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The Associate Director of Headwaters Conservation builds partnerships and manages projects to improve watersheds in the Sierra Nevada. The Associate Director helps develop and oversee a range of innovative projects primarily focused on meadow stream restoration, improving forest health and forest roads, green infrastructure and other conservation efforts in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River (SSJ) Basin. Our approach is to implement on-the-ground projects that catalyze partnerships and policies to achieve river conservation at the regional and state-wide scale. The Associate Director will also contribute to fundraising and other internal needs of the region, including strategic planning, and will join a team of eight staff in American Rivers’ regional office in Nevada City, California, a thriving small town in the Sierra Nevada foothills.


  • Collaborate with state and federal agencies, Native American tribes, non-profit partners, and private interests to accelerate restoration and improve watershed management policies and practices in California.
  • Manage river restoration projects. This will include managing subcontractors and project budgets, coordinating partners, reporting to agencies and funders, completing permits, leading outreach activities, and identifying opportunities to scale up successes.
  • Troubleshoot restoration project hurdles and identify and implement broadly-applicable solutions that advance the restoration field.
  • Identify and develop restoration projects that build capacity, accelerate progress, engage new partners and expand the impact of the river conservation field.
  • Monitor project outcomes. Collect and analyze data on restoration project performance, communicate successes and lessons learned to diverse audiences including rural landowners, state and federal decision-makers, corporate and foundation funders, and others.
  • Work with the SSJ-basin grants team. Contribute to the development and writing of proposals and develop new innovative and catalytic projects.
  • Participate in SSJ basin and headwaters program strategic planning. Strive to improve the existing programs and identify new opportunities.
  • Conduct outreach activities and help develop media that build awareness about American Rivers and the value of healthy rivers to California and the country.
  • Represent American Rivers at conferences, press events and other public events.


The successful candidate will demonstrate through professional background, experience, and recommendations, strong skills in the following areas:

  • At least five years of relevant experience or an advanced degree with a minimum of three years of relevant experience.
  • Innovative thinker with excellent organizational ability and demonstrated experience meeting deadlines, setting priorities and working in a self-directed manner in a fast-paced environment.
  • Ability to develop complex partnerships, proposals, budgets, and strategies that will accelerate river restoration and conservation in California.
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills.
  • Experience managing projects with multiple partners.
  • Understanding of watershed processes and water resource issues.
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

For additional information and to apply visit:

American Rivers is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply

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