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Aug 1 / BARD CEP

Director of Conservation – Durham, NC

Organization: Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association

Job Title: Director of Conservation

Location: Durham, NC

Hours and Compensation: Full time, Competitive salary, commensurate with experience, exempt position (1 year of full-time funding secured, with intention to make position permanent)

Position Dates: Start ASAP

Application Deadline: August 17th, 2012

Posted On: August 1st, 2012

Organization Overview

The Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association (ECWA) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 1999 with a mission to protect and restore the Ellerbe Creek Watershed and make it an asset to the citizens of Durham and the region. Ellerbe Creek is one of the most urban watersheds in the Triangle area, and the Association is a watershed management organization as well as a small land trust. We have protected 340 acres of land in the Ellerbe Creek watershed, and four of our preserves are open to the public, including an extensive trail system. Our small staff works regularly with members and volunteers on land conservation, preserve management, ecological restoration, innovative stormwater management, outreach, public awareness-raising, fundraising, and nature hikes.


The Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association is seeking an energetic, organized, social, and highly motivated professional to guide our land conservation and stewardship programs. The primary duties of the position, under the direction of the Executive Director, are to conduct landowner outreach and conservation transactions; to guide strategic planning of our expanding land conservation and stewardship program; to guide our volunteer-based committees and contracted Land Steward; and to provide staff support for our watershed restoration activities. The Director of Conservation (DC) position requires self-motivation, flexibility, openness to new ideas, and the ability to work closely with local governments, state agencies, other land trusts, and volunteers to meet the Association’s conservation and stewardship goals.


Contact landowners or respond to inquiries from landowners, and work with interested landowners to develop conservation strategies on their property.Negotiate with landowners for the purchase or donation of land or conservation easements, and oversee the drafting and review of easements.Advise ECWA’s Land Acquisition Committee, particularly in identifying and prioritizing properties for protection.Identify and apply for grant opportunities to fund land protection activities.Guide the preparation of budgets for land projects.Guide ECWA in its preparation and submission of materials toward NC Land Trust Council and/or Land Trust Alliance accreditation.Maintain a complete and current database, files and reports on all ECWA land protection projects and preserves.

Use GIS software as part of ECWA land conservation planning and regular land acquisition and landowner outreach work.Manage ECWA’s easement-related responsibilities, including completion of baseline documentation reports, communication with easement landowners, and easement monitoring/management.Advise ECWA’s Land Stewardship Committee in developing and implementing long-term management plans for ECWA nature preserves.Work closely with, and manage ECWA’s part-time, contracted Land Steward.Work with the Executive Director and appropriate committees to secure long-term funding for ECWA’s stewardship activities.Assist ECWA staff with watershed management work (including limited fieldwork installing rain gardens and other stormwater practices)Attend monthly evening meetings with two volunteer committees; occasional ECWA Board of Directors meetings; the annual membership meeting; and occasional ECWA fundraising events.Help with other administrative, fundraising, and program tasks as needed.


A university degree (natural resources or related field preferred, and Masters Degree preferred).A strong background in managing land conservation programs and planning.Experience working on conservation easement and land acquisition projects.Experience in natural resource assessment and management.Strong computer proficiency and office skills, including proficiency in using GIS and GPS. Strong self-confidence and interpersonal skills. Ability to work both independently and as a part of a team. Must be able to interact and communicate effectively with the public. An attitude of service is critical to this job.Grant development and contract negotiating skills, or the ability to develop these skills.Willingness to occasionally work in the field (often alone).Willingness to work occasional nights and weekends.A valid driver’s license and willingness to use personal vehicle (with mileage reimbursement).

How to Apply

Apply by sending or e-mailing a cover letter and resume by August 17, 2012 to: Chris Dreps, Executive Director, Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association, PO Box 2679, Durham NC, 27705 or e-mail to Please include “Director of Conservation” in the subject line.

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