The Sr Land Conservation Specialist (Sr. Specialist) develops, manages, and advances conservation programs with emphasis on fire and invasive species management for The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC’s) central Florida preserves and with conservation partners in the wider central Florida landscape.
The Sr. Specialist is a staff member of the Stewardship and Field Programs Department (SAF) of The Nature Conservancy’s Florida Chapter (TNC). SAF is responsible for implementing and managing field conservation work (e.g., wildland fire management, invasive species management, and wetland restoration) across Florida and for stewardship of the Florida Chapter’s network of preserves. TNC’s Central Florida preserves are part of the statewide Center for Conservation Initiatives (CCI) and include Disney Wilderness (DWP), Tiger Creek (TCP), Saddleblanket Scrub (SBSP), Venus Flatwoods (VFP). The position is based out of Disney Wilderness Preserve. These preserves and this position are integral to CCI and its mission. The Sr. Specialist performs and participates in land management efforts with an emphasis on TNC preserves and with conservation partners in the surrounding landscape. They are responsible for ensuring that all stewardship-related activities comply with TNC’s, local, state, and federal requirements. They are supervised by the CFL Land Conservation Manager.
The Sr. Land Conservation Specialist provides technical leadership and support to the Florida Chapter and leads fire management, invasive species prevention and control, and other stewardship activities. The Sr. Specialist addresses critical threats to natural systems and individual species, fosters cross-site learning among conservation community members, and supplies conservation planning teams with site or landscape level information relevant to the planning process. They develop and implement conservation strategies and strategies to secure public and private support for TNC conservation priorities. The Sr. Specialist engages in community engagement, ensures the maintenance of preserve areas frequented by the visiting public, coordinates multiple projects, serves as a training cadre member in CCI and partner stewardship courses, sets deadlines, and manages projects to completion. They supervise land conservation staff, interns, and volunteers.
RESPONSIBILITIES AND SCOPE
- Participates in the development and implementation of land management and monitoring projects on TNC’s Central Florida Preserves- based out of Disney Wilderness Preserve with an emphasis on ecological land management programs. Performs tasks with minimal supervision and makes independent decisions based on analysis, experience, and context. Supervises designated stewardship staff, interns, and volunteers. This includes the following functions:
Natural Resource Management (50%)
- Participates in a leadership capacity as a fire crew member during prescribed burns and wildfires. Requires minimum TNC training and health standards for prescribed burning at the arduous level (Ability to carry 45-pound pack 3 miles in less than 45 minutes). Requires NWCG 310-1 training for Fire Fighter Type 1 (FFT1). Works toward Prescribed Fire Burn Boss (RXB2) qualification. This requires the regular use of ignition devices, fire control hand tools, and operation of engines or tractor/tanker equipment.
- Leads implementation of invasive species prevention and control techniques toward goals aligned with land management plans. Serves as Herbicide Use Coordinator for DWP and Hatchineha Ranch.
- Serves as a core team member on the Central Florida’s Ecosystem Restoration Team which assists partners with prescribed fire operations, invasive species control, collection of monitoring data and records in accordance with grant deliverables for reporting.
- Leads work teams (stewardship staff, interns, and volunteer groups) on stewardship implementation projects on preserves and at Hatchineha Ranch
- Represents TNC on regional working groups focused on fire, invasive species, and other topics
- Assists with rare species and biological monitoring
- May work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain and under physically demanding circumstances.
Preserve Operations (40%)
- Maintains tools and equipment- including a fleet of vehicles, tractors, and all-terrain vehicles.
- Maintains preserve infrastructure; roads, trails, firebreaks, signage, boundary posting etc.
- Operates heavy machinery
- Conducts public outreach, including leading field trips and volunteer workdays
- Leads and assists with resource management trainings (e.g., fire, invasives, chainsaw) in support of CCI
- Ensures program compliance with internal policies and external requirements.
- Administers grants and contracts
- Supervises contractors.
- Opens and closes preserve to the visiting public
- Works with other stewardship staff to provide site security across TNC lands in central Florida
- Other duties as assigned by supervisor
Staff & Volunteer Supervision (10%)
- Supervises preserve stewardship staff and interns with responsibility for performance management, training, and development.
- Recruits and hires staff and interns