Job Openings


Director of Stewardship

Austin Peay State University

Austin Peay State University

Clarksville, TN, USA
Posted on Saturday, September 9, 2023
Position Summary Information
Position Summary
Austin Peay State University’s Southeastern Grasslands Institute (SGI) invites applications for a full-time, nontenure-track position as a Director of Stewardship. The successful candidate’s primary role will be to serve the needs of SGI in developing and managing grassland conservation projects across the southeastern United States. The Director of Stewardship will oversee restoration and management activities across multiple states. This will require setting priorities, high attention to detail, and excellent project management skills. In addition to on-the-ground work in grasslands, and coordination of broader efforts, this position includes a major grant-writing component, staff training, public speaking, and supervisory duties across the eastern half of SGI’s range (15 states). The position will be located in Clarksville, Tennessee.
Primary Duties and Responsibilities
● Provide direction and strategy for conservation projects across 15 states in the eastern portion of SGI’s focal region: AL, DE, GA, IL, IN, KY, MD, MS, NC, OH, PA, SC, TN, VA, WV and the District of Columbia.
● Design and implement restoration, management, and research projects related to grasslands and grassland-related communities (open wetlands, open woodlands), including prescribed burn plans and evaluation.
● Coordinate and assist in field work related to grassland research, management, restoration, and re-creation. This includes working with various individuals, organizations, and agencies.
● Directly supervise up to ten SGI staff members including Restoration Ecologists, Biologists, and field technicians.
● Serve as SGI’s primary liaison to regional, state, and local partner organizations, federal and state agencies, NGOs, and municipalities.
● Monitor project budgets.
● Lead project reporting as needed.
● Seek additional funding opportunities through federal, state, and private grants.
● Conduct education and outreach events focused on grassland restoration.
● Facilitate the protection of important grassland remnants across the region.
Responsible for obtaining licensing and training for herbicide applications, project permits, prescribed burn training, etc.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
● Ability to work with private landowners, communicate with them to understand their perspectives and desires regarding their property, and tactfully and diplomatically reach consensus on management objectives and strategies.
● Ability to read and navigate using topographic maps and a compass.
● Proficient in identifying eastern North American grassland, wetland, and woodland plants.
● Proficient in natural history, ecology, and vegetation of eastern North America.
● Must have excellent communication skills. This includes writing clearly and concisely, responding to emails and phone calls in a timely manner, and being comfortable in giving oral presentations.
● Must have in depth knowledge of conservation and wildlife programs provided through the Farm Bill, as well as other federal, state, & local entities.
Physical Requirements
● Must be able to hike several miles in rugged terrain and a variety of landscapes including wetlands, grasslands, forests, and hilly or mountainous terrain.
● Must be able to complete the physical fitness requirements for prescribed burn certification (pack test, etc.).
● Must be able to lift 50 pounds.
● Ability to work a non-standard schedule, such as beginning at 5 am to avoid heat-related issues, or occasionally working late hours on time-sensitive needs such as project management or grant proposals.
● Willingness to camp in remote, undeveloped sites for multiple days, if necessary.
● Willingness and ability to work in harsh, ever-changing environmental conditions, including hot temperatures, independently in remote places, or as part of a team.
● Ability to sit or stand for long periods for desk-work, including typing and using a laptop or desktop computer and mobile app technologies.

Required Minimum Qualifications
● M.S. in Botany, Ecology, Plant Biology, Conservation Biology, Restoration Ecology or related fields is preferred. Or Bachelor’s Degree with a minimum of 5 years of work experience in coordination and implementation and design of conservation programs or projects.
● Must have experience managing high-profile projects and excellent organizational skills. Experience using project management software is preferred. A strong candidate will have a successful track record in setting priorities, taking initiative, and multi-tasking.
● Experience supervising multiple employees. Able to provide direction and feedback for multiple projects, and manage the team’s priorities and outcomes.
● Prior experience with prescribed fire training or certification, seed mix design, providing technical assistance to private, corporate, or agency stakeholders, and experience with drafting management plans are all strongly preferred.
● Must have experience in restoring sensitive grassland remnants and reconstructing grasslands.
● Experience with writing reports, grant proposals, and/or publications and submitting on-time.
● Experience using hand-held GPS equipment and/or mobile apps for data collection and navigation.
● Proficiency with ArcGIS is preferred.
● Must have a valid driver’s license and be able to drive a wide variety of vehicles, including 4WD trucks and ATVs, pull trailers with large equipment, etc.
● Strong commitment to ensuring that diversity and inclusion are considered throughout all aspects of our program.
● Must have excellent interpersonal skills and ability to communicate and collaborate with a wide variety of audiences from laymen to professionals.
● A background check will be required of the successful candidate.