender identities, sexual orientations, religions, beliefs, national origins, or abilities.

**** This position requires long-periods of standing, hiking over uneven terrain, accessing remote monitoring locations, and use of a personal vehicle.