Conservation Specialist

Hennepin County

SALARY: $53,257.64 – $82,426.41 Annually

Apply: Conservation Specialist

JOB TYPE: Full-time

LOCATION: Varies, Minnesota

DEPARTMENT: Environment and Energy


The Environment and Energy Department is seeking a Conservation Specialist to provide technical expertise and leadership in Hennepin County’s soil and water conservation efforts across rural, suburban, and urban parts of the county. At first, the position’s focus will be primarily in a rural/agricultural part of our county working with landowners to implement Best Management Practices (BMPs) that will address bacterial and nutrient-related water quality impairments. Over time, the position will play an integral role in identifying new priority geographies and outcomes that can better align our unit’s work with the county’s disparity reduction and climate mitigation/adaptation goals and our goal of building stronger connections between urban residents and natural resources preservation.

About this position type:
This is a full-time, benefit earning position.
Location and hours:
This position is currently remote due to COVID-19. When offices open, work will be done in both office and field environments. This position is based at the Hennepin County Environment and Energy Department, 701 Fourth Avenue South, Suite 700, Minneapolis, but will work extensively throughout the County. This position may occasionally make use of available workspace at the County’s Public Works facility in Medina, MN.

In this position, you will:

  • Market a variety of conservation projects to a variety of targeted audiences (rural, suburban, urban) – initially a rural/agricultural focus, but that audience will shift over time.
  • Develop and implement educational outreach workshops (e.g. field days) and materials for use in promoting conservation programs, drive program interest and awareness among targeted audiences, and conduct one-on-one outreach and establish contact with target audiences. 
  • Develop and implement best management projects (BMPs) with interested parties – assess properties and identify appropriate solutions, develop project scopes and timelines, coordinate the work of consultants, manage contracting with the landowners, document interactions and project results.
  • Participate in the setting of strategic goals and objectives, as they relate to the future of the unit’s work in “priority subwatersheds” and how this work could evolve to address the county’s disparity reduction and climate action goals.

Need to have:

  • One of the following:
    • Bachelor’s degree or higher in hydrology, soil science, water resources, natural resources, botany, biology, environmental science, ecology, agricultural engineering, landscape architecture, or a closely related field of study related to the assignment andsix months of experience as a professional in the environmental field.
    • Four years and six months or more experience as a professional in the environmental field. 
  • A valid driver’s license. 

Nice to have:

  • Experience:
    • Experience working with private landowners to implement BMP projects.
    • Proven project management experience.
    • Planning and hosting outreach events used to engage an audience or promote a program or behavior of some kind.
    • Aligning water or natural resource improvement strategies with people from different socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds 
  • Proficiency:
    • Using water quality and/or hydrologic models such as ACPF, PTMApp, WinSLAMM, ArcSWAT, RUSLE2, HEC-HMS, or others.
    • Using software packages such as ArcGIS, ArcMap, and/or ArcGIS Online or Microsoft Office Suite.
  • Specialized expertise in agricultural BMPs and/or green infrastructure and in implementing those consistent with federal, state, and local codes.
  • Commitment to equity and justice and a desire to re-imagine conservation services that incorporate these principles into project prioritization and strategic decision-making.

About the department:
The Environment and Energy department protects and preserves the environment to enhance the quality of life for current and future generations.  We engage communities to develop and enact sustainable solutions. We focus on reducing and responsibly managing waste, protecting and preserving ecosystems, delivering clean energy and promoting environmental stewardship.

About Hennepin County:
Hennepin is the largest county government organization in Minnesota. Our employees work every day to improve the health, safety and quality of life for our residents and communities. All of our jobs align to one or more of our overarching goals — that Hennepin County residents are healthy, protected and safe, self-reliant, assured due process, and mobile.

Our employees receive a combination of generous benefits and positive workplace culture not found at other organizations. This includes meaningful work that impacts our community, competitive pay, work-life balance, a variety of benefits and opportunities to grow. Learn more at

Hennepin County envisions an organization where our commitment to diversity and the reduction of disparities is fundamental in providing excellent service to our community.

Your future. Made here.

This position is internally classified as an Environmentalist.
Click here to view the job classification specification.

Invitations to interview will be based upon an assessment of education and experience. Final candidates will be required to pass a drug test and background check.

If you have any questions, please contact:
Laura Miller 

If you need assistance to actively participate in the employment process, please email us at or call us at 612.348.7855.

Hennepin County provides equal access to employment, programs and services without regard to race, color, creed, religion, age, sex (except when sex is a Bona Fide Occupational Qualification), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, public assistance or national origin. If you believe you have been discriminated against, contact the Human Resources Department, A-400 Government Center, Minneapolis, MN 55487, 612.348.7855