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Iowa DNR Watershed Planning Grant

Accepting Applications for Watershed Coordinator

                                       Job Description Below

Protecting Local Drinking Water
Reducing Flooding
Supporting Positive Soil Health Practices
Promoting Recreation
Improving overall water quality

Position Opening Announcement

Watershed Coordinator

Maquoketa River Watershed Management Authority

Application Closing Date: 05/21/2021

Anticipated Date of Hire: 06/15/2021


The Maquoketa River Watershed Management Authority (MR WMA) and Limestone Bluffs Resource, Conservation & Development, Inc. (LB RC&D) seek a self‐motivated Watershed Project Coordinator to implement an Iowa Department of Natural Resources Watershed Planning Grant for the Maquoketa River Watershed.  The project will address areas of environmental concern that may include but are not limited to flood reduction, nutrient loading, sedimentation, and other hydrologic, soil conservation and water quality issues for the Maquoketa River Watershed Management Authority (WMA). The primary activity will be to lead a group of WMA members, volunteers and partner agency staff through the planning process with a final deliverable of a realistic and complete Watershed Management Plan no later than December 15, 2022.


The ideal candidate will have experience in watershed planning and/or project management, an ability to interpret scientific concepts clearly and proficiently, and a demonstrated capacity to work with diverse stakeholder groups, including local public officials, NGOs, landowners, farmers, businesses, and the general public with an overall goal of improving water quality, mitigating flooding and reducing sediment erosion.


Position Summary:

The project coordinator will serve as the primary point of contact for the Maquoketa River WMA in Eastern Iowa. The multi‐faceted nature of this program will require that the successful candidate have a diverse skill set and the ability to coordinate multiple activities with overlapping deadlines. The successful candidate should be familiar with watershed planning and management concepts, have the technical capacity to interpret water resource data and information, and strong communication skills.

The employee will manage and coordinate, as needed, activities with the University of Iowa’s Sustainable Communities Team, information and education outreach programs, and other related activities essential to the MR WMA and its membership. The project coordinator will be closely involved with overseeing a variety of activities, including the completion of the MR WMA Watershed Management Plan.


Specific tasks may include:

  • Stakeholder engagement: The project coordinator will in many respects be the face of the MR WMA In order for the program to be successful, there must be support from all levels of watershed stakeholders including city and county government, landowners, residents and businesses, agricultural producers, concerned citizens, non‐governmental organizations, and the many partners that are involved statewide and locally. To that end, the project coordinator will research, plan, and implement an information and education outreach program to raise awareness about the MR WMA, watersheds in general and encourage participation in the planning process and the implementation of practices.

  • Completion of the watershed management plan: The project coordinator will perform professional and technical duties to compile and complete the watershed management plan (WMP). These duties will include working with members, committees, partner agencies and community stakeholders to gather, compose, organize and complete the plan; executing an information and education outreach for the WMP and assisting as needed with the implementation of best management practices designed to increase flood resilience and improve water quality in the project area. The coordinator will work one‐on‐one with producers and other decision makers to facilitate adoption and implementation of the practices identified in the watershed management plan. The coordinator will also help landowners navigate the process of signing up for cost‐share assistance as appropriate.

  • Project evaluation: The coordinator will evaluate project activities on an ongoing basis, working with the MR WMA, local partners and stakeholders to prioritize current and future project activities. Use current technology and tools, such as GIS, to identify resource needs and identify innovative solutions. Utilize monitoring and measurement techniques to evaluate progress toward meeting project goals and implementation of solutions. Assist the WMA in identifying other potential flood reduction and water quality programs and assisting in applying for funds through those programs.

  • Overall project coordination: This DNR grant project will have multiple activities on‐going throughout the 18-month program (March 2021-December 2022). The coordinator will oversee efforts to collaborate with appropriate agencies, groups, and individuals that can affect the success of the overall project. The coordinator will plan and lead group meetings as well as one‐on‐one meetings with project sponsors, WMA members, local cooperators, and various WMA stakeholders. The project coordinator will help with organizing and publicizing meetings, will maintain a clear understanding of project timelines and budgets, and will be the point of contact for MR WMA program partners, as well as contractors and consultants that may be hired to work on different aspects of the project.

  • Project Reporting and Administration: The coordinator will provide administrative support and manage the project to maintain quality control and maximize involvement of local advisors, WMA members and staff of program partners. Work with project advisory groups and WMA members to complete plans of operations and budgets for the project. Work with the MR WMA Executive Committee and Limestone Bluffs RC&D Executive Director on completing and submitting all required financial and progress reporting documents in accordance with Iowa DNR contract deadlines.


Applicant Qualifications:

The ideal candidate will be a highly motivated professional with strong communication skills and an ability to take the initiative on watershed outreach, project coordination, and implementation of conservation projects as needed. The Coordinator will need to be flexible and willing to take on new tasks and responsibilities as program opportunities evolve. The position requires a conscientious individual who will provide follow‐through on all areas of responsibility.


The Coordinator must have knowledge of ecosystem and watershed concepts, watershed planning, water resource issues, flood mitigation programs and strategies, and watershed improvement practices. Some experience with GIS, habitat restoration or agricultural conservation practices, volunteer management, community engagement, environmental education, and/or outreach is desired, including the ability to organize and coordinate public workshops, demonstrations, field days, and meetings. The Coordinator must be able to communicate clearly and effectively with a broad range of individuals.

The ideal candidate would possess a postsecondary degree in (or have studied) Environmental Science, or a related discipline, and relevant job experience in the watershed management field. However, a combination of any other relevant education and/or experience that demonstrate the required knowledge and abilities for the position will be considered. A working knowledge of basic state and federal agricultural conservation programs and successful grant writing experience is preferred. All candidates must have the ability to: use common computer software - specifically MS Office applications, create presentations, use a cell phone and have confidence to work with web-related tools and platforms.

Position Information:

This is a full‐time position that will be in effect over the 18-month period (or remaining time of the MR WMA/Iowa DNR grant). The successful applicant will be a contract employee of Limestone Bluffs RC&D, working from their own virtual (at-home) office with much flexibility with their schedule. Internet connectivity is a must. Suggested work hours will be normal business hours (Monday ‐ Friday, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm), however, early morning, evening and weekend work, with travel within the watershed area, will be required throughout the term of the contract to meet with local leaders and boards of political subdivisions, watershed committees, conservation districts, interested stakeholders, various state and federal agencies, and to attend trainings as available. Mileage compensation is not provided. The successful applicant must have a valid driver’s license and reliable transportation. This job will be performed under joint general supervision and administration by the MR WMA and Limestone Bluffs RC&D.  Day-to-day guidance and work coordination will be provided by the LB RC&D Executive Director.


Compensation and Benefits:

  • Competitive salary commensurate with education, experience and skills ($48,000-$55,000)

  • Supportive communities and partner organizations

  • There is no benefit package, this is a contract position

  • Balance of unspent allocated funding will be paid to coordinator at the conclusion of the grant if objectives are successfully met per LB RC&D and the MR WMA

  • Position may continue after grant-funded project is complete

  • Cell phone and laptop computer to be provided if needed

  • LB RC&D to provide $20 per month reimbursement for Internet service in home office


Application Process:

To apply, please submit each of the following via email to Lori Scovel, Executive Director, Limestone Bluffs RC&D,

  • cover letter

  • resume

  • three professional references

  • writing sample

The writing sample should be from a newsletter, press release or other outreach piece, or a technical report on relevant environmental issues. If not available, another piece may be submitted that conveys the applicant’s ability to clearly interpret the natural world to the general public.


Submit all four pieces together no later than May 21, 2021 to:

Lori Scovel  




The Maquoketa River Watershed Management Authority and Limestone Bluffs Resource, Conservation & Development, Inc. do not discriminate against any qualified employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, familial status, physical or mental disability. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical or mental disability, or familial status.

Where to next?

Sand Creek (1).jpeg
Fall 2018 Michelle Goedken (1).jpg


maquoketariverwma@ gmail.com


c/o LB RC&D

PO Box 421

Mechanicsville, IA 52057

Larry McDevitt, Chair

 Mick Michel, Vice Chair

Steve Leonard, Secretary/Treasurer


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