The Preserve Management Assistant performs and participates in preserve operations and maintenance under the direction of the Western Iowa Land Steward. Tasks include building and repairing fence, invasive species control, preserve and easement monitoring, prescribed fire, and assisting with the bison herd at Broken Kettle Grasslands Preserve. This position will also assist with maintenance of preserve infrastructure, tools, and power equipment. The Preserve Management Assistant will assist with training and directing seasonal employees and interns. The position is based at Broken Kettle Grasslands Preserve. Additionally, work will entail overnight or longer travel to other preserves in western Iowa and occasionally to other locations in the region. Irregular hours including nights and weekends may be occasionally required. This is a full-time, 9-month position, with expected end date in December 2022. Housing will be provided.


The Preserve Management Assistant removes exotic species, maintains/builds fence, conducts preserve and easement monitoring, and assists with livestock.  They may assist in prescribed burns and maintain tools, equipment, and land.  They should be familiar with various types of equipment including but not limited to chainsaws, tractors, trailers, fire equipment such as drip torches, water tanks, and pumps, and herbicide handling equipment such as backpack and ATV mounted spray tanks. The Preserve Management Assistant will maintain preserve records using a database or PC.


  • Supervises no staff, but may help plan and direct preserve work groups, including staff or volunteers.
  • May work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain, and under physically demanding circumstances.
  • Requires considerable physical exertion and/or muscular strain.
  • Requires long hours in isolated settings.
  • Makes day to day decisions as delegated by supervisor.
  • May work under infrequent supervision.


  • High school diploma or GED and 1 year’s training in science-related field or related experience in land stewardship activities.
  • Experience recognizing plant and animal species.
  • Experience operating various types of equipment.
  • Experience working in a team environment.
  • Must be able to obtain related licenses or certifications as required. (e.g. First Aid, CPR, driver’s license).


  • 1 – 2 years’ experience in land stewardship activities.
  • College coursework towards an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree, in Natural Resources Management, Biology, Environmental Sciences or related area of study
  • Experience working with or knowledge of natural systems.
  • Ability to recognize plant and animal species to complete preserve management activities.
  • Ability to operate and maintain various types of equipment in a safe and efficient manner (e.g.; brush mower, chainsaw, tractor, two-way radio, experience hauling trailers, etc.).
  • Ability to follow instructions from colleagues and to convey work instructions to preserve management team members, including volunteers.
  • Ability to interact with preserve visitors and to convey basic preserve information.
  • Ability to function productively as a member or leader of a work team.
  • Ability to hold crew to high quality work standards.
  • Ability to perform physical work, sometimes under adverse conditions or in inclement weather.
  • PC and/or mobile device familiarity, including database knowledge or understanding.
  • Completion of NWCG Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior (S-190) and Firefighting Training (S-130).
  • Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.
  • The Nature Conservancy has adopted the Work Capacity Test (WCT) as the method for assessing fitness for fire qualifications. The WCT for moderate level consists of completing a two-mile hike, within thirty minutes, while carrying a twenty-five-pound pack. The person selected for this position is required to pass the moderate WCT.