Background and Primary Duties:
Indiana University of Pennsylvania-Research Institute, in partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), is looking for a motivated individual to work effectively with private forest landowners and local conservation partners in the Appalachian Mountain region of Virginia. The selected individual will coordinate the implementation of sustainable forest management practices on private lands as part of NRCS’s Working Lands for Wildlife (WLFW) effort to assist in the recovery of the Golden-winged Warbler (GWW), while also promoting forest health and timber production objectives.
The Golden-winged Warbler is a forest-dependent migratory songbird that is experiencing prolonged population declines throughout much of its range. Increasing the availability of young forest habitat is an important conservation action necessary for reversing the species’ decline. In 2016, NRCS released a 5-year Strategy for the WLFW-Golden-winged Warbler effort (https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/nj/home/?cid=nrcseprd1343051 ) which intends to create over 15,000 acres of young forest/shrubland habitat on private lands across 7 Appalachian states (including VA) from 2017-2021. Our desire is to meet or exceed this goal through sustainable forest management by implementing NRCS conservation practices that are in line with Best Management Practices for Golden-winged Warbler Habitats in the Appalachian Region. This project will complement the existing NRCS Working Lands for Wildlife (WLFW) efforts in other states such as Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and West Virginia. The VA Coordinator will also have the opportunity to promote landowner enrollment in other conservation programs such as EQIP forestry.
The Virginia WLFW-GWWA Coordinator’s main duties will be as follows.
Work with IUP-RI staff and NRCS field offices, as well as local partners such as VA Dept. of Forestry, VA Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries, USFWS, NGOs, JVs, consulting foresters, and others to:
• Promote forest management that benefits healthy forests and the Golden-Winged Warbler to private landowners and consulting foresters; including the potential to organize and conduct outreach and training workshops.
• Identify and directly outreach to private landowners with NRCS-based forest stewardship opportunities intended to benefit forest health and Golden-winged Warblers.
• Coordinate and facilitate site visits by partner foresters to provide technical assistance to interested landowners and advance GWW management plan development.
• Facilitate private landowner enrollment in NRCS programs and conduct or oversee NRCS conservation planning and program participation.
• Maintain records of all landowners involved in the program and track each to assure contacts are made, landowners are connected to appropriate resources / contractors, and management activities are implemented and completed as designed.
• Work with NRCS field offices and other professional resource managers to assist with contracting, preparing, and overseeing the implementation of conservation plans on private lands using established forest management guidelines known to benefit Golden-winged Warblers and improve forest health.
• Assist with monitoring and tracking project activities using an electronic database and GIS to ensure proper reporting for assessing success, and potentially assist with focal species monitoring.
• Assist resource professionals with development of site specific forest management plans according to NRCS practice standards and focal species’ best management practices. Successful candidate will provide evidence of being an effective writer.
• Write and submit monthly summaries, and interim and annual reports to IUP-RI staff.
• The position requires excellent networking and communication skills (presentation, inter-personal, reading, writing); project management experience, and organizing and leadership skills.
• Bachelor’s degree or higher in forestry, wildlife ecology, environmental sciences, or a related field (masters or higher preferred). A strong understanding of eastern deciduous forest management, conservation implementation is very important. Additional knowledge in ornithology and/or wildlife biology is desired.
• Knowledge of NRCS landowner cost-share programs, especially EQIP, preferred.
• Experience working with private landowners as well as Federal / State agencies (ex. NRCS, state forestry agencies) is desired.
• Ability to use Excel, ArcMAP, Google Maps, and other computer mapping systems to identify and delineate project boundaries.
• Proven ability to manage multiple projects, produce effective results and meet deadlines. Applicant must be self-motivated, responsible and have ability to solve problems.
• Coordinator will be required to participate in specific training programs in order to use partner facilities and equipment. Applicant must have a valid driver’s license.
The VA Coordinator will likely be based out of the NRCS field office in Verona, VA. The Coordinator is an IUP-RI employee and represents IUP-RI in its work. The Coordinator will be supervised by the IUP-RI Project manager in partnership with NRCS. There will be a 60-day probationary period.
Application Instructions: Please send a cover letter and resume to:
Dr. Jeff Larkin: email@example.com