Buffer and Soil Loss Specialist

Board of Water and Soil Resources

  • Who May Apply: Open to all qualified job seekers
  • Date Posted: 11/20/2023
  • Closing Date: 12/12/2023
  • Hiring Agency/Seniority Unit: Board of  Water and Soil Resources-MAPE
  • Division/Unit: BWSR / Buffers
  • Work Shift/Work Hours: Day Shift
  • Days of Work: Monday – Friday
  • Travel Required: Yes Est. 5%
  • Salary Range: $30.55 – $45.02 / hourly; $63,788 – $94,001 / annually
  • Classified Status: Classified
  • Bargaining Unit/Union: 214 – MN Assoc of Professional Empl/MAPE
  • FLSA Status: Exempt – Professional
  • Hybride work Eligible: Yes
  • Supervisor: Tom Gile
  • Office Location: St. Paul, Rochester, St. Cloud, Mankato
  • Designated in Connect 700 Program for Applicants with Disabilities: Yes

Make a difference in the lives of Minnesotans.

The work you’ll do is more than just a job. Join the talented, engaged and inclusive workforce dedicated to creating a better Minnesota.

Job Summary

This position exists to provide technical and administrative direction, program implementation and evaluation, and enforcement responsibilities related to the state’s Buffer and Soil Loss Programs under Minnesota Statutes Chapter 103F to Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) staff, board members, local government units (LGUs) and landowners.  This position is also responsible for providing technical and program administrative training to BWSR staff members and officials and staff of local units of government and other government and private organizations involved with and affected by the buffer law or soil loss law to maximize the effective conservation of Minnesota’s water, soil and habitat resources.


Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in hydrology, soil science, land use planning, natural resources management, civil or agricultural engineering, agriculture, or closely related field and two (2) years of advanced level professional work experience in soil and water conservation, hydrology, watershed management, water quality practices, land use planning, or closely related technical field.

Experience must include 1) working for a state agency, federal agency, soil and water conservation district, watershed district, county environmental services or similar organization with environmental regulatory authority; and/or 2) working as a professional consultant involved in environmental regulation compliance. Qualifying experience does not include data collection and maintenance and construction activities associated with environmental and conservation projects.

Other requirements needed:

  • Knowledge of landscape ecology and vegetation including ecological and restoration design methods, agriculture water quality practices, and the establishment of pollinator habitat.

  • Oral and written communications skills that include the ability to explain technical matters to the staff and officials of local government units and the general public lead and facilitate public and private meetings, convey information accurately, stimulate feedback and discussion, and confirm decisions made

  • Ability to establish and maintain effective relationships with a variety of customers, including state, local and federal agency staff, board members, and private individuals.

  • Negotiation, mediation, and interpersonal management skills to resolve personnel and interagency conflict.

  • Ability to maintain self-motivation and work independently.

  • Human relations, coaching, collaborative, persuasion, and team building skills sufficient to effectively work with diverse interests, gain cooperation for new approaches, resolve complex program problems with internal and external partners to accomplish common conservation objectives.

  • Proficient in the use of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Adobe InDesign, and Adobe Photoshop, and other applicable software to develop and/or maintain information, guidance, tools, and outreach material including utilizing technologies in virtual meetings

  • Requires an unrestricted Class D Driver’s License: a single unit vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of less than 26,000 pounds. This is a basic driver’s license. Operators may also tow vehicles/trailers as long as the gross combination weight does not exceed 26,000 pounds.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Advanced degree in hydrology, soil science, land use planning, natural resources management, civil or agricultural engineering, agriculture, or closely related technical field.

  • Detailed knowledge of the structures, organizational procedures, and inter-organizational dynamics of local, regional, state, and federal government and their boards, commissions, agencies, and affiliated associations.

  • Experience working for and with local units of government.

  • Procedural understanding of the grant programs administered by the Board of Water and Soil Resources

Physical Requirements

Requires occasionally lifting such articles as file boxes and heavy hand tools or heavier materials with help from others and/or lifting and carrying light objects frequently. Even though the weights being lifted may only be a negligible amount, a job is in this category may require walking or standing to a significant degree or may involve sitting most of the time with a degree of pushing and pulling of arm and/or leg controls.

Additional Requirements

This position requires an unrestricted Class D Driver’s License with a clear driving record.

It is policy of the Board of Water and Soil Resources that all candidates submit to a background check prior to employment. All job offers are contingent upon passing the following components:

  • Driver’s License DMV Check
  • Employment Reference Check
  • SEMA4 Records Check
  • Criminal History Check
  • Conflict of Interest Review
  • Education/License Verification

Application Details

How to Apply

Select “Apply for Job” at the top of this page. If you have questions about applying for jobs, contact the job information line at 651-259-3637 or email careers@state.mn.us. For additional information about the application process, go to http://www.mn.gov/careers.

If you have questions about the position, contact Thomas Gile at tom.gile@state.mn.us or 507-696-1974.

To receive consideration as a Connect 700 Program applicant, apply online, email the Job ID#, the Working Title and your valid Proof of Eligibility Certificate by the closing date to Patricia Sweep at patricia.sweep@state.mn.us.

Why Work for Us

Diverse Workforce

We are committed to continually developing a workforce that reflects the diversity of our state and the populations we serve. The varied experiences and perspectives of employees strengthen the work we do together and our ability to best serve the people of Minnesota.

A recent engagement survey of State of Minnesota employees found:

  • 95% of employees understand how their work helps achieve their agency’s mission
  • 91% of employees feel trusted to do their jobs
  • 88% of employees feel equipped to look at situations from other cultural perspectives when doing their job
  • 87% of employees report flexibility in their work schedule

Comprehensive Benefits

Our benefits aim to balance four key elements that make life and work meaningful: health and wellness, financial well-being, professional development, and work/life harmony. As an employee, your benefits may include:

  • Public pension plan
  • Training and professional development
  • Paid vacation and sick leave
  • 11 paid holidays each year
  • Paid parental leave
  • Low-cost medical and dental coverage
  • Prescription drug coverage
  • Vision coverage
  • Wellness programs and resources
  • Employer paid life insurance
  • Short-term and long-term disability
  • Health care spending and savings accounts
  • Dependent care spending account
  • Tax-deferred compensation
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Federal Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness Program

Programs, resources and benefits eligibility varies based on type of employment, agency, funding availability, union/collective bargaining agreement, location, and length of service with the State of Minnesota.


Minnesota state agencies are equal opportunity, affirmative action, and veteran-friendly employers. The State of Minnesota recognizes that a diverse workforce is essential and strongly encourages qualified women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans to apply.

We will make reasonable accommodations to all qualified applicants with disabilities. If you are an individual with a disability who needs assistance or cannot access the online job application system, please contact the job information line at 651-259-3637 or email careers@state.mn.us and indicate what assistance is needed.