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Healthy Rivers and Streams Project Associate, Northern California

Job Location

Northern CA


Type of Job



$64,500 - $84,000

Published By

Publisher Name

Published Date

May 31, 2023

About the job

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The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Grounded in science, we develop innovative solutions to the world’s toughest environmental challenges so that people and nature can thrive. Our work is guided by our values, which include a commitment to diversity; respect for people, communities, and cultures; and a collaborative, nonpartisan approach. Thanks to more than 1 million members, over 400 scientists, and the dedicated efforts of our staff and partners, we impact conservation around the world.


The California Chapter is TNC’s largest state program and one of the largest, most dynamic conservation organizations in the country. With approximately 275 employees, from financial analysts and fundraisers to ecologists and economists, we are currently invested in 14 strategies to address the biggest challenges facing California and the world, including numerous community-based projects designed to increase the pace, scale, and effectiveness of conservation. Over the past six decades, we have protected 1.4 million acres, 5,000 miles of streams, and 3.8 million acres of ocean habitat in California and off the coast.


The California Chapter believes that we are most effective when we are embedded in our state’s communities, politics, media, and environmental issues. For this reason, and to reduce our carbon footprint when meeting in person, all staff live in California, including those in a home office.



California’s rivers are at the heart of what makes it a unique and special place where farms, communities and nature can thrive together. TNC has been working for decades to protect and restore rivers and watersheds across the state. But the urgency of our work is increasing as climate change supercharges drought cycles and our most iconic freshwater species continue a pattern of severe decline. The goal of the Water Program’s Healthy Rivers Project is to ensure that California rivers have the water and habitat necessary to support ecological function and sustainable human use.


The Nature Conservancy’s decades of experience advancing streamflow science, water policy and river restoration enables us to understand what it takes to return flows to highly altered watersheds. The Healthy Rivers project is positioned to take advantage of public funding and regulatory pressures to expand our work to new watersheds, increase the use of our science, and advance policies that can benefit the health of rivers across the state. To achieve these goals, the Program Associate will play a critical role as part of our team working with local partners to implement projects in North Coast rivers and support efforts to cultivate participation of new conservation practitioners to increase the pace and scale of river restoration efforts in priority watersheds.



Want to help save California’s rivers and salmon? The Nature Conservancy is seeking a Project Associate to support water policy initiatives and lead implementation of river restoration projects on coastal rivers in Northern California.


The Project Associate will provide high-level project management and support working closely with Water Program staff and will report to the Healthy Rivers Project Director.  The Project Associate will support development and implementation of streamflow and salmon habitat restoration projects. They will lead outreach and communications efforts related to our California Environmental Water Network. The Project Associate will conduct issue research and efforts to advance policy reforms and legislation and support grant writing and administration of reporting requirements.


The Project Associate manages projects independently, as well as tracks the progress of projects led by others. They will excel at project management, and organization, with strong written and verbal communication skills. They will manage specific projects, conduct research, synthesize, and organize material accordingly. They will administer contracts, manage an internet-based file sharing system and program calendars. The Project Associate aides with the scheduling and facilitation of meetings, budgeting processes, and other strategic program activities. The Project Associate will take the initiative to solve problems as they arise, seeking input and equitable solutions from their supervisor and team.



•    Minimum of BA/BS degree and 5 years’ experience in natural resource management or related field or equivalent combination of education and experience.
•    Experience with organizational skills and attention to detail
•    Oral and written communication skills
•    Experience managing and tracking multiple projects simultaneously
•    Experience communicating with the public and/or media both in writing and verbally
•    Experience using applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and Web Browsers



•    Knowledge of conservation science, riverine ecosystems, fisheries restoration, land management conservation practices
•    Experience working with local landowners, agencies, and conservation groups to develop and implement restoration plans.
•    Ability to explain conservation practices to technical and non-technical audiences
•    Experience with contract management and review
•    Experience writing and reporting on private and/or public grants
•    Experience building and managing relationships with diverse partner organizations/entities
•    Excellent communication skills via written, spoken and graphical means in English and other relevant languages.
•    Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated



Each person who works at TNC contributes to our goal of protecting nature for future generations. Another one of TNC’s primary goals is to cultivate an inclusive work environment so that employees around the globe feel that their unique contributions are valued. To quote a popular saying at TNC, “You’ll join for the mission, and you’ll stay for the people.” To learn more, head to YouTube to hear stories from staff or visit Glassdoor.


We’re proud to support the health and wellbeing of the people we employ. We offer a competitive, comprehensive benefits package that includes healthcare coverage, flexible spending accounts, 401(k) plan with an 8% employer match, parental leave, accrued paid time off, life insurance, disability coverage, employee assistance program, and other benefits that support work-life balance.

If you’re interested in working with us, please apply—we’d love to hear from you.



The salay range for this position is dependent upon geographic location and candidate qualifications. The range for all of Northern California is between $64,500 - $84,000. A narrower range based on location can be provided to candidates during the hiring process.



To apply for job ID 53471, submit your materials (resume and cover letter) online by using the Apply Now button at by 8:59 PM PST on June 11, 2023. Need help applying? Visit our recruitment page or contact


Do you have military experience? Visit our U.S. Military Skills Translator to match your military experience with our current job openings!


TNC is committed to offering accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans in our job application process. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, please send a note to with Request for Accommodation in the subject line.


The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Our commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our conservation mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of people with diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and cultures. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects our global character is a priority, and we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientations, gender identities, military or veteran status or other status protected by law.

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