Stewardship & Education Program Associate

Friends of the Mississippi River

About FMR

Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR) is a leading nonprofit that protects, restores and enhances the Mississippi River and its watershed in the Twin Cities region. Our focus is the metro area, but our impact is often regional or national.

Our goals are to:
• improve water quality,
• conserve important lands,
• engage people in learning about and taking action to protect and enhance one of the world’s greatest rivers,
• inspire widespread commitment to this natural wonder flowing through our communities, and
• protect our river’s unique scenic, natural, cultural and recreational qualities.

With an annual budget of $2.8 million, FMR employs a dedicated, professional staff of 19 (soon to be 22) who work to improve the health of the river through policy advocacy, education and engagement, land conservation and ecological restoration and other disciplines. Over 28 years, FMR has established deep relationships and credibility with thousands of residents, volunteers, landowners, partner organizations, government agencies and elected officials.

With a well-known and respected brand, a seasoned and effective staff, a strong board of directors, and a growing base of support, FMR is poised for continued growth and success. Our workplace culture is collaborative and fun; staff members share a common love of the river and dedication to FMR’s mission, vision and core values.

FMR believes the Mississippi River belongs to all of us and its gifts should flow to everyone in our community. We strive to be culturally competent, welcoming and inclusive. We are working toward greater social and environmental justice, using our resources and influence to redress structural inequality in our own organization and where it intersects with the health and vitality of the Mississippi River. We encourage interested applicants from all backgrounds to apply.

The position

This is a part-time position at 25 hours/week, with benefits.

The Stewardship & Education Program Associate reports to the Stewardship & Education Director and will join a team of five in FMR’s Stewardship & Education department. The associate will support FMR’s volunteer stewardship and restoration events and environmental education programs. In addition to managing day-to-day administrative tasks, they will be responsible for coordinating two key initiatives: the Storm Drain Stenciling program and Stream Health Evaluation Program.

Since 2006, FMR has coordinated the Stream Health Evaluation Program (SHEP) in the Rice Creek Watershed District. SHEP uses trained volunteers to evaluate the biological health of streams by sampling benthic macroinvertebrates, small stream-dwelling bugs. Storm drain stenciling is a hands-on outdoor service activity focused on improving our local water resources. Using paint and stencils, volunteers mark storm drains with the message, “Keep ’em Clean, Drains to River (Lake or Creek)!” and distribute educational door hangers to neighborhood homes and businesses.

The position is right for an organized and detail-oriented person with a genuine commitment to protecting the environmental and cultural resources of the Mississippi River. The ideal candidate will have well-developed communication skills and one or more years of relevant experience in community outreach, volunteer coordination, strategic communications or related responsibilities.

Responsibilities

  • Work collaboratively with the Stewardship & Education team to understand, help shape, and meet the organization’s outreach, education and volunteer engagement priorities and goals.
  • Assist the Stewardship & Education team with educational workshops for community members and K-12 youth for the benefit of water quality, habitat and the river.
  • Support the Stewardship & Education team as the primary coordinator of the Storm Drain Stenciling & Education program. Coordinate and track stencil bin check-out requests.
  • Support pre-and post- stenciling event communications, participant registration and data entry. Upload and organize event photos after each event on Flickr.
  • Assist Youth Coordinator with outreach/communications, coordination of supplies and leading youth programming events.
  • Assist Volunteer Coordinator with FMR habitat restoration events, including our Stream Health Evaluation Program and public stewardship events, often on evenings and weekends.
  • Assist with the development of promotional materials and other communications efforts to promote education programs to the public, as needed.
  • Work within the Stewardship & Education program to implement FMR’s goals and strategies for diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Other administrative support or duties as assigned.

Minimum qualifications

  • One or more years of related experience
  • Excellent organizational skills, including the ability to prioritize tasks, meet deadlines and balance multiple projects and objectives
  • Experience and comfort facilitating programs for people of all ages and cultural backgrounds, including comfort with the challenges and rewards of intercultural communication
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office or other word processing and spreadsheet applications
  • Ability to occasionally work irregular hours, including some evenings and weekends
  • Excellent interpersonal and written communication skills
  • Interest in and commitment to protecting the health of the Mississippi River
  • Vaccination against COVID-19 is required for this position (see below)
  • Access to reliable transportation as well as a willingness to transport project equipment in vehicle. Mileage and parking costs for work-related travel will be reimbursed.

Additional desired qualifications

  • Experience with event and/or volunteer coordination or support
  • Experience with databases and other office-related software and online meeting platforms
  • Knowledge or background in natural resources, water quality or environmental education
  • Experience facilitating or teaching youth programs.

Salary & benefits

The salary range for this position is $23,400 – $29,900 commensurate with experience. Benefits are prorated based on hours and include health, dental and short-term disability insurance, retirement match, parking/transit allowance and generous paid vacation, sick and holiday leave. 

COVID-19 considerations

Friends of the Mississippi River’s office is located in downtown St. Paul in view of the river. Throughout the pandemic, we have prioritized staff safety and followed CDC and state guidance regarding when and how to interact in-person and indoors. We currently require vaccinations and masks in our office, and offer staff the option to work from home. As pandemic conditions improve, we will explore moving to a hybrid work scenario (some days in-office and some remote) to maintain flexibility, while also creating opportunities to foster staff cohesion and collaboration.

While most working hours will be spent in an office or home office setting, the Program Associate will also frequently lead and/or participate in events and meetings in a variety of indoor and outdoor community settings. Because this role requires significant in-person community engagement, we require vaccination against COVID-19 for this position. Accommodations can be made for religious or medical exemptions on a case-by-case basis.

To apply

Please consolidate your application into one PDF document that includes: a cover letter summarizing your interest in and qualifications for the position; a 1-2 page résumé; and the names, titles and phone numbers of three professional references (or two professional and one personal reference). Please include your last name in the file name and email it as an attachment with “Stewardship & Education Program Associate” as the subject line to mbierma@fmr.org.

The position will remain open until filled. Applicants are encouraged to apply by February 18, 2022. Learn more about FMR’s commitment to advancing equity.

Apply