Associate Director of Stewardship – Washington County
Maine Coast Heritage Trust
Opening posted: 09/13/2023 | Expires: 09/29/2023
The Associate Director of Stewardship plays a key leadership role at MCHT and within the conservation community, shaping regional and organizational strategies and policy, establishing workplans and budgets for the management of new and existing MCHT properties and easements, leading the implementation of MCHT stewardship activities throughout the state, and developing and managing professional, high-performing teams. The Associate Director reports directly to the Director of Stewardship.
Essential Job Duties
- Actively contributes to the development of and leads the implementation of MCHT strategic goals related to stewardship. Leads and manages organization-wide, long-term conservation planning, community relations and outreach strategies, and land management. Works directly with Land Protection Dept staff on conservation planning, new land projects, assessing properties, drafting of new conservation easements, and pre-acquisition outreach to local stakeholders.
- Develops and manages the execution of the regional work programs of the stewardship department. Oversees all land management and community engagement activities in multiple regions, on both the mainland and on islands. Ensures ecological protection, community benefit, adherence to legal obligations and MCHT policies and practices, and LTA accreditation and Terrafirma insurance compliance.
- Hires, trains, and / or supervises regional stewards, outreach staff, and seasonal staff, including volunteers, across multiple regions. Creates onboarding protocols, instills knowledge of and adherence to MCHT standards and systems, provides mentoring and ongoing professional development, assures staff get required training and licensing in all aspects of stewardship work and develop proficiency in same.
- Develops, recommends, and manages regional budgets. Leads financial management and budget development efforts with regional stewards. Develops stewardship project budgets for new land projects. Works directly with Engagement Dept staff to secure funding for projects through donor visits, writing grant proposals, and developing donor relationships.
- Leads organizational and statewide conversations and efforts to improve the resilience of conserved lands in a time of climate change, rapidly changing land uses, and increasing societal pressure. Provides thought/education leadership in long-term land conservation practices, climate change activities, and restoration work both organizationally and statewide. Recommends and develops organizational policy.
- Represents the organization and the department on committees, in internal and external meetings, gatherings, conferences, presentations, and initiatives with staff, Board, donors, communities, partners, land trusts, the media, and policymakers, and at the local, regional, statewide, and national levels. Works with community officials and other leaders to resolve issues, educate, provide maximum community benefit through MCHT lands, support and work together on common ground.
- Hires and oversees multiple contractors, ensures completeness and quality, and maintains professional relationships with surveyors, attorneys, designers, and other contractors who complete various work for MCHT in relation to MCHT lands. Has authority to negotiate contracts and other legal agreements and issues on behalf of MCHT including on fee lands and conservation easements.
- Provides guidance for land trusts throughout the state on land-related topics such as property tax issues, invasives species management, land carrying capacity analysis, workplace safety, legal conservation issues, policy issues, etc. Actively participate in MCHT’s annual Land Trust Conference.
- Develops and manages new programs and partnerships on behalf of MCHT. Innovates solutions to climate change challenges, regional land-based issues, and other mission-related issues. Leads organizational initiatives and / or special projects on behalf of MCHT.
- Responsible for particular organization-wide needs such as: land management planning, training, equipment purchase, trail planning and assessment.
Hires, trains, oversees, and supervises regional stewardship managers, outreach staff, and seasonal staff across multiple regions. Hires and / or oversees contractors and volunteers.
Education and/or Experience
Bachelor’s Degree in a natural resources related field with 10 – 12 years of direct work experience, preferable natural resource related (conservation planning, land trust/land protection work, natural resource management, forestry, community engagement, recreational management, etc.). In lieu of education, 14 to 16 years of previous experience and in stewardship involving aspects of conservation planning and natural resources management or other relevant experience.
- Excellent written, editing, interpersonal and verbal communication skills, including public speaking.
- Strong organizational, planning, and multi-tasking skills with attention to detail and follow up.
- Leadership skills, for both internal work and external public and private settings.
- Supervisory experience with both staff and volunteers.
- Excellent field skills, including working with map, compass, and GPS systems, handling and maintaining tools and equipment, reading terrain, and identifying/understanding natural resource sensitivities/constraints.
- Must possess excellent judgment and the ability to handle confidential and sensitive information.
- Pesticides Applicators license and experience preferred.
- Property management and management plan development experience.
- Familiarity with land conservation, conservation easements and related issues.
- Familiarity with the region and its communities, both on land and water.
- Working knowledge of Maine geography, culture, flora and fauna.
- May require boat handling skills with small and medium sized boats, including navigation and basic boat mechanics, along with USCG or OUPV licensing.
- Good physical fitness required to perform duties.
- Ability to work both independently and as part of a team. Ability to work autonomously while keeping the Director of Stewardship, other staff and partners apprised of issues, problems, opportunities and progress.
- Ability to effectively operate computers and assigned software, including Microsoft Office and Excel.
Working Conditions & Physical Demands
Work is performed both indoors and out. Indoor work is performed in a normal office environment not subject to extremes of noise, temperature, odor, etc. Operates computer, printer and other office equipment. Field work is performed outdoors in all weather conditions and requires climbing, walking, bending, crouching, lifting, reaching, and other physical capabilities. Operates GPS, compass, camera, boats/marine vessels, tractor, trailer, mower, chain saw, table saw, and related power tools, hand tools, and equipment. Regular travel is required. Occasional night and weekend work is required.
This is a permanent, full-time position with a benefits package including insurance (no cost for employee coverage), generous vacation and sick time, and a retirement plan.
The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to do this job. The above is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and duties required. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to the position.
This job description does not constitute an employment agreement between the employer and employee, and is subject to change by the employer, as the needs of the employer and requirements of the job change.
Maine Coast Heritage Trust does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation or any other characteristic protected by law. We are an equal opportunity employer dedicated to creating an inclusive culture where employees from diverse backgrounds can thrive and support our mission.