Water Resource Associate

Audubon Society
Santa Fe, NM, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
NGO/Civil Society
Experience Level: 
Entry Level (0-2 Years)
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


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Now in its second century, Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Audubon’s mission is engaging people in bird conservation on a hemispheric scale through science, policy, education and on-the-ground conservation action.  By mobilizing and aligning its network of Chapters, Centers, State and Important Bird Area programs in the four major migratory flyways in the Americas, the organization will bring the full power of Audubon to bear on protecting common and threatened bird species and the critical habitat they need to survive.  And as part of BirdLife International, Audubon will join people in over 100 in-country organizations all working to protect a network of Important Bird Areas around the world, leveraging the impact of actions they take at a local level.  What defines Audubon’s unique value is a powerful grassroots network of nearly 500 local chapters, 23 state offices, 41 Audubon Centers, Important Bird Area Programs in 50 states, and 700 staff across the country.  Audubon is a federal contractor and an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).

Position Summary

Reporting to the Audubon New Mexico Director of Freshwater Conservation and collaborating with the Audubon New Mexico staff, National Audubon staff, local water management agencies, and landowners, the Water Resource Associate will assist New Mexico’s efforts to develop and implement policy, market-based, restoration and strategic engagement strategies to protect and restore natural riverine ecosystems for birds and other wildlife and their habitats on New Mexico’s major rivers and tributaries, with a focus on the Rio Grande.  


Audubon’s Western Water vision is to take actions to achieve a reliable water supply for birds and people throughout the West. With its partners, Audubon aims to stabilize and increase populations of priority birds in the West by advancing balanced water management policy solutions, implementing on-the-ground restoration projects, and involving our network of members, volunteers, and chapters in meaningful activities. 


This is a full-time position providing field, analytic and outreach support for Audubon New Mexico’s conservation activities within the Rio Grande of New Mexico. The successful candidate will have a strong knowledge of hydrologic principals and ecologic processes, technical hydrologic and spatial skills, experience with water management and water management agencies, and a keen interest in developing creative solutions to challenging water resource problems.



Essential Functions

  • Gather, document, and compile an inventory of water resource information for informing potential water leasing management strategies within the Middle Rio Grande of New Mexico.
  • Compile and develop special datasets for the Middle Rio Grande including irrigation infrastructure, agricultural data, habitat data and associated features.
  • Conduct hydrologic and ecologic field measurements. Manage and analyze these data.
  • Construct water budgets for restoration and stream flow augmentation scenarios.
  • Conduct water resource inventories and develop conceptual models for understanding wetland and riverine habitat.
  • Analyze data and report conclusions to advance Audubon New Mexico’s conservation priorities. In collaboration with the Associate Director of Freshwater Conservation and others, lead and assist in the writing of technical reports and scientific manuscripts.
  • Cultivate and maintain productive working relationships with internal and external stakeholders including irrigation districts, other Audubon offices and chapters, state and federal agencies, other non-governmental organizations, and community and government leaders.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in hydrology, geology, water resources, biology, ecology, or a related field required, Master's Degree preferred.
  • 1-3 years of applied field experience is desired; understanding and respect of the scientific method is paramount.
  • Computer skills including GIS (ESRI products) and Excel required. Database and statistical programming skills desired.
  • Knowledge of hydrologic principals and ecologic processes associated with wetlands and rivers.
  • Experience with water management principals and water rights of western rivers and associated irrigation districts.
  • Experience with working with government agencies desired.
  • Experience and working knowledge of New Mexico’s diversity of habitats, especially riparian and wetland habitats.
  • Excellent work ethic, a team-focused attitude, and the ability to work well independently.
  • Proficiency in conversational Spanish preferred.
  • A commitment to Audubon’s mission of conservation of birds, other wildlife, and their habitat and the ability to communicate the mission, goals, and programs effectively to partners, government officials, donors, and the public.
  • Regularly travel within the state of the New Mexico to field sites, often for several days at a time.
  • Ability to work in the field, sometime long hours and rugged conditions. Some work on weekends is necessary.
  • Valid driver’s license required.