Nature Conservancy Jobs
Founded in 1951, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is a private non-profit organization that purchases and manages natural lands to help preserve global biodiversity. It receives its funding from individual membership dues and contributions, foundation grants, and corporate and individual gifts.
The Conservancy uses most of its budget to purchase fragile lands that are home to plants and animals in danger of extinction. After buying this land, TNC either manages it or sells it to federal or state agencies.
The Nature Conservancy’s activities have three main steps. First, teams of scientists and researchers identify significantly threatened natural habitat and set land protection priorities. Second, TNC works to acquire these lands. They do so in various ways, including receiving land donations, purchasing the land, exchanging fragile lands for other, less crucial areas, and arranging management agreements with landowners.
Third, once the lands are protected, TNC ensures their long-term viability through careful stewardship. The lands are managed not only for habitat protection, but also for research, recreation, and education.
Using these techniques, The Nature Conservancy has preserved millions of acres of critical habitat and compiles approximately 1,000 additional acres each day. By combining the efforts of scientists, government agencies, business people, and countless individual donors and volunteers, TNC has established itself as one of the nation’s most successful environmental groups. In fact, over the past forty years, TNC has created the world’s largest private sanctuary system.
DID YOU KNOW? JobMonkey has extensive information related to volunteer work, especially as it pertains to volunteering overseas. Visit that section to learn what types of opportunities are available and how to apply.
Volunteer Jobs with TNC
The Nature Conservancy was founded by volunteers, and it continues to rely on volunteers for practically all aspects of its work. As Wisconsin Field Office Volunteer Coordinator Benita Walker says, “The Nature Conservancy wouldn’t exist without volunteers.” This is hardly an exaggeration.
Work open to volunteers includes:
- General Stewardship: exotic plant species control, fencing, prairie burn preparation, and habitat restoration work. Stewardship volunteers generally work in groups led by experienced volunteers or TNC staff.
- Preserve Monitoring: counting plant and animal populations, surveying newly acquired property, and reporting on conditions at a given preserve. Monitors also alert TNC staff if “for sale” signs go up in areas where TNC is trying to purchase land.
- Speaker’s Bureau: trained volunteers who promote The Conservancy’s aims by appearing before civic groups, schools, and other institutions. Some volunteers write letters rather than speaking.
- Special Events Staff: operate display booths at community events all over the nation. They organize TNC’s involvement in these events, handle the logistics, and even design The Conservancy’s educational displays.
- Clerical Workers: help with all kinds of office work, including mailings, data entry, and copying.
In addition to the tasks listed above, volunteers also sometimes work on individual projects using specialized skills, such as computer programming, desktop publishing, design and illustration, carpentry, public relations, aerial photography, mapping, and library research.
Click here to learn about volunteer jobs from an experienced worker.
For an interview about working for the Nature Conservancy
Most TNC offices have both one-time and ongoing volunteer opportunities.
Whereas some people volunteer regularly, others do so whenever they have time. Perhaps because volunteers do such a wide range of essential work, they are very well appreciated. As former National Director of Stewardship Will Murray noted, “Without our volunteers we might as well turn off the lights, lock the doors, and go home. The conservancy simply wouldn’t survive without them.”
Because every office has different volunteer needs, it is best to call the one closest to you for more details. When you do so, be sure to emphasize what it is you want to get out of your volunteer experience. Below is the national headquarters address. Contact this office for information on the nearest Nature Conservancy office in your state. After returning your application, most offices will require a short informational interview to further discuss your background and skills.
The Nature Conservancy
4245 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 100
Arlington, VA 22203
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