Local recruitment: Clean Water Legacy Watershed Specialist (NR Spec Sr Eco Svcs)

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Mankato, MN, USA 🇺🇸

Job ID: 63670

Location: Mankato

Full/Part Time: Full-Time

Regular/Temporary: Unlimited

At the DNR, we are committed to the conservation and management of the state’s natural resources for outdoor recreation, economic development, and a sustainable quality of life. Apply with us and find your path.

Job Details

Working Title: Clean Water Legacy Watershed Specialist
Job Class: Natural Resources Specialist Senior
Agency: MN Department of Natural Resources

  • Who May Apply: Open to all qualified job seekers
  • Date Posted: 3/8/2023
  • Closing Date: 3/29/2023
  • Hiring Agency/Seniority Unit: Department of Natural Resources
  • Division/Unit: Ecological and Water Resources
  • Work Shift/Work Hours: Day Shift
  • Days of Work: Monday – Friday
  • Travel Required: Yes – Travel within region for field work and training events. 
  • Salary Range: $26.14 – $38.38 / hourly; $54,580 – $80,137 / annually
  • Classified Status: Classified
  • Bargaining Unit/Union: 214 – MN Assoc of Professional Empl/MAPE
  • FLSA Status: Exempt – Professional
  • Telework Eligible: Yes
  • Designated in Connect 700 Program for Applicants with Disabilities: Yes

Make a difference in the lives of Minnesotans.

The work you’ll do is more than just a job. Join the talented, engaged and inclusive workforce dedicated to creating a better Minnesota.

Job Summary

The Clean Water Legacy Specialist applies principles of river ecology to watershed assessments in the southern region following the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s (MPCA) Intensive Watershed Monitoring schedule. This position uses the five component framework of a healthy watershed (i.e., hydrology, biology, connectivity, water quality, and geomorphology) to assess watersheds in the southern region. Data collected by the employee will help deliver strategies and alternatives as part of an interagency effort to protect and restore watershed health. This position will serve to provide advanced technical assistance to regional staff involved in the overall CWL effort, and deliver data to the MPCA to help with Stressor Identification. This position provides technical assistance on implementation projects affecting the dimension, pattern, or profile of regional streams and rivers. This position is an integral part of a larger effort to systematically and effectively collect, disseminate, and convey advanced scientific information on a watershed basis within a comprehensive framework. 

Responsibilities Include: 

  • Design, conduct, and evaluate Watershed Assessment of River Stability and Sediment Supply (WARSSS) studies and other research investigations as necessary, to provide advanced technical information and assistance to regional and local teams to address water quality impairments and facilitate effective DNR input so that comprehensive, ecologically-based studies assessing lake and river pollution in the region are developed.
  • Enhance personal knowledge of the watershed-based science that supports healthy aquatic ecosystems and help educate DNR staff and other partner organizations about that science so that internal and external partners are knowledgeable and can actively participate in Clean Water Initiative efforts.
  • Provide advanced technical assistance and planning assistance to internal and external partners, including other Sections and Divisions within the DNR, state agencies, local units of government, citizen organizations, and other participating technical staff in the development of restoration (i.e. implementation) plans that will achieve needed pollutant reductions and facilitate effective DNR input into these planning efforts so that impaired lakes and rivers in the region are restored to health and achieve water quality standards
  • In conjunction with the Regional Manager and Clean Water Legacy Specialist, administer the regional DNR Clean Water Field Team so that primary regional issues are addressed in a scientifically sound manner and the DNR plays an active leadership role in the Clean Water Legacy Initiative.
  • Participate in the development and implementation of Clean Water Legacy protection plans for unimpaired waters and facilitate effective DNR input into these planning efforts so that the ecological health of these regional waters is safeguarded from future impairment.
  • Coordinate with other partners, both inside and outside DNR, to facilitate the collection of data and the development of science-based practices policies that support CWL and related DNR resource management and policy goals.

This position has a flexible work arrangement and may be eligible to telework on part-time basis which is subject to change. If approved, the employee would be required to complete a telework agreement. This position will require reporting to the primary work location as needed for meetings, training, onboarding and various other activities.  Periodic travel throughout the SW Region will also be necessary to attend meetings and conduct field work.


Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in aquatic biology/ecology, hydrology, limnology/stream ecology, fisheries, watershed management, or related field.
  • Three years of professional work experience in natural resources management and planning pertaining to lakes, rivers, or watersheds. **A relevant advanced degree may substitute for one year of experience**
  • Demonstrated knowledge in aquatic ecology/biology, hydrology, limnology/stream ecology, watershed management, and statistics, and an understanding of hydrologic, chemical, physical, and biological behavior of rivers and streams.
  • Knowledge of the principals of sustainable development, ecosystem-based management, habitat improvement and/or mitigation techniques, and water/ land resources interactions. 
  • Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously, and adapt approaches and practices as knowledge and experience working within Minnesota’s water management framework increases.
  • Knowledge and understanding of hydrologic analyses and an ability to evaluate the impact of hydrology on riverine and lake systems.
  • Ability to convey technical information to working groups whose members have a diverse range of technical backgrounds in ways that allow all members of the group to understand and incorporate the technical concept to the problem being discussed.
  • Highly developed interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with individuals and groups with diverse interests.  Team building and leadership skills necessary to bring together diverse interests to accomplish common natural resource objectives.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Advanced degree (Master’s or Doctorate) in aquatic biology/ecology, hydrology, limnology/stream ecology, fisheries, watershed management, or related field.
  • Training and experience in fluvial geomorphology.
  • Knowledge of water and land resource issues and interactions in the Northern region of Minnesota
  • Familiarity with hydrological and water quality data analysis and modeling, including the ability to apply those models to specific project situations.
  • Knowledge of state and federal resource management agencies, local governmental units, and their respective authority, programs and responsibilities that pertain to land and water resource management.
  • Ability to run complex hydrologic, stream habitat, and/or watershed models independently.

Physical Requirements

Medium Work – Occasionally lifting articles such as 50 pound bags maximum and frequently lifting and/or carrying objects such as heavy tools and file boxes. This job may require walking or standing to a significant degree on rough terrain or may involve sitting most of the time with pushing and pulling of arm and/or leg controls.

Additional Requirements

*This position requires an unrestricted Class D Driver’s License with a clear driving record*

It is policy of the Department of Natural Resources that all candidates submit to a background check prior to employment. All job offers are contingent upon passing the following components:

  • Employment Reference Check
  • SEMA4 Records Check
  • Criminal History Check
  • Conflict of Interest Review
  • Education/license verification

Application Details

How to Apply

Select “Apply for Job” at the top of this page. If you have questions about applying for jobs, contact the job information line at 651-259-3637 or email careers@state.mn.us. For additional information about the application process, go to http://www.mn.gov/careers.

If you have questions about the position, contact Tim Gieseke at tim.gieseke@state.mn.us or 507-308-0712.

To receive consideration as a Connect 700 Program applicant, apply online, email the Job ID#, the Working Title and your valid Proof of Eligibility Certificate by the closing date to Victoria Hansen at tori.hansen@state.mn.us.

Diverse Workforce

We are committed to continually developing a workforce that reflects the diversity of our state and the populations we serve. The varied experiences and perspectives of employees strengthen the work we do together and our ability to best serve the people of Minnesota.

A recent engagement survey of State of Minnesota employees found:

  • 95% of employees understand how their work helps achieve their agency’s mission
  • 91% of employees feel trusted to do their jobs
  • 88% of employees feel equipped to look at situations from other cultural perspectives when doing their job
  • 87% of employees report flexibility in their work schedule

Comprehensive Benefits

Our benefits aim to balance four key elements that make life and work meaningful: health and wellness, financial well-being, professional development, and work/life harmony. As an employee, your benefits may include:

  • Public pension plan
  • Training and professional development
  • Paid vacation and sick leave
  • 11 paid holidays each year
  • Paid parental leave
  • Low-cost medical and dental coverage
  • Prescription drug coverage
  • Vision coverage
  • Wellness programs and resources
  • Employer paid life insurance
  • Short-term and long-term disability
  • Health care spending and savings accounts
  • Dependent care spending account
  • Tax-deferred compensation
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Federal Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness Program

Programs, resources and benefits eligibility varies based on type of employment, agency, funding availability, union/collective bargaining agreement, location, and length of service with the State of Minnesota.


Minnesota state agencies are equal opportunity, affirmative action, and veteran-friendly employers. The State of Minnesota recognizes that a diverse workforce is essential and strongly encourages qualified women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans to apply.

We will make reasonable accommodations to all qualified applicants with disabilities. If you are an individual with a disability who needs assistance or cannot access the online job application system, please contact the job information line at 651-259-3637 or email careers@state.mn.us and indicate what assistance is needed.





IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development