Conservation Technician Job Announcement

Position: Conservation Technician
Location: Portland, Oregon
Pay: Starts at $4,328/month ($51,944/year) with future step and cost‐of‐living increases
Work hours: Full time, exempt position (40 hours per week)
Application deadline: Open until filled; initial screening will begin July 11, 2022

General Summary

West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District (“District”) is hiring a permanent, full time Conservation Technician. The Conservation Technician provides assistance for field data collection, field project implementation, geographic information system (GIS) and other technical support for the District’s invasive species, urban, farm, healthy streams and habitat, forestry and related conservation programs. Specific duties include survey and monitoring work related to habitats and restoration; invasive weed control; mapping; spatial and tabular data and photo cataloging and management across programs, and assistance with project planning. Work will take place in both field and office settings, with substantial seasonal field work, which sometimes involves working independently over rough and somewhat remote terrain in adverse weather conditions. View the complete set of Duties and Responsibilities for this position.

Organizational Context

The District’s mission is to provide resources, information, and expertise to inspire people to actively improve air and water quality, fish and wildlife habitat, and soil health.

The District’s service territory is that portion of Multnomah County lying west of the Willamette River, all of Sauvie Island, including the Columbia County portion, and a portion of Washington County’s Bonny Slope region of the north Tualatin Mountains. The District’s General Fund operating budget is $2.73 million, which derives primarily from property tax revenues, as well as some grant funding and other contributions.

This position is a Conservation Technician position within the District. It is supported by a full time Office Manager, Full‐Time Budget Officer and Controller, a 0.7 FTE Communications and Outreach Manager, and six Conservationists. This is a 1.0 FTE, at will, exempt position that is supervised by the Senior Conservationist/ Conservation Programs Manager.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The District is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout our organization: in those we serve, in our workforce composition, through the contractors we hire, and in those that benefit from our work. We welcome and encourage applications from Black, Indigenous, and people of color, women, and LGBTQ+ individuals.

The District does not discriminate based on any class or identity including age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, and veteran status. The District is an equal opportunity employer and service provider. The District makes reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities and special needs so as to provide access to district events, materials and services. If you have requests for accommodations or complaints about discrimination, harassment, inequitable treatment, lack of access to District events, materials or services, or for any questions at all, please contact us at info@wmswcd.org or call (503) 238‐4775 and leave a message with a return phone number at Extension 100.

Minimum Qualifications – to Apply

Education and/or Experience:

  • Two seasons/at least 6 months of conservation work experience performing the technical duties outlined in the Essential Knowledge, Skills and Abilities for the position, OR
  • A vocational, Associate’s or higher degree in biology, ecology, environmental science, agriculture, natural resource management, forestry, fish and wildlife, botany, geographical information systems, geography, or other related natural resource science field can substitute for 3 months of required work experience
  • Able to work outdoors under a range of conditions and terrain with or without accommodations
  • A valid driver’s license (or the commitment to obtain one within 3 months of hire)
  • Willingness to work with herbicides and abide by the District’s workplace safety policies
  • Personal and professional commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and respectful engagement with marginalized communities and a willingness to self‐reflect on and explore power and privilege

Essential Knowledge, Skills and Abilities – Used to evaluate applicants

Technical Skills:

  • Experience collecting, managing, and organizing vegetation survey and related field data
  • Ability to identify Pacific Northwest native and invasive plant species
  • Experience, willingness, and ability to conduct herbicide applications in a safe and responsible manner
  • Possession of an Oregon Public Pesticide Applicator license OR willingness and ability to get one within 3 months of hire (District pays for licensing fees and study time as needed)
  • Ability to oversee contractors and crews to ensure proper work and safety performance
  • Ability to work independently in the field, hike over steep and uneven terrain and navigate around streams and other variances in topography
  • Experience and excellent organizational skills related to data entry, data analysis, GIS, and other data file management
  • Ability to interpret maps, use GPS devices, aerial imagery and other media; especially for field navigation
  • Beginner skills (or ability to quickly learn basic skills) in common GIS software (ArcGIS or similar)

Non‐Technical Skills:

  • Flexibility and adaptability in performing job duties
  • Effective time management skills
  • Takes initiative and has strong problem‐solving skills, but also knows when to ask for help
  • Ability to organize information and communicate effectively both verbally and in writing
  • Cultural awareness and experience to work effectively with diverse people and communities
  • Maintains positive, collaborative relationships with fellow staff, board, and constituents outside the agency
  • A strong safety ethic

Desired Experience and Attributes – Also used to evaluate and rank applicants

  • Proven success working for a conservation district
  • Completion of an environmental workforce development program (such as Green Jobs Internship and Training Program, Verde, Wisdom Workforce, Greenspaces Restoration and Urban Naturalist Team/TNT, TALON, Green Leaders Initiative, or Northwest Youth Corps)
  • Experience with natural resource conservation planning

Work Environment

  • This position works both in the field and in the office.
  • The field work includes working in and around such locations as backyards, farms, forests, rivers, streams, and ponds; properties with dense vegetation or woodlands, in remote and dense rural locations, and other areas with steep, slippery, muddy, rocky, or other difficult terrain in a variety of weather conditions, sometimes carrying up to 20lbs.
  • The office work includes working at a desk; using a computer; working or standing at a table; bending and lifting boxes and equipment; unloading and loading a vehicle; using a dolly to move materials and like activity typical of a professional work environment.
  • This position requires travel, which may include some occasional overnight travel, to field sites, workshops, training sessions, some outside the office, plus occasional evening or weekend meetings and events outside normal business hours.
  • A person in this position needs personal field gear that enables them to carry out their duties safely and comfortably, is responsible for the care of such gear, and can be reimbursed for the purchase of such items.
  • This position may occasionally require flexible hours such as working evenings and on weekends to accommodate community events, tours and conferences and other off hour meetings necessary to fulfill the responsibilities of the position.
  • The position requires a valid driver’s license and the ability to drive a vehicle both on and off pavement to project sites throughout the district.

Benefits
Please see our employee benefits summary for details.

How to Apply
Application materials described below will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Initial screening will begin on July 11, 2022. If applying after July 11, check the Employment Page on our website to see if the position is closed.

  • If you meet the minimum qualifications, submit a cover letter (maximum length of ONE page) and resume (maximum length of TWO pages) to hiring@wmswcd.org with the subject line “Conservation Technician”. ANY PAGES BEYOND THESE LENGTH RESTRICTIONS WILL NOT BE USED IN EVALUATING YOUR APPLICATION.
  • Your cover letter and resume should include details adequate to evaluate how you meet the Minimum Qualifications, Essential Knowledge, Skills and Abilities, and Desired Experience and Attributes stated in this job announcement. You may address your letter to the hiring team.
  • Applicants are eligible for Veterans’ Preference when applying with West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District. For more information on required materials to submit, please see our Veterans’ Preference Policy.

Questions
For questions about the application process, the responsibilities, or requirements of the position, or to request an accommodation to access and participate in this recruitment, contact Office Manager Randi Razalenti at hiring@wmswcd.org or call (503) 238‐4775, ext. 100 and leave a voicemail message with your name, phone number and inquiry.

Download a pdf of this job announcement.