Photo: Nigel Kent

Employment Opportunity: Director of Conservation

The Finger Lakes Land Trust, a regional non-profit land conservation organization, is seeking a full-time Director of Conservation to work out of its Ithaca, New York office. The Land Trust works cooperatively with landowners and local communities to conserve those lands and waters that define the character of the Finger Lakes Region.

The Director of Conservation works closely with the Executive Director and other staff to advance the organization’s conservation efforts through land acquisition, conservation easements, and water quality projects that involve working with partners to mitigate surface runoff. The position plays a key role in developing and sustaining partnerships with a variety of public and private sector groups and in helping to secure funding for conservation projects. Frequent travel throughout a 12-county region is called for, as is a flexible work schedule.

Responsibilities: Reporting to the Executive Director, the Director of Conservation is responsible for leading the team that implements the Land Trust’s land and water conservation programs. This position manages its own portfolio of projects while also overseeing projects undertaken by two additional staff.

The Director of Conservation supervises the Land Protection Specialist, Senior Field Representative, and the Land Conservation Support Specialist. The position is also part of a management team that includes the Executive Director and the directors of administration, stewardship, and development & communications.

Responsibilities include:

1) Program Management: Primary responsibility for implementation of the Land Trust’s conservation agenda; works with other staff to advance the Land Trust’s conservation priorities and to ensure compliance with Land Trust Standards & Practices and other relevant record keeping and customer service standards.
2) Outreach & Partnerships: Develop and sustain partnerships with public conservation agencies, lake associations, and other stakeholders; meet with public officials, sportsmen’s groups, and other key audiences to educate them about the work of the Land Trust.
 3) Fundraising: Work closely with the Director of Development & Communications and other staff to secure and administer grants for priority acquisitions and conservation easements; prepare funding proposals and participate in fundraising events as needed.
4) Land Protection Projects: While implementing a select portfolio of land acquisition and conservation easement projects, oversee completion of other projects by the Senior Field Representative and Land Protection Specialist.
5) Water Quality Projects: Work with other staff, contractors, and partner organizations to prioritize, design, and implement demonstration projects to reduce nutrient runoff into streams and lakes.


  • A bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Successful work experience in land conservation, water resources, or a related field
  • Strong written, verbal, and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work independently while also operating as part of a team
  • Ability to work with diverse partners and constituents
  • Experience with securing and administering grants
  • Strong organizational and computer skills
  • Willingness to travel and work flexible hours
  • A strong commitment to conservation
  • Attention to detail
  • Supervisory experience

Compensation: Competitive salary and benefits package commensurate with experience

About the Finger Lakes Land Trust: Since it was established in 1989, the Land Trust has conserved more than 21,000 acres of significant open space through the use of conservation easements, the establishment of public conservation areas, and the provision of technical assistance to local governments and non-profit organizations. The work of the organization is carried out by 15 staff and more than 200 volunteers.

The Land Trust’s primary office is in Ithaca and a satellite office is located in Corning. The organization owns and manages a network of 42 public conservation areas and holds 140 conservation easements on land that remains in private ownership. 

Contact: Applicants should send a resume, three references, and a cover letter to Aquillah White at Applications will be accepted until this position is filled.