Conservation Field Assistant

Job Location

Harrisonburg, VA

On-Site

Published By

Publisher Name

Type of Job

Full-Time

Salary

$ 35,000- 45,000

Published Date

Jun 2, 2021

About the job

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Title: Conservation Field Assistant

Supervisor: Project Manager, Shenandoah Valley Conservation Collaborative

Location: Harrisonburg, Virginia

Job Classification: Full-time, Non-Exempt

 

Organization Description. Working to ensure that the land, water, and community resources of

the Shenandoah Valley will be protected for the future, Alliance for the Shenandoah Valley is a

501(c)3 nonprofit formed in 2018 through a merger of five long-standing Valley organizations. The

Alliance serves six counties – Augusta, Rockingham, Shenandoah, Frederick, Page and Warren – and

the cities within them. The Alliance staff, board of directors, and members champion clean water,

thriving communities, and protected rural landscapes. Based in New Market, Virginia, the Alliance

serves as a hub for the partnerships needed for conservation work throughout the Shenandoah

Valley. The Alliance is led by a talented and engaged volunteer board and a staff of five full-time and

two part-time employees, with deep community connections throughout the service area.

 

The Shenandoah Valley Conservation Collaborative, administered by the Alliance, is a partnership of

land trusts, watershed groups, regional nonprofits, and state and federal agency partners working to

accelerate land conservation and water quality restoration in our region. Together, partners are

working with interested landowners and communities to bring the resources and expertise to

achieve shared goals in water quality, agricultural vitality and protected rural landscapes.

 

The Position. The Conservation Field Assistant advances the shared conservation goals of the

Shenandoah Valley Conservation Collaborative by assisting the Natural Resources Conservation

Service (NRCS) and soil and water conservation districts (SWCD’s) on-the-ground work with

landowners who choose to implement best management practices on their farm or forest land. The

Conservation Field Assistant will be an employee of Alliance for the Shenandoah Valley but work out

of the NRCS Harrisonburg field office. This two-year position is funded by a grant award

from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

 

Areas of Responsibility. The Conservation Field Assistant reports directly to the SVCC Project

Manager in consultation with the NRCS district conservationists who direct field activities.

 

Implement conservation practices that restore clean water (70%)

• Support district conservationists in Harrisonburg, Strasburg and Verona field offices working

with landowners to implement Farm Bill programs, such as EQIP, CSP and easement

programs.

• Under guidance of the district conservationists:

o support conservation practice implementation in Shenandoah Valley NRCS Service

Centers;

o provide technical support to Soil and Water Conservation District partners in

Harrisonburg (Shenandoah Valley District), Strasburg (Lord Fairfax District), and

Verona (Headwaters District) for implementing the Virginia Agricultural Cost Share

Program;

o Duties will include, but not be limited to:

- Utilizing NRCS software systems to create maps, conservation plans, conduct

planning assessments using CART and Conservation Desktop;

- Follow up with producers who are behind schedule on their contracts and

provide technical assistance needed to get back on schedule;

- Learn basic engineering design to plan and design conservation practices

such as watering systems;

- Complete job sheets;

- Other duties as assigned.

 

Assist District Conservationists (15%)

• Carries out any assigned duties, including administrative, that enhance the effectiveness and

efficiency of soil conservation and water quality operations conducted by the field office.

 

Support collaborative efforts of the SVCC (15%)

• Coordinate with SVCC partners and SVCC Project Manager (who will be housed in Alliance’s

office in New Market)

• Participate in SVCC meetings

• Support SVCC Project Manager in nutrient reduction tracking and other outputs associated

with administration of NFWF grant

• Cross-training with SVCC agency and nonprofit partners on conservation easements, state

and federal agricultural cost share programs

 

Compensation

Dynamic work environment, working with people who are committed to making a difference.

Salary range for most candidates is $35,000- 45,000 depending on experience

Generous benefits package and paid holidays and leave.

 

Requirements of the Position

• Passion for protecting the extraordinary landscape and natural and cultural resources of the

Shenandoah Valley

• Excellent written, verbal and interpersonal skills

• Proficient computer skills including Microsoft Word and Excel

• Bachelor’s degree in natural resources/ agriculture or a combination of education and

equivalent field experience

• Knowledge of standard soil and water conservation methods, techniques, measures and

practices.

• Ability to work in multiple locations and adaptability in working with multiple teams

• Valid driver’s license; Ability to work outdoors in all conditions

 

Preferred skills

• Experience using aerial imagery and topographic maps to collect field data, use of soil survey

data, and various survey instruments;

• Knowledge of basic engineering practices needed to prepare designs, ability to complete

basic surveying and drafting tasks, and knowledge of construction and excavation;

• Knowledge of land protection tools and practices including conservation easements;

• Familiarity with Shenandoah Valley agriculture, land use, and communities.

 

To apply

Send a cover letter, resume, and three references to employment@shenandoahalliance.org. Position

is open until filled. Interviews with qualified candidates will begin the week of June 28, 2021.

 

Alliance for the Shenandoah Valley considers all candidates equally without regard to age, race, gender,

religion, sexual orientation, national origin, disability or other non-merit factors