Urban Conservation Manager

  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
  • Jan 29, 2020
Full time Government/Nonprofit Land Use

Job Description


The Urban Conservation Manager leads the Conservancy’s Wisconsin Chapter in building an urban conservation program to benefit people and nature in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Manager will be responsible for shaping and advancing strategies that will protect, conserve, enhance and best utilize natural systems in urban landscapes. Specifically, this position will work with local governments, engineering firms, community organizations, NGOs and others to promote and scale up nature-based approaches that increase the resilience of urban areas to environmental changes and socio-economic challenges, especially in underserved communities. This position is based in our Milwaukee office with up to 20% travel required. The salary range starts at $64,000 and is dependent on experience. 

The Nature Conservancy is developing a conservation program in Milwaukee that will draw upon nature-based solutions to build a more resilient and equitable city. The Conservancy recently completed a strategic plan to identify how our organization can add value to conservation efforts in Milwaukee. The planning process identified several key areas, including water quality, habitat quality, and climate resilience, where the Conservancy can help advance or scale up conservation work in the region. Building from the strategic plan, the Urban Conservation Manager will continue to refine the Conservancy’s best role while developing an urban conservation program in Milwaukee. The Manager will establish the Conservancy as a trusted conservation partner while helping advance meaningful initiatives that prioritize community-based solutions and collaborative approaches with stakeholders. 

The Manager will work with a team of scientists, policy, marketing and development professionals to successfully implement this work. The Manager may serve as a contact to municipal, state and federal government entities, other conservation organizations, foundations, the academic community, faith-based groups, media outlets, and/or the general public. The Manager will also help to raise funds for initiatives and/or specific projects as well as lead or provide assistance for proposal writing, negotiating with agencies/organizations, and donor cultivation as needed.  



  • Leads the Milwaukee Program and collaborates with other Wisconsin Chapter staff to help meet conservation objectives in Milwaukee and throughout Wisconsin.
  • Sets strategic direction and ensures accountability for the Chapter’s urban conservation efforts and the Milwaukee Program.
  • Builds cooperative relationships and collaborates with diverse groups, including communities, property owners, conservation partners, government officials, donors, board members, and the general public.
  • Develops, implements and reviews appropriate community engagement strategies that include messages around the role of nature in public health, job creation and economic development.
  • Assists with establishment of policies or sustainable financing mechanisms that mainstream successful approaches to using natural systems to build urban resilience.    
  • Serves as an integral team member of the Conservancy’s North America Cities Network, leading or contributing to the Network’s planning efforts, member meetings and/or Communities of Practice.
  • Coordinates multiple projects with several variables, sets and meets deadlines, and manages timelines.
  • Frequently makes independent decisions based on analysis, experience, and context.
  • Establishes and maintains optimal standards of performance for the program while controlling costs and administering budgets.
  • Writes and manages requests for proposals and contracts. Recruits, retains and manages high quality and effective multi-disciplinary contractors or staff, with responsibility for performance management.
  • Responsible for ensuring that public and private funds are raised to meet program needs.
  • Provides content support to Conservancy Philanthropy and Marketing colleagues.
  • Infrequent exposure to variable weather conditions and physically demanding work 
  • May require some travel and evening and weekend hours.



  • BA/BS degree and 5 years’ experience in conservation practice or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience managing complex or multiple projects, including staffing, workloads and finances under deadlines.
  • Supervisory experience, including motivating, leading, setting objectives and managing performance.
  • Experience in partnership development with non-profit partners, community groups and/or government agencies  
  • Experience negotiating.
  • BA/BS or advanced degree in a field such as urban or environmental planning, environmental sociology, environmental engineering, public health, ecology, landscape architecture, or related subject and 6-8 years related experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Multi-lingual and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience strongly desired.
  • Previous experience with or knowledge of communities, social issues, and natural resources of Milwaukee, such as having lived, worked, or attended school in Milwaukee.
  • Experience planning, implementing and managing projects that improve water quality, reduce flooding, establish native vegetation or otherwise use nature-based solutions to build resilience in urban systems.
  • Knowledge of current trends in urban resilience or sustainability policy, practice, and projects.
  • Experience building partnerships with diverse groups and cultivating and maintaining meaningful professional contacts. 
  • Experience working in or with community-based organizations, non-for profits and/or local governments.
  • Demonstrated experience influencing, developing and implementing conservation policy and plans.
  • Communicating clearly via written, spoken, and graphical means.
  • Demonstrated experience in fundraising.  
  • Politically savvy