|Scope of Position
The National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC) is seeking an Assistant Manager, Land Conservation position to actively lead in training associated with junior or newly hired Land Conservation Specialists (LCS) within the conservation programs at NGRREC. Training and retention of new LCSs is a realized priority of NGRREC and its Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) partners. These positions will facilitate such by providing needed leadership, management, administrative, coordination and training support to the Conservation Program Manager in an ever-growing Land Conservation Specialist program at NGRREC. In addition to these roles, this position will also provide agricultural conservation assistance to USDA-NRCS in a multi-county region. This includes but is not limited to: conservation planning, landowner outreach, easement monitoring, and mid-contract management assistance to agricultural producers in order to leverage Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and Wetland Reserve Easement (WRE) opportunities to achieve wildlife and water quality goals. This position will have the opportunity to also help coordinate new initiatives such as education opportunities and monitoring that align LCS work and responsibilities to the goals and mission of Lewis and Clark Community College and NGRREC.
|Key Measurable Expectations
The Assistant Manager’s primary role will be to lead in training associated with the junior or newly hired Land Conservation Specialist. The Assistant Manager position will provide boots-on-the ground leadership support to the growing Land Conservation Specialist program and manage, train, serve as search committee chairs, and supervise up to three to six new LCSs. This position will manage new LCSs to ensure they have resources and training they need to be successful. This role may also assist the Conservation Program Manager with administrative duties such as, but not limited to, assisting with NRCS quarterly programmatic reports, on boarding new LCSs, attending NRCS technical steering committee meetings, attending pertinent NRCS meetings, and LCS general coordination and other managerial tasks. Helping the Conservation Program Manager build and coordinate applied research framework within NRSC programs will also be responsibility of this position.
The Assistant Manager’s primary duty stations have yet to be determined but may reside in one of the current LCS’s duty stations (Macomb, Greenville, Edwardsville, Murphysboro, or Virginia, IL).
Outside of management and training responsibilities, the Assistant Manager will be expected to provide conservation assistance to agricultural and private landowners in their local areas. The Assistant Manager will be a technical expert on all aspects of the Conservation Reserve Program, filling key needs to secure and improve conservation acres on the ground. Primary foci will include data collection and consultation with agricultural producers about conservation plans for new CRP establishments, compiling CRP conservation options for prospective landowners, and providing technical information to landowners about mid-contract management practices necessary to maintain high quality restorations throughout the duration of their CRP contracts. They will also assist with annual Wetland Reserve Program/Wetland Reserve Easement (WRP/WRE) monitoring and administration as needed.
Work hours are 37.5 hours per week, M-F. Job includes both office and field work. Mandatory drug test and security background check, with fingerprinting, will be required of the selected applicant. Use of the NRCS vehicles is allowable and reimbursement of mileage when using personal vehicles to conduct work is paid at the IRS standard mileage rate. paid at the IRS standard mileage rate. NRCS vehicles will generally be housed at the Assistant Manager’s assigned duty-station.
- Supervise and onboard new LCS through working with appropriate L&C and NRCS administrative personnel (three to six positions).
- Supervise and train new LCS in CRP and WRE and related responsibilities including NRCS field visits associated paper and computer work.
- Review and oversee selected budgetary items related to the LCS program and assist the Conservation Program Manager on budgets as needed. Serve on and chair search committees for LCSs hires in coordination with manager and NRCS.
- Assist conservation program manager in development of monitoring and applied research program and relevant education programs and related initiatives for the benefit private landowners, producers, NRCS partners, and Lewis and Clark Community College students.
- Work with NRCS staff to develop conservation plans consistent with the landowner’s objectives on new CRP establishments.
- Actively target new CRP conservation with landowner outreach and one-on-one consultation.
- Provide information and outreach to agricultural producers about CRP mid-contract management practices, such as prescribed fire, strip disking, strip spraying, interseeding, and timber stand improvement.
- Write wildlife and burn plans for CRP contracts.
- Facilitate positive working relationships with local agency staff, agricultural producers, and other stakeholder groups.
- Understand and provide information to landowners about the suite of state and federal conservation programs for the purposes of implementing conservation practices and BMPs for watershed, soil, and wildlife goals.
- Develop field specific project plans and cost estimates.
- Assist NRCS with administrative, outreach, and CRP/WRE monitoring needs.
- Associate’s Degree in a natural resources field such as environmental science, restoration ecology, forestry or similar field, plus 1-2 years of similar work experience in the conservation field.
- Attained Level 1 (Apprentice) NRCS Conservation Planning Certification.
- Strong interest in and knowledge of biology, ecology and management of wildlife and their habitat requirements and habitat management techniques are essential.
- Proficient experience with wildlife management, Rx burn experience and burn plan writing, shallow water wetland management, and forest management practices for habitat restoration.
- Proficient experience with a variety of computer software applications including Microsoft Office Suite and especially ArcGIS Suite.
- Effective organizational, written, and verbal skills.
- Ability to work efficiently and effectively with others (i.e. NRCS, FSA, IDNR, NGOs, SWCDs, etc.), as well as independently, and be able to prioritize a heavy and varied workload.
- Possession of valid driver’s license, reliable transportation, and vehicle insurance coverage meeting state minimum requirements at all times.
- Background in agriculture and/or working knowledge of agriculture is desirable.
- Working knowledge of the Conservation Reserve Program and/or other Farm Bill conservation programs is desirable.
- Must be strong hikers and comfortable working in adverse environmental conditions to gain access to sites and complete field work efficiently.
- Bachelor’s Degree in a related field with 2-3 years of similar work experience in the conservation field
- Experience supervising staff
- Proficient experience with prescribed fire and pertinent certifications
- Proficient experience with ArcGIS
- Experience writing burn plans in ArcGIS
- Experience training and mentoring
- Experience in grant writing, project development, education/workshop program development and delivery, oral presentations, and research
- Experience with Farm Service Agency (FSA), Soil Water Conservation District (SWCD) and NRCS processes, practices, and procedures