Conservation Program Associate

The Wyss Foundation seeks an energetic Conservation Program Associate to join our Land Conservation Program in Durango, CO. The Wyss Foundation works to protect, preserve, and restore the public lands, waters, and open spaces of the American West.

The Conservation Program Associate reports to the Land Conservation Program Officer and works collaboratively with other Foundation staff to develop and implement grantmaking strategies to achieve the Foundation’s public land protections goals. The day-to-day work of the Conservation Program Associate is self-directed, and will involve significant travel throughout the United States.


The Conservation Program Associate will assist the Land Conservation Program Officer in the implementation of strategic grantmanking initiatives through proposal review and analysis and technical assistance to grantees in support of land protection campaigns. Specific responsibilities include:

– Help implement the Foundation’s conservation strategies in priority landscapes including protections for public land.
– Actively partner with grantees and other stakeholders to develop effective campaign strategies; assemble the elements to carry out the campaigns, using staff involvement, grantmaking, and contracting with individuals or organizations.
– Principal tools used to secure land protection include: influencing government policy, communications/media, educating and organizing, grassroots development, and coalition building, among others;
– Identify the needs of partner groups and coalitions and help them secure technical expertise across different disciplines; secure media, legal, research, land use planning, organizing, and education assistance from Wyss Foundation staff or through contracts and grants to individuals or organizations with expertise;
– Work with grantees to develop timely and complete proposals.
– Communicate regularly with the Land Conservation Program Officer about campaigns, proposals and letters of inquiry;
– Research and provide recommendations on assigned active proposals and new proposals;
– Evaluate and monitor grants through site visits/telephone interviews, review of reports and other methods; document progress of grant portfolio;
– Prepare grant-related correspondence, including customized grantee award packages;
– Prepare materials such as memos and reports for the Board of Trustees and present information at Board meetings and professional gatherings;
– Convene meetings of grantees and other stakeholders on topics related to the Foundation’s land protection goals;
Coordinate the work of consultants in support of Foundation goals;
– Work with other foundations, environmental and citizen groups and related campaigns to ensure Foundation efforts are effectively coordinated;
– Represent the Foundation at meetings on an as needed basis;
– Spearhead research projects in support of Foundation goals;
– Handle limited office management responsibilities (computer management, office supplies, etc), and arranging travel.

This position will also be responsible for other duties as required to support Foundation responsibilities. It is anticipated that over time the general and specific responsibilities are likely to change as the Foundation’s activities and resources expand or change. Flexibility and a willingness to work in a team approach are essential.


Bachelors degree in related field required;

– Advanced degree strongly preferred;
– Two years of work experience in environmental/public lands advocacy, outreach, communication, policy, or conservation;
– Experience working with grassroots organizations, nonprofits, and coalitions; familiarity with private philanthropy a plus;
– Experience with public land protection campaigns and ability to work effectively in government and policy arenas;
– Knowledge of public land issues and natural resource management;
– Strong organization and communication skills, written and verbal;
– Intellectual agility and the ability to analyze, think critically, and understand emerging issues that are directly relevant to programmatic funding areas;
– Ability to work as part of a team;
– Ability to prioritize daily and long-term work assignments, meet deadlines, and manage ongoing and intensive paper flow;
– Enthusiasm for the Foundation’s mission, self-motivated, service-oriented approach.
– Significant travel; overtime required;

The Foundation offers an excellent benefits package. Salary commensurate with experience.

Interested Candidates should send a cover letter, resume, and three references preferably by email, with subject line Conservation Program Associate Position by April 12, 2013.

Heath Nero
Land Conservation Program Officer
679 E. 2nd Ave, Unit #3
Durango, CO 81301


Durango, Colorado
Wyss Foundation
Heath Nero, Land Conservation Program Officer