The Clifton Institute seeks a Land Management Outreach Associate to educate landowners on best practices for natural habitat management in northern Virginia, to liaise with partner organizations to improve management of native grasslands, and to restore and maintain the Clifton Institute property for the benefit of declining native species. The Clifton Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located north of Warrenton, in the northern Piedmont of Virginia. Our 900-acre field station, which includes grasslands, shrublands, forests, and wetlands, is permanently protected under a conservation easement, and is home to 1,800+ species of plants, animals, and fungi. We use organic and conventional methods as well as prescribed fire, mowing, and grazing to manage the 300 acres of early successional habitat on the property. The Clifton Institute is a small but dynamic organization and the successful applicant will play an important role in the growth of the organization.
Duties for this position include:
• Visiting private properties to advise landowners on the management of grasslands, shrublands, forests, and landscaping to benefit native biodiversity and achieve landowners’ goals. This will include conducting rapid baseline plant assessments to guide management plans and providing advice on:
o Organic and / or conventional management of invasive exotic plants
o Establishment of wildflower meadows
o Shrubland management to provide habitat for priority species
o Management of grazing land to benefit native biodiversity (e.g. rotational grazing, native forage, fescue stockpiling)
o Wildlife management (e.g. managing grasslands for Northern Bobwhite)
o Sustainable forestry
• Liaising with partners (e.g. power and gas companies, the Virginia Department of Transportation, managers of public lands, state biologists, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, and non-profit organizations) to improve grassland management at a large scale. This will include educating partners on native biodiversity found in utility corridors and along roadsides, and communicating with partners to improve management.
• Collaborating with the Executive Director and groundskeeping staff to manage grasslands, shrublands, cattle pastures, and forests at the Clifton Institute for the benefit of declining biodiversity and to ensure the Clifton Institute property serves as an example of best practices.
• Generating interest in the Clifton Institute’s restoration and education programs and cultivating potential donors.
• Collaborating with volunteers on native plant propagation projects. This will include overseeing and executing seed collection, sowing, and care of seedlings.
Salary and Benefits:
• The salary will be $40,000 per year.
• Full-time employees receive 15 paid days off during their first year of employment. In addition, we observe 10 public holidays.
• The employee will enjoy a flexible work schedule and a compensatory time policy.
• We have competitive health, dental, and retirement benefits as well as life insurance.
• In addition, employees of the Clifton Institute spend a significant amount of time outside on our beautiful 900-acre property.
We are taking the pandemic seriously and we are doing everything we can to keep staff and program participants safe, while still working to accomplish our education, restoration, and research mission. The Land Management Outreach Associate will be based full-time in our office in Warrenton, VA. The successful candidate will have his/her own separate, well-ventilated office space. Social distancing is required in our office building, and masks are required whenever people are in closer contact, such as during meetings.
The successful candidate will have the following qualifications:
• A personal passion for conservation, land management, and wildlife.
• Experience with grassland restoration or wildflower meadow establishment, such as seed mix design, seed drilling, prescribed fire, herbicide application, mowing, discing, cover crops, and sustainable grazing.
• Knowledge of the flora and fauna of grasslands, shrublands, and forests of eastern North America. Ability to identify grassland plants and birds in the mid-Atlantic or ability to translate knowledge of species of another region to Virginia species.
• A Bachelor’s degree in natural resources, wildlife management, ecology, biology or related field. A graduate degree in environmental sciences a plus.
• Excellent interpersonal skills required. Fundraising experience a plus.
• Excellent writing skills required.
• Plant propagation experience a plus.