Landowner Outreach Associate

The Clifton Institute

Job Description

The Clifton Institute seeks a Landowner Outreach Associate to educate landowners on best practices for habitat management in northern Virginia, to work with government agencies and partner organizations to improve management of native grasslands, and to restore and maintain the Clifton Institute property for the benefit of declining native species. Since the start of our landowner outreach program in 2021, we have met with 180 landowners and influenced the management of 14,000 acres.

About the Clifton Institute:

The Clifton Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located north of Warrenton, in the northern Piedmont of Virginia. Our 900-acre field station, which includes grasslands, shrublands, forests, and wetlands, is permanently protected under a conservation easement, and is home to 2,300+ species of plants, animals, and fungi. We use organic and conventional methods as well as prescribed fire, mowing, and grazing to manage the 300 acres of early successional habitat on the property. 

Duties for this position include:

  • Visiting private properties to advise landowners on the management of grasslands, shrublands, forests, and gardens to benefit native biodiversity and achieve landowners’ goals. This will include conducting rapid baseline plant assessments to guide management plans, and providing advice on topics such as:
  • Restoration of mixed native/non-native grasslands
  • Establishment of wildflower meadows
  • Management of remnant Piedmont prairies
  • Organic and/or conventional management of invasive exotic plants
  • Shrubland management to provide habitat for priority species (e.g. Field Sparrow, Prairie Warbler, American Woodcock)
  • Using cattle to manage grasslands to benefit declining birds (e.g. Grasshopper Sparrow, Eastern Meadowlark, American Kestrel) and pollinators (e.g. American Bumblebee)
  • Wildlife management (e.g. managing grasslands for Northern Bobwhite)
  • Sustainable forestry
  • Working with partners (e.g. managers of public lands, state biologists, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, and Virginia Department of Forestry, and non-profit organizations) to improve grassland management at a large scale.
  • Collaborating with the Habitat Specialist and Groundskeeper to manage grasslands, shrublands, cattle pastures, and forests at the Clifton Institute for the benefit of declining biodiversity, and to ensure the Clifton Institute property serves as an example of best practices.
  • Generating interest in the Clifton Institute’s restoration and education programs and cultivating potential donors.

The successful candidate will have the following qualifications:

  • A personal passion for conservation and land management. An interest in conservation on private lands.
  • Experience with grassland restoration or wildflower meadow establishment, such as seed mix design, seed drilling, prescribed fire, herbicide application, mowing, discing, cover crops, or sustainable grazing. Knowledge of all of these areas is not required.
  • Knowledge of the flora and fauna of grasslands, shrublands, and forests of eastern North America. Ability to identify grassland plants and birds in the mid-Atlantic or ability to translate knowledge of species of another region to Virginia species.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills required. Fundraising experience a plus.
  • Excellent writing skills required.
  • A Bachelor’s degree in ecology, biology, natural resources, wildlife management, or related field. A graduate degree in environmental sciences a plus.

Salary and Benefits:

  • The starting salary will be $47,000 per year.
  • Full-time employees receive 20 paid days off during their first year of employment. In addition, we observe 10 public holidays.
  • The employee will enjoy a flexible work schedule and a generous 1:1 compensatory time policy (any hours worked more than 40 hours per week may be taken off at any time, within a year).
  • We have competitive health, dental, and retirement benefits.
  • We are a small organization and there's limited bureaucracy.
  • In addition, employees of the Clifton Institute spend a significant amount of time outside on our beautiful 900-acre property.

COVID-19 Information:

Vaccination against COVID-19 is required.

Start date:

6 June 2023

How to apply:

Please send applications to [email protected]. Please include a resume and a cover letter describing your interest in working at the Clifton Institute. We much prefer to read a cover letter about how this position fits in with your interests and goals rather than a letter trying to convince us of your qualifications. Please also provide the names and email addresses of at least three references. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and we will contact you if we would like to schedule an interview.

Hiring Statement:

In the administration of its employment policies and practices, The Clifton Institute does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, citizenship, age, personal appearance, family responsibilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, veteran status, matriculation, political affiliation or genetic information.

Posted 1 month ago
Warrenton, Virginia
Education Requirement
Bachelor's Degree
Experience Requirement
1-5 years