Conservation Science Operations Manager

The Conservation Science Operations Manager is responsible for supporting the operations of NatureServe’s vibrant, ~40 person Conservation Science Division. The position has extensive latitude for initiative in supporting project management, communications, development, budgeting, and financial management systems. In effect, the position serves as a bridge between NatureServe’s Conservation Science Division ; who are highly decentralized with staff in Arlington VA, Boston MA, Boulder CO, Durham NC, Minneapolis MN, San Jose Costa Rica, and Santiago Chile, among other places ; and the organization’s Operations team in the Arlington VA headquarters. Budget and financial management skills and diligence are important qualifications for the job, a passion for nature conservation equally so.

Duties:

Project management
• Tracking Science budgets to prevent cost overruns and monitor progress.
• Prepare and balance discretionary centers for the Conservation Science Division.
• Monitor budget variance to help ensure that it does not diverge by >5% of total value across the division.
• Maintain communication with division Project Managers.
• Help project managers with government contract/grants as needed, including submission, budget development, signing, determining deliverables, monitoring spending, and facilitating billing.
• Support project completion in a timely fashion and help ensure that the project managers have the tools (i.e. signed contracts, appropriate staffing, office space, etc.) they need to complete projects.

Communications
• Keep Science staff and Regional staff up-to-date concerning Operations changes.
• Request agenda items for, set up, take minutes of, and participate in regular meetings with the science leadership team to provide updates, news, and resolve divisional issues.
• Provide updates to the project managers on operations, accounting, and other issues.
• Provide training and ongoing support to Science Division staff in organizational accounting software when necessary.
• Represent Science Division in Executive Team if necessary.
• Provide organizational support to Science Advisory Panel, as necessary (e.g., support in convening meetings and conference calls).
• Liaison with Operations Division
• Support the recruitment process for new Science Division Hires.
• Be involved in development of Science Division policies and strategic direction.

Proposal development support
• Support Science staff in developing/researching new funding mechanisms.
• Add commonly needed proposal materials on the Project Management SharePoint site.
• Assist staff in preparing and submitting paperwork, especially budgets, for new grants and agreements.

Budgeting and Forecasting
• Ensure that 90% of all Science proposals are based on the NatureServe budget template.
• Support Conservation Science staff to create annual budget and revisions for the division; also facilitate development of departmental budgets.
• Work with Operations to create periodic project- expense forecast and help project managers to manage forecast
• Have decision-making authority related to budget development and other operation matters
• Undertake financial planning for the Conservation Science Division including various financial analyses to support organization-wide business planning.
Support financial management systems
• Assisting in troubling shooting issues with the integration between Unanet and Microsoft Dynamics SL .
• Continuing to adapt policies and procedures to the new systems where necessary.

REQUIRED EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS:

• Bachelor’s Degree in accounting, finance, management, or related field and five years of relevant work experience, or Master’s Degree and two years of relevant experience.
• Demonstrated skills in project management including, proposal and budget preparation, negotiating terms, workload allocation and financial monitoring.
• Record of setting and meeting productive work goals and deadlines, and ability to complete projects requiring exacting attention to detail.
• Ability to work under a variety of situations, including a) independently and b) cooperatively in tightly- and loosely-integrated teams. Ability to maintain cooperation from individuals over whom you have no management authority.
• Ability to communicate well in person and in writing to a wide variety of cooperators and partners, including Natural Heritage Programs, The Nature Conservancy, U.S. federal agencies, academic researchers and other non-profit organizations.
• Ability to conduct training sessions on operations-related topics.

PREFERRED SKILLS:
• HR experience including recruiting and compensation practices. Experience with facilities management and working effectively with decentralized staff.
• Working knowledge of general accounting and budgeting procedures.
• Three years experience in non-profit operations, including financial management.
• Experience with U.S. federal government contract rules and regulations, particularly OMB Circulars A-110 and A-122.
• Proficient in Microsoft Office suite.
• Demonstrated knowledge of Project Forecasting.

ESSENTIAL PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS:
• Ability to travel independently within NatureServe and the conservation community to attend meetings with partners and the public.
• Ability to converse verbally and in writing with others regarding organizational goals and needs.
• Ability to use organizational technology and multi-phone systems.
• Ability to lift a minimum of 10lbs.

Arlington, Virginia
2013-01-06
NatureServe
Human Resources



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