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WATER Institute Communications & Project Manager

Blogpost published on: Wednesday, September 7th, 2022


The Occidental Arts & Ecology Center (OAEC) seeks a talented and passionate individual to join our WATER Institute staff to support our Bring Back the Beaver Campaign and related watershed projects through outreach, communication, research and project management. The main responsibility of this position is to articulate the importance of beaver and process-based restoration to watershed health, biodiversity and climate change resiliency and OAEC’s role in advancing more ecologically and socially just resource conservation policies and practices in California. They will develop and carry out a strategic outreach plan, manage projects, communicate conservation science and nature-based restoration practices to lay audiences, resource managers and policymakers, manage partner and press communications and provide general support for the WATER Institute towards the widespread adoption of innovative watershed restoration solutions. Full-time. Remote. Application deadline is October 24th.


About OAEC, The WATER Institute and The Bring Back The Beaver Campaign

The Occidental Arts and Ecology Center (OAEC) is an 80-acre demonstration, education and advocacy center and organic farm located in western Sonoma County, California. Now in our 28th year, OAEC’s work focuses on cultivating ecological literacy and building the capacity of civic and social movement leaders and organizations to guide their communities toward an ecologically regenerative, economically viable, and socially just future. In 2004, OAEC founded the WATER Institute to develop innovative science-based solutions for communities to address the legacy of hydrologically destructive land-use practices and policies on California’s watersheds, and the urgent need to address the impacts of climate change on the water cycle. In response to the climate and biodiversity crisis, the WATER Institute has been leading a ten-year Bring Back the Beaver Campaign to integrate beaver (Castor canadensis) management into California policy and regulation in order to improve water quality and quantity, create critical wetland habitat for numerous endangered species and optimize aquatic resource conservation and climate change adaptation strategies. In July 2022, after years of successful WATER Institute advocacy, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) was funded to create a new Beaver Restoration Program and Beaver Management Plan. In order to meet this moment, the WATER Institute will implement a suite of strategic actions to ensure beaver and process-based watershed restoration are central to California’s nature-based solutions to climate change.


Job Responsibilities

The Manager reports to WATER Institute Co-Director Kate Lundquist and works periodically with our OAEC Communications Director, Development and Program Associate and WATER Institute Co-Director Brock Dolman.


Manage Beaver and Process-Based Restoration (PBR) Outreach Campaign

  • Work with staff to develop and implement outreach goals, strategies and tactics to build awareness and acceptance of beaver and PBR among the general public and resource agencies
  • Produce brochures, videos, fact sheets, white papers, stakeholder-specific content and case studies that highlight beaver and PBR successes in CA 
  • Maintain and improve WATER’s online communications (website, blogs, social media, etc.)
  • Maintain media relations, pre-screen media inquiries and, with input from Co-Directors, write letters to the editor, press releases, radio and other media pieces
  • Work with Co-Directors to create and manage a WATER Institute newsletter and listserv
  • Update and manage reprinting and distribution of Basins of Relations and Beaver In California guidebooks and other WATER outreach materials and merchandise 

Support WATER Institute’s State Policy Engagements

  • Conduct research, aggregate information, and produce summaries to aid policy briefs on the new CDFW Beaver Restoration Program, Beaver Management Plan, and other advocacy efforts
  • Create a listserv and assist with follow-up communications to advocacy allies and others that have signed on to support letters

Help Build the Capacity of the CalPBR Network – The CalPBR Network was launched this year to promote process-based (low-tech, cost-efficient, climate-smart and nature-based) approaches to restoration.

  • Upload relevant materials to the CalPBR website and contribute to the CalPBR eNewsletter
  • Provide assistance in producing trainings in collaboration with CalPBR partners
  • Support CalPBR meetings via coordination and follow-up communication

Support for the WATER Institute and General Activities

  • Provide meeting coordination and support to Co-Directors (manage Doodle polls, set up, maintain calendar, note-taking, meeting follow-up, etc.) 
  • Provide additional administrative support to the Co-Directors as needed
  • Track the WATER Institute’s public engagements and maintain our Outreach Document
  • Pre-screen general beaver and PBR inquiries and pass on to Co-Directors when appropriate 
  • Help direct volunteers to meaningful opportunities for engagement 
  • Support Co-Directors and OAEC’s Development and Program Associate as needed with 
    grant management and systems for tracking budget and deliverables


Required Qualifications

  • Excellent writing and editing skills, with experience in strategic and compelling environmental and social justice communication to influence change in conservation policies and practices
  • Prior office/administration experience, preferably in a mission-based non-profit organization, and strong organizational skills with meticulous attention to detail
  • Ability to organize and prioritize work, self-motivate, and self-manage as this role will require working both independently and in collaboration with WATER Institute Co-Directors as well as engaging with diverse stakeholders and program partners
  • Excellent verbal communication and interpersonal skills, with a sense of humor and a positive attitude, and an interest in and ability to help resolve conflicts within organizational relationships
  • Ability to act with cultural sensitivity and maintain confidentiality with certain information related to the WATER Institute’s diverse projects and partners
  • Basic ecological literacy and knowledge of conservation or restoration field a plus, otherwise demonstrated capacity to learn quickly on the job
  • Experience working with web platforms (WordPress) and proficiency in social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, etc. 
  • Proficiency in working with Microsoft Office (Excel and Word), in the Google Drive environment (Sheets and Docs), Apple Photos, and Adobe InDesign or a similar mac-friendly layout software. OAEC staff use Apple Mac computers. 
  • Have great enthusiasm for OAEC’s broader mission and programs that work to restore and protect biological and cultural diversity, and to create just and sustainable communities



The annual salary for the WATER Institute Communications and Project Manager at 40 hours/week is $58,350 per year. We will consider fewer hours per week, prorated by FTE, for the right candidate. Compensation rates and raises for all staff are set by the OAEC Staff Executive Council, which is elected by the staff collective. This position is intended to last for two years, although it could be extended if warranted by the project and additional funding is secured.OAEC offers health benefits as well as an employee only contribution 401(k). OAEC offers generous paid time off: a total of 5 weeks and 3 days per year of vacation and floating holidays combined, as well as paid sick time off. This position is not part of the core staff collective and will not attend regular staff meetings.



This job will be remote with an initial need to come to the OAEC site for a multi-day training and then periodic check-ins as needed (OAEC will provide onsite lodging and meals). The candidate must be based in California with the ability to travel for occasional meetings, trainings and project site visits.


How To Apply  

  • Qualified applicants should email a single PDF that includes a cover letter, resume, a recent writing sample (5 pages max) and list of three to five references to “Hiring Manager” at with the subject: “The WATER Institute Communications and Project Manager Position.” Resumes without cover letters will not be considered. Please do not contact OAEC directly with questions or inquiries, but refer to this Job Announcement on the OAEC Jobs web page for information. 
  • We are accepting applications until 5:00 pm PDT, Monday October 24, 2022. Early application is encouraged as applicant screening will begin before the deadline. The WATER Institute Communications and Project Manager will start on or after December 5th, when the position is filled.
  • Before applying, please spend some time looking at both the OAEC and WATER Institute websites to better understand our diverse programs and partnerships. We encourage applicants to learn more about the WATER Institute’s watershed and beaver restoration approaches by reading our Basins of Relations and Beaver In California guidebooks. For those unfamiliar with beaver and process-based restoration, these are low-cost, low disturbance techniques for carrying out meadow and riparian restoration. We also encourage applicants to learn more about the California Process-Based Restoration (Cal PBR) Network co-founded by the WATER Institute by reviewing the Cal PBR website and most recent newsletter.
  • OAEC actively seeks a diverse applicant pool and encourages candidates of all backgrounds to apply. OAEC does not discriminate based on an individual’s race, sex, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, medical condition, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or on any other basis prohibited by law. 


FINAL WATER Institute Communications and Project Manager Job Announcement pdf