Title: Field Steward – Prairie Forest Border Ecoregion
Conservation Practitioner III
Salary: Grade 4/hourly
Agency: The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working to make a positive impact around the world in more than 69 countries, all 50 United States, and your backyard. Founded in 1951, the mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. One of our core values is our commitment to diversity. Therefore, we are committed to a globally diverse and culturally competent workforce. Visit www.nature.org to learn more.
Job description: The Field Steward assists with the implementation of a comprehensive program to protect natural communities and species, and to complete land management activities on conservation lands in central and southeastern Minnesota. The Field Steward works with and directs a land management crew daily, working on Conservancy and partner agency lands. This position is based out of the Lake Alexander Preserve office, located near Cushing, MN. The Field Steward will work across central and southeastern MN, with frequent travel and regular overnight stays. This position is a full-time position.
Essential functions: The Field Steward’s primary function is to organize daily logistics, promote crew cohesion, and to ensure a safe and productive work environment. Daily duties focus on prescribed fire and controlling invasive species and woody vegetation in prairie and oak savanna ecosystems. Other ecosystems include mixed pine/oak forests and Jack pine savanna. The Field Steward coordinates the work of a 2-4 person stewardship crew during the field season. Other duties include maintaining preserve areas frequented by the visiting public, vegetation monitoring, seed collection and processing, assisting with contract development and/or inspections, assisting with grazing leases and fence maintenance, maintaining tools and equipment, and operating heavy machinery. This position may spend up to 50% of the time away from their home base.
Responsibilities & scope:
- Leads a crew of 2-4, and helps plan, direct and monitor work groups consisting of staff, interns, contract crews, and volunteers covering a wide geographic area.
- Financial responsibility may include working within a budget to complete projects, negotiating and contracting with vendors, assisting with budget and project development.
- Networks with diverse groups, including land owners, conservation partners, government officials, donors, board members and the general public to recruit support for the Conservancy and publicize Conservancy programs/preserves.
- May work under minimal and/or distant supervision; may make some independent decisions based on analysis, experience and context.
- May work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain and under physically demanding circumstances.
- Requires considerable physical exertion and/or muscular strain.
- At times will require long and irregular hours in independent or group settings
- BA/BS/AS/Technical or vocational degree in science-related field and 1 year related experience in custodial and ecological land management or similar field or equivalent combination of education and experience.
- Experience with natural systems.
- Experience in ecological land management principles.
- Experience operating and or repairing various types of equipment and machinery.
- Must have a valid driver’s license and good driving record.
Preferred knowledge, skills and experience:
- Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural or cross cultural experience are appreciated.
- 1 – 2 years related experience in custodial and ecological land management or equivalent combination of education and experience.
- Some experience managing volunteers or entry level staff.
- Ability to recognize plant and animal species to complete preserve management activities.
- Knowledge/understanding of current trends and practices in conservation, land management and natural resource preservation/conservation or similar field.
- Ability to complete tasks independently with respect to timeline(s).
- Working knowledge of ArcGIS and other common software applications (e.g.; Word, Excel, Web browsers).
- Communicating clearly via written, spoken and graphical means in English and other relevant languages.
- NWCG fire qualified as Fire Fighter Type 1 (FFT1) or higher strongly preferred, including coursework and experience requirements. See the Conservancy’s Fire Management Manual for a full explanation of qualification requirements: http://www.tncfiremanual.org/personnel.htm
- Safe record of using and maintaining preserve tools and equipment, including chainsaws, mowers, skid loaders, tractors, trucks, trailers, ATVs and power tools.
- Class A commercial driver’s license or willingness to pursue a class A CDL.
- Have or be able to obtain a Minnesota Pesticide Applicators license
Accountability for outcomes: Pushes for excellence. Establishes challenging goals for self and others to drive performance in support of the Conservancy’s mission. Rewards behavior that achieves these standards and is aligned with the organization’s mission/ values. Takes action to address performance problems in a timely and appropriate manner
Builds organizational capability: Builds or adapts organizational structures to accomplish the mission and to improve performance. This includes reorganizing organizational systems, structures, processes, procedures, communication channels or reporting relationships. With the Conservancy’s strategic filter in mind, determines who can contribute, gets the right people involved, and builds bench strength for the future
Collaboration & teamwork: Shows a willingness to put the needs and goals of a global organization before personal/local/departmental needs. Works with others across organizational boundaries. Makes decisions, sets priorities, and allocates resources to help the organization as a whole achieve results
Communications: Effectively expresses messages verbally and in writing. Actively listens to others. Fosters open exchange of issues. Is timely with information.
Courage & decisiveness: Makes decisions and stands by them. Makes timely decisions even under pressure and when lacking complete information. Has the courage to modify decisions and admit why and how they were wrong
Flexibility & innovation: Flexible to changing circumstances. Takes innovative approaches towards work. Takes calculated risks and makes dependable decisions in the fact of uncertainty.
Influences for results: Achieves results by persuading, convincing, or influencing others. Adapts approach to the individual or group and knows how and when to use complex influence strategies. Uses success stories and passion for the mission to generate enthusiasm and support
Open to learning: Versatile learner and committed to self-improvement. Employs strengths effectively. Willingly shares knowledge with others. Seeks coaching on areas needing improvement. Adjusts behavior/performance as needed. Views mistakes as learning opportunities
Organizational awareness: Understands the basics of our business. Knows how local job relates to the big picture & contributes to the overall strategy. Knows how/why things work inside TNC. Easily moves through internal networks and channels for success
This description is not designed to be a complete list of all duties and responsibilities required for this job.
The successful applicant must meet the requirements of The Nature Conservancy’s background screening process.
The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Our commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our conservation mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of men and women of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and cultures. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects our global character is a priority and we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientations, gender identities, military or veteran status or other status protected by law.