The Associate will advance the goals of American Rivers’ river protection and restoration work in western North Carolina with a focus on the Little Tennessee River basin due to its significant ecological value including robust biodiversity. The Associate will work closely with American Rivers’ staff to identify high priority river restoration and land protection projects to ultimately improve the water quality in the river basin.
The Little Tennessee River basin is designated as a Native Fish Conservation Area (NFCA). The NFCA concept is a new watershed-scale, non-regulatory approach to long-term conservation and restoration of native fishes. In 2015, the Little Tennessee River basin was designated as the country’s first NFCA, as it (1) hosts a rich assemblage of rare and common native aquatic species; (2) is a focus of multiple fish restoration efforts and (3) has a strong set of 25 partners from 3 states (including agencies, industry, and NGOs from North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia) involved in restoration, conservation, and education. The Associate will work in partnership with members of the NFCA. The position is for eighteen months, and may be extended if additional funding is received.
- Work effectively and meet regularly with American Rivers’ staff in western North Carolina.
- Identify the highest priority river restoration projects including but not limited to dam removal, stream restoration, riparian buffer/floodplain restoration, and culvert replacements in the Little Tennessee River watershed. Prioritization will be accomplished by a combination of geographic information system (GIS) analysis, computer desktop reconnaissance, personal communication with resource managers and agencies familiar with the project/resource, and in-person site visits and documentation.
- Identify the highest priority land acquisition parcels to secure under conservation easements. Prioritization will be accomplished by a combination of geographic information system (GIS) analysis, computer desktop reconnaissance, personal communication with resource managers and agencies familiar with the project/resource, and in-person site visits and documentation.
- Use the existing conservation planning tools and input of a technical advisory team made of NFCA partners to support the planning work.
- Participate in an in-person kick off meeting and regular check-in meetings via teleconference or in-person meetings with the technical advisory team made of NFCA partners.
- Identify project managers within the NFCA partnership and others who work in the Little Tennessee River basin to lead and implement projects after identification.
- Complete a final report of all identified priority projects with specifics like photographs, maps, project narrative, and other details pertinent to the project. The highest priority projects identified will include the highest level of detail with consideration to the requirements of potential funding sources to support speedy implementation after the completion of the conservation planning.
- Promote dam removal and other barrier removal projects in western North Carolina, including coordinating with partners and building community support.
- Write blogs, newsletter articles and other informational materials.
- Build upon and establish new partnerships with civic and community leaders, non-profit organizations, government agencies, consultants, and other restoration partners.
- Represent American Rivers at technical meetings, press events and other public events as needed.
- A Bachelor’s degree in Public Policy, Natural or Physical Science, or related field and at least one year of relevant experience, or a minimum of two years of relevant experience working on conservation issues in the areas of natural resource policy or community organizing.
- Excellent written and verbal communications; experience writing reports desirable.
- Experience with geographic information systems (GIS).
- Demonstrated ability to coordinate projects simultaneously and meet deadlines.
- Strong critical thinking, good judgment, and political astuteness.
- Familiarity with the political, cultural and social dynamics in the Little Tennessee River basin desirable.
- Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with diverse stakeholders including local municipalities, conservation groups, agencies, landowners, and volunteers.
- Dependable and self-motivated; able to work independently.
- Must be able to successfully coordinate with colleagues while working from a remote location.
- Team player with the ability to work collaboratively with colleagues and partners to advance the organization’s broader goals and objectives.
- Ability and willingness to conduct field work in rivers, including paddling, wading, hiking, extended standing, transporting gear, and lifting and carrying 40 lbs.
- Personal commitment to American Rivers’ mission to protect wild rivers, restores damaged rivers, and conserves clean water for people and nature.
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS
This is a part-time position with funding until June 2019. The hourly rate is $20.00. The position is 24 hours per week, with some flexibility in regards to setting the workweek schedule. As a part-time employee the position will be eligible for the 403(b) retirement plan and pro-rated paid time off accruals.
Applications will be considered immediately. Applicants should submit a cover letter and resume to: [email protected] with “NC Conservation Associate” in the subject line. No phone calls please.