Conservation Finance Research Fellow

Conservation Legacy

Omaha, Nebraska

Job Type AmeriCorps
Salary Details $634 per week
Deadline Jan 07, 2024

Length:  Term of position is 52 weeks; full-time 40 hours/week

Location:  Flexible. Must be able to travel to for onsite activities during service.

Living Allowance:  $634/week, plus $5,000 professional development and travel budget.

AmeriCorps Award:  Position is eligible for an AmeriCorps education award upon successful completion of the program. Value of education award is $6,895 (pre-tax).

Start Date:  Early 2024

Application Due Date:  Preference given to applicants that submit application by December 17th, 2023

Title of Position:  Conservation Finance Research Fellow

NPS - Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program Overview:

The NPS operates programs in communities throughout the nation to connect people across the country to their parks, trails, rivers, and other special places. This fellowship position is within the NPS- Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) program, which helps community groups, nonprofits, state and local governments, and tribes plan parks and trails, conserve and improve access to rivers and natural areas, and create recreation opportunities through locally led partnerships. Learn more about the RTCA program here: www.nps.gov/rtca

Position Details:

The National Park Service RTCA Program is seeking a Conservation Finance Research Fellow who will serve the Midwest Region Team and Washington DC Team with investigating a variety of conservation funding sources and then presenting/publicizing key information learned to RTCA staff.  The information learned and deliverables created will be used by RTCA staff to better assist the public with finding and utilizing existing funding sources or strategies.  This position will be a telework position within the United States with travel opportunities for onsite work.

Primary Responsibilities will include:

  • Building Federal Conservation Funding Competency for RTCA, which includes:
    • Evaluate a list of federal programs for compatibility with the current RTCA portfolio of projects and create a shorter priority list of funding sources that best align with the typical RTCA project.
    • Design a Wiki format for communicating essential information on how to use various federal funding programs.
    • Populate Wiki with relevant information about each funding source. This content will include hyperlinks to information sources both inside and outside the federal government.
  • State Revolving Fund, which includes:
    • Research, interview, and a compilation & report-out phase for half of the state’s SRF
      • Interview phase will consist of contacting the SRF program staff in half of the states within the Midwest RTCA Team’s service area, and scheduling a conversation with them to understand what types of SRF projects they are willing to release funds to in practice, not just on paper.
      • Interview stage may also consist of speaking with project managers at the local level who have received SRF funds for local green infrastructure/conservation use.
      • Report out phase will consist of placing the most RTCA-relevant information into a format that will enable RTCA staff to become knowledgeable of the SRF program and recommend it as a funding source to suitable projects.
    • Creative Sourcing of Local Match for Federal Grants, which includes:
      • Identify non-traditional and/or creative methods by which local communities have secured match funds for conservation and outdoor recreation projects and focus on 2 methods that seem to best pair with the typical RTCA project.
        • Option 1: Build out the information into the Microsoft Teams Wiki (the “lite and quick” option)
        • Option 2: Design a detailed how-to reference that RTCA staff can share with project partners (the “complex” option)
  • Strategy for Connecting Public to the NPS Conservation and Outdoor Recreation (COR) Division Related Funding Sources, which includes:
    • Communication of information that is either “on-hand” or learned within projects 1-3.
  • Assist in other Midwest Region RTCA projects as needed and as capacity allows.

Benefits of Fellowship:

The fellow will be exposed to NPS staff with expertise in a variety of professions, including but not limited to outdoor recreation planning, community planning, landscape architecture, journalism, community engagement and budgeting. 

The fellow will participate in the Midwest Region and Washington D.C. RTCA teams as a valued team member, in which the fellow will be expected to participate in reoccurring virtual team meetings and occasional in-person events.  Additionally, the fellow will be expected to participate in the biannual nationwide RTCA training event at the National Conservation Training Center in August 2024.

The nature of this fellowship will require the fellow meeting with a variety of professionals in federal, state and non-profit programs as part of the research that will occur in each of the fellowship's four major projects.  As part of this fellowship, a professional development and travel fund has been established that will enable the fellow to take part in training or education of the fellow's choosing.

Lastly, the fellow will be one person in a cohort of fellows to serve in the RTCA program in the coming year.  The fellow will have regular professional development meetings with their peers and the COR Emerging Leaders Program Coordinator.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Excellent organizational skills, attention to detail, and successful time management to meet deadlines and reach end goals.
  • Strong interpersonal and written/verbal communication skills, including the ability to ask good questions.
  • Strong interest and ability to create and nurture relationships with both existing and potential partners.
  • Ability to manage multiple and competing responsibilities, both independently and collaboratively as part of a team.
  • Ability to exercise sound and independent judgement while maintaining confidentiality as appropriate.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office suite and virtual meeting platforms (e.g. Zoom, Teams).

Preferred Skills & Capabilities:

  • Completion of a bachelor’s degree and a mix of coursework and experience related to journalism, digital publishing and/or blogging, technical writing, land and natural resource conservation, outdoor recreation, grant writing, or fundraising.
  • Professional skill development or experience with investigative reporting, writing and composition, document or web page layout, record keeping or spreadsheet.
  • Ability to adapt to a variety of special projects working with a wide range of professionals
  • An ability to bring humor, curiosity, joy, and humility to further a positive team dynamic and community culture.
  • Comfort with uncertainty and an inclination to prevent or solve problems.
  • Ability to anticipate and/or ascertain the needs of partners and stakeholders.
  • Ability to share examples of writing, research results, or published (print or digital) content if requested.

Please Note: Specific duties and requirements may be adjusted to align with the needs of the RTCA Program and the skills of the selected candidate.


  • Position is eligible for an AmeriCorps education award upon successful completion of the program. Value of education award is $6,895 (pre-tax).
  • Living Allowance: $634/week (pre-tax)
  • $5,000 in professional development funding
  • Individual Health Insurance
  • Professional development opportunities and some trainings provided.
  • Selected Fellow will be exposed to National Park Service professionals and programs, external conservation partners and organizations, and NPS-RTCA Program Staff from across the Midwest Region and the nation.
  • Upon successful completion of the fellowship, awarded a Public Lands Corps noncompetitive Hiring Authority (ages 16 – 30 are eligible; up to age 35 for veterans).

Conservation Legacy is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to hiring a breadth of diverse professionals and encourage members of diverse groups to apply. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, political affiliation, protected veteran status, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law. We also consider qualified applicants regardless of criminal histories, consistent with legal requirements. If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during application or recruiting process, please send a request to the hiring manager.


Apply on-line at: https://stewardslegacy.org/open-positions In addition to your resume, please submit a one-page cover letter highlighting why you are interested in this position and how your background and experience will help you succeed in this position.

Successful applicants are required to complete criminal history checks for AmeriCorps.   In addition, passing a criminal background check to be issued a US Government PIV card may be required.

For Application Questions:

Please contact Alex Whittow at awhittow@conservationlegacy.org.

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

Category Admin & Leadership
Tags Conservation Corps