Eastern Iowa Land Stewardship Assistant

This position is now closed.

Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation is seeking a passionate and well-qualified candidate to fill the new Eastern Iowa Land Stewardship Assistant (EILSA) position.

Job Description

The EILSA is a full-time, hourly, non-exempt position that reports to the Eastern Iowa Land Stewardship Director and helps supervise the Eastern Iowa land stewardship interns. The EILSA helps implement and further develop the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation’s (INHF) protection and stewardship activities in East Central Iowa. Work will primarily occur on INHF-owned land and private land protected by INHF in a 12 county area (see map). A significant percentage of work will occur within 45 minutes of Iowa City in Johnson County. The field base for this position is located on the northeast side of Iowa City. The EILSA’s home will serve as their office. The person is responsible for assisting the Eastern Iowa Land Stewardship Director in management of Foundation-protected properties, including farms, natural areas and conservation easements. The EILSA will conduct natural resource analysis (on-site and with GPS and ArcPro), and help plan and implement land restoration projects. This person also works as a team member with other Foundation staff and interns, and agency partners to accomplish INHF goals.

The EILSA will focus their work activities on a diversity of natural resource/habitat types including remnant and reconstructed prairies, oak savannas, woodlands, wetlands, streams, and additions to public conservation and recreation areas. The EILSA must be passionate about ecosystem management and natural areas restoration. A strong knowledge in natural resource management including species identification, use of prescribed fire, chainsaw use, herbicide application and invasive species control techniques is preferred. Further understanding of conservation issues such as habitat fragmentation, declining species, water quality, local-origin native seed, regenerative agriculture and current agricultural policy is helpful. The EILSA must be able to effectively budget time, while maintaining detailed organizational skills and time-accounting aspects of ongoing job duties.

The EILSA must be a well-organized self-starter, and be able to work comfortably, effectively and dependably with a wide variety of people. Public speaking and interpersonal skills are desirable. Physical demands include working in steep terrain in all weather conditions including heat, cold, rain and humidity. The EILSA must have the ability to work with power equipment, tractors, trailers, UTV’s, and prescribed fire equipment. Proper and safe use of herbicides is also required. The EILSA must have the ability and flexibility to travel throughout East Central Iowa on short notice and to attend some evening meetings and weekend events. Travel to other locations in the state will be necessary, but less common. Overnight stays will occasionally be necessary when working with interns, completing land stewardship activities (i.e. prescribed fire) and attending meetings and conferences. 

The EILSA also participates in professional continuing education programs as appropriate to keep current on new developments, research and programs and to provide for continuous personal and professional growth. In addition, the EILSA participates in other projects and programs of the Foundation as directed by the President and/or Senior Land Stewardship Director, and always represents Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation in a positive, courteous and professional manner.

Duties & Responsibilities

Land Stewardship (85%)

  • Assist with land management and restoration of INHF-owned land, including prescribed fire, herbicide application, mechanical control of invasive species, chainsaw and brushcutter use, prairie seed collection and planting of prairie and trees.
  • Assist private landowners to restore and/or reconstruct native habitats.
  • Assist the Eastern Iowa Land Stewardship Director with supervision of the land stewardship interns, Conservation Corps of Iowa and volunteers. Assist in the annual recruiting/hiring of land stewardship interns.
  • Perform routine maintenance of INHF equipment, including ATV’s, prescribed fire equipment, chainsaws, brush cutters, herbicide application equipment and small mowers. Ensure regular maintenance.
  • Obtain prescribed fire training as needed.
  • Assist with INHF owned land monitoring, including GIS/GPS work, site visits, stewardship plans and biological inventories.
  • Assist the Eastern Iowa Land Stewardship Director with developing farm leases that promote conservation and regenerative practices.

Assist Volunteer Program (5%)

  • Participate in volunteer events throughout the year.
  • Lead and instruct volunteers on proper and safe methods for caring for INHF lands.
  • Work closely with Volunteer Coordinator to effectively conduct volunteer events.

Administrative time, staff and board meetings, professional development, vacation, etc. (10%)



Proficiency in Microsoft Office is necessary, and proficiency in ArcPro GIS is desired. 

Education & experience

This position requires a bachelor’s degree in natural resource management, animal ecology, wildlife biology, forestry, botany, environmental resources, landscape architecture or a related field.

Salary and Benefits Summary

Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation values our team members and takes pride in providing competitive compensation for the field, generous medical and dental benefits, ample vacation and sick leave accrual, retirement matching, and opportunities for professional and personal growth. Starting wage is $18.50/hour.

To Apply

Please submit a detailed resume and cover letter to Kari Walker, human resources director, at kwalker@inhf.org. References will be requested from finalists. Applications are due Sunday, October 30, 2022. Interviews will be scheduled in November.