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Director of Conservation

Squam Lakes Association

The Squam Lakes Association is dedicated to conserving for public benefit the natural beauty, peaceful character and unique resource values of the lakes and surrounding area. In cooperation with local and state authorities and other conservation organizations, the Association promotes the protection, careful use and shared enjoyment of the lakes, mountains, forests, open spaces and wildlife of the Squam Lakes region. 

The Director of Conservation is responsible for the Squam Lakes Association’s robust conservation efforts in the Squam Lakes Watershed. The Director will lead the implementation of a new, comprehensive watershed plan launching in 2020, and supervise conservation program-specific efforts of the SLA Lakes Region Conservation Corps (LRCC). The LRCC is an AmeriCorps program designed by the SLA to address the conservation needs of the Lakes Region of New Hampshire and has drastically expanded the SLA’s year-round capacity over the past two years. A member of the senior staff, the Director of Conservation works closely with colleagues in Education, Access and Trails, Administration, Communication and Volunteers, Development, and AmeriCorps to help the SLA fulfill its mission. Directly supervised by the Executive Director, this is a full-time, salaried position with full benefits.


The SLA seeks a Director of Conservation with a passion for conservation and the outdoors, and the drive to ensure the continued success and growth of the SLA’s conservation programs. They must be a collaborative, creative thinker with the enthusiasm and energy to deliver the highest level of environmental protection to the Squam watershed.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • An understanding of watershed concepts and New Hampshire ecology,
  • an understanding of zoning and environmental protection legislation,
  • an understanding of land easements,
  • broad computer skills, especially spreadsheet and database tools,
  • experience applying statistics in data analysis,
  • experience with invasive species control (terrestrial, aquatic, and animal),
  • SCUBA and milfoil removal certification,
  • technical experience with scientific collection equipment, boats and engines, SCUBA equipment,
  • the ability to work with a broad constituency and professional group of diverse people,
  • ability to educate and explain scientific concepts in a clear, relevant way to  non-scientists,
  • and… operate a snow plow.
  • The willingness and drive to gain competency in any of the above categories.


  • Master’s degree in relevant discipline (biological science, environmental science, ecology, conservation management, etc.), or
  • five to seven years of progressively more complex duties and more responsible supervisory, mentoring, and applied conservation management experience, especially within a land trust, conservation or governmental land use, or similar organizational environments.
  • Demonstrated experience with various municipal, regional, state and federal agencies with regards to water quality, plant, animal, and other environmental concerns, protocols and procedures.

Watershed Plan

The Director of Conservation is responsible for the implementation of a new watershed plan. Driven by the past Director of Conservation in a broad community effort, this is a master plan for the conservation of the watershed and is due for completion in December. It serves as a guiding document that will inform the primary efforts and focus of the SLA as we undertake our traditional conservation work of invasive species management, water quality work, and outreach, and will help direct us as we tackle emerging and tenacious challenges like shoreline development, modern threats to water quality, restoration projects, and climate change.

Lakes Region Conservation Corps

The LRCC is the field corps for the SLA and its members serve across all SLA departments. Broadly, they focus intensively on each primary program (Conservation, Access and Trails, Education) area for approximately four months, depending on the season. The Director of Conservation is responsible for supervising the efforts of the LRCC as they apply to the programs and activities of the conservation program, working with between eight and ten LRCC members throughout the year. From June through September the primary focus is on direct conservation work and the Director should expect that a large amount of time during this period will be spent on supervision and mentoring. From October through May, LRCC will continue to serve on conservation programs, however at a less intensive level.

Invasive Species

The Director of Conservation is responsible for maintaining the long-standing and highly successful milfoil eradication program, overseeing dive efforts in this ongoing effort to keep the lake infestation-free. They are responsible for training and educating volunteers from lake communities and user groups to monitor for milfoil to promote early detection to remove it. They direct the Lake Host program, staffed by LRCC members, to monitor lake boat ramps to prevent the introduction of invasive aquatic species. They are also responsible for designing and implementing terrestrial invasive removal and prevention programs.

Water Quality

The SLA has one of the longest term data sets of water quality in the State of New Hampshire. The Director of Conservation is responsible for organizing and implementing relevant volunteer efforts throughout the year. The Director compiles and interprets the data and works with other organizations to gather information that gives a complete and accurate look at the overall health of the lake. Additionally, they look for and address modern threats to water quality. Shoreline restoration projects and storm water projects are two likely efforts the Director of Conservation will implement.

Conservation Outreach

The Director of Conservation is responsible for representing the SLA’s conservation efforts to the public and with partner organizations. They create an annual report card, organize public meetings to address issues and concerns, present at conferences, and maintain the conservation component of the website. The Director of Conservation coordinates with partner groups to ensure the SLA has a conservation voice in activities that directly affect the mission and activities of the SLA on the Squam Lakes.


Much of the effort of the SLA is conducted by volunteers. The Director of Conservation identifies volunteer needs across all conservation activities and works with the Community Engagement Coordinator to ensure volunteers are trained and prepared. Primary conservation volunteer areas include water quality monitors, weed watchers, and Loon Chick Ambassadors.

Grant Management

Grant writing efforts are coordinated by the Director of Development, with department heads responsible for primary content and grant management. The Director of Conservation is responsible for writing and managing all conservation-based grants and cost share agreements of the SLA including making sure all deliverables are successfully completed, all budgets are tracked and followed, and all deadlines are met.


As the primary manager of the conservation efforts of the SLA, other conservation efforts that are the responsibility of the Director of Conservation include easement monitoring, easement compliance, and other activities/program opportunities as emerging threats to the watershed arise.

How to Apply:

Applications should include a letter of interest, a complete resume, two examples of your written communications, and contact information for three references who can speak to your professional skills. Please send your application information in the form of a pdf to EB James:

( Position is open until filled.

The SLA is an equal opportunity employer. The SLA will not discriminate against employees or applicants for employment on any legally-recognized basis including, but not limited to: sex, race, color, religion, national heritage, physical or mental handicaps or sexual preferences.

Salary Range:

35,000 to 40,000

Job Location:


Date Added: October 17, 2019

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