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Natural Resource Specialist

Minneapolis (currently remote), MN 


Hennepin County's Environment and Energy Department (EED) is seeking a Natural Resource Specialist to evaluate, protect, restore, and diversify wildlife habitat and natural ecosystems, focusing on the county's conservation easement interests. This position will assist with annual easement inspections; landowner outreach and communications; establishing baseline understanding of biological conditions on easement properties; updating and modernizing easement records; field data collection related to habitat and restoration activities; and research and desktop data collection associated with planning and strategy development. The person selected for this position must balance landowner relationships, field work, and detailed documentation to successfully support Hennepin County’s land protection and restoration goals.

Location and hours:

This position is currently being performed remotely due to COVID-19. When offices re-open, work will be done in remote, office and field environments. This position is based at the Hennepin County Environment and Energy Department at 701 Fourth Avenue South, Suite 700 Minneapolis, MN 55415, but will work extensively throughout the county. This position may occasionally make use of available workspace at the county’s Public Works facility in Medina, MN. Work hours are flexible and will be Monday through Friday, any time between the hours of 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. Evening and weekend hours are occasionally required.

About this position type:

This is a limited duration (temporary) full-time, benefit earning position expected to last up to two years with the possibility of extension. Salary is $53,257.64 - $82,426.41 Annually.

In this position, you will:


  • Perform annual easement inspections and evaluation of new easement opportunities, including coordinating with partners and easement landowners, preparation of equipment and materials for field work, completing documentation and follow-up activities.
  • Create biological monitoring standards and protocols for conservation easement properties and habitat restoration and enhancement projects.
  • Conduct surveys of terrestrial, wetland, and aquatic plants using biological monitoring protocols.
  • Provide GIS and mapping updates associated with Habitat Conservation Program including database and shapefile edits, data management, and coordination with Hennepin County’s GIS Office.
  • Interpret orthophotography, analyze natural resource data layers in ArcGIS, and use professional skills (e.g., ecological, biological) to evaluate existing and potential vegetative cover/habitat.
  • Update and modernize records related to existing conservation easements, specifically to easement boundary records.
  • Provide technical assistance to landowners, Land and Water Unit staff, and other county departments on general inquiries related to natural resource topics. 


Need to have:

One of the following:


  • Bachelor's degree or higher in natural resources management, ecology, botany, environmental science, biology, geography, wildlife management or a closely related field of study and six months or more of work experience related to the assignment.
  • Four years and six months or more of work experience related to the assignment.
  • A valid driver's license and the ability to obtain a Hennepin County driver's permit.
  • Ability and willingness to work outside, occasionally in adverse conditions.


Nice to have:



  • Using ArcGIS, ArcMap, ArcGIS Online, ArcPro CAD, QGIS, GoogleEarth or related tools for data analysis, editing, and creation for data analysis, editing and creation.
  • Identifying Minnesota flora (native and non-native) common to Hennepin County and collecting related biological field data using methods such as Rapid Floristic Quality Assessment, MnRAM, Hydrogeomorphic Method, plot surveys, point-intercept surveys, meander surveys, transect surveys, and other related methods.
  • Identifying Minnesota fauna common to Hennepin County and collecting related biological field data using methods common to birds (e.g., bird call ID, point counts, transect surveys, nest surveys, breeding bird surveys), pollinators and other invertebrates (e.g., transect surveys, dip netting), mammals (e.g., trail cameras, scat and track identification), reptiles and amphibians (e.g., cover boards, frog calls).
  • Using the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Native Plant Community Classification System.


Ability to:


  • Work with private landowners and other conservation partners with diverse perspectives.
  • Read, understand, and summarize a variety of legal, technical, and planning documents, maps, and aerial photos.
  • Contribute to the Unit's role in the Wetland Conservation Act.
  • Proficiency in remote sensing of natural resources data layers.
  • Knowledge of field protocols and methods for documenting bird, mammal or invertebrate habitat use including acoustic monitoring, pollinator surveys, wildlife cameras, and nest surveys.


About the department:

The Environment and Energy Department protects and preserves the environment to enhance the quality of life for current and future generations.  We engage communities to develop and enact sustainable solutions. We focus on reducing and responsibly managing waste, protecting and preserving ecosystems, delivering clean energy and promoting environmental stewardship.

About Hennepin County: 

Hennepin is the largest county government organization in Minnesota. Our employees work every day to improve the health, safety and quality of life for our residents and communities. All of our jobs align to one or more of our overarching goals -- that Hennepin County residents are healthy, protected and safe, self-reliant, assured due process, and mobile.

Our employees receive a combination of generous benefits and positive workplace culture not found at other organizations. This includes meaningful work that impacts our community, competitive pay, work-life balance, a variety of benefits and opportunities to grow. Learn more at

Hennepin County envisions an organization where our commitment to diversity and the reduction of disparities is fundamental in providing excellent service to our community.


Apply online HERE.

Tell the employer you found this job at ENVIRONMENTALJOBS.COM!

Posted June 4, 2021

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