Watershed Specialist

Flint Riverkeeper

Albany, GA, United States 🇺🇸

Flint Riverkeeper®, Inc. (FRk) is a nonprofit membership organization whose mission is to restore and preserve the habitat, water quality and flow of the Flint River for the benefit of current and future generations and dependent wildlife. FRk is a non-profit 501(c)3 corporation and a fully-licensed member of the Waterkeeper® Alliance. FRk also serves in a leadership capacity in the Georgia Water Coalition, and is a member of EarthShare of Georgia.

FRk seeks a full-time Watershed Specialist. The position will serve the restoration, protection, and education objectives of FRk in the Flint River watershed, over 8,400 square miles of piedmont, relict Appalachian, upper coastal plain, and lower coastal plain karst habitat in west-central and southwest Georgia, USA. Components of the watershed also include many thousand miles of tributary streams and blackwater swamps plus small wetlands; and, hundreds of cubic miles of tributary aquifers manifested in many ways including beautiful and historic springs. The Watershed Specialist will be directly responsible for the field efforts involved in the monitoring, patrol, enforcement, and legal efforts of FRk, and will work closely with the Riverkeeper® and other paid and volunteer staff to integrate those activities to the overall mission, including many aspects of communications, development, enforcement, legal, and policy work.

Application Process

Applications for this position must be emailed (only) no later than November 30th, 2017 to [email protected]. Submissions should include, at minimum: a curriculum vitae or resume; a professional writing example (technical or lay); three professional references; and a cover letter. Additional materials are permitted, and all materials should be submitted in PDF format as attachments to you email to Jesscia Rutledge (address above). Again, no phone calls or surface mail, please; electronic submissions only. If your submission is not acknowledged within two business days, please contact Jessica to confirm delivery/receipt. A limited number of applicants will be interviewed by telephone; a smaller number in person. Funds are allocated for interview travel costs, but not for moving/relocation costs. All applications are confidential until the applicant releases FRk to check with references.


  • Maintain an on-the-water/out-in-the-watershed presence to investigate pollution sources, conduct and support monitoring efforts, and identify problems that affect water quality and the health of the Flint River and its tributary systems. Patrol the river and the terrestrial watershed to identify potential violations of the Federal Clean Water Act, the Georgia Water Quality Act, Georgia’s Erosion and Sedimentation Act, forestry and agricultural b/m/p’s, and derivative local ordinances. Document, using water sampling, photography, videography, positioning equipment, and other means, evidences of violations and prepare communications for review and approval by the Riverkeeper®, then delivery to federal, state, and local agencies.
  • Establish new and maintain existing monitoring sites for various water-quality parameters, working directly with staff and volunteers to accomplish this work.
  • Assist in and in some cases accomplish individual processing of water samples and other collections of field materials in a laboratory or workshop.
  • Maintain (a) database(s) of monitoring sites and data, enforcement sites and data, NPDES permits and data, LAS permits and data, and other information as is necessary to execute the work, in as highly organized and as portable a format as possible.
  • Work with legal teams to develop, file, and pursue judicial branch and administrative procedures against violators who do not respond adequately to enforcement entreaties and actions, and/or against state or other agencies who do not properly execute their lawful duties.
  • Work directly with volunteers, other paid staff, the Riverkeeper® and ally Riverkeepers® to ensure efficiency and effectiveness of patrol, monitoring, and enforcement activities in and adjacent to the Flint River watershed.
  • Interact in a positive, polite fashion with landowners, agency representatives, users of the river and streams, elected public officials, staff, members, and alleged violators. Respect private property. From time to time prepare written materials, video materials, and audio materials for public dissemination through newsletters and on the web, and make public presentations to small and large groups of children, teens, and adults.
  • Ensure maintenance and timely repair of land and water vehicles and equipment.
  • Adhere to the standards of the Waterkeeper® Alliance and the internal policies of Flint Riverkeeper®, Inc.
  • Work directly with the public to explain the vision and mission of Flint Riverkeeper®, the functions and values of the river system, and recruit members of the public to assist with efforts to restore and protect the system.
  • Answer directly to the Riverkeeper® and Executive Director in accomplishing these responsibilities and tasks. Assist the Director of Development and Outreach, the Administrative Manager, and Board of Directors as warranted and requested. He/she is expected to be a self-starter for many work tasks, recognizing what needs to be done and doing it, as well as take direction on specific tasks from the direct supervisor.

Qualifications, Education, and Experience

  • We seek an applicant who is passionate about water quality restoration and protection of Georgia’s rivers, creeks, swamps and underground water resources.
  • The successful applicant will be willing to spend the time and energy necessary to fulfill the responsibilities outlined above. Frequently, due to the need to capture rain events and other phenomena, including documentation of pollution events that are frequently well-hidden, and the need to work with the public at outreach and fundraising events, night, weekend and holiday work will be necessary. Aregular work schedule will be expected, and will be the norm, but flexibility and long hours will be required, frequently. This position is for the self-starter, frequently making key decisions on their own under the general oversight of the Executive Director and Riverkeeper®, and is FLSA-exempt.
  • The successful applicant must prove competency and past performance in the areas of boat- and boat-trailer handling, canoe and kayak handling, swimming, basic lifesaving, scientific/regimented data collection, photography, data entry and management, mathematics, rudimentary statistics, data-presentation, time management, composition, computer-based presentations, oral communication, personal organization, interpersonal communications, and minor mechanical abilities.
  • Preference will be given to the candidate with experience in water-quality sampling and processing. Preference will be given to the candidate with on-the-water field or recreational experience in the Flint River watershed, or other of Georgia’s watersheds. Candidates otherwise qualified should not view these preferential desires as a disincentive to apply.
  • There are no minimum education requirements. An Associate’s Degree and two-year’s experience in a related field or a Bachelor’s Degree in a related field will be competitive. Higher Degrees are a plus. Energetic retirees or second-career-types are encouraged to apply. Applicant must have a valid driver’s license.
  • The final pool of applicants (interviewees) will be subject to a background check and drug testing.


Salary for this position is commensurate with experience, and will not range lower than $28,000 annually. There is a benefits package comprised of a $5,000 addition to base salary to assist with health insurance coverage (self-purchased), a generous leave allowance, and paid holidays. Travel and other work-related expenses are reimbursable. Office space at the headquarters in Albany, GA and excellent equipment are provided. Additional ‘intangibles’ include the ability to telecommute, and the fact that the Flint River watershed is one of great beauty populated by some truly wonderful and committed citizens, including the Board, staff, and members of FRk. And, the outdoor recreation opportunities are truly stellar.


The appointment is long-term (“permanent”) contingent upon performance during the first 90 days and continuing the record of successful fundraising that FRk has established. Regular raises, based partly upon performance, are budgeted, and are at the discretion of the Executive Director as approved by the Board.

Location, Residence

The offices of FRk are located in Albany, GA; however, staff and Board are located throughout and slightly outside of the watershed. The Board and staff have established a recommended area for residence, which will serve several purposes: efficiency of time management and travel costs; establishment of relationships in the ‘river community’; and the relative health and mental well-being (morale) of staff. Generally, ‘inside the watershed’ and up to about 30 miles outside the edge of the watershed are workable. Please inquire about specifics if you are asked to interview for the position.


The mounting threats facing the Flint River watershed helped shape a sense of urgency in the decision to create FRk in 2008. Organized by a passionate group of landowners, sportsmen and business leaders, Flint Riverkeeper was established to address the various issues thatimpact the river and its tributaries. The Flint River, associated tributaries, and aquifers provide water for drinking, swimming, fishing, commercial, industrial and agricultural pursuits for in excess of one million people.

FRk works within the entire 8,460 square-mile Flint watershed, comprising much of West and South Georgia. Beginning at East Point, near Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport, the Flint flows over 340 miles to the Georgia and Florida border where it mingles with the Chattahoochee River at Lake Seminole to form the Apalachicola River.

FRk was formed to be, and operates as, the premier advocacy organization for Georgia’s Flint River.

You can learn more about FRk at www.flintriverkeeper.org and the Waterkeeper® Alliance at www.waterkeeper.org.

Non-Discrimination Policy

FRk is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against employees or applicants on the basis of race, religion, color, political affiliation, disability, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or age.