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RAY Conservation Diversity Fellow: America the Beautiful Liaison

Job Location

Falls Church, VA


Type of Job



$45,000 - $50,000

Published By

Publisher Name

Published Date

Feb 9, 2022

About the job

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Inspired by efforts to increase racial diversity in conservation and clean energy, the Roger Arliner Young (RAY) Diversity Fellowship Program aims to increase and facilitate environmentally-related career pathways for emerging leaders of color. The RAY Fellowship Program is a paid fellowship designed to equip recent college graduates with the tools, experiences, support, and community they need to become leaders in the conservation and clean energy sectors—one that, in our visions of the future, fully represents, includes, and is led by the diverse communities, perspectives, and experiences of the United States.


Our mission is to work with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are dedicated to the conservation, protection, and enhancement of fish, wildlife and plants, and their habitats. We are the only agency in the federal government whose primary responsibility is the conservation and management of these important natural resources for the American public.  We are dedicated to working with private landowners; federal, state, and local governments; and other traditional and non-traditional partners to conserve our nation’s wildlife and plants.  It is important to us to bring nature to the American public to all different communities and backgrounds.  We build trust through empathy, competency, equity, and inclusion, and we are committed to creating a more diverse workforce.

The RAY Fellow will work for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) Science Applications program at our Headquarters in Falls Church, VA. The Science Applications program provides collaboration and technical capacity to facilitate the integration, development, and strategic alignment of actions to achieve the conservation landscape of the future to sustain fish, wildlife, and plants by working with and for partners and local, State, and regional partnerships across the Nation. In doing so, the program directly supports the goals and principles of America the Beautiful.


The Fellow will assist in the coordination of the Service's efforts to implement America the Beautiful, an Administration initiative to pursue a locally led and voluntary, nationwide effort to conserve, connect, and restore the lands, waters, and wildlife upon which we all depend. Science Applications is the Service lead for this initiative and will seek to tailor specific assignments to the Fellow's skills and interests with focus on engaging tribal partners and private landowners. The fellow will work closely with Science Applications staff and other programs and partners, especially the Department of the Interior (DOI) and other Federal agencies, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA), and Tribal organizations to coordinate national-level approaches to landscape-scale conservation and planning.


The Fellow will enhance the USFWS capacity to address landscape scale conservation. Accomplishments will include helping to develop policies and procedures to ensure the agency can effectively implement landscape-scale conservation efforts related to America the Beautiful with the wildlife conservation community and other sectors. Day to day activities could include:

  • Providing programmatic and technical support to Department of the Interior staff working on America the Beautiful and to Science Applications staff.
  • Leading on the implementation of 1-2 focused conservation projects with explicit deliverables/outcomes each year by working with people both inside and outside of the Service to coordinate conservation efforts.
  • Helping to coordinate American the Beautiful activities and deliverables, including compiling data from multiple sources.
  • Assisting with development and production of resource materials such as talking points, fact sheets, infographics, slideshow presentations.
  • Participating in Science Applications team meetings and America the Beautiful related meetings and/or webinars as needed.
  • Conduct literature reviews and research to support the development of strategic documents, workshops, and communication materials.
  • Work with Science Applications staff to track emerging conservation issues and conduct desktop research to support efforts.
  • Organize, coordinate, and attend meetings with internal and external partners and take notes.


In addition to the responsibilities at the host institution outlined above, RAY Fellows will spend, on average, 2-4 hours per week (5-10% of work time) on the following:

  • Actively communicating and building community with their RAY Fellow cohort and previous RAY Fellows.
  • Attending monthly check-ins calls (including 1-on-1 check-ins with RAY program staff and group calls with their RAY Fellow cohort).
  • Meeting regularly with mentors both inside and outside the host institution.
  • Attending monthly professional development webinars, trainings, and other opportunities to build knowledge and skills.
  • Developing a Personal Leadership Plan (PLP) in their 2nd year with the support of supervisor(s), mentors, RAY program staff, and their RAY Fellow cohort. The PLP will serve as a tool for self-reflection, planning, and assessing progress towards professional, personal, and leadership goals.
  • Preparing and leading an hour-long end-of-fellowship webinar highlighting their Fellowship experience.

RAY Fellows will also attend:

  • A 3-day Orientation Retreat in August 2022.
  • A 3-day Mid-Fellowship Leadership Retreat in August 2023.


Eligible RAY Fellow applicants will:

  • Come from a racial / ethnic background underrepresented in conservation and clean energy and demonstrate a commitment to the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Be no more than 1 year out of college and have a Bachelor's Degree by July 2022 (we are not considering individuals with graduate degrees at this time).
  • Have not had a full-time job in conservation or clean energy.
  • Have the ability to work in the United States and commit to the entire fellowship.


  • A college degree by the time of employment.
  • An interest in the field of conservation.
  • Demonstrated intellect and leadership.
  • Effective written and verbal communication skills.
  • An eagerness to learn.
  • GIS skills helpful but not required.
  • A valid drivers-license.


This is a two-year, full-time fellowship (one year with a one year renewal) starting on or after July 15, 2022.


The Fellowship is compensated and sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service who offers a competitive benefits package as well as training and professional development opportunities. This position is a GS 7, which pays between $40,000 to $50,000 a year depending on the location of the Fellow’s selected duty station.


To apply for the RAY Fellowship Program, applicants must:

  1. Complete the online application survey on the RAY Fellowship Program website:
  2. Follow the instructions on the linked application webpage to submit a curriculum vitae or a resume, one essay, one visioning, and one short answer response, and a letter of support.

Applications must be submitted to the RAY Fellowship Program no later than March 27,2022. Transcripts and additional writing samples are not required. Questions about the application process can be submitted to the RAY Program Coordinator, Maria Johnson (

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, sex, handicap, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, or veteran status. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is continually seeking to diversify its staff, particularly to broaden opportunities for individuals from demographic groups that are historically underrepresented in the sciences and in environmental advocacy.

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