By Published On: March 16, 2020

New Water 4 Communications Specialist

The IWJV is pleased to announce that Emily Downing has joined the team as the new Water 4 Communications Specialist. The goal of the Water 4 Initiative is to conserve working wet meadows and “water for” agriculture, wildlife and fisheries habitat, groundwater recharge, recreation, and other services that matter to people. The communications specialist works to elevate the message of working wet meadows and cross-boundary and multi-species efforts from the IWJV and its partners.

Emily is excited to be joining the IWJV team in Missoula after wrapping up her work toward a Master’s in Environmental Management from Western Colorado University in Gunnison, Colorado. In her master’s work, Emily focused on collaborative and cross-boundary communication and information gathering processes. A combination of her undergraduate degree in Print Journalism (University of Montana, 2012) and subsequent work freelancing and editing for a digital audience taught her the ins and outs of storytelling. However, she says she learned most about the craft and the importance of good communication in her work as a guide in northwestern Montana.

“The Water 4 Communications Specialist position is an incredible opportunity,” she said. “I’m thrilled to put my skills to work conserving working wet meadow habitat across the Intermountain West.”

Water 4 will benefit from Emily’s experience as a writer and editor. Her communications work for the IWJV and Water 4 will support agricultural producers, public land managers, and other partners by developing messages about conservation on working lands that appeal to a wide audience.

“The IWJV is excited to have such a passionate communications professional joining our team,” said Dave Smith, IWJV Coordinator. “Emily’s writing, editing, and social media skills are superb and will greatly accelerate Water 4 progress. We are so grateful to our Management Board members and partners who contributed time, energy, and resources to the development of this new initiative and communications capacity.” 

Emily’s education, experience, and desire to keep learning have helped her be successful in these multifaceted conservation communications endeavors. Outside of work, Emily can be found roaming around the West on her skis or in her trail runners with Lottie, her “Montana Powder Hound,” and her partner, Brett. Emily will be based in Missoula, Montana. Please welcome Emily to the IWJV at