Position Opening: Conservation Technician

Announcement Date: October 3, 2017; Updated: November 3, 2017
Application Closing Date: November 28, 2017
Anticipated Date of Hire: January 15, 2018

Winneshiek Soil and Water Conservation District seeks a Conservation Technician to assist in the survey and design of conservation practices that will address the goals of the Iowa Watershed Approach project for the Upper Iowa River Watershed. The project will address areas of environmental concern that may include but are not limited to flood reduction, nutrient loading, sedimentation, and other hydrologic, soil conservation and water quality issues for the Upper Iowa River Watershed Management Authority (WMA).

Work Examples:

  • Conducts preliminary field surveys in order to develop cost estimates and obtains detailed information for the design of practices; develops design computations from survey notes, determines grades, maps and measures drainage areas and completes bench level surveys as required in order to assist staff in the layout of conservation practices including ponds, wetlands, grade stabilization structures, terraces, waterways, contour lines, etc.
  • Meets with landowners on installing and maintaining basic types of soil and water conservation practices and systems within the Soil and Water Conservation District and Iowa Watersheds Approach.
  • Oversees contractor construction of conservation practices and inspects completed practices for compliance to Natural Resource Conservation Service specifications.

Competencies Required:

  • Knowledge of engineering survey techniques as applied to the survey, design and layout of conservation practices.
  • Knowledge of conservation practices and systems including ponds, wetlands, grade stabilization structures, terraces, waterways, contour lines, etc.
  • Ability to learn and apply policies, procedures, and eligibility standards associated with district soil and water conservation programs.
  • Ability to collect and analyze field data in relation to designing and implementing conservation practices.
  • Ability to use and maintain a variety of field surveying equipment.
  • Ability to interpret soil data, standards and specifications for use in laying out conservation measures.
  • Ability to work out of doors under all types of weather conditions.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with agency staff, contractors and landowners. Works and communicates in a polite, courteous, and cooperative manner. Committed to quality service.
  • Displays a high level of initiative, effort and commitment towards completing assignments efficiently. Works with minimal supervision. Demonstrates responsible behavior and attention to detail.
  • Responds appropriately to supervision. Makes an effort to follow policy and cooperate with supervisors.

Applicant Qualifications:

The position requires a degree in Environmental/Civil Engineering, related discipline, or equivalent experience in engineering field survey work. Ideal candidates will have experience surveying and designing conservation practices including ponds, grade stabilization structures, wetlands, waterways, terraces, and other similar projects that address natural resource concerns in accordance with NRCS standards and specs.  Experience with Laser Survey, Trimble GPS, AutoCAD, and ArcGIS is a plus. A valid driver’s license is also required for the position.

Position Information:

This is a full‐time position that will be in effect over the remaining 4 years of the Iowa Watershed Approach program. The successful applicant will be housed in the Winneshiek SWCD office and will adhere to the employment policies and benefit system of the SWCD. Primary work hours will be during normal business hours (Monday ‐ Friday, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm), however, early morning, evening and weekend work, with occasional overnight trips, will be occasionally required throughout the year to meet with local leaders and boards of political subdivisions, watershed committees, conservation districts, interested stakeholders, various state and federal agencies, and to attend trainings. The successful applicant must have a valid driver’s license.

Compensation and Benefits:

  • Competitive salary commensurate with education, experience and
  • Supportive communities and partner organizations
  • Benefit package including sick/vacation time, paid holidays and retirement.

Application Process

To apply, please submit each of the following via email to Paul Berland, Project Administrator, Northeast Iowa RC&D

  • cover letter
  • resume
  • three professional references

Submit all three pieces together no later than November 28th, 2017 to:

Paul Berland


Download in PDF format (366 KB): WMA Tech Position – Upper Iowa River WMA

Winneshiek SWCD does not discriminate against any qualified employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, familial status, physical or mental disability. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical or mental disability, or familial status.