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RAY Conservation Fellow/Public Affairs Specialist

Job Location

Location is flexible. Can be full-time remote or report to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters at Bailey’s Crossroads in Falls Church, Virginia.


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.


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is a federal bureau within the Department of Interior. 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.  Science Applications is a national program dedicated to tackling conservation issues no single Service program or partner can address alone. We lead or support a variety of projects and initiatives across the country. Our role and level of engagement is customized to the needs of each partnership we work with. The common thread throughout our work is that each project or initiative focuses on an environmental challenge that is urgent, complex, occurs across a large geographic area, and involves a wide array of stakeholder groups. Science Applications promotes a safe, inclusive, and welcoming work environment where all voices are heard and valued. We are committed to building a program culture where all members of our team feel supported.


Ever wondered how to fuse a passion for conservation with an interest in communications into a career? Step onto the national stage as a Public Affairs Specialist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Science Applications Program! The incoming RAY Fellow in this position will work closely with Science Applications’ lead Public Affairs Specialist to support the program’s national communication efforts. Learn how to develop and implement internal and external communications and outreach strategies in support of program goals and objectives. A special emphasis will be placed on creating and managing digital content and exploring digital strategies to promote the work of the program. The Fellow will have an opportunity to hone core public affairs skills including writing, oral communication, photography and meeting facilitation.


The fellow will focus on identifying, producing and managing digital content that promotes the work of the Science Applications Program. Work assignment may include the following tasks:

  • Working with colleagues and partners to produce high quality web content, including social media posts, videos, podcasts and news stories, that reach a variety of target audiences.
  • Assisting with development and production of resource materials such as talking points, fact sheets, infographics, briefing papers and presentations.
  • Assisting with the development and implementation of strategic communications plans for internal and external audiences.
  • Actively participating in national communication teams in support of Science Applications Program priorities.


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 September 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.
  • Familiarity with Drupal or Adobe Creative Cloud Apps, including InDesign, PhotoShop, Premiere and Audition is encouraged, but not required.


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 resume or curriculum vitae, one essay response, one visioning response, 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. If you have questions please see our FAQ page, attend an informational webinar or watch a recording, and any further questions about the application process can be submitted to the RAY Program Coordinator, Maria Johnson, via email at

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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