Conservation Project Associate

Website National Audubon Society

The Conservation Project Associate is an integral member of Audubon California’s Working Lands Team, supporting projects to enhance the habitat value of managed wetlands and agricultural lands for birds and other wildlife. The Working Lands Team utilizes research, planning, advocacy, restoration, and implementation to advance bird habitat enhancement goals in the Central Valley. As a member of the Migratory Bird Conservation Partnership, the Project Associate will work closely with The Nature Conservancy and Point Blue Conservation Science, as well as with public agencies, especially the Natural Resources Conservation Service and Resource Conservation Districts, agricultural producer organizations, farmers, wetland managers, and conservation partners.

The Project Associate reports to the Working Lands Project Director and collaborates directly with all members of the Working Lands Team. This position is based in Sacramento, California.

Candidates should submit a cover letter when applying to this position. Position will remain open until filled.

Essential Functions

  • Partner with Working Lands staff on project implementation, tracking, and reporting for habitat enhancement efforts on Central Valley wetlands, rice and alfalfa, Tricolored Blackbirds, hedgerows, and groundwater recharge.
  • Identify, develop and write grants to government agencies and foundations to fund projects. Manage project budgets, reporting requirements, and third party contracts.
  • Work with Audubon and Migratory Bird Conservation Partnership staff to assess the value of alternative wetland and farm management practices and achieve research goals. Conduct bird and other habitat monitoring at research sites, and communicate results to scientific and non-scientific audiences. Navigate sensitive landowner relationships at private lands research sites.
  • In collaboration with the Working Lands Team, engage landowners, agencies, and Audubon chapters to build partnerships for restoration and enhancement projects and advocacy for Central Valley habitat.
  • Serve as a public representative of Audubon and the Working Lands team which may include presentations, public speaking, meeting participation and/or other interactions with agencies, NGOs, Audubon chapters, and landowners to both gather and disseminate information.
  • Advise project partners, such as Resource Conservation Districts and other NGOs, on restoration design and native plants to enhance bird habitat. Provide on-site assessments and guidance to implement successful restoration projects.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in biology, ecology, natural resources management, or related field. Equivalent combination of education and experience also considered.
  • Three years experience in conservation planning and/or project development/coordination.
  • Ability to manage complex projects with a variety of partners and to meet deadlines is essential. Previous experience with design and management of restoration projects preferred.
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills and the ability to build consensus among a wide range of individuals (e.g. conservation partners, private landowners and farmers, volunteers, and local community members). Demonstrated experience with grant writing, writing scientific reports or papers, and writing for a general, non-science audience.
  • Strong project management skills, including but not limited to setting and implementing effective goals and objectives, problem-solving, time management, contract and grant management, creating and maintaining collaborations with other organizations, developing public awareness activities, preparing reports, etc.
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
  • Comfort navigating contentious regulatory issues to seek common ground with diverse interests.
  • Knowledge and appreciation of the people, values, and current conservation issues of agricultural landscapes and managed wetlands.
  • Experience working on field research or monitoring projects; work in an agricultural setting a plus.
  • A working knowledge of ArcGIS, comfort using a GPS unit and testing/using a new mapping system through ArcGIS Collector on an iPad preferred. Working knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) required.
  • A flexible approach to work and willingness to take on new projects or tasks as needed.
  • Ability to engage in strenuous outdoor activity, carry field equipment and endure outdoor field conditions including cold and wet winter weather and extreme heat.
  • Willingness to conduct in-state travel, occasional out-of-state travel and be comfortable with working evenings and weekends as job responsibilities demand.
  • Valid driver’s license required.




No requirement


Candidates should submit a cover letter when applying to this position. Position will remain open until filled.

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