Natural Resources Manager

Jobs Title:
Natural Resources Manager

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The Natural Resources Manager at Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College is responsible for facilitating learning opportunities for students and the general public through the provision and management of a variety of natural habitats (forest, prairie, wetlands, etc.) throughout the Merry Lea property. These spaces are used for both formal and informal educational activities delivered by this position and other staff members. In accordance with our mission, the person in this position also ensures that Merry Lea continues to serve as a natural sanctuary for northern Indiana’s plants and animals.

The Natural Resources Manager must have a strong desire to increase knowledge about and appreciation of the natural world through their work. They should also find fulfillment in maintaining the natural resources of Merry Lea for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations. It is imperative that the person in this position has a strong environmental ethic. Their approach to natural resource management should be grounded in the concepts of environmental sustainability and resilience and aimed at maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem functionality into the future.

This position oversees and provides day-to-day management of natural resource features across Merry Lea’s 1189-acre property, including monitoring for intended management outcomes and creating/implementing our organizational natural resource management plan. This work includes training and imparting knowledge of how to manage our natural resources to volunteers, undergraduate students, and temporary/seasonal workers. The Natural Resources Manager also serves as the primary point of contact for external organizations and individuals inquiring about matters related to natural resource management efforts. In collaboration with staff and faculty colleagues, this person develops, delivers, and supports education programs, outreach materials and curricula for all ages aimed at furthering our audience’s understanding of conservation and natural resource stewardship.

Essential Functions:

Education/Outreach (~50%)
-Ensure that natural habitat areas are maintained in a manner that supports educational programming delivered by this position and other staff/faculty
-Deliver and provide support for environmental education programs, special events and Goshen College courses
-Provide direct responses to, and support other staff members in responding to, inquiries from the general public related to land and natural resource management
-Develop and maintain key partnerships with external public/private organizations and individuals in support of Merry Lea’s natural resource management efforts
-Write educational content and serve as content area expert for Merry Lea communications and marketing efforts
-Serve as primary contact person for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources concerning management of the Merry Lea State Nature Preserve
-In cooperation with the Volunteer Coordinator, engage, train, and impart knowledge to volunteers related to how to manage our natural resources
-Teach temporary/seasonal workers the skills necessary to successfully carry out natural resource management tasks
-In cooperation with the Executive Director, serve as an ambassador of Merry Lea’s natural resource management efforts to current and potential donors

Natural resource and land management (~40%)
-Oversee and execute activities related to the management of Merry Lea’s natural habitat areas, including ecological restoration, invasive species management, conducting prescribed burns, seeding/planting, etc.
-Regularly inspect natural habitat areas and identify work needed to protect/preserve native wildlife and vegetation, control invasive species, and address any other threats to the ecological health of these areas
-Utilize scientifically informed approaches to monitoring to ensure intended outcomes of natural resource management activities
-In collaboration with the Executive Director, lead efforts to develop, implement, and revise short- and long-term natural resource management plans within the context of the Merry Lea Strategic Plan and Mission
-Establish and maintain procedures related to testing and monitoring environmental quality as required by law or other relevant regulations
-Assist in the preparation of policies and procedures for permanent staff, temporary staff and volunteers related to natural resource management
-Recruit, select, train and manage temporary/seasonal employees
-Vet and engage third party contractors to conduct natural resource management activities as needed
-Collaborate with other Merry Lea Operations staff to ensure alignment and integration of natural resource management efforts with the overall organizational approach to achieving sustainability and environmental resilience goals

Administrative (~10%)
-Periodically contribute to the development, revision and implementation of Merry Lea’s strategic plan
-Provide specialized reports to Executive Director as requested
-Provide for inventory and maintenance of land management tools and equipment
-Prepare annual land management budget and track/manage expenditures, including credit card purchases
-Maintain records related to property management operations
-Collaborate with Executive Director on grants related to natural resource management
-Support fundraising activities including meeting with donors and attending special events

Other general responsibilities
-Participate in Merry Lea staff meetings
-Complete other tasks as assigned

Supervisory Responsibility:
-No supervisory responsibilities of permanent staff; periodic supervision of seasonal staff
-In cooperation with other full time staff and faculty, coordination of volunteers and undergraduate/graduate students in performing natural resource management tasks on the property

Education and/or Experience:
-Bachelor’s degree in environmental science, natural resource management, forestry, environmental education, ecology, or related field
-Master’s degree in related field preferred
-3 years of related experience

Certifications, Licenses, Registrations:
-Driver’s License

The following are required but may be obtained after employment begins:
-Fire Incident Qualifications Card (Red Card) S-130 (Basic Wildland Firefighter Training)
-Fire Incident Qualifications Card (Red Card) S-190 (Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior)
-Indiana Certified Pesticide Applicator’s License

Skills Required:
-Effective speaking and writing skills, and ability to communicate clearly and effectively with co-workers, volunteers, visitors, contractors, partners and other stakeholders
-Demonstrated ability to teach, support and work with volunteers, children, and college students
-Demonstrated commitment to working with individuals and groups from diverse backgrounds and experiences
-Strong commitment to Merry Lea’s mission and Goshen College’s values
-Experience creating and implementing natural resource management projects and plans
-Practical knowledge of natural resource management and habitat enhancement practices, including prescribed burning and herbicide application
-Experience operating and maintaining tools and machinery, including tractors and other heavy equipment, necessary to fulfill job duties
-Working knowledge of the native and non-native flora and fauna of northeast Indiana
-Proficiency in GIS, database management, and word processing
-Exceptional project and time management skills
-Ability to problem solve, take initiative, collaborate, and make sound decisions necessary to fulfill job duties and meet organizational objectives
-Ability to work independently and multitask
-Ability to work collaboratively within a team
-Knowledge and experience of contract management, budgeting and reporting

Apply online:

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Preferred start date is July 1, 2024.

This if a full-time, exempt salary position (1.0 FTE) with an annual salary of $45,565 plus benefits.

-Health insurance (employee premium 100% covered)
-Dental, vision, life and LTD insurance
-Retirement plans
-Tuition discounts
-Free employee membership to Recreation/Fitness Center
-Flexible Spending Account
-Paid holidays, vacation and sick leave


Goshen College



Join the people who protect and manage our natural areas.