By Published On: October 29, 2019

Seeking a Water 4 Initiative Communications Specialist

This position is now closed.

The Communications Specialist for the Intermountain West Joint Venture (IWJV) serves as core communications staff working across the 11-state region of the Joint Venture. This position provides critical support in implementing the IWJV’s Strategic Communications Plan and associated Annual Operational Plans with primary focus on the social context of water, wetlands, and wet meadow habitat conservation in the West. The Communications Specialist is responsible for implementing strategic communications (e.g., planning, design, delivery, and evaluation) that effectively convey the diversity of local partnerships, relevance of conservation to people (e.g. ecological services, economic impact, strong communities, etc.), and place-based stories of conservation success to help catalyze strategic habitat conservation in the Intermountain West. 

The position provides lead communications support to the IWJV’s Water 4 Initiative for water, wetlands, and wet meadow habitat conservation on public and privately-owned lands in its focal areas, which currently include: Southern Oregon-Northeastern California (SONEC) region, including the Klamath Basin; Upper-Middle Rio Grande corridor; Eastern Idaho/High Divide region; and Bear River watershed. The position serves as a counterpart to the IWJV Sagebrush Communications Specialist and reports to the IWJV Communications Program Coordinator.


The Communications Specialist will implement strategic communications in close coordination with the IWJV Communications Program Coordinator and in consultation with the Water 4 Initiative Coordinator, SONEC Conservation Delivery Coordinator, and other focal area coordinators/key partners as they are established. The position will also work hand-in-hand with strategic partners to ensure our communications efforts reach priority audiences with targeted messages to influence actions and behaviors benefitting water, wetlands, and wet meadow habitat conservation. The position will convey key messages through the design and delivery of project stories, fact sheets, infographics, story maps, digital media, and other innovative tools relating to the following themes:

  • Agricultural irrigation infrastructure modernization that sustains and improves both wildlife habitat and agricultural production.
  • Groundwater recharge with multiple benefits to water users, fisheries, wildlife, and communities.
  • Fisheries habitat conservation integrated with working wet meadows conservation.
  • Working lands conservation easements to address subdivision fragmentation risk.
  • Floodplain and watershed restoration supporting wildlife and water management objectives.
  • Public wetlands management that adapts to modern day challenges and utilizes science and creative partnerships to maximize habitat availability and meet other needs of public and private landowners.

The Communications Specialist is a position that is hosted by the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA), with day-to-day supervision by the IWJV Communications Program Coordinator in the IWJV Headquarters Office in Missoula, Montana. The location of the position is negotiable. This position requires extensive travel, especially to the Water 4 Initiative focal areas.


  • Bachelor’s degree or higher in communications, journalism, natural resources, agriculture, or related field.
  • Demonstrated skills in popular writing and editing, with a high level of attention to detail and willingness to proof completed work to ensure accuracy.
  • Experience developing and posting website content (especially using WordPress and/or Squarespace) and managing social media accounts.
  • Demonstrated skills in implementing (i.e., designing and delivering) communications tools.
  • Experience employing a variety of digital tactics and tools and interest in pursuing emerging technologies for communications.
  • Knowledge of migratory birds, other wildlife, and/or habitat conservation.
  • Knowledge of the role of agricultural irrigation in sustaining wetland-dependent migratory birds in the Intermountain West.
  • Experience in communicating with and for agricultural producers.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, efficiently and professionally with staff and partners.
  • Ability to work independently, efficiently, take initiative, innovate, and support a team environment, especially to meet deadlines.
  • Ability and willingness to travel extensively, especially to Water 4 Initiative focal areas. (Travel expenses reimbursed according to GSA per diem rates.)


Applicants should review the full position description here, also attached below, and submit the following materials in electronic format (a single PDF preferred) to Laurel Anders at by 11:59 p.m. Mountain Standard Time on November 3, 2019:

  • Cover letter that addresses interest in the position, communications, and natural resource conservation.
  • Resume with a minimum of three professional references.
  • Two to three writing samples related to agriculture, natural resources, or conservation.

ANTICIPATED START DATE:  Negotiable, but target is January 6, 2020.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:  Contact Laurel Anders at or 717-480-6181 and review the full position description, also attached below.