Freshwater Project Manager

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


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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 Nature Conservancy in Pennsylvania is working to create a world where people and nature thrive. Our Freshwater Conservation Program is focused on providing clean water and protecting our rivers and streams during a changing climate.  Our work spans the state and includes efforts in the Delaware, Susquehanna, and Ohio River Basins.  The Freshwater Project Manager contributes to the analysis, development, and implementation of multi-scale freshwater conservation strategies with a specific focus on reducing, adapting to, and evaluating the risk of anticipated impacts of climate change.  This position will add capacity to a growing and eager freshwater team and be provided with varied opportunities for professional development and growth.




Advance The Nature Conservancy’s Freshwater Conservation Priorities (75%)
The Freshwater Project Manager contributes to the development of innovative analyses, tools and frameworks to address and prioritize freshwater system needs and associated conservation strategies.  They will advance complex and innovative conservation solutions with partners and potentially landowners to protect and restore freshwater ecosystems and secure public and private support for TNC freshwater priorities.  They have key topical expertise for example in watershed or soil hydrology, river ecology, water quality, freshwater conservation or restoration to drive strategy outcomes. They serve as a key contact to government agencies, other conservation organizations, foundations, and the academic community. 


Advance the Science of Freshwater Climate Resilience (25%)
Freshwater Resilience is the ability of a stream network or other aquatic setting to maintain native diversity even as the systems change in composition and structure in response to changes in climate.  Pennsylvania’s stream networks and associated freshwater biota are expected to change substantially over the next century in concert with changes in precipitation and temperature. The Freshwater Project Manager will support the integration of climate resiliency and adaptation into existing and future freshwater strategies.  Working with multiple Pennsylvania and cross-border teams, they will provide technical support exploring how water availability, quality,  water and sediment delivery mechanisms and timing, as well as drought and flood risk management associated with climate change predictions can be mitigated through conservation strategies that incorporate the use of nature-based solutions to meet the needs of nature and people, now and for future generations. 




  • Reporting to the Director of Freshwater Conservation, the Freshwater Project Manager serves as a core member of the Pennsylvania Chapter’s Freshwater Team with significant strategic and partnership responsibilities.
  • Provides strategic analysis and implements conservation agenda for key strategy areas. 
  • Creates, builds, and maintains effective collaborations with academic, conservation, and agency partners in natural and social science disciplines. Programmatic scope may require cross-boundary work and relationships. 
  • Manage projects to ensure timely and impactful conservation outcomes within budget guidance.  Ensures program compliance with internal policies and external requirements.
  • Under minimal supervision, makes independent decisions based on cross-disciplinary knowledge, experience and contex
  • Some travel along with evening and weekend hours may be required.
  • May work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain and under physically demanding circumstances.




  • BA/BS in hydrology, freshwater climate resiliency, or a freshwater science field and 5 years’ experience in natural resource management or related field or equivalent combination of education and freshwater conservation and restoration experience.
  • Experience managing complex or multiple projects, addressing administration, conservation outcomes, communication needs, and project and finance deadlines.
  • Experience in partnership development with non-profit partners, community groups and/or government agencies.
  • Experience using applications such as the Microsoft Office Suite and Web Browsers.
  • Experience coordinating projects, working with teams to achieve optimal results, and build strong relationships across the organization and with partners.
  • Experience preparing reports of findings.


  • Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.
  • Master’s degree in hydrology, freshwater climate resiliency, or a freshwater science field.
  • Familiarity with social, economic, and political conditions and issues in Pennsylvania and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
  • Experience using Esri ArcGIS applications.
  • Self-starter with ability to generate work plans with limited support aligning with the overall conservation strategies.
  • Willingness to learn and develop expertise in new conservation strategies, economic drivers, and management tools. 
  • Demonstrated experience influencing, developing and implementing conservation and climate resiliency strategies.
  • Supervisory experience, including motivating, leading, setting objectives and managing performance and career development. 
  • Excellent communication skills via written, spoken and graphical means in English and other relevant languages.
  • Experience synthesizing, interpreting and communicating scientific information appreciated. 




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