Mark C. Ackelson Fellowship

By Taylor on July 31, 2014 in Blog

_MG_9979 Maquoqueta Caves Natural Bridge HDR_revisedDo you have a heart for activism as well as for Iowa's land, water, wildlife and people? The Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation is looking for a dedicated conservationist to work with us on a temporary assignment to promote increased, reliable, consistent state funding for Iowa conservation.

The goal: INHF is part of a statewide coalition working together to secure legislative approval for the establishment of the funding stream for the Natural Resource and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund. This trust fund was established through an amendment to the Iowa Constitution, and it will be funded the next time the Iowa sales tax is increased. If successful, these efforts will direct an estimated $150 million annually toward natural resource needs including clean water, healthy productive soils, abundant wildlife, and places where every Iowan can experience and learn about nature.

This fellowship offers amazing networking opportunities with Iowa conservation leaders through the Iowa's Water & Land Legacy Coalition. The Ackelson Fellow will gain experience in grassroots advocacy as well as outreach to well-connected conservationists and will be helping to shape strategies for legislative action. The Fellow will travel within Iowa, report to the INHF President, and work closely with the INHF Public Policy Director and other INHF staff.

What's required? Background (studies and/or experience) in legislative action or advocacy is important. The Fellow must have the ability to motivate and coach others to communicate well with public officials on an issue. Must be trustworthy, reliable, self-directed, with a sense of humor – in essence all the traits that help you work successfully with others 1:1, in coalition, and in the policy arena. Young people who have completed an undergraduate, graduate or legal degree and want to be conservation leaders are especially welcome.

This full-time fellowship will be active between September  2014 and April/May 2015 with some flexibility in start/end dates. Monthly stipend and travel expenses are provided. Benefits are not included in this temporary position.

To apply: Please send cover letter and resume to Kari Walker, INHF Administration Director, at

Deadline: August 15.

Questions can be directed to Joe McGovern at 515-288-1846.

About the Mark C. Ackelson Fellowship

This fellowship was endowed at the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation to honor Mark C. Ackelson, who devoted his career to protecting and restoring Iowa's land, water and wildlife. Mark served as INHF President for 18 years, and he provided strong leadership roles for Iowa conservation coalitions plus national organizations that promote conservation and trails.

This fellowship is intended to help launch the careers of future conservation leaders. Fellows work alongside INHF's professional staff and partners on a select project for a limited time. The focus of the Ackelson Fellowship will likely vary from year to year, as urgent or unusual opportunities present themselves.