Now Hiring – Conservation Fellow

By Patrick Dooling 6 months agoNo Comments

Conservation Fellow – Job Description

Position Summary

The Western Slope Conservation Center (WSCC) is looking for students and recent graduates to build grassroots support for our conservation campaigns to protect and enhance the public lands of Colorado’s Western Slope as a Conservation Fellow. This is a 16-week, 40 hours per week contract position for Summer 2020.

WSCC is a 43-year-old grassroots non-profit organization that builds an active and aware community to protect and enhance the lands, air, water, and wildlife of the Lower Gunnison Watershed. Named as a priority landscape in the Wilderness Society’s Too Wild To Drill and the Conservation Lands Foundation Time To Choose campaigns, the North Fork Valley is truly at the forefront of the conservation movement in Colorado. The Conservation Fellow, in close coordination with the Public Lands Program Director, will help build and organize an inclusive, active grassroots campaign in support of protecting public lands within the North Fork watershed. This position has the opportunity to make a lasting impact on this valuable working landscape. 

The Conservation Fellow works under the direct supervision of the Executive Director and in close coordination with the Public Lands Program Director. This position requires 40-hour work weeks and is based in the WSCC office in Paonia. Frequent nights and weekends are required due to meetings and event schedules, often one to two nights per week and one or more weekend commitments per month. Because of work requirements outside of normal business hours, flexibility can be built into the Conservation Fellow’s work schedule, as coordinated with the Executive Director. The position will include occasional traveling within the region, as well as opportunities for professional development and networking within statewide and national professional conservation networks.

Roles and Responsibilities

Work with Public Lands Program Director to Implement Community Engagement Plan:

  • Recruit, cultivate and activate volunteers to support conservation campaigns
  • Train community members to develop skills to engage directly with decision-makers
  • Engage diverse audiences in public lands issues
  • Engage and elevate members of communities who are impacted by conservation policies, particularly low-income communities and communities of color in the Lower Gunnison Watershed
  • Plan and execute events and workshops to cultivate grassroots supporters
  • Digital organizing through social media, email, phone banks, and more
  • Assist engagement of a broad coalition of business owners, farmers & ranchers, recreationists, and others to demonstrate support for our campaigns

Day to day tasks include but are not limited to planning and executing public events and workshops, virtual/online meetings, holding one-on-one meetings with community members, organize and lead hikes, attend community meetings, and more. 

Work with Public Lands Program Director to Develop and Implement Strategic Communications

  • Generate earned media showcasing the public support for our campaigns
  • Host comment and letter writing workshop to empower community supporters 
  • Develop digital content for social media, email, and other platforms
  • Research conservation policies and help develop public-facing educational materials 
  • Draft media outreach materials and press releases

Day to day tasks include but are not limited to developing & executing strategic social media campaigns, drafting media outreach materials, developing public-facing campaign materials, updating and maintaining WSCC website, and more.


The ideal candidate is a flexible, creative thinker with outstanding interpersonal skills and organizational abilities. The Conservation Fellow will need to be comfortable proactively engaging with diverse and rural communities. The Conservation Fellow must be able to work independently and take initiative, as well as quickly learn key nuances around WSCC’s priority issues and authentically engage with diverse perspectives. 

Required experience and skills include:

  • 0-2 years directly relevant experience. Formal coursework and training in community organizing will be highly regarded.
  • Experience engaging with diverse community stakeholders and partners, including those with competing viewpoints.
  • Previous experience or coursework with environmental or social issues, particularly around public lands.
  • Ability to work independently and self-directed as part of a high-functioning team.
  • Flexible and creative approach to accomplishing large workloads.
  • Effective communication skills – writing and editing through various print and digital mediums, strong public speaking abilities.
  • The ability to travel within the region for work, including some evenings and weekends.

Additional experience and skill that will be highly regarded include:

  • Experience working and living in a rural community
  • Connection to western Colorado
  • Experience recruiting and managing volunteers.
  • Experience organizing events.
  • Professional experience with social and digital media.
  • Experience working with media, including reporter outreach, drafting content and cultivating spokespeople.
  • Spanish language skills.

Compensation and benefits: The Fellow will receive a weekly $600 stipend. This is a full-time position requiring some evenings and weekends. Personal vehicle required, with travel reimbursed at the federal rate. Additional non-financial benefits include the opportunity to live and work in a spectacular rural mountain location with a high quality of life and affordable living costs. 

To Apply: Please submit a cover letter, resume, and three reference contacts in one combined document to No phone calls, please. 

Application Timeline: The application deadline is April 19 or until the position is filled. 

More about the Western Slope Conservation Center

The WSCC is a fun and dynamic grassroots environmental organization that has been carrying out watershed stewardship, public lands advocacy, and environmental education for the past 43 years. Our offices are located in the idyllic agricultural mountain town of Paonia, at the base of the West Elk Mountains in Delta County, Colorado. The North Fork Valley is a rare gem of high-quality rural living with unparalleled access to public lands and outdoor recreation, including backcountry skiing, rafting, hiking, running, and biking. It also boasts the highest density of organic farms in the state of Colorado and the highest elevation viticultural area in the country. The North Fork was recently featured in The Wilderness Society’s Too Wild to Drill campaign highlighting 15 remarkable wild places under threat of resource extraction in the U.S.

To learn more about the WSCC, please visit our website:

WSCC provides equal employment opportunities to all persons without regard to race, creed, color, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, military status, genetic information, or other protected statuses.

  News, Public Lands
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