Local recruitment: Small Watershed Coordinator

Alliance for the Shenandoah Valley

New Market, VA, USA 🇺🇸

Supervisor: Project Manager, Shenandoah Valley Conservation Collaborative
Location: New Market, Virginia
Job Classification: Full-time, Exempt

Organization Description

Working to ensure the land, water, and community resources of the Shenandoah Valley will be protected for the future, Alliance for the Shenandoah Valley is a 501(c)3 nonprofit serving six counties—Augusta, Rockingham, Shenandoah, Frederick, Page and Warren—and the cities within them. The Alliance staff, directors, and supporters champion clean water, thriving communities, and protected rural landscapes. The Shenandoah Valley Conservation Collaborative (SVCC), administered by the Alliance, is a partnership of land trusts, watershed groups, regional nonprofits, and state and federal agency partners working to accelerate land conservation and water quality restoration in the region. Partners bring resources and expertise to interested landowners and communities to achieve shared goals in water quality, agricultural vitality and protected rural landscapes.

The Smith Creek watershed, in Rockingham and Shenandoah Counties, was designated as one of three Chesapeake Bay Showcase Watersheds in 2010 by the United States Department of Agriculture. The purpose of the Showcase Watershed project was to demonstrate the effectiveness of a targeted approach to improving water quality. Over the last 12 years, the Smith Creek Watershed Partnership (SCWP), consisting of agencies, nonprofits, and universities, has helped farmers within the Smith Creek watershed implement voluntary conservation practices to reduce nutrient and sediment runoff and showcase the efforts on a national scale.

The Position

The Small Watershed Coordinator will provide crucial capacity and coordination in the implementation of conservation programs and practices in the Smith Creek watershed. The Coordinator will also lead efforts to identify and apply lessons learned in the Smith Creek Showcase Watershed to other watersheds in the Shenandoah Valley. This is a new three-year position, funded by a grant award from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The ideal candidate has a strong understanding of the natural world, environment, and agriculture, is a good communicator with engaging social skills, and has the attention to detail required to complete administrative tasks.

Job Responsibilities

I. Accelerate delivery of conservation assistance to landowners (45%)

Facilitate landowner outreach and recruitment:

  • plan and implement landowner outreach and recruitment activities at a group and individual level. Examples include:
    • targeted outreach,
    • one-on-one meetings,
    • field days and farm tours,
    • farmer-to-farmer outreach
  • develop strategies to engage absentee/non-operating landowners

Provide coordination from initial landowner contact to implementation of conservation practices:

  • engage partners as appropriate for technical needs, financial assistance, and conservation programs to address unique needs on different farms
  • serve as a resource to landowners as they work with partners to implement conservation practices on their farms
  • create systems of evaluation and adaptation of programs to better achieve conservation goals

II. Coordinate the Smith Creek Watershed Partnership (40%)

Serve as point of contact for SCWP communications:

  • coordinate public communications, including press opportunities to highlight SCWP projects when appropriate
  • manage internal communications: develop activity reports, financial reports and annual reports to describe the work accomplished, planned and initiated

Work with agencies, nonprofits, and university partners and the SVCC Project Manager to:

  • improve partnership processes, including clear partner expectations, communications, decision-making, and conflict resolution
  • create a system for ongoing improvements to partnership processes through evaluation and adaptation

Build momentum for replicating a targeted approach in other small watershed(s) in the Shenandoah Valley:

  • help identify and manage farmer/landowner participation in the demonstration farm program
  • work with partners to identify successful strategies that engage farmers and improve water quality in Smith Creek to be replicated in other watersheds
  • grow support among new partners, farmers, and landowners in identified watersheds for a similar watershed-scale implementation approach

III. Administer the Smith Creek Watershed Partnership (15%)

With other Alliance for the Shenandoah Valley staff, administer the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant including tracking and reporting on nutrient reductions, documenting matching funds, managing partner sub-awards and contracts

Complete administrative tasks associated with staff position at Alliance for the Shenandoah Valley


  • Dynamic work environment, working with people who are committed to making a difference.
  • Salary range for most candidates is $35,000 – $55,000 depending on experience.
  • Benefits include employer sponsored health insurance, matching 401k contributions, and paid holidays and leave.

Requirements of the Position

  • Passion for protecting the agricultural landscape and natural and cultural resources of the Shenandoah Valley
  • Ability and willingness to be outdoors in variable weather conditions and traverse varying, sometimes rough, terrain on farms.
  • Initiative to grow the impact and durability of a place-based collaborative
  • Excellent written, verbal and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to speak comfortably before large groups and one-on-one with farmers
  • Experience and/ or education with land protection, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) landowner cost-share programs, and/or natural resource restoration and stewardship
  • Familiarity with Shenandoah Valley and/or experience working with agricultural and forestal landowners in rural communities; Knowledge of agricultural operations and conservation issues related to agriculture
  • Minimum Bachelor’s degree in natural resources, environmental science, agriculture, organizational management, public administration or related fields
  • Proficient computer skills including: Microsoft Office, Google Suite, Experience with ESRI GIS is preferred
  • Valid driver’s license

To apply

Send a cover letter, resume, and three references to employment@shenandoahalliance.org. Position is open until filled. Interviews with qualified candidates will begin the week of February 13, 2023.

Click here to download a PDF of this posting.

Alliance for the Shenandoah Valley considers all candidates equally without regard to age, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, disability or other non-merit factors.





IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development