Central Iowa Field Assistant

Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation is seeking a passionate, well-organized self-starter for a temporary, hourly position as a Central Iowa Field Assistant (CIFA). The CIFA will support land stewardship field work at one of Iowa's leading nonprofit conservation organizations and will have the opportunity to work alongside and learn from knowledgeable staff and partners who genuinely care about the lands they steward. 

The CIFA would work approximately 24-32 a week from October-February. View the full job announcement here

Job Description

The Central Iowa Field Assistant (CIFA) reports directly to the Land Stewardship Associate to carry out and further develop Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation’s protection and stewardship activities within the central Iowa region. The CIFA will have the opportunity to work individually and as a team to care for several properties in central Iowa. You will have the opportunity to work alongside and learn from knowledgeable staff and partners who genuinely care about the lands they steward. The central regional office is based in Des Moines, Iowa, while our field base is located near Bondurant, Iowa. The CIFA will report to our field base on most days.  

Duties include:

  • Assist with all aspects of natural lands stewardship on remnant and reconstructed prairie, oak savanna and woodlands, including implementation of prescribed fire, invasive species management, woodland restoration, bat habitat restoration, prairie seeding and seed collection, handling and storage
  • Assist in the maintenance and repair of stewardship equipment, including but not limited to chainsaws, brush cutters, trailers, UTVs, tractors, mowers and other small engines
  • Work alongside and assist in the leadership of Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa (CCMI) crew members on permanently protected lands owned by INHF
  • Complete annual site inspections and stewardship project reporting of INHF-owned properties 

Education and skills

  • Baccalaureate or associate degree in natural resource management, animal ecology, wildlife biology, botany, forestry, environmental sciences or a related field is preferred but not required
  • Knowledge and field experience with natural lands restoration and stewardship
  • Experience in the identification of native and non-native flora and fauna of Iowa
  • Experience operating and maintaining power equipment including chainsaws, brush cutters, UTVs and small tractors
  • Experience safely using herbicides and application equipment
  • Experience with prescribed fire (S130/S190 certification preferred)
  • Ability to work long hours in adverse weather conditions and difficult terrain
  • Well-developed interpersonal communication skills and ability to consistently and effectively communicate with supervisor
  • Ability to work with a broad range of people with different skill sets, backgrounds and personalities
  • Ability to budget time and resources among multiple demands

In addition to the above list of required/preferred education and skills, the CIFA must have a valid driver’s license and personal vehicle that can be used for occasionally commuting to work sites. The CIFA must also have the ability and flexibility to travel throughout the central Iowa region on short notice. Most travel will occur within one hour of our field base, however there will be times when further travel is necessary. Occasional travel to other INHF stewardship regions across the state may be necessary (see map). Overnight stays will occasionally be necessary when completing land stewardship activities in the further extent of the region. Formal educational opportunities (conferences, trainings, etc.) may be possible.

The CIFA participates in other projects and programs of INHF as directed by the President, Land Stewardship Associate and/or Central Iowa Land Stewardship Director and always represents Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation in a positive, courteous and professional manner. 

Compensation and work dates

  • $17.50/hour (non-exempt)
  • Approx. 24-32 hours/week (flexibility is possible in scheduling)
  • Total hours not to exceed 600 throughout the approx. 5-month (20 weeks) time frame
  • Flexibility with work hours and days depending on individual schedules and INHF needs
  • Mileage paid for work related travel if INHF vehicle is not available. INHF vehicle will be available for travel to work sites most days
  • No benefits associated with this position
  • Approx. Start Date – October 9, 2023 • Approx. End Date – February 22, 2024 

To Apply

The application deadline is Monday, Sept. 18.

The application shall include the following three items:

  1. Cover letter explaining how your skill set and experience fits the position and how/why you would make a valuable addition to INHF
  2. Resume
  3. List of three references and their contact information  Send your completed application electronically (PDF or Word format) or by mail to: 

Kari Walker, Human Resources Director

Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation 505 5th Avenue, Suite 444

Des Moines, Iowa 50309