Research Manager for Conservation Policy

Tennessee Wildlife Federation

Nashville, Tennessee

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details Starting at $ 50,000
Required Experience 2 - 6 years

The Tennessee Wildlife Federation Research Manager for Conservation Policy works as part of the Federation’s public policy team to compile, analyze, and communicate scientific and public policy research to assist the Federation’s mission to further conservation through policy implementation. The research manager also oversees the day-to-day management of the Federation’s conservation policy program affairs and related duties as requested by the Director of Conservation Policy.

Job Type: Full-time, Onsite 

Location: Nashville, TN

Reports to: Director of Conservation Policy (DOCP)

Responsibilities: The research manager is responsible for working in the following areas to move the Tennessee Wildlife Federation’s mission forward on all fronts in Tennessee. Specifically, this position works in the following areas:

  • Research
    • Compile research on relevant policy topics, including but not limited to:
      • Private lands conservation
      • Wildlife and habitat management
      • Water resources
      • Land use
      • Invasive species
      • Hunting and fishing regulations
      • Energy
      • Outdoor recreation
      • Other areas as needed
    • Research duties include procuring the best science available on topics, and organizing research in usable ways for the policy team and other key audiences
    • Work with partners in conservation organizations, academics and other relevant arenas to find the best science
  • Organize and support the Conservation Fellows Program
    • Work with CEO and DOCP to develop, manage, and provide logistical and other support for the Federation’s Conservation Fellows Program
    • Provide administrative support to the Conservation Fellows Program
    • Other duties as required to further the success of the Conservation Fellows Program
  • Support the development of conservation policy
    • Work with the DOCP and CEO to support the development of the Federation’s conservation policy which requires:
      • Collecting, organizing, and disseminating significant amounts of information pertinent to conservation, natural resources, and policy development
      • Conducting research, analyzing, and reporting on legislation and policies directly and indirectly  related to the Federation’s work
      • Providing written copies of these work products for both print and digital use
      • Directly work with U.S. Congressional staff, especially staff of the Tennessee delegation, to communicate and move forward Federation positions and policies at the federal level
  • Assist in conservation policy communications
    • Work alongside the Federation’s communications team to utilize media and communications to promote policies and messages that reflect mission accomplishment for  the Federation


  • Assist with the day-to-day operations of the Federation’s conservation policy efforts, including but  not limited to:
    • Identifying and prioritizing issues
    • Researching issues and topics from both a policy and science perspective
    • Bringing problems and solutions to the notice of the DOCP, and cooperatively work with DOCP to ensure law and policy makers recognize these issues
  • Other duties as required by the DOCP

Key Qualifications: As a prerequisite, must believe in the core values of Tennessee Wildlife Federation and be aligned and driven by its mission to promote the conservation, sound management, and wise use of Tennessee’s natural resources.

The research manager will have the following experience and attributes:

Knowledge Requirements

  • A strong working knowledge of natural resource conservation, wildlife biology, wildlife management, and the science that underlies these areas
  • An understanding of how policy is developed and implemented at the state and federal level
  • A working knowledge of state and federal executive branch and natural resource agencies
  • Knowledge about current news and events, and an understanding of legislative activities
  • Existing knowledge and experience in the area of water quality, streams, rivers and wetlands is a plus

Skills and Abilities Requirements

  • Research & Analysis - A strong ability to research policy issues and topics efficiently and effectively, and communicate said research in written and oral capacities
  • Writing - A strong ability to write for multiple audiences, and ability to convey complex scientific principles in concise and clear language for multiple stakeholders
  • Observation - Ability to read fluid situations when engaging law makers, and other people critical to the conservation policy workspace in a manner that accomplishes the Federation’s policies and initiative
  • Critical Thinking - Ability to think, plan, and execute strategically and tactically with regards to legislative and policy product development
  • Communication - Strong analytical skills and strong communication skills. Ability to communicate effectively with co-workers (internal) and partners and policy makers (external). A strong ability to  write effectively and persuasively
  • Efficiency - Ability to sustain a highly organized work atmosphere and demonstrate good organizational and administrative skills. This includes the ability to manage time, organize workload, and meet deadlines
  • Interpersonal - Proven ability to develop and sustain relationships critical to Federation policy interests. Ability to be influential, convincing, and at the same time assertive
  • Demeanor - Ability to handle high levels of stress and beat serious deadlines. Good judgment and  creativity are also important qualifications
  • Flexibility – Willingness to travel, work some weekends, and manage a variable schedule that will require work after hours, as well as, early in the morning. Willingness to endure inclement weather and conditions in the outdoors when necessary

The Federation uses the following software packages, so familiarity with these packages is a positive:

  • Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Publisher)
  • Google Suite (Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Messaging, Google Meet)
  • Zoom
  • EveryAction


  • Minimum of a bachelor’s degree. A degree in wildlife management, environmental science, or a related field is preferred
  • Minimum of two years of experience in conservation public policy, wildlife conservation, or experience at a state or federal natural resource agency
  • A master’s degree in a relevant field can be substituted for two years of experience
  • Experience in the following areas are considered important to the success of this position:
    • Issue related campaigns
    • Proven understanding of natural resource conservation science
    • Proven effectiveness in written and oral communications
    • Proven research and policy analysis experience

Personal Characteristics:

  • Must have a passion for the Federation’s mission
  • Must be able to articulate the benefits and values of mission-driven work
  • Professional and friendly. Able to handle the day-to-day ups and downs with efficiency, attention to  detail, and a sense of humor
  • Strong work ethic with ability to reject setbacks and enthusiastically persist until goals are achieved
  • Resourceful and innovative at tackling challenges in a timely manner
  • Results oriented team-player who leads by example, is accountable for their performance, takes absolute ownership, champions all aspects of administration, and applauds the success of fellow employees
  • Approaches work from the Federation’s point of view rather than personal

Performance Standards:

  • Conducts tasks accurately and in a timely manner
  • Practices planning work on a weekly basis utilizing tasks and deadlines
  • Communicates changes in schedule with supervisor in a timely manner; including giving adequate  notice prior to changes occurring
  • Keep supervisor informed and up to date on all matters pertaining to their work
  • Participates in all staff meetings
  • Treats all superiors, peers, and subordinates with respect
  • Work through concerns or issues for a sound and concise resolution within the Federation’s  operation policies
  • Follows all procedures and policies contained within the Federation’s Employee Handbook

Ethical Hunting Practices: Federation staff know and respect fish and wildlife pursued in the field. We require staff to follow all related laws, familiarize themselves with wildlife in the area and behave accordingly. As an employee of the Federation, all employees are expected to follow all state and federal hunting and fishing guidelines and practice ethical and fair chase practices while executing or assisting with program events or in your personal outings afield.

Tennessee Wildlife Federation offers a competitive benefits package and is an equal opportunity employer committed to workplace diversity.

  • To apply, send a cover letter, resume, and three professional references to jobs@tnwf.org. (References will not be contacted unless a tentative offer of employment has been extended and accepted.)
  • Candidates who auto-send LinkedIn or other automated replies using existing profiles or forms may be considered for the position. However, if you are applying out of state there is no relocation stipend for this position.
  • Phone calls regarding the position will not be accepted.

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

Category Ecology, Policy And Law, Wildlife
Tags Outreach