Conservation Specialist

Hennepin County

Salary: $58,614.98 – $87,922.48 Annually
Location: Downtown Minneapolis
Job Type: Grant – Full-time (benefit earning)
Remote Employment: Flexible/Hybrid
Department: Environment and Energy
Job Number: 23EE119BH107

Hennepin County’s Environment and Energy department is seeking a Conservation Specialist that will be responsible for helping to launch and then coordinating and implementing water quality projects, water education programs, and community engagement opportunities on behalf of a new partnership between Hennepin County, numerous watershed organizations, and cities to improve water resources through promoting and implementing water quality projects with new and existing audiences.

Current Hennepin County employees who refer a candidate hired into an open competitive position may be eligible for a $500 referral bonus. For more information visit employee referral program
Location and hours: 
This position is hybrid and will be performed primarily remote with occasional on-site work. When onsite, this position will be located at the 701 Building, 701 4th Avenue South, Suite 700, Minneapolis, MN 55415 and at various work site locations in Hennepin County. Work hours will be Monday through Friday, day-time business hours, with occasional evening and weekend work for community events and meetings. While this position is designated as hybrid, based on current requirements hires must reside in Minnesota or Wisconsin.

New employees who are hired into remote or hybrid positions between January 2, 2022 to December 31, 2024, will receive $500 toward the cost of establishing consistent internet connectivity, payable upon completion of 6 months of employment 

About this position type:
This is a grant-based, full-time, benefit earning position, funded at least through 12/31/2025.
This position is internally classified as an Environmentalist.
Click here to view the job classification specification.
In this position, you will:  
Coordinate program and partnership:

  • Work with the partnership steering committee to set goals for the pilot program and develop annual workplans that clearly define priorities, intended outcomes, and key milestones.
  • Provide monthly updates at West Metro Water Alliance meetings, convene steering committee meetings twice per year, conduct annual evaluation of program activities, and prepare annual report.
  • Build and leverage partnerships with entities doing complementary work (e.g. East Metro Water Resource Education Program, Blue Thumb Partners), volunteer programs, and community groups.
  • Conduct audience research to evaluate effectiveness of programming.

Implement water quality projects and educational programing: 

  • Coordinate with partners, residents, and vendors to schedule, promote and/or conduct workshops; attend watershed commission and city meetings and community events; provide technical assistance to participants; inspect completed projects; and assist partners to secure project funding.
  • Assist with design and writing support, create outreach tools such as flyers, brochures, videos, displays, interpretive signs, and hands-on activities. 
  • Develop materials and conduct programming to assist city partners enhance MS4 permit education programming for residents, businesses, and community groups. 
  • Create and implement an outreach strategy on behalf of the partnership.
  • Deliver education programming in an equitable manner that serves residents and water-users who tend to be under-represented in water resource programming.

Need to have:

  • One of the following:
    • 4.5 years or more of experience in an environmental field implementing conservation, natural resources, and/or water resource activities.
    • Bachelor’s degree or higher in hydrology, soil science, water resources, natural resources, botany, biology, environmental science, ecology, engineering (agricultural, civil, or environmental), landscape architecture, or a field closely related to the assignment and 6 months or more of experience in an environmental field implementing conservation, natural resources, and/or water resource activities.
  • A valid driver’s license, the ability to obtain a Hennepin County drivers permit.

Nice to have:

  • Experience:
    • As a professional in the environmental or communications field, including internships or graduate school projects, working with conservation, water resources management, natural resources management, environmental outreach and engagement, or work related to this position.
    • Tailoring outreach approaches and content for specific audiences.
    • Using communication software including Microsoft Office suite, e-newsletter platforms, web content management platforms, and social media in a professional context.
    • Conducting audience research to evaluate the effectiveness of a program or strategy.
    • Working with diverse communities.
    • Providing excellent customer service.
    • Creating educational content for a variety of communication channels.
    • Giving public presentations.
    • Making scientific, environmental, technical, or other complex information understandable and relatable to a general audience.
    • Organizing, updating, and analyzing education and outreach data.
    • Managing project teams of staff, contractors, and partners from various organizations and agencies.
  • Ability to:
    • Develop outreach approaches and content for a wide array of audiences and tailor approaches for specific audiences
    • Work effectively with and gain input from various staff members and partners
    • Communicate effectively both verbally and in writing, including updates to partners and customers, creating educational content for a variety of channels, giving presentations, and providing outreach at events
    • Operate effectively in a fast-paced, hybrid remote and in-person environment.
  • General knowledge of water quality and stormwater issues and best management practices (BMPs), including BMPs for residential settings. 

Candidates with fluency in another language in addition to English are encouraged to apply. Bilingual candidates who pass a language assessment may qualify for additional bilingual pay and duties. 

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 The Bridge (login as Guest). 
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 posting may be used to fill current and future vacancies.

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

Apply here

If you have any questions, please contact:

Talent Acquisition Division
Hennepin County Human Resources Department