Employment Opportunity

The Illinois Audubon Society is hiring a Land Steward to lead the land management and stewardship functions of the organization.  Position description below and also available for download here: Land Steward Position

 Overview: The Illinois Audubon Society (IAS) is an independent, state-wide, educational and scientific organization with the mission to promote the perpetuation and appreciation of native flora and fauna of Illinois and the habitats that support them.  Since 1973, the Society has protected over 5,000 acres of land. The primary responsibility of this position is to ensure successful implementation of stewardship on approximately 3,000 acres of IAS properties.

The Illinois Audubon Society offers competitive pay, as well as a benefits package that includes health insurance, employer contributed retirement benefits, and paid vacation and sick leave.

Position Summary: The Land Steward is responsible for implementing the Illinois Audubon Society Stewardship Program and will work at the direction of the Executive Director and in concert with staff, Board, committees and community members. The Land Steward will lead the day-to-day land management and stewardship functions of the organization, including: ecological habitat maintenance and restoration; management plan development and implementation; managing and applying for grants; and cultivating and maintaining relationships with sanctuary volunteers, neighbors, other land trusts and governmental organizations. Position is FLSA exempt. Position will oversee select contractors, volunteers, interns, and seasonal employees as assigned.

Work Environment and Physical Demands: Work hours are flexible based on needs and may include some weekends. This position splits time between the office and the field. Position will require regular travel to IAS Sanctuaries and may include overnight stays. Required ability to navigate in and access remote areas of IAS properties which may sometimes involve traversing rugged terrain, dense vegetation, mosquitoes, chiggers, ticks, poisonous plants, and in all weather conditions.  Candidate shall know how to prepare for all such conditions (clothing, repellents, netting, etc.) and to maintain personal safety while executing necessary work assignments.  Candidate must be able to carry loads of at least 40 pounds over uneven terrain for long distances.

Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Develop, maintain, monitor, execute, evaluate and update stewardship and maintenance plans at IAS sanctuary sites (hereafter: sanctuaries).
  2. Perform general inspection and monitoring of all IAS-owned lands and easements. This includes signage, inspecting boundaries, addressing trespass and illegal activities, and maintaining Society-approved infrastructure.
  3. Help to organize, train, equip, and supervise, Local Stewardship Committees.
  4. Develop, maintain, and update sanctuary budgets and accounting records for the IAS Executive Director, Assistant to the Executive Director and Board.
  5. Manage and oversee USDA NRCS contract enrollments in CRP, CSP, EWRP, EQIP, etc.,
  6. Conduct, organize and, as needed, supervise sanctuary stewardship practices.
  7. Develop and submit for approval sanctuary prescribed burn plans and permits and serve as prescribed burn boss for IAS sanctuary prescribed burns.
  8. Seek, identify and draft applications in coordination with the IAS Executive Director, Assistant to the Executive Director, and Board for programmatic and grant funding for sanctuary stewardship.
  9. Identify needs for contract work at sanctuaries; assist with bid package development and solicitation of contractors’ bids; and quality control stewardship contractor work at sanctuaries.
  10. Assist in the management, maintenance and inventory of all IAS stewardship equipment and supplies (including power equipment). Help to keep all IAS equipment and tools in good working order.
  11. Act as contract administrator for sanctuary infrastructure maintenance and repair.
  12. Assist in sanctuary biodiversity surveys.
  13. Attend conservation stewardship professional conclaves and conferences as appropriate (e.g. continuing education, emerging issues and technologies).
  14. Undergo required certifications and safety training; maintain and update certifications as required.
  15. Develop presentations and reports on stewardship activities, to include trip reports and requested reports on the status of sanctuary stewardship for a variety of audiences (IAS Board, IAS Magazine, general public, etc.).
  16. Promote and maintain mutually beneficial relationships with sanctuary volunteers, neighbors, other land trusts and governmental organizations.
  17. Other duties as assigned.

Qualifications for Stewardship Position

  1. Bachelor’s Degree in biology, forestry, or natural resources-related sciences required; Master’s Degree in related fields highly desirable.
  2. One year’s minimum experience in field-based natural resources management required; experience with land trusts or similar conservation organization preferred.
  3. Computing skills (Microsoft Office Suite) required
  4. GPS mapping / reporting and ArcGIS / computer map making skills required
  5. Illinois Prescribed Burn Manager Certification or equivalent required (or the ability to obtain one).
  6. Prescribed burning experience required.
  7. Illinois Pesticide Applicators License (Aquatic and Rights of Way) required (or ability to obtain one). Experience in the safe handling, mixing, and application of herbicides desired.
  8. Proven ability to identify invasive and non-native herbaceous and woody plant species in the field under a variety of phenologies (growing season, dormant season, etc.) and to assess threats posed by them to IAS sites.
  9. Experience with hand-held power tools (e.g. chain saw) required; hands-on experience with tractors, ATVs, and trailering and power tool maintenance desirable.
  10. Ability to identify common plants and animals at IAS Sanctuaries.
  11. Proven ability to deal effectively and personably with a variety of people (IAS Staff and Board, donors, volunteers, landowners, neighbors, and general public).
  12. Understand and actively promote IAS mission and goals
  13. Must possess and maintain a valid Illinois driver’s license
  14. Ability to work alone far from roads and vehicles for extended periods of time and ability to work in a group to achieve organizational needs required.


  1. Read the complete job duties and responsibilities and job qualifications.
  2. Write a cover letter that clearly explains why you are interested in working with Illinois Audubon Society, how your skills and experience fit the job duties, requirements and qualifications; and what your salary history has been.
  3. Submit the cover letter, with a targeted resume to jherkert@illinoisaudubon.org with “Stewardship Position” PLUS “Your Name” in the subject line.

For more information about the Illinois Audubon Society, please visit illinoisaudubon.org

Salary and benefits package are competitive and based on experience.

No telephone inquiries please.

The Illinois Audubon Society is an equal opportunity employer that welcomes all applicants and does not discriminate in its hiring practices.


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