CFAES Give Today
Environmental Professionals Network

School of Environment and Natural Resources


Chief of Conservation

Job Title: 
Chief of Conservation
Company, Organization, or University: 
Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District
Main Office- New Philadelphia, OH 44663

Chief of Conservation
Application Deadline: 6/30/2021
Salary: Commensurate with Experience

Classification: Full Time - Contract
Location: Main Office- New Philadelphia, OH 44663
Safety Sensitive: No 
FLSA Status: Exempt


Summary of Responsibilities

Manages, directs, or approves all conservation activities of MWCD. These activities include land and water quality initiatives, programming to maintain and support land and watershed management practices, conservation education within and outside the organization, leveraging of relationships with state and federal agencies and conservation advocacy organizations such as Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Rural Action, The Western Reserve Land Conservancy, The Nature Conservancy, the Ohio Environmental Council and the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) etc.  Oversees the development and implementation of the district-wide water quality sampling and analysis program.  Oversees the development and implementation of a district-wide sustainability program and Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) strategy. Responsible for planning, coordination and implementation of the policies, procedures and activities involved in the administration of the conservation activities of MWCD. Works closely with executive management to develop, direct and implement conservation programs and associated funding plans. Advises the Executive Director and Board of Directors on such matters.


Primary Responsibilities include the following.  Other duties may be assigned.

Serves as a member of the executive management team. Keeps the Executive Director and the Board of Directors informed by collecting, analyzing, and summarizing pertinent conservation information and trends. Directs district-wide conservation and sustainability programs.  Builds and maintains positive relationships with elected officials and outside agencies. Responds to and resolves difficult and sensitive public inquiries.


Responsible for defining and maintaining metrics and criteria by which MWCD’s conservation (water quality, conservation, and sustainability) efforts will be assessed.  Responsible for managing assigned operational areas to achieve and surpass stated goals and objectives. Participates in the development, communication, and implementation of effective strategies. Works with the executive management group to develop and implement plans for the operational structure of systems, processes and personnel designed to achieve the objectives of the organization. Assists in the development of policies that encompass organizational operations, personnel, financial performance, and organization expansion.  Assists in overseeing major workforce and resource decisions.


Oversees and manages the day-to day conservation operations of the organization including land and water quality, watershed management, conservation education both internal and external and sustainability practices of the organization.  Directs, coordinates, and administers conservation operations directly, or through delegation of responsibility to subordinate staff and working with partnering organizations.   This includes budget planning, human resources, and compliance with all laws and regulations pertaining to these operations. Provides leadership for problem resolution within the organization to facilitate improvements and improved working relationships between groups.


Responsible for preparation of the conservation budget in cooperation with the executive management group.  Participates, directs, or approves budget development for conservation activities within all areas of MWCD.  Reports on performance to cumulative budget for conservation activities encompassing all departments within MWCD. Oversees budgets to ensure compliance with expenditure requirements. Develops new operational strategies to enhance and improve overall performance of organization. Develops contingency plans as needed to address identified problem areas and provides input for future improvements. 


Manages and supervises the work to be performed by MWCD employees, contractors, subcontractors, and lessees relative to conservation programs and coordinates with executive management group. 

Supervises direct reports, including assigning work hours/schedules and communicating same to staff, directing, and prioritizing work, planning the work, and determining the techniques to be used to accomplish the work, allocating the work among employees, performing reviews on employee’s productivity and efficiency; managing discipline of employees; processing/resolving employee complaints and grievances. Approves timekeeping records for assigned staff. Interviews, selects, and trains employees. Gives recommendations regarding the hire, discharge, advancement, promotion, or job status changes of assigned employees that are given weight in decision making.


Serves in a public relations role together with the Executive Director and our Director of Marketing and Communications to address the questions and concerns of the public, represents the MWCD at meetings or other events, and serves on various outside boards, commissions, or committees in furtherance of the operations of the MWCD.


Assures quality performance and safe performance in all phases of the conservation operations of the MWCD.


Minimum and Desired Education, Experience, Skills, Licenses, and Certifications

Bachelor’s degree in conservation, biology, environmental science, sustainability, or closely related field required.  A Master’s degree is preferred. A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in a related operational field is required; five years in a management role. A working knowledge of conservation operations including land and watershed management, ecosystems, natural resources management, agriculture, wildlife management, sustainability, forestry and related disciplines. Strong knowledge of GIS applications, conservation easements and legal aspects of conservation and sustainability is desired. Good organizational and computer application skills are required.  Experience in supervising, coaching and staff development is required. Excellent communication and public contact skills are essential. A driver’s license valid in the State of Ohio is required. Must be insurable by MWCD fleet insurance. 


Essential Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

• Excellent knowledge, skills and abilities in management and coaching.

• Ability to define and solve problems, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions. Demonstrated ability to prepare meaningful, concise, and accurate reports. 

• Strong leadership skills necessary to be persuasive in the promotion of new ideas and inspire others including the ability to make effective decisions and to take appropriate action when necessary.

• Demonstrated experience in long range planning and implementation.

• Proven ability in budgeting, budget performance and public sector fiscal policy. 

• Knowledge of agency policies and procedures, government structure and process, budgeting, management, public relations, and park management.

• Excellent oral and written communication and interpersonal skills.

• Ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships with peers, staff, professionals, community leaders and the public. Proven skills in developing relationships with a wide variety of community groups. 

• Proven ability to communicate effectively with employees, the public, public officials, community, and professional organizations.

• Proven ability to inspire and be persuasive in the promotion of new ideas, concepts, and action plans to influence positive outcomes with both internal and external audiences.

• Exemplifies the highest ethical standards in professional and personal conduct.


Other Requirements, Expectations, or Unusual Conditions

Occasional work to supervise projects during weekends or evening hours may be required. There is an expectation to frequently be in the field to oversee/inspect conservation projects. Attendance at meetings and functions may also require evening and weekend work.


While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit; use hands to finger, handle or feel; and to talk and hear. The employee is frequently required to reach with hands and arms.  The employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; climb or balance. The employee must frequently lift and/or move up to 25 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds.  Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus. The noise level in the work environment is usually quiet.

Application Deadline: 
Wednesday, June 30, 2021
Application Instructions:
Topic Areas: