VA Watershed Restoration Scientist
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation seeks a Watershed Restoration Scientist to be based at its Virginia State Office located in Richmond.
THE CHESAPEAKE BAY FOUNDATION
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is the largest regional non-profit conservation organization working solely to save the Bay. Established in 1967, CBF has a staff of approximately 185 employees working in offices in Annapolis, Maryland; Richmond and Virginia Beach, Virginia; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; and Washington, D.C., and in 15 field education program locations. Our staff and volunteer corps work throughout the region educating students and adults, advocating for clean water polices, restoring waterways, and litigating when necessary.
CBF's headquarters office in Annapolis, Maryland is the Philip Merrill Environmental Center, the world's first U.S. Green Build Council's LEED platinum building. In 2014, CBF opened The Brock Environmental Center in Virginia Beach, VA. The Brock Center is one of the most energy efficient, environmentally smart buildings in the world.
CBF has an annual budget of approximately $21 million and is supported by more than 200,000 members and e-subscribers. For more information on CBF please visit www.cbf.org.
CONTEXT OF THE POSITION
The Virginia Watershed Restoration Scientist will be responsible for implementing wetland and riparian restoration projects and agriculture best management practices (bmps), managing and developing innovative wetland and riparian restoration and agriculture bmp programs, and working closely with partners and other CBF staff on restoration and bmp programs and associated grant management. The Virginia Watershed Restoration Scientist will assist in development of CBF policies regarding state and federal agricultural cost share programs, state regulations and agriculture certainty programs, and legislation. The Virginia Watershed Restoration Scientist will lead CBF's outreach to the farm community. The Virginia Watershed Restoration Scientist will assist in development of CBF policies regarding the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint, particularly the "WIP" responsibilities for the agriculture community.
Essential functions include:
PROGRAM IMPLEMENTATION (I.E. FIELD WORK) - TIME = 15%
Work with landowners, farmers, local Districts, local NRCS offices, and watershed groups to design and implement restoration and agriculture best management practice projects, primarily (although not exclusively) in targeted areas. Specific activities would include:
- Solicit interest from landowners for conducting restoration projects.
- Coordinate with project partners, including state, federal, local agencies, and private organizations to identify potential restoration project opportunities.
- Conduct field investigations to identify potential projects.
- Explain project and funding options to landowners and potential partners.
- Design and oversee construction of projects, including development of related contracts, budgets, and permitting.
- Coordinate with project partners to ensure timely completion of projects and payment of related bills.
- Monitor and tract projects for various reporting purposes.
- Understand and explain numerous federal and state agricultural BMP programs.
PARTNERSHIP DEVELOPMENT AND PROGRAM COORDINATION - TIME = 25%
Develop and build partnerships within and outside of CBF (including farmers, state and federal agencies, districts, and watershed organizations) to implement restoration programs, develop policy, and coordinate program activities with CBF staff. Specific activities would include:
- Develop agreements with partner organizations to implement restoration programs.
- Establish relationships with farmers, landowners, and key staff from partner organizations and agencies.
- Maintain communications and correspondence with partner agencies and organizations.
- Promote CBF restoration programs and agricultural initiative with partners.
- Develop and maintain list of available agricultural contacts for CBF’s initiative work.
- Identify and address any conflicts or problems.
- Identify and assist with CBF volunteer events associated with agriculture best management practices, and wetland and riparian restoration projects.
- Provide technical assistance in designing CBF volunteer events associated with agriculture best management practices and wetland and riparian restoration projects.
- Provide technical assistance in developing related CBF education and training materials.
- Maintain regular communication and coordinate on restoration and related work with grassroots, communications, development, and education staff.
- Provide assistance to communications staff in developing promotional materials and reports.
- Provide assistance to development staff in developing and managing agricultural and restoration related grant applications and awards.
- Assist in initiating and coordinating media events with communication staff.
- Conduct strategic speaking engagements to promote CBF's restoration program and agricultural initiative.
POLICY REVIEW, DEVELOPMENT AND ADVOCACY - TIME = 40%
Provide technical assistance, analyses, and recommendations on proposed state and federal (i.e. Farm Bill) agricultural best management practice cost share programs, agriculture related legislation and regulations, including NMP, agriculture certainty, and Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint implementation. Specific activities may include:
- Represent CBF as a voting member of Virginia's NRCS State Technical and Virginia Agriculture BMP Cost Share Advisory Committees.
- Review and analyze proposed state and federal agricultural legislation, regulations, and cost share programs, including agriculture certainty and nutrient management planning. Develop CBF policy positions and related background materials on key agriculture-related policy issues.
- Develop comments and lobby decision makers on behalf of CBF initiatives and CBF responses to agriculture related legislation.
- Lead CBF efforts to secure adequate funding for agriculture bmp cost share both at the state and federal level.
- Guide in CBF strategic planning of agricultural initiatives, particularly those related to the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint.
- Present and explain CBF initiatives to decision makers, agency staff, CBF members and volunteers, and the general public.
- Organize and lead CBF's annual "Farmer to the Bay" decision maker trip and other agriculture-related decision maker trips.
- Establish and maintain critical relationships with farmers and farm organizations. Communicate CBF positions to farm partners. Coordinate development and use of farmer "success stories."
- Assist with CBF's analysis of nutrient trading programs/regulations, including the Nutrient Trading Tool, and CBF's analysis of cost share programs.
PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION - TIME = 20%
Handle administrative functions related to the implementation and reporting of the Virginia Watershed Restoration Program. Specific activities would include:
- Supervise daily activities of restoration field staff and contractors.
- Coordinate with local restoration partners to assist CBF restoration field staff, including the development of training opportunities.
- Ensure field staff and contractor work products are of high quality and meet associated grant requirements within the timelines of the funding source(s).
- Assist CBF Headquarters staff in maintenance of a restoration project database.
- Assist CBF Headquarters with associated grant applications and management.
- Coordinate with CBF Headquarters staff to ensure program implementation is tracked.
- Identify problems and potential solutions for program implementation.
- Participate in CBF state and regional strategic planning meetings and CBF plan development.
- Identify obstacles, gaps, and new opportunities in restoration programs; assist in developing programs and mechanisms to address obstacles and opportunities.
- Assist in identification of restoration target areas in Virginia.
- Maintain list of contacts and interested landowners.
- Develop summary material to highlight accomplishments.
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS
Master of Science degree in natural resources or a related field with strong understanding of stream and wetland applied ecology, agriculture policy issues, agriculture bmps, and 3 years experience in agriculture-related restoration programs and techniques is required. The ideal candidate would demonstrate proficiency in managing riparian and wetland restorations and agriculture bmp projects from initial design through construction. A strong understanding of state and federal agricultural cost share programs and requirements, along with experience in remotely managing field staff is desirable. Additionally, candidates must exhibit strong oral and written communication skills, the ability to handle multiple tasks and meet deadlines, and possess proficient computers skills, particularly with MS office software and Geographic Information System (GIS). The ability to motivate and direct citizen volunteers is desirable.
To apply, please send cover letter, resume, and salary history and requirements no later than September 20, 2015 to:
Chesapeake Bay Foundation
CBF offers a comprehensive benefits package to include: 20 vacation days, 10 sick days, health, vision, dental, life insurance, and a tax deferred annuity plan. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer.