Science and Policy Program Associate

River Network

Home-based, CO, US

TERM AND SALARY: Full-time, non-exempt with annual salary range between $47,000 and $55,000 commensurate with experience and comprehensive benefits including: medical, dental, and vision health insurance; 403b retirement savings plan; vacation and sick leave; employee assistance program; life insurance; technology stipend; and paid holidays. Support for this grant-funded position has been secured through June 2021. Beyond that date, the position is contingent upon securing additional funding.

POSITION SUMMARY: River Network seeks an individual to support its efforts in Colorado and the West to educate and improve the practice of river conservation planning, expand engagement on environmental water transactions, and grow curiosity regarding how to achieve healthy rivers in agricultural landscapes. The position will support on-going peer learning initiatives that aim to improve the practice of environmental water transactions in the Colorado River Basin, and river health planning in the state of Colorado.  The work will include deploying a variety of training and education tools, including on-line content, practitioner surveys, in-person workshops, conference presentations and webinars aimed at improving the quality and quantity of environmental flows, river health, fisheries and riparian corridors.

Additionally, the position will support outreach efforts within rural and agricultural communities in Colorado to highlight examples of multi-purpose conservation projects (i.e. those that provide a benefit to both the water user and the natural environment) and communicate the benefits of agricultural-environmental partnerships and projects.  This will include outreach through local media and other forms of storytelling that are effective in rural environments.

Finally, the position will support a newly established process to define River Network’s niche at the intersection of healthy rivers, clean water, and agricultural production.  Healthy rivers in agricultural landscapes is a new key issue for River Network, and we will be hosting conversations with key players across the US to understand how River Network can best deploy its expertise and add value in this area.

ABOUT RIVER NETWORK: River Network envisions a future of clean and ample water for people and nature, where local caretakers are well-equipped, effective and courageous champions for our rivers. River Network’s mission is to empower and unite people and communities to protect and restore rivers and other waters that sustain all life. Visit to learn more about our current priorities. Our headquarters are in Boulder, Colorado and we have staff located in communities across the U.S. We are committed to embracing diversity, equity and inclusion in all areas to achieve our mission – explore our core values and commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, our explanation for why equity, diversity an inclusion are the foundation of our mission, and our principles for equitable and inclusive workThrough our programs, we seek to connect with all communities and increase the impact of their efforts to secure clean and ample water. Through our internal practices and external leadership, we seek an inclusive workplace culture that attracts diverse staff, board, members, and supporters.


Provide Training and Support

  • Design,organize and host learning opportunities (webinars, workshops, etc.) related to river health and Stream Management Plans. .  Includes site selection, participant communications, logistics planning, day-of support, follow up, etc.
  • Contribute to the design and delivery of the Colorado River Basin Environmental Water Transactions Workshop. Includes agenda development, workshop site selection, participant communications, registration oversight, field trip coordination, meal planning, day-of support, follow up, etc.

Implement Outreach and Communications Efforts

  • Design and implement communication strategies with agricultural water users in Colorado to highlight examples of multi-purpose conservation projects (i.e. those that provide a benefit to both the water user and the natural environment).
  • Implement communication strategies with river science practitioners engaged in Stream Management Plan development.
  • Write content for newsletters, websites, blogs and training sessions in collaboration with River Network’s Marketing and Communications Manager.
  • Attend and present at agricultural, river science and water management events and conferences.

Program Research and Interviews

  • Conduct interviews and surveys with river science practitioners and Stream Management Plan leads to understand successes and challenges and identify training topics.
  • Assist in a discovery process to define River Network’s niche at the intersection of healthy rivers, clean water, and agricultural production through interviews with individuals who work at the intersection of agriculture and conservation as investors, practitioners, and collaborators.
  • Conduct interviews and outreach related to speaker identification and selection associated with the Colorado River Basin Environmental Water Transactions Workshop.


  • Collaborate with River Network staff on program development, grant writing and reporting, and project management.
  • Support planning activities and participate in River Network’s annual River Rally and other regional and national training events.


  • Self-directed; demonstrated ability to work independently and as a team player, defining and tracking deadlines, progress, and contributions of others and staying on track and managing multiple projects simultaneously.
  • History of working in rural communities, engaging small and large groups of diverse stakeholders, and demonstrated interest in understanding others’ perspectives.
  • Experience designing and implementing surveys, trainings or workshops.
  • Demonstrated passion for river science and/or water management.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, group facilitation skills, interpersonal skills,
  • Strong technological abilities (e.g. Microsoft Office programs, Salesforce) and comfort learning new cloud-based systems (e.g. webinar and online communication platforms).
  • Commitment to River Network’s vision and mission, and to our core values of strength, mutual respect, integrity, balance, growth and inclusion.
  • Ability to travel within Colorado (average 4-5 days/month) and nationally (average 2-3 times per year); attend the annual River Rally conference and 1-2 staff retreats/yr.
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent education with at least 3-5 year’s professional work experience (e.g., water resources management, natural resources communications, river science, facilitation).


  • Familiarity with website content development, especially WordPress.
  • Knowledge of Western irrigated agricultural practices.
  • History of work within the river science, conservation, agriculture or water management fields in Colorado.

TO APPLY: Please send cover letter and resume as one integrated PDF document to Nicole Seltzer () with “Program Associate” in the subject line of the email. All applications must be submitted prior to 11:59 p.m. Mountain Time on Friday, February 28, 2020. Expected starting date: April 2020. Applicants granted an interview will be asked to provide work samples and references. No phone calls please.

Consistent with our values and our commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion as stated above, River Network is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.