Freshwater Fellow

The Nature Conservancy

Location: Minneapolis


Since 1951, The Nature Conservancy has been doing work you can believe in protecting the lands and waters that all life depends on. As a science-based organization, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that we can create a world in which people and nature thrive.

We’re rooted in our Mission and guided by our Values, which includes a Commitment to Diversity and Respect for People, Communities, and Cultures. We know we’ll only achieve our Mission by hiring and engaging a diverse workforce that reflects the communities in which we work. Whether it’s career development, work/life balance, or a rewarding mission, there’s lots of reasons to love life #insideTNC. Our goal is to cultivate an inclusive work environment so that all of our colleagues around the globe feel a sense of belonging, and that their unique contributions to our mission are valued.

Working in 79 countries, including all 50 United States, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.orq or follow @nature_press on Twitter.


The Freshwater Fellow will work in the field of conservation and water resource management. This position will add capacity to the Freshwater Team of the Minnesota-North Dakota-South Dakota Chapter of The Nature Conservancy and help to accomplish our freshwater conservation goals. The Fellow will also gain meaningful experience and exposure to a variety of tasks related to freshwater science and conservation.

This 12-month position will start in early May 2021. It will require approximately 35 hours per week. The main office location for this position is in the downtown East neighborhood of Minneapolis at 1101 West River Parkway, Suite 200. However, due to COVID-19 most work may need to be conducted remotely aside from field work where safety protocols will be followed. Some work will be conducted at a variety of locations around the region, therefore the willingness and ability to travel is required. Additionally, this position requires a valid driver’s license and compliance with the Conservancy’s Auto Safety Program. 

This position may include work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult terrain and under somewhat physically demanding circumstances. The work schedule for this role will typically be Monday to Friday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm with very occasional weekend and evening events. This position will be paid $18/hr, including a robust benefits package. 


The Freshwater Fellow will assist with implementing restoration and conservation practices and providing insight into watershed assessment, planning and analysis activities. This position will also conduct site monitoring to assist with our science program, run models, analyze data, produce reports and maps. The Fellow will assist with scoping and implementing our diversity, equity, and inclusion goals and provide general program support by creating education and outreach materials, coordinating meetings and managing data. This position will work with multiple Freshwater Team staff as well as across program teams.


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)

  • Identify equity-related impacts of our freshwater work
  • Identify and build relationships with partners that have shared priorities around DEI
  • Assist in developing guidance and recommendations to ensure all our work considers diversity, equity and inclusion

GIS and desktop studies / analysis

  • Map, assess, and prioritize natural resources and conservation information to support TNC decision making in conservation and restoration projects related to habitat, water quality and quantity

Restoration project support

  • Assist as needed to increase the pace and scale of restoration/enhancement project implementation, which could include project identification and prioritization, outreach, project scoping, ordering materials/supplies, etc.


Field-based data collection and analysis

  • Assist with development of monitoring protocols
  • Conduct in field collection of water quality and quantity samples at prioritized project sites
  • Conduct plant community surveys estimating species coverage and abundance
  • Assess and synthesize data into graphs, tables and/or schematics for use in chapter reports, programs, and/or meetings

General team support

  • Develop handouts, fact sheets, reports and other outreach materials focused on freshwater for a variety of audiences
  • Coordinate meetings by scheduling, creating agendas, and taking meeting minutes
  • Organize files and data and support ongoing data management
  • Collect photos to support Chapter newsletters, presentations, and reports
  • Participate in donor or volunteer events and activities such as canoe trips and tree plantings


We are seeking an early-career professional, who is looking to gain hands-on experience in freshwater science, conservation and restoration work. Individuals who are highly organized and proactive, with a passion for conservation in aquatic ecosystems are encouraged to apply. All people applying for this position must have the following minimum qualifications.

  • Associates degree in natural resources management, environmental science, environmental engineering, conservation biology, hydrology, botany, soil science or related field
  • 6 months’ experience in natural resources or conservation science via volunteer and/or work experience
  • Experience working with scientific data with strong accountability and commitment to accuracy
  • Experience with oral and written communication skills in English
  • Experience managing and prioritizing tasks from multiple sources


  • Experience in or evidence of promoting and fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Multi-language skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience
  • Knowledge and awareness of Indigenous culture and history
  • Experience conducting interdisciplinary research including both natural and social science approaches
  • High proficiency with ArcGIS software
  • Experience with modeling programs such as HSPF-SAM and ACPF
  • Experience in field data collection of hydrologic or water quality data
  • Strong knowledge of wetland systems
  • Experience working with hydrologic data sets and/or doing basic statistics
  • Ability to identify common plants of the upper Midwest
  • Bachelor’s degree in natural resources management, environmental science, environmental engineering, conservation biology, hydrology, botany, soil science or related field
  • Additional experience in natural resources or conservation science via volunteer and/or work experience
  • Experience creating outreach and/or education materials
  • Experience working independently and with little supervision   


This position requires a valid driver’s license and compliance with the Conservancy’s Auto Safety Program. Employees may not drive Conservancy-owned/leased vehicles, rental cars, or personal vehicles on behalf of the Conservancy if considered “high risk drivers.” Please see further details in the Auto Safety Program document available at

Employment in this position will be contingent upon completion of a Vehicle Use Agreement, which may include a review of the prospective employee’s motor vehicle record.


To apply to position number 49400, submit your resume (required) and cover letter separately using the upload buttons. Applications will be reviewed in the order they’re received. Submit your application by 10:59 PM Central Standard Time on Monday, March 15, 2021 to be considered.

Click “submit” to apply for the position or “save for later” to create a draft application for future submission. Once submitted, applications cannot be revised or edited. Failure to complete required fields may result in your application being disqualified from consideration. If you experience technical issues, please refer to our applicant user guide or contact

The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Our commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our conservation mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of people of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and culture. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects our global character is a priority and we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military, protected veteran status or other status protected by law.

The successful applicant must meet the requirements of The Nature Conservancy’s background screening process.