Upham Woods Facility and Operations Director

Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Deadline Oct 19, 2018
Job Type Paid permanent


The Facility and Operations Director - Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center develops, coordinates, and implements environmental education programs for Center user groups (i.e., primarily youth groups) of the Upham Woods Outdoor Education Center and through the effective management of the buildings, equipment, facilities and grounds at the Center.  The Facility and Operations Director works with the Center Director/4H-YD Environmental Education Specialist in raising funds for the improvement of educational activities; serves as a facilitator between groups using Center facilities; and functions as primary contact for Upham Woods when the Center Director is not on site.  The Facility and Operations Director is responsible for managing the facility of Upham Woods, including supervision of custodial and maintenance teams, risk management, recruiting users of the Center, fundraising, and coordinating facility related improvements to the Center including externally funded projects such as grants.  The Facility and Operations Director supervises two full time staff members: the Buildings and Grounds Supervisor and the Office Operations Associate. This position reports to the Center Director for all work matters including professional development, purchase approvals, and long term facility planning. The Facility and Operations Director is also responsible for coordinating programs and staff training with the Upham Woods Outdoor Education Center Program Director and the Upham Woods Outdoor Education Center Director/4H-YD Environmental Education Specialist.


  • Provide administrative and operational leadership for the Upham Woods Outdoor Education Center when the Center Director is not on site
  • Provide leadership for property and facility management of the Upham Woods Outdoor Education Center; including supervising maintenance and custodial staff, as well as managing equipment, program animals, buildings and grounds in compliance with relevant best practices and university policies, laws and state codes
  • Lead implementation of the facility and property operations maintenance and quality control plan
  • Lead donor development efforts for development and execution of donation expectations related to Upham Woods property, buildings and facilities
  • Coordinate offsite contractors in their work on the campus to minimize client impact; supervise contractors to minimize risk
  • Promote, coordinate, and evaluate environmental education programs for Center user groups, including recruitment of new groups, and serving as a facilitator to such groups
  • Work with members of the Upham Woods Advisory Committee to develop and implement a strategic environmental education plan for the Center
  • Work with the Center Director to raise outside funds for improvement of educational programming, including the administration of externally funded projects (such as grants)
  • Communicate with users and stakeholders through Upham Woods web site development and maintenance, telecommunications, e-mail, print materials, and attendance at relevant conferences and workshops
  • Provide assistance as needed to recruit, train, and supervise seasonal naturalists and interns
  • Share responsibility for evening and weekend programming with on-call staff
  • Develop and coordinate program volunteer efforts including recruitment
  • Reach and engage diverse audiences in ways that are inclusive and do not discriminate to ensure full access to programs, facilities and educational services


  • Plan, coordinate, and supervise physically active educational programs on occasion
  • Incorporate practical demonstration methods when teaching or training
  • Build, strengthen and sustain trust-based relationships to promote cooperative and respectful work environments
  • Develop and maintain relationships with programmatic and funding partners in ways that effectively communicate the value of Cooperative Extension
  • Collaborate with program-related community coalitions and partnerships 
  • Represent Cooperative Extension and provide educational leadership with program-related agencies and educational institutions
  • Develop plans of work based on ongoing assessment of clientele needs
  • Develop and use an appropriate system for reporting and evaluating programs to the Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center, the University of Wisconsin-Extension and to clients, colleagues and other Extension collaborators, including the Upham Woods Advisory Committee, as needed
  • Regularly consult with and report to Extension partners at the county and state levels to ensure accountability
  • Cooperate with other Extension personnel to develop strong, integrated Extension programs
  • Develop and follow a professional development plan to ensure proficiency in priority content, current research and relevant competencies
  • Participate in district and/or state program activities as appropriate and needed
  • Utilize a computer to perform word processing, e-mail communication, database applications, spreadsheet applications, Internet searches, and audiovisual presentations
  • Keep accurate, complete and timely work records
  • Be responsive to evolving position, program, office and organizational needs; perform adjusted or additional duties as requested


  • Provide educational programs in physically strenuous conditions requiring climbing, hiking, rowing, paddling, or other activities for prolonged periods in adverse conditions including heat, cold, darkness and outdoor settings with irregular terrain
  • Obtain Red Cross Lifeguard certification, or approved equivalent, within 3 months of employment
  • Obtain a valid driving license, successfully complete the University of Wisconsin Van Driver training program, and be an approved driver for University of Wisconsin-Extension fleet vehicles
  • Work Monday – Friday 8:00AM – 5:00PM with responsibility for sharing programming during evening and weekend hours, as needed
  • Travel weekly in the Wisconsin Dells area and occasionally travel within the state
  • Make individual arrangements for transportation adequate to meet position responsibilities and essential job functions

The primary accountability relationships for this position is with the Upham Woods Outdoor Education Center Director/4H-YD Environmental Education Specialist on all matters related to (a) program performance and job responsibilities, (b) developing effective external working relationships with clientele groups, other agencies, departments and organizations, (c) continuing professional development and (d) reporting and evaluating programs to state and federal government as appropriate.

To successfully fulfill performance expectations, the Facility and Operations Director will work in close cooperation and collaboration with the Upham Woods Outdoor Education Center Program Director and the Upham Woods Outdoor Education Center Office Operations Associate, in addition to the Center Director. 


  • Professional preparation with coursework or formal training in facilities maintenance and planning, natural resources management, trades certifications, project management, or related fields
  • A minimum of 3 years experience with management of facilities (such as buildings, grounds, trails, etc.)
  • Managerial experience related to supervising paid and/or volunteer staff to create inclusive and respectful work environments
  • Experience in youth related programs
  • Demonstrated skills in written and oral communications
  • Demonstrated skills in computer-related tasks including but not limited to email, word processing, spreadsheet organization, internet searches, and audiovisual presentations
  • Strong interpersonal relationship, problem-solving and conflict resolution skills
  • Ability to plan and implement preventative maintenance projects
  • Ability to manage program equipment and seasonal transitions
  • Ability to work at a community level and partner with others to address educational program needs
  • Knowledge and skills to effectively interact with people from different cultural backgrounds, including those associated with race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, socioeconomic status, age, gender, disability, sexual orientation, and other aspects of human diversity


  • A minimum of five years of professionally related experience with a focus on residential facilities maintenance and natural resource management
  • Course work in facilities planning, project management, conservation biology, donor development, service learning coordination, plumbing, electrical, small engine maintenance, heating and cooling system repair, carpentry 
  • Experience with securing external funding such as donations or grants; budgeting skills
  • Experience with management of program equipment
  • Experience with conference presentations and the authoring of reports or articles
  • Effective group education and facilitation skills
  • Experience managing volunteer-powered service projects
  • Experience developing effective partnerships or coalitions with community partners and local governments
  • Successful volunteer or paid experience working with people from diverse backgrounds and experiences
  • Demonstrated skills in building and maintaining professional work environments
  • Effective communication and presentation skills using a variety of methods and technologies
  • Ability to promote Cooperative Extension and its programs through various media and public relations strategies
  • Knowledge of the legacy of Cooperative Extension as part of the U.S. system of land-grant institutions, dedicated to service in the public good

This position is a fixed-term renewable academic staff appointment in the University of Wisconsin-Extension division of Cooperative Extension.  Fixed-term renewable academic staff appointments are made on an annual basis, with renewal possible.

This position is subject to University of Wisconsin System, University of Wisconsin-Extension and Cooperative Extension human resources policies.  This position description is not intended to be comprehensive in nature given the changes in primary duties/essential job functions and position expectations that can occur over time in response to emerging and assessed community, program and organizational needs.  Changes to this position description are subject to the approval of the Cooperative Extension Human Resource Development Office and those to whom the position is accountable.

State of Wisconsin benefits (, including retirement, vacation, sick leave, health insurance, and other insurances.  Starting salary range commensurate with minimum and preferred qualifications.

A criminal background check will be conducted prior to employment.  Completed consent forms will be requested following final interviews.  In compliance with the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act, convictions and pending charges will be considered only as they relate to this position. 

As an affirmative action employer, UW-Extension provides equal opportunity in programs and employment and is strongly committed to maintaining an organizational climate that supports and respects differences and equality of opportunity. UW-Extension does not discriminate on the basis of age; race; creed; color; disability; sex/gender; sexual orientation; national origin; ancestry; religion; marital status; identity as a veteran, disabled veteran, Vietnam veteran or any other military service; arrest record or non-program related conviction record.  We promote excellence through diversity and encourage all qualified individuals to apply. 

Materials will be made available in alternative format upon request. Please call 711 if you are hearing or speech impaired and need assistance. Direct inquiries concerning equal opportunity to: University of Wisconsin-Extension Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion; Room 201; 432 N. Lake Street; Madison, WI 53706. (email); 608.890.0259 (fax).

An offer of employment is contingent upon the following: 1) the establishment of identity and verification of employment eligibility as required by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, 2) if required, submission of an official transcript upon hire, and 3) a criminal background check prior to employment. In compliance with the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act, convictions and pending charges will be considered only as they relate to this position.


Click here for official job description and application process

Applicants must apply only.  Click the "apply" button at the bottom of the above of the offical job description page to start the official application process.

Applicants are required to apply online. UW-Extension will not consider paper, emailed or faxed applications. Online application, with all required documents, must be received by October 19, 2018

Required application materials:

  • Letter of application that addresses how your education and experience meet all of the required qualifications for the position
  • Professional resume
  • Names and contact information (e-mail address, phone number, and mailing address) of at least three references

For questions regarding this position, please contact Justin Hougham ( For technical questions or assistance, please contact UW Service Center at (888) 298-4159. For all other questions please contact

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