Cornell University's Department of Natural Resources and the Environment seeks a Conservation and Land Use Specialist for its Hudson River Estuary Conservation and Land Use Program.

Cornell University’s Department of Natural Resources and the Environment seeks a Conservation and Land Use Specialist for its Hudson River Estuary Conservation and Land Use Program.


The Conservation and Land Use Specialist will help communities and partners in the Hudson River estuary watershed to protect important habitat and natural areas through conservation and land-use planning. Key partners include local government decision-makers, land trusts, watershed groups, local and regional non-profit conservation organizations, and state agencies. The position is guided by the five-year Hudson River Estuary Action Agenda which outlines strategies and measures of success for the Conservation and Land Use team’s outreach and technical assistance.


Since 2001, the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment (DNRE) at Cornell University and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s (NYSDEC) Hudson River Estuary Program have partnered to incorporate science-based conservation priorities into local land-use planning in the Hudson Valley. The program area covers the counties bordering the 150-mile long Hudson River estuary.


The Conservation and Land Use Specialist will receive programmatic direction and oversight from the Estuary Program’s Conservation and Land Use Team Leader to independently implement tasks and will work closely with Estuary Program and DNRE colleagues, as well as many partner programs, agencies, and organizations. Travel throughout the Hudson Valley and occasionally to Albany and Ithaca is required. Frequent attendance at evening and weekend meetings and workshops is also required.


For more information:

This position, located in New Paltz, NY, is a one-year termed appointment position through December 31, 2022. Annual appointments are expected and will be conditional upon satisfactory performance and available funding.


The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University embraces diversity and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports students, faculty, and staff of all identities and backgrounds. We strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized identities to apply.


Visa Sponsorship is not available for this position.

Relocation assistance will not be provided for this position.


Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in biology, ecology, natural resources, geography, environmental planning, or related field and 2-4 years of relevant, full-time professional experience in the conservation or planning field.
  • Familiarity with municipal land-use and conservation planning.
  • Proficient computer skills, including Microsoft Office (Excel, PowerPoint, and Word), ArcGIS, and remote work platforms (e.g., Teams, Zoom).
  • Ability and desire to learn and adapt to new technology.
  • Critical thinking skills and ability to work on multiple tasks in a fast-paced, changing environment.
  • Excellent English communication skills including public speaking. Ability to speak confidently and concisely particularly in group situations.
  • Excellent and detail-oriented written communication and editing skills.
  • Skills in problem solving, critical thinking, and proper judgment in accomplishing tasks whether acting independently or participating effectively on a team.
  • Capability to coordinate projects with a diversity of stakeholders and partners with a range of interests and backgrounds.
  • Ability to work as part of a professional team, promoting cooperation and collaboration, as well as exercising independent judgment to carry out discrete tasks.
  • Sound and ethical judgment when acting on behalf of the University and the Hudson River Estuary Program.
  • Ability to work nights and weekends to attend specific meetings or programs.
  • Valid driver’s license.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in biology, ecology, natural resources, geography, environmental planning, or related field.
  • Knowledge of Hudson Valley biology and ecology.
  • Knowledge of New York’s local land-use system and processes, natural resource inventories, open space planning, and local conservation policy options.
  • Experience with group facilitation and community engagement, especially in municipal land-use planning contexts.
  • Experience with biological data and GIS applications for identification of conservation priorities.
  • Creativity in developing and delivering outreach materials, and ability to communicate biological and conservation planning concepts to diverse lay and professional audiences.
  • Familiarity with Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ) issues and experience working with disadvantaged or marginalized communities to facilitate their participation in decision-making.
  • Working understanding of the roles of relevant federal and state regulations, guidance, and funding.
  • Strong leadership skills.


Read full details and apply online by submitting both a cover letter and resume/CV at the following link:—Hudson-River-Estuary-Program_WDR-00029199-1