Part-Time Restoration Project Advisor
Title: Restoration Project Advisor
Reports To: Program Manager
Hourly Rate Range: $24 – $28/hour commensurate with experience; 30 hours/week; Contractual, March 2021 through August 2023 with the potential to extend.
Location: Initially, the location of the position will follow local guidelines for remote work and social distancing as necessary due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As restrictions are lifted, this position will be expected to report 1-2 days per week to the Center for Environmental Education and Research at Chesapeake Conservancy’s partner organization, Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. This position requires site visits throughout central Pennsylvania, primarily in the counties of Centre, Huntingdon, and Lycoming with the potential to expand throughout the region. Travel expenses will be reimbursed. The applicant must possess a valid driver’s license in good standing and have access to reliable transportation.
Background: Chesapeake Conservancy is a non-profit organization based in Annapolis, Maryland. We are a team of conservation entrepreneurs. We believe that the Chesapeake is a national treasure that should be accessible for everyone and a place where wildlife can thrive. We use technology to enhance the pace and quality of conservation, and we help build parks, trails and public access sites. As part of Bay-wide restoration programming, Chesapeake Conservancy provides backbone support & builds capacity for a partnership of over 40 restoration organizations across Pennsylvania. The Conservancy secures federal, state, and private grants to support partners to implement restoration projects as part of a coordinated effort to accelerate water quality and habitat improvements.
Primary Responsibility: The Project Advisor serves as the key leader for administration of grants and contracts related to restoration work for projects chosen by partners. Partners will have the main responsibility in completing the restoration projects and will be responsible for completing grant deliverables. The Project Advisor fills in gaps as needed as a technical liaison to partners (some projects will require more assistance with partner assistance and some will need less). The Project Advisor will be responsible for collaborating with on-the-ground restoration partners in Pennsylvania to complete project design, secure partner and landowner agreements, follow procurement guidelines, and ensure standards are met in compliance with Conservancy policies and with federal and state restoration funding and cost-share programs. Work includes technical design of agricultural best management practices in addition to tracking deadlines for deliverables and funding, managing reimbursement and invoicing, and completing financial and narrative reports as required by funders. Functions as the key restoration coordination staff member, will work in partnership with the Program and Project Managers for Pennsylvania work and other Conservancy staff to administer restoration funding to achieve the Conservancy’s mission. Provides essential project coordination leadership to ensure partner needs are met and successfully cultivate a growing partnership of local and regional nonprofits, engineering and contracting firms, and county, state, and federal government agencies. Performs other duties as assigned. The position is co-located with a partner organization–shared by other Conservancy staff members–in Selinsgrove, PA.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities: Manages the daily planning, execution and tracking of restoration projects and contracts to ensure compliance with Conservancy policies and federal and state restoration funding and cost-share programs to support the Conservancy’s mission.
- Manages sub-awards and partner contracts to ensure grant deliverables, budgets, and timelines, with a focus on agricultural best management practice (BMP) implementation projects.
- Works with on-the-ground partners to ensure proper procurement protocols are followed for third-party transactions.
- Works with on-the-ground partners to ensure necessary documentation is accurate and secured per grant and cost-share program guidelines (e.g. landowner agreements are collected; necessary permit applications are submitted; and engineering designs are in compliance).
Coordination and technical support
- Provides regular and proactive communication and coordination among Conservancy staff, partners, and funders to ensure deliverables are completed on time and within budget.
- Provides technical review and evaluation of project proposals submitted through the Precision Conservation program. Provide technical design assistance to partner organizations for design on agricultural best management practices as needed to fill gaps in technical expertise.
- Assists partners as needed with all parts of the restoration process (e.g. ordering restoration project supplies and materials, scheduling contractors, etc.).
- Supervises 1 undergraduate student intern per semester (4-6 hours/week) at Susquehanna University, developing and overseeing a work plan to support the Precision Conservation Partnership.
- Accurately and frequently updates tracking mechanisms to document project progress and challenges.
- Performs site visits with grantors and partners to ensure projects are satisfactorily completed and are designed to maximize efficiency of best management practices.
- Creates reporting summary information for each restoration project to update funders on progress.
- Maintains the organization’s calendar of grant deadlines for restoration projects and creates achievable schedules to ensure on-time delivery of projects for each grant.
- Understanding of agricultural restoration practices and best management practices design.
- Ability to communicate effectively to a wide variety of audiences including landowners, contractors, partner organizations, and financial team.
- A minimum of 5 years’ experience of combined on-the-ground restoration experience and “full-cycle” grant process, taking a project from contracting through completion.
- Experience with federal environmental restoration funding programs such as National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund and USDA Farm Bill cost-share programs required.
- The successful candidate will demonstrate excellent attention to detail and the ability to manage and track workflows integrating programmatic, technical, and financial colleagues who serve as essential partners in delivering high-quality tracking and reporting.
- Experience coordinating with multiple conservation organizations and maintaining continued communication.
- Chesapeake Conservancy is a fast-paced environment where self-initiative, epic collaboration, and teamwork are both valued and expected.
- Strong computer skills, in particular, working knowledge of Microsoft Office is required.
- Knowledge of accounting and financial software, Google Drive, and Esri’s ArcGIS suite of programs a plus.
- Experience with the full grant-cycle of state restoration funding programs like PA Dept. of Environmental Protection’s Growing Greener program; PA Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources Keystone Fund.
- A bachelor’s degree in agricultural science, environmental resource management, natural resource management, environmental policy, environmental science or a related field.
The Conservancy offers a competitive employee benefits package that includes health, dental, and vision insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, paid vacation and sick leave, and participation in a retirement savings plan. Opportunities for advancement and professional development are available. This position will not support relocation assistance.
WE ARE COMMITTED TO BEING A DIVERSE & WELCOMING WORKPLACE:
Chesapeake Conservancy is an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, color, age, sex, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity, refusal to submit to a genetic test or to make available genetic test results, or any other legally protected characteristic.
Chesapeake Conservancy understands that protecting and restoring the natural and cultural resources of the Chesapeake Bay watershed requires intentional commitment to inclusive practices and narratives within the conservation movement. Through our work we celebrate and elevate the people, places, and cultures of the region, especially by engaging underrepresented communities. Committing to the values of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice is critical to achieve our vision of a Chesapeake that is healthy, accessible to everyone, and a place where people and wildlife thrive. To that end, we commit ourselves to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice both in our programmatic priorities and our internal organizational development through inclusive recruitment of staff and board members, and fostering a diverse and inclusive culture.