Environmental Initiatives Program Coordinator via Idealist

Madison, WI, United States 🇺🇸

Environmental Initiatives Coordinator

The Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters seeks an exceptional individual with a working knowledge of environmental and other challenges related to fresh water, climate change, and clean energy in Wisconsin, to coordinate the Academy’s Environmental Initiatives. The right candidate will be familiar with major issues and public policy processes in Wisconsin applicable to the Initiatives, possess great networking and interpersonal skills, as well as excellent writing and editing skills, enjoy working in partnership with a small, fast-paced and talented team, and have enthusiasm for the Academy’s mission. The ideal candidate will also have experience with nonprofit organizations, a background in grant-management and general fundraising/development, basic social media skills, and be comfortable participating in broader scope of the Academy’s multi-disciplinary work in the sciences, arts, and letters.

The Wisconsin Academy Initiatives convene Wisconsin leaders from an array of fields for deliberation, analysis, and distillation to identify strategies and solutions for a sustainable world. Initiatives are the Wisconsin Academy’s expression of the Wisconsin Idea, and a reflection of a 145-year commitment to “gathering, sharing, and acting upon knowledge in sciences, arts, and letters for the betterment of the people of Wisconsin.” As a nonpartisan scientific and cultural organization, we support informed dialogue in Wisconsin to identify promising strategies and build agreement around the need to take action.

The Environmental Initiatives Program Coordinator reports to the Academy’s Executive Director, Jane Elder. This position will be based in the Madison office of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters


  • Climate & Energy, which engages Wisconsin leadership in a discussion around the causes and effects of climate change in Wisconsin, and explores diversifying the state’s energy choices; and
  • Waters of Wisconsin, which has engages Wisconsin leadership on safeguarding Wisconsin’s fresh water ecosystems and water supply, but will have less emphasis in the coming year.

The primary focus of the Initiative Coordinator’s time will be in implementing programming for the Climate & Energy Initiative. There will also be some responsibility for maintaining the networks, webpages, and other resources – as well as exploring funding opportunities – associated with Waters of Wisconsin. There is potential for additional assignments for our Creativity Initiative (focused on growing Wisconsin’s creative economy), contingent on funding.



  • Excellent writing and editing skills
  • Superb networking and interpersonal skills
  • General knowledge of current challenges and issues in Wisconsin related to fresh water, climate change, and clean energy
  • Experience with organizing or supporting partnerships, coalitions, collaborative projects
  • Event planning experience
  • Bachelor’s Degree (minimum)
  • Proficiency in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint


  • Experience working in nonprofit organizations
  • Science communications skills
  • Experience in fundraising, grant-writing, and grant-management
  • Budget management skills
  • Social media skills
  • Public speaking skills
  • Web management or design skills
  • Database know-how


Leadership Networks

  • Continue to develop and coordinate the statewide leadership network for our Climate & Energy Initiative through personal outreach, list development, producing and disseminating periodic project updates, peer-learning conference calls or meetings, and other contact.
  • Manage and regularly convene the Climate & Energy working groups to plan and execute a Local Government Summit for 2016-17, manage the ongoing state energy/utility project, and craft an effective communication strategy (via blog, social media, and events) in coordination with Academy communication staff.
  • Maintain contact lists for the Waters of Wisconsin Leadership Network, and provide periodic updates and potential network meetings contingent on funding.

Communications and Public Outreach

  • Produce, curate, and edit monthly content for the Climate & Energy Blog (and, occasionally, the Waters of Wisconsin Blog). This will include recruiting volunteer bloggers, vetting content, and developing distribution lists.
  • Update the Wisconsin Academy’s Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets on Initiatives programming, including blog posts, news, event photos, and other relevant media.
  • Work with the Director of Communications to develop and post web content, as well as other informational and promotional material on the Initiatives.
  • Act as primary point person and coordinator for the 2016-17 Local Government Summit, as well as any other Initiative events, by managing event logistics, sponsorships, public relations/media, agenda, etc.
  • Design and execute Network and working group meetings, major summits and conferences (such as the 2016-17 Local Government Summit), and other events in collaboration with the steering committee and other Academy staff.
  • Provide editorial and/or writing support to the Director of Communications on content for the Academy’s Wisconsin People & Ideas magazine related to the Initiatives.
  • Develop conference presentations and workshops for Academy or partner-organization conferences, and events on relevant content from the Initiatives.
  • Represent the Academy and present information about the Initiatives at select conferences and public meetings.

Program Development and Administration

  • Develop the annual program budget in coordination with the Executive Director and Director of Development and manage program funds within the parameters of that budget, including tracking all program expenses in cooperation with the Business Manager and providing receipts and any other documentation as needed.
  • Conduct funding research and develop funding proposals for continued work in these project areas in coordination with the Executive Director and Director of Development.
  • Develop grant reports, content for the Academy annual report, and various public reports on project activities and outcomes.
  • Coordinate and execute data management with the Director of Development, Director of Communications, and Data & Office Systems Coordinator.
  • Develop project descriptions for student interns; recruit and supervise student interns as appropriate for the initiative projects.


  • Occasional travel in Wisconsin for meetings and conferences.
  • Other assignments as required by the grants, or at the request of the Executive Director.


This is a minimum 50-75% salaried position, with a possible increase in appointment dependent on the outcome of fundraising efforts. Starting salary range will be $17-$20/hour depending on experience and skill sets.

The Academy provides a basic HMO-based health care plan, pro-rated for part-time employees.