Finger Lakes Water Quality Specialist

The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
Auburn, NY, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
NGO/Civil Society
Experience Level: 
Mid-Level (5-7 Years)
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.



Founded in 1951, the Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable.  One of our core values is our commitment to diversity. Therefore, we strive for a globally diverse and culturally competent workforce. Working in 72 countries, including all 50 United States, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.
The Nature Conservancy offers competitive compensation, 401k or savings-plan matching for eligible employees, excellent benefits, flexible work policies and a collaborative work environment. We also provide professional development opportunities and promote from within. As a result, you will find a culture that supports and inspires conservation achievement and personal development, both within the workplace and beyond.




The Finger Lakes Water Quality Specialist will work with partners to advance watershed-wide efforts to improve water quality for Owasco and Skaneateles Lakes. 




The Finger Lakes Water Quality Specialist will motivate and coordinate watershed stakeholders and decision makers to implement source-water protection, build innovative watershed-wide water quality improvement plans, and implement the highest priority strategies and projects in the eastern Finger Lakes.  Primary responsibilities will include: working with partners to 1) Research and help characterize governance structures, funding, and policies that shape, limit, and control management of Owasco and Skaneateles Lakes and their tributaries and watersheds. May include Canandaigua Lake, as well, as time and funding permit, 2) Coordinate and contribute to TNC’s understanding of nutrient load sources and timing of loading to Skaneateles and Owasco Lakes, 3) Complete contractual obligations to coordinate watershed stakeholders and decision makers to implement source-water protection, 4) Participate in creation and implementation of local and region-wide innovative watershed-wide water quality improvement plans, 5) Implement strategically significant projects in the eastern Finger Lakes to leverage government and civic engagement at scale.




  • Understand barriers, challenges, and needs of local communities and identify tactics that will work towards shared water quality goals,
  • Promote local buy-in and use of science and watershed plans to maximize implementation,
  • Translate science-based plans into on-the-ground actions to achieve local conservation results,
  • With Conservancy employees, help raise public and private funds to implement priority strategies both locally and across NY,
  • Harness Conservancy resources and expertise and collaborate for the benefit of related Conservancy strategies and projects, and
  • Promote locally appropriate model governance structures and recommendations that will lead to increased conservation efficacy,
  • Attendance at occasional night and weekend meetings will be required,
  • May work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain and under physically demanding circumstances.




  • BA/BS, environmental, social science or community planning degree and 5 years’ experience in science, conservation practice, or related field or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience developing and building partnerships and relationships (community, government, academia).
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills; adept at explaining conservation concepts to technical and non-technical audiences.
  • Experience managing complex or multiple projects.
  • Experience using applications such as Microsoft Office suite.


  • Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.
  • Negotiation, facilitation, conflict management, or similar skills.
  • Knowledgeable of current trends and practices in one or more of the following:conservation, land management, freshwater science and ecology, and natural resource preservation.
  • Demonstrated experience securing public and/or private grant funds.
  • Evidence of successful engagement of communities in community planning with a focus on freshwater water quality issues and strategies.
  • Familiarity with diverse, inclusive and innovative best practices for community engagement.
  • Experience using ArcGIS.
  • The ability to be innovative, flexible, and empathetic.
  • Excellent communication skills via written, spoken and graphical means in English.




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