Ecosystem Program Coordinator

Upper Mississippi River Basin Association

The Ecosystem Program Coordinator supports the Upper Mississippi River Basin Association’s (UMRBA’s) member states (Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin) in their collective efforts to improve the Upper Mississippi River’s ecosystem. Under the direction of UMRBA’s Executive Director and Deputy Director, and with the guidance of the Navigation and Ecosystem Program Leader, the Ecosystem Program Coordinator supports cooperative planning and action for the purposes of restoring and sustaining the river’s ecological resources. This position supports communications about the river’s ecological integrity and the efforts by UMRBA and partnering agencies to improve and sustain the ecosystem and navigation system.

UMRBA is a Board-driven organization that relies heavily on the leadership and initiative of staff. The UMRBA Board consists of Governor-appointed representatives of the five member states and is responsible for setting policy and committing the organization to a course of action. In carrying forward the UMRBA Board’s strategic goals, the Ecosystem Program Coordinator works with the Navigation and Ecosystem Program Leader to support interjurisdictional and interdisciplinary planning forums and efforts to integrate ecological resilience into multi-purpose management of Upper Mississippi River System.

This position will work with the Navigation and Ecosystem Program Leader to fulfill UMRBA’s roles within the Upper Mississippi River Restoration (UMRR) program.

Application Instructions

By May 22, 2024, submit a cover letter, resume, and brief writing sample to UMRBA via email to You may also send any questions about the position or application process to

Specific Responsibilities

With the direction of the Executive Director and Deputy Director, and with the support and guidance of the Navigation and Ecosystem Program Leader, the Ecosystem Program Coordinator will implement the following responsibilities:

  • Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program (UMRR) – Participate in the planning and implementation of UMRR as part of the federal-state partnership. This includes supporting multi-agency cooperative planning and action, enhancing the participation of nongovernmental entities and potentially affected interests, and helping to draft and coordinate multi-organization
  • Project implementation — Support other interstate and interdisciplinary projects that, individually and collectively, advance UMRBA’s policy and programmatic goals. As an example, this position will support UMRBA’s participation in the Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP).
  • Public participation — Continue to enhance accessibility for potentially affected interests to participate in UMRBA policy and programmatic activities. Provide means for decision-makers to hear, understand, and use stakeholder input. Implement the UMRBA accessibility and inclusion policy and plan as it relates to public
  • Partnership — Participate in partners’ forums and other activities related to ecosystem planning to both learn from other individuals and entities and to communicate about UMRBA’s perspectives and priorities.
  • Technical expertise — Maintain knowledge of, interpret, and communicate the best available scientific information on large river ecology, particularly in the Upper Mississippi River System floodplain and basin.
  • Communications — Support efforts to draft and disseminate communications about UMRBA’s ecosystem goals and project implementation processes and outcomes. Implement the UMRBA accessibility and inclusion policy and plan as it relates to
  • Advocacy —Draft UMRBA position statements, study reports, testimony and letters of comment, and other UMRBA publications and official
  • Issue analysis — Help track and analyze water resource issues of potential interest to UMRBA. Assist member states in developing joint positions as
  • Financial agreements — Work with the Operations Manager to draft work plans and progress reports associated with the financial agreements that support UMRBA’s ecosystem
  • Identify new opportunities — Identify new ways in which UMRBA can help meet its member states’ needs. This includes refining ongoing work as well as identifying possible new areas of endeavor and the resources needed to support new
  • Other duties — Assist UMRBA in advancing other policy and programmatic goals as

Position Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree, advanced degree (preferred), or equivalent experience in biology, ecology, water resources, natural resources, environmental science/management, public affairs, or related
  • Experience in water resources, public policy, or related
  • Knowledge of interstate, river-related issues, and federal legislative and budgetary
  • Excellent analytical, strategic planning, and communication
  • Excellent judgment and ability to work both independently and as part of a
  • Strong interpersonal and team-building
  • Willingness and ability to travel on average once or twice per
  • Commitment to equity and accessibility in both work and workplace, including acting in accordance with UMRBA’s equity statement (see below); be respectful of differences of identity and/or beliefs; and successfully work across those differences to meet work

Employment Type: Full time
Location: Edina, Minnesota (hybrid; at minimum three days/week in office)
Salary Range: $54,000 – $85,000
Benefits: 30 percent of salary in lieu of pension and medical insurance Tax-sheltered health insurance or spending account options 403(b) retirement savings plan (employee contributions only) Paid holidays, vacation, and sick leave

About the Upper Mississippi River Basin Association (UMRBA)

The UMRBA is a non-profit organization formed in 1981 by the Governors of the five Upper Mississippi River states (Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin) to provide a forum for discussion and collective action on regional water resource issues. Each state is represented on UMRBA by a gubernatorial designee, typically from the state agency with primary responsibility for water management. Federal advisory members include the USACE, USDA, USCG, USEPA, USFWS, USGS, MARAD, and FEMA. UMRBA’s activities span a broad range of issues, including commercial navigation, ecosystem health, water quality, flood risk management, hydropower, spill response, and aquatic invasive species. Additional information is available on the UMRBA website at

As a leading organization in the Midwest dedicated to solving the complex water resource challenges facing the Upper Mississippi River Basin, UMRBA recognizes the essential importance of including all people and communities in the process of creating and implementing solutions to these challenges. UMRBA welcomes, respects, and appreciates all of the ways individuals identify by race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, disability, and socioeconomic stratum, and is consistently striving to expand the range of voices, experiences, and perspectives that are heard in the discussions we convene throughout the Basin. UMRBA is also committed to understanding and addressing the impact that its policies and programs have on different people and communities, and working to ensure equity in opportunity and outcomes.

UMRBA is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of ethnicity, religion, national origin, gender, age, gender identity, gender orientation, family status, or mental or physical limitations unrelated to bona fide job requirements.