Adaptation and Coastal Resilience Specialist

National Wildlife Federation
Austin, TX, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
NGO/Civil Society
Experience Level: 
Mid-Level (5-7 Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)
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Founded in 1936, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF or Federation) is America's largest and most trusted grassroots conservation organization with 52 state/territorial affiliates and more than six million members and supporters, including hunters, anglers, gardeners, birders, hikers, campers, paddlers, and outdoor enthusiasts of all stripes. The Federation's mission is to unite all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in our rapidly changing world through programming focused on conserving wildlife, restoring habitats and waterways, expanding outdoor opportunities, connecting children with nature, and addressing the causes and consequences of climate change.

To advance our mission, we are seeking a full-time Adaptation and Coastal Resilience Specialist to join our staff, working out of the Gulf region, ideally in our South Central Regional Center in Austin, TX. (Due to COVID-19 all employees are working remotely until we make return to work decisions).

In this role you will be responsible for helping to develop and lead the climate adaptation and coastal resilience work in Texas and throughout the Gulf region, and collaborate with NWF’s scientists and coastal resilience experts in other regional centers and across the Federation. You will report to the Director of the Texas Coast and Water Program with direct lines of responsibility to the Gulf Program.

You will primarily work with the Texas Coast and Water and Gulf programs to plan and implement NWF’s approach to coastal resilience in the Gulf region, but will also work with other regional programs as appropriate.  Immediate bodies of work include the promotion of equitable and sustainable flood management in the Houston area and the Texas Hill Country, coastal resilience planning at the community level in several Texas coastal counties, and advancing the use of living shorelines and other nature-based approaches to infrastructure across the Gulf.

Specifically, you will:

  • Develop NWF’s position and response to the Coastal Texas Protection and Restoration Feasibility Study, and work to promote the use of natural and nature-based infrastructure along the Texas Gulf Coast. In this study, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in partnership with the Texas General Land Office will investigate the feasibility of projects for flood reduction, hurricane and storm damage mitigation and ecosystem restoration along the entire Texas coast.
  • Represent NWF in the Texas General Land Office’s Technical Advisory Committee for the Texas Coastal Resiliency Master Plan, which is a comprehensive, long-term planning framework to ensure resilient ecologic and economic management of the Texas coast.
  • Work with a project team to advance the findings of a Gulf-wide policy analysis of the rules governing implementation of living shorelines outlined in an NWF report with the Coastal States Organization called Softening Our Shorelines, and help to develop and promote solutions to any identified challenges and obstacles.
  • Help develop and promote NWF’s Gulf-wide restoration priorities and projects by making the case for long-term project benefits, including cultural, environmental, and economic benefits to local communities.
  • Advise in planning for emerging Lower Mississippi River management work, integrating agricultural policies, floodplain management, and delta restoration to increase climate resilience.
  • Work with our team to partner with Houston-based groups to approach local leadership and other stakeholders with equitable and sustainable flood management recommendations and priorities.
  • Explore emerging climate mitigation fields relevant in the Gulf region, such as the value of blue carbon ecosystems as a tool for restoration decision-making.
  • Help build regional staff competency related to climate change and approaches to coastal and community resilience.
  • Coordinate and communicate with NWF scientists and climate change adaptation experts to implement NWF’s 2018-2021 Strategic Plan (“A Common Agenda for Wildlife”).


  • Advanced degree (Masters and/or PhD) preferred with an emphasis in climate science and climate change adaptation in a related field, including natural sciences, environmental science, and engineering.
  • Genuine and demonstrated commitment to the conservation legacy and overall mission of the National Wildlife Federation, especially the science-based and collaborative approach of the Federation to achieve its mission and strategic plan outcomes;
  • 5+ years of experience in the climate change/resilience field;
  • Proven ability to communicate science in plain language;
  • Experience considering the impacts of climate change and adaptation solutions on historically underserved communities; and
  • Track record of participating in community outreach, including workshops and other forums.
  • Strong project management skills;
  • Attention to deadlines and details;
  • Strong writing skills, including technical papers, comment letters, and outward-facing communications such as blogs;
  • Ability to communicate scientific data in response to the needs of policy experts in plain language and under limited time constraints; and
  • Your actions are expected to reflect the staff values of the National Wildlife Federation: collaboration, mindfulness, empowerment, inclusivity, and mission focus.

Travel Requirements

A commitment to travel is required (once NWF’s COVID-19 Task Force provides guidance that it is safe to do so following the best available science). We estimate this to be 20-30 nights per year under pre-COVID circumstances, primarily in Texas, around the Gulf region, and occasionally to Washington, DC.


Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

The salary range for this position is currently $70,000 - $85,000 annually, dependent upon qualifications and experience.

The National Wildlife Federation values work-life balance and a family-friendly atmosphere. Our paid time-off includes 3 weeks of vacation leave, 10 days of wellbeing leave, 10 paid holidays, 3 floating holidays, a week-long winter break, and additional leave options, per year. In addition, our benefits package includes medical, dental, and vision insurance, company paid life insurance, AD&D, short- and long-term disability, 16 weeks of paid FMLA leave, 403b retirement plan with employer matching and annual contribution, adoption benefits, and flexible work options including telecommuting, non-traditional work hours, and compressed work weeks. Applicants are invited to learn more about National Wildlife Federation’s benefits package at

We strive to increase diversity, equity, inclusion and justice (DEIJ) in all elements of our work and with our partners to support the interdependent needs of wildlife and people in a rapidly changing world. We recruit, employ, train, compensate, and promote regardless of race, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity (including gender nonconformity and status as a transgender or transsexual individual), age, physical or mental disability, citizenship, genetic information, past, current, or prospective service in the uniformed services, or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal, state, or local law. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. Applicants are invited to learn more about National Wildlife Federation’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion at

If you have a disability and require an accommodation or assistance with our online application process, please tell us how we can help by calling us at 703-438-6244.

If you meet more than 75% of the qualifications of this description, we support your application. If selected, a background check will be conducted.

Candidates should submit a cover letter and resume.