The Conservation Associate works in the Conservancy’s Detroit program office, which is part of the Conservancy’s North America Cities Network and the Michigan Chapter. This position will provide administrative, project management support, research, and other general assistance to program staff working to conserve and enhance natural systems for the benefit of people and nature in Detroit’s urban environment. This includes increasing the resiliency of Detroit to environmental challenges, improving water quality, and enhancing quality of life. This position will report to Detroit’s Urban Conservation Director.
The Detroit Urban Conservation Program builds on the Conservancy’s science-based, collaborative, results-oriented approach and its record of contributing to creative and effective solutions to conservation challenges. We work to improve water quality in the Detroit River and the Great Lakes by reducing stormwater runoff, and address community resilience through nature-based solutions. All our work is done collaboratively with other leading agencies and organizations in Detroit. Our current projects include:
- working with partners to create public spaces that retain stormwater and provide habitat for local wildlife while also providing places for people to enjoy nature in an urban setting;
- exploring the feasibility of a special purpose district to finance green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) projects at scale, and examining the benefits that such an approach would provide to property owners and the community at large;
- mapping existing GSI projects within Detroit; and
- engaging partners and members of the community in shared conservation goals.
The Conservation Associate will work towards meeting the strategic priorities of the program by implementing tactics for approved conservation plans and completing day-to-day tasks and activities.
- They will work to advance the strategic priorities of Detroit’s Urban Conservation Program by supporting program staff in the execution of project plans.
- They will collect, maintain, track and research various types of conservation data, produce and review reports and perform analysis.
- They will assist with development of Highly Effective Team deliverables, planning and executing project meetings and maintaining a document management system for team documents.
- They will communicate or distribute information to assist staff in making decisions, solving problems and improving workflow.
- They may perform administrative tasks including processing funding proposals, preparing contracts, processing invoices, monitoring and preparing budgets and providing support to conservation department directors.
- They may be responsible for planning and execution of logistics for special public events and/or meetings with both internal and external stakeholders.
- They will respond to inquiries about program activities, create program materials, and draft correspondence.
- They will be well versed in the systems and resources utilized by the team to execute assigned tasks including Microsoft Office suite, Skype, WebEx, Box, BBCRM, HUB, Miradi or similar tools.
- They will provide guidance to project teams in satisfying administrative requirements based on knowledge of policies and procedures.
- They may assist with the recruitment, training, and recognition of program volunteers, and may direct the activities of volunteers.
- The Associate will communicate with staff of all levels, as well as with donors, volunteers, vendors, and business partners.
- They may implement processes and practices in order to improve effectiveness.
RESPONSIBILITIES AND SCOPE
- Work within the scope of the strategic goals of the Detroit Urban Conservation Program and the Michigan Chapter.
- Act independently on assigned tasks and exercise independent judgment based on analysis and experience, referring difficult questions and unusual problems to supervisor or project manager/director;
- Coordinate projects with several variables, working within a defined timeline and budget;
- Demonstrate sensitivity in handling confidential information;
- Perform non-routine analysis, research and follow-through;
- Ensure compliance with Conservancy policies and procedures, and external (donor/legal/IRS) requirements;
- Financial responsibility includes processing invoices, developing contracts, and assisting with budget preparation.
- May act as a resource to others to solve problems and act in supervisor’s stead when instructed;
- May supervise administrative and volunteer staff or interns, including training and professional development;
- Provide input through project teams for the improvement of existing programs;
- Travel and work flexible hours as needed;
- Work environment involves only infrequent exposure to disagreeable elements and minor physical exertion and/or strain; and
- Work is diversified and may not always fall under established practices and guidelines.
- Experience, coursework or other training in biology, ecology, natural resources management or related field;
- Experience coordinating multiple projects;
- Experience generating reports and interpreting data;
- Experience in business writing, editing, and proofreading;
- Experience organizing time and managing diverse activities to meet deadlines;
- Experience working across teams and communicating with a wide range of people.
- Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experiences are appreciated;
- Ability to analyze information for the purpose of coordinating and planning activities, and solving problems;
- Ability to manage and prioritize tasks coming from multiple sources and meet deadlines.
- Ability to use existing technology to achieve desired results;
- Excellent customer service skills and focus;
- Knowledge of current trends in a specific field; and/or
- Strong organization skills, accuracy, and attention to detail.
The Nature Conservancy offers competitive compensation, 401k or savings-plan matching for eligible employees, excellent benefits, flexible work policies and a collaborative work environment. We also provide professional development opportunities and promote from within. As a result, you will find a culture that supports and inspires conservation achievement and personal development, both within the workplace and beyond.