TITLE: Conservation Associate
REPORTS TO: Director, River Restoration


Named one of the best groups to support in 2017 by “Outside” magazine, American Rivers protects wild rivers, restores damaged rivers, and conserves clean water for people and nature. Since 1973, American Rivers has protected and restored more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and an annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers® campaign. Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 275,000 members, supporters and volunteers. American Rivers maintains a positive work environment with a culture of learning, support and balance. For more information please visit www.americanrivers.org.

American Rivers embraces and celebrates diversity, equity, and inclusion in all that we do. Rivers Connect Us is more than just our tagline. The beauty of rivers is that they connect all people and communities, and we seek to build and embody this diversity in our organization and throughout the conservation field. The life experiences, knowledge, innovation, and talent that each individual brings to our work provides perspectives, experiences, and competencies which are critical to our effectiveness in protecting wild rivers, restoring damaged rivers, and conserving clean water for people and nature.



The Conservation Associate works to advance floodplain restoration and dam removal projects in the Puget Sound-Columbia River Basin.

The Conservation Associate leads American Rivers’ floodplain restoration work in the Basin, managing projects, building regional capacity to implement floodplain restoration, and advancing policies to support floodplain restoration. The Conservation Associate’s responsibilities include generating and managing floodplain restoration projects and developing basin-scale strategies for reconnecting floodplains to rivers to reduce flood risk, restore ecosystems for fish and wildlife, and improve community well-being and economic resilience. The Conservation Associate works closely with River Restoration Program staff and the PSC Basin Director to manage floodplain projects, advocate for policies that support floodplain restoration, pursue funding opportunities, develop project proposals, and represent American Rivers in county and state working groups and watershed committees. The Conservation Associate also collaborates with American Rivers’ national floodplain restoration team to develop research, informational materials, and written articles for American Rivers’ online Restoration Resource Center and other outlets.

The Conservation Associate supports the lead dam removal project manager with Puget Sound-Columbia River Basin dam removal projects and program-building. The Conservation Associate will assist with providing technical assistance, grant management, budget management, and fundraising assistance to dam removals projects, as well as helping with outreach and multimedia communications for both the project and other restoration efforts throughout the region.



The Conservation Associate leads American Rivers’ floodplain restoration program in the PSC Basin and supports the Dam Removal Project Manager with dam removal projects, including the Middle Fork Nooksack Dam removal, and program-building.

Tasks include:

  • Lead and participate in coalitions focused on floodplain restoration in the Green-Duwamish, Puyallup-White, Yakima, and Chehalis watersheds.
  • Identify, prioritize and initiate floodplain restoration projects and assist with the same for dam removal projects.
  • Build and maintain relationships with key partners and funders. Proactively identify and pursue opportunities to build new relationships and promote floodplain restoration and dam removal.
  • Engage in advocacy campaigns to improve floodplain restoration policies.
  • Work with Restoration Program and PSC Basin staff to update and implement our regional capacity building plans for growing floodplain restoration and dam removal.
  • Advance floodplain restoration and dam removal in the region through outreach and multimedia communication.
  • Monitor project budgets.
  • Prepare consultant and contractor contract documents.
  • Work with relevant staff to engage in fundraising activities.
  • Represent American Rivers by attending relevant conferences and speaking at events regionally and nationally.
  • Be an active teammate with the American Rivers national River Restoration team and the PSC Basin team, engaging in team meetings, collaborating with colleagues on project ideas and approaches, and participating in team retreats and other related activities.
  • Produce materials for the online Restoration Resource Center, articles for technical and general audiences, press releases and other communications and media pieces.


The ideal candidate will have the following qualifications and experience:

  • Minimum of two years of experience working in fields of natural resource management or ecosystem restoration, with an understanding of relevant federal policy.
  • River restoration project management experience preferred.
  • Experience in river management and conservation or a related topic preferred.
  • Strong oral and written communications skills, for both technical and general audiences.
  • Strategic thinker; highly organized and able to meet deadlines independently.
  • Strong analytical skills and political judgment.
  • Team player and demonstrated ability to work effectively with colleagues to advance an organization’s broader goals.
  • Ability to work with a team via phone and video conference.
  • Ability to travel by car throughout Washington and Oregon.
  • High energy level, self-motivated.



This is a one-year position, to be renewed annually dependent on grant funds.  Salary is commensurate with experience. Full-time and full-time equivalent employee benefits include health, dental and life insurance, a retirement plan, and generous leave time.


Applications will be considered immediately. Applicants should submit a resume and cover letter at https://americanrivers.bamboohr.com/jobs/view.php?id=29. No phone calls please.


American Rivers is an Equal Opportunity Employer
Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.