Watershed Coordinator

Rivanna Conservation Alliance

Charlottesville, Virginia

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details $47,840 to $52,000 annually, commensurate with experience


The Rivanna Conservation Alliance (RCA) is a small nonprofit working to make a big difference in the Rivanna River watershed. Our mission is to work with the community to conserve the Rivanna River and its tributaries through water quality monitoring, restoration, education, and advocacy. RCA is committed to increasing awareness and action on the values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and environmental justice within the Rivanna watershed. We are working to build long term relationships and share our resources, environmental expertise, and scientific data to help address community identified watershed needs.

RCA’s professional staff work with more than a thousand volunteers each year, greatly extending our reach and impact. We also engage the community through strategic partnerships and collaborative projects with nonprofits, schools, local governments, businesses, and community groups. RCA’s culture values creativity, respect, continuous learning, a can-do attitude, and a healthy sense of humor. We strive to support staff members' needs for flexibility and work-life balance, and we make sure to spend time together enjoying the places we are working to protect.


  • Full-time, exempt
  • Some flexibility in work schedule, with occasional evening and weekend hours required for scheduled events
  • Position based in Charlottesville, VA, with the option for occasional remote work
  • Reports to the Executive Director
  • $47,840 to $52,000 annually, commensurate with experience
  • Benefits include health insurance, 15 days of PTO plus paid Holidays, and the option to participate in RCA's 403(b) retirement plan with 3% employer matching.


The Watershed Coordinator will be responsible for promoting the health and resilience of the Rivanna River and its watershed by supporting RCA’s water quality restoration and monitoring programs through program planning, coordination, and field work.

The level of effort put towards each program, and the specific activities carried out under each, will vary by season and the specific funding sources supporting the position. Water quality restoration work will include projects such as planting and maintaining riparian forest buffers and conservation landscaping, promoting forest health by managing invasive plants, implementing stormwater management practices, and stabilizing and restoring streams. Water quality monitoring work will include sampling streams for E. coli and turbidity, collecting data on stream health through benthic macroinvertebrate sampling, and tracking pollution incidents and sources through chemical sampling.

Through early spring 2025, the position will primarily support the Rivanna River Forest Health and Resilience Project. It will also focus on riparian forest buffer plantings and becoming trained and certified in RCA’s bacteria and biological monitoring programs. In late spring 2025, the position will take on more water quality monitoring responsibilities.

The Watershed Coordinator will work closely with other RCA staff members, community and agency partners, volunteers, and contractors to accomplish their work.


Water Quality Restoration (60-80% in first year of the position).

  • Build relationships and coordinate with organizational partners, property owners, and contractors to identify, plan, implement, and maintain restoration projects
  • Conduct site visits with property owners to discuss various restoration project options and potential sources of technical and financial assistance
  • Plan and design riparian forest buffer and conservation landscaping projects
  • Recruit, coordinate, and lead volunteers for regularly scheduled workdays focused on invasive plant removal, tree planting, meadow planting, live staking, and other riparian buffer improvement projects
  • Create restoration project maps and outcome reports
  • Maintain forest buffers and other planting projects with support from volunteers as needed
  • Provide planning, coordination, and topical research/writing support for restoration- focused projects and partnerships
  • Help develop and share outreach materials and educational content related to environmental restoration
  • Support restoration-focused grant writing and reporting as needed
  • Procure, organize, and maintain restoration-related equipment, supplies, and materials

Water Quality Monitoring (20-40% in the first year of the position)

  • Achieve and maintain certification in RCA’s bacteria and biological monitoring programs (on-the-job training and certification provided)
  • Help recruit, train, and coordinate RCA’s water quality monitoring volunteers
  • Support the Director of Monitoring with program related tasks as needed, such as managing data, coordinating Science Advisory Committee meetings, and developing reports
  • Help acquire and maintain monitoring supplies and equipment
  • Support RCA’s bacteria monitoring program by scouting sampling locations, collecting water samples in the field, processing water samples in RCA’s lab, and reading and reporting results
  • Support RCA’s biological monitoring program by scouting sampling locations, collecting benthic macroinvertebrate samples, performing laboratory ID work, and analyzing and reporting results
  • Help respond to acute water pollution incidents and/or high bacteria levels by collecting bacterial, eDNA, and/or chemical data (training provided)


  • Bachelor’s degree in environmental science, environmental studies, biology, natural resources, chemistry, microbiology, forestry, landscape architecture, environmental planning, or a related field, or an equivalent amount of relevant training and experience
  • Working knowledge and demonstrated passion for the natural environment and watershed restoration
  • Strong project planning and coordination skills
  • Significant enthusiasm for hands-on field work, including ability to perform physically demanding work in variable weather conditions
  • Ability to use (or learn to use) standard landscaping tools such as weed whackers, loppers, shovels, etc. and water quality monitoring equipment
  • Excellent interpersonal, verbal, and written communication skills
  • High level of organization, attention to detail, and ability to carefully follow data collection protocols and data quality procedures
  • Ability to work independently and schedule time in an efficient manner
  • Willingness to work hard, maintain motivation and focus, and be flexible and creative to complete programs and tasks even when challenges arise.
  • Extensive computer experience and comfort using Microsoft Office Suite and Google Drive
  • Willingness to be a team player and pitch in to support other RCA staff and needs where possible
  • A valid driver’s license and ability to use a personal vehicle to drive to different locations in the Rivanna watershed with program equipment and supplies. Mileage will be reimbursed at the federal mileage rate.
  • Ability to lift up to 40 lbs.
  • Ability to pass a background check


  • Three to five years of work experience directly related to the responsibilities of this position.
  • Experience in local invasive and native plant identification
  • Experience motivating and managing volunteers and working with multi-stakeholder initiatives
  • Proficiency with ArcGIS


The nature of this position requires, on occasion, travel to remote locations where access may involve walking through brushy areas, clambering on stream banks, walking on slippery surfaces, wading through water, and paddling a kayak or canoe. The ability to sit, stand, walk, reach with hands and arms, paddle, carry equipment, stoop, climb, and crouch in outdoor settings is required. Ability to withstand outdoor discomforts, including inclement weather is required.


Interested applicants should send a resume, a cover letter outlining your qualifications, and three professional references to exec@rivannariver.org.  Complete applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. No phone calls please.

Rivanna Conservation Alliance is an equal opportunity employer. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, protected veteran status, or other characteristics protected by law.

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

Category Admin & Leadership, Hydrology, Restoration