Conservation Director

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Deadline to Apply:

Friday, September 9, 2022, 6:00pm



San Diego, CA
United States

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Earth Discovery Institute’s mission is to inspire stewardship of San Diego's native biodiversity through environmental education and conservation.  Since its inception in 2008, EDI has partnered with public and private land management agencies to restore native habitats on conserved lands across San Diego County. In the last two years, we have also developed new species conservation projects focused monarch butterflies and other pollinators, as well as bats. 

Earth Discovery Institute is a small but highly impactful organization, and we are growing quickly.  This is an exciting time for the right person to  join our team.  As Conservation Director, you will manage ongoing restoration and conservation projects, as well as develop new projects that align with your interests and skillset.  Ultimately, you will have the opportunity to develop and execute an overall vision for EDI to help conserve biodiversity in San Diego County.

Responsibilities include:

  • Provide vision and direction for EDI’s conservation department.
  • Oversee the development, implementation, and evaluation of EDI’s conservation projects.
  • Develop and maintain strong collaborative relationships with stakeholders and community partners, including federal, state, and private land managers, donor organizations, and other nonprofit organizations.
  • Work closely with EDI’s Education Director to ensure student restoration activities are implemented effectively. 
  • Work closely with land management agency partners to coordinate and lead volunteer and outreach activities on conserved lands.
  • Engage the public in conservation by leading iNaturalist training events, nature hikes, and interpretive events.
  • Oversee EDI’s annual native plant sale.
  • Recruit, train and supervise support staff, interns, and volunteers.
  • Stay abreast of current best practices for recovering and conserving native ecosystems, and species.
  • Ensure the safety of staff and volunteers by maintaining comprehensive risk management protocols, and compliance with local and state regulations.
  • Work with the executive director to support fundraising efforts through grant and report writing, and occasionally, meeting with donors.
  • Develop programming budgets and projections.
  • Represent Earth Discovery Institute during stakeholder meetings, and occasionally, with the press.

Required experience, skills, and personal characteristics:

  • At least five years of experience in conservation biology, restoration ecology, or related field.
  • Minimum of a bachelor’s degree in conservation biology, ecology, or related field; master’s degree preferred.
  • Knowledge of local regulatory framework as it pertains to natural resource conservation in San Diego County (e.g., Multiple Species Conservation Program and San Diego Management and Monitoring Program), strongly preferred.
  • Strong knowledge of San Diego’s native flora and fauna, especially those designated threatened or endangered.
  • Basic knowledge of seed collection, care, and storage.
  • Experience with grant-writing and reporting.
  • Demonstrated leadership, supervisory, and organizational skills.
  • Data management skills.
  • Commitment to connecting people with nature, and fostering stewardship of the natural world.
  • Personal characteristics that will help you meet the challenges of the position include creativity; flexibility; tact; patience; organizational ability; problem solving ability; high degree of self-motivation with the ability to work independently, but also as a cooperative member of a team; and a sense of humor.
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, especially with respect to engaging underserved and underrepresented communities in nature and the outdoors.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Ability to lift up to 50lbs and work under variable environmental conditions (e.g., rough, uneven terrain and inclement weather).
  • Certified in First Aid and CPR, or willing to obtain certification upon hire.
  • Maintain a valid California driver’s license.
  • Willingness to work occasional evenings, and up to 2 Saturdays per month.


  • Full-time, exempt. Starting pay: $70,000 - $75,000, with comprehensive benefits package:
  • Full medical coverage;
  • Retirement plan with employer match;
  • Paid vacation starting with 3 weeks the first year, and 4 weeks thereafter;
  • Ten paid holidays, plus the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

How to Apply:

Submit resume and cover letter to  Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, but we would like to fill the position by September 19, 2022.