Conservation Stewardship Coordinator

The Conservation Stewardship Coordinator will assist and support our work in regional land restoration and stewardship for properties that Openlands owns, has a conservation easement over, or is under contract to restore or manage.  S/he must be able to engage multiple partners to coordinate projects designed to help restore and enhance the natural systems of the Greater Chicago Metropolitan Region.

Essential Functions:

  • Assist and support land restoration and stewardship by identifying resource concerns, determining best management practices, and developing solutions to restore native habitats and ecosystems
  • Assess, prioritize, and implement habitat restoration projects in a variety of ecosystems including the removal of invasive species, reducing soil erosion, increasing early successional habitat, conducting native planting, and enhancing grassland habitat
  • Accomplish habitat restoration goals by working with a variety of partners including landowners, conservation and civic groups, contractors, funders, and regulatory authorities
  • Utilize GIS mapping and other tools to support habitat restoration and stewardship, locating survey markers and photo points, and ability to conduct and document field inventories
  • Under supervision, develop comprehensive project plans, prepare permits, and ensure that projects are being implemented according to plan
  • Provide regular communication and necessary project oversight. Manage construction, maintenance and improvement of site infrastructure including boundary maintenance
  • Assist with monitoring aquatic habitat and water quality in important waterways in the region and assist with and analysis of monitoring results
  • Recruit, develop, and support volunteer stewards
  • Assist to increase community access to, and understanding of, natural areas through trail connections, wayfinding, and amenities
  • Assist with the development of grants for habitat restoration projects
  • Other duties as assigned

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Bachelor’s degree in ecology, biology, natural resource management, environmental studies, or related field
  • At least one-year experience managing habitat restoration projects
  • Ability to walk properties on a frequent and regular basis, considering varying topography, site access, and weather conditions
  • Good organizational and time-management skills with the ability to manage multiple projects and set effective priorities for work
  • Good writing, speaking and research skills
  • Ability to understand and manage project budgets and provide reporting to staff, partners, and funders
  • Strong customer service skills to support positive interactions with the public and stakeholders
  • Able to work as part of a team and to understand the individual role within a larger system or strategy, including taking initiative and working independently to advance broader team goals
  • Candidates must have a valid driver’s license and regular access to a personal vehicle, as many project sites cannot be readily accessed by public transportation. This license must be maintained for the duration of employment.

Work Environment:

Loop office is ADA accessible. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, and scanners. Employee is regularly required to talk, hear, see, and communicate effectively via computer. Smoke- and drug-free environment.


Salary range is market competitive. Benefits include health, life, and disability coverage, a 403(b) retirement plan, paid holidays and vacation time.  This is a full-time, non-exempt position. 

To Apply:

This position is open until filled. Interested applicants should send a cover letter and resume and include ‘Conservation Stewardship Coordinator’ in the subject line to

Openlands is an equal opportunity employer and seeks to employ qualified individuals based on individual merit. Openlands does not discriminate against any individual with respect to the terms and conditions of employment based on that individual’s race, sex, age, religion, color, national origin, disability, genetic information, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, housing status, or any other non-merit factor protected under state, local or federal laws. Equal Employment Opportunity applies to all personnel actions such as recruiting, hiring, compensation, benefits, promotions, training, transfer, termination, and opportunities for training. Openlands is committed to a fair and equitable workplace where everyone is a respected and valued member of the team.