Conservation Field Assistant, Shenandoah Valley Conservation Collaborative

By September 27, 2021Job Opportunities
Supervisor: Project Manager, Shenandoah Valley Conservation Collaborative

Location: Harrisonburg, Virginia
Job Classification: Full-time, Non-Exempt

Organization Description

Working to ensure that the land, water, and community resources of the Shenandoah Valley will be protected for the future, Alliance for the Shenandoah Valley is a 501(c)3 nonprofit formed in 2018 through a merger of five long-standing Valley organizations. The Alliance serves six counties – Augusta, Rockingham, Shenandoah, Frederick, Page and Warren – and the cities within them. The Alliance staff, board of directors, and members champion clean water, thriving communities, and protected rural landscapes. Based in New Market, Virginia, the Alliance serves as a hub for the partnerships needed for conservation work throughout the Shenandoah Valley. The Alliance is led by a talented and engaged volunteer board and a staff of five full-time and two part-time employees, with deep community connections throughout the service area.

The Shenandoah Valley Conservation Collaborative, administered by the Alliance, is a partnership of land trusts, watershed groups, regional nonprofits, and state and federal agency partners working to accelerate land conservation and water quality restoration in our region. Together, partners are working with interested landowners and communities to bring the resources and expertise to achieve shared goals in water quality, agricultural vitality and protected rural landscapes.

The Position

The Conservation Field Assistant advances the shared conservation goals of the Shenandoah Valley Conservation Collaborative by assisting the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and soil and water conservation districts (SWCD’s) on-the-ground work with landowners who choose to implement best management practices on their farm or forest land. The Conservation Field Assistant will be an employee of Alliance for the Shenandoah Valley but work out of the NRCS Harrisonburg field office. This two-year position is funded by a grant award from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Areas of Responsibility

The Conservation Field Assistant reports directly to the SVCC Project Manager in consultation with the NRCS district conservationists who direct field activities.

Implement conservation practices that restore clean water (70%)

  • Support district conservationists in Harrisonburg, Strasburg and Verona field offices working with landowners to implement Farm Bill programs, such as EQIP, CSP and easement programs.
  • Under guidance of the district conservationists:
    • support conservation practice implementation in Shenandoah Valley NRCS Service Centers;
    • provide technical support to Soil and Water Conservation District partners in Harrisonburg (Shenandoah Valley District), Strasburg (Lord Fairfax District), and Verona (Headwaters District) for implementing the Virginia Agricultural Cost Share Program;
    • Duties will include, but not be limited to:
      • Utilizing NRCS software systems to create maps, conservation plans, conduct planning assessments using CART and Conservation Desktop;
      • Follow up with producers who are behind schedule on their contracts and provide technical assistance needed to get back on schedule;
      • Learn basic engineering design to plan and design conservation practices such as watering systems;
      • Complete job sheets;
      • Other duties as assigned.

Assist District Conservationists (15%)

  • Carries out any assigned duties, including administrative, that enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of soil conservation and water quality operations conducted by the field office.

Support collaborative efforts of the SVCC (15%)

  • Coordinate with SVCC partners and SVCC Project Manager
  • Participate in SVCC meetings
  • Support SVCC Project Manager in nutrient reduction tracking and other outputs associated with administration of NFWF grant
  • Cross-training with SVCC agency and nonprofit partners on conservation easements, state and federal agricultural cost share programs


Dynamic work environment, working with people who are committed to making a difference.
Salary range for most candidates is $35,000- 45,000 depending on experience
Generous benefits package, employer sponsored healthcare, paid holidays and leave.

Requirements of the Position

  • Passion for protecting the extraordinary landscape and natural and cultural resources of the Shenandoah Valley
  • Excellent written, verbal and interpersonal skills
  • Proficient computer skills including Microsoft Word and Excel
  • Bachelor’s degree in natural resources/ agriculture or a combination of education and equivalent field experience
  • Knowledge of standard soil and water conservation methods, techniques, measures and practices
  • Ability to work in multiple locations and adaptability in working with multiple teams
  • Valid driver’s license; Ability to work outdoors in all conditions

Preferred skills

  • Experience using aerial imagery and topographic maps to collect field data, use of soil survey data, and various survey instruments;
  • Knowledge of basic engineering practices needed to prepare designs, ability to complete basic surveying and drafting tasks, and knowledge of construction and excavation;
  • Knowledge of land protection tools and practices including conservation easements;
  • Familiarity with Shenandoah Valley agriculture, land use, and communities.

To apply

Send a cover letter, resume, and three references to Position is open until filled. Interviews with qualified candidates will begin the week of September 27, 2021.

Alliance for the Shenandoah Valley considers all candidates equally without regard to age, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, disability or other non-merit factors.