Job posting: Participatory Engagement Coordinator

Join our team!

Participatory Engagement Coordinator
Condition: Full-time, Exempt – Professional, Weekdays with some evening and weekend work
Location: Twin Cities Metropolitan Area with limited travel throughout Minnesota
Salary Range: $42,000 – $62,000 Annually
Start Date: On or about September 8, 2020

Background – About Freshwater
Freshwater Society is a nonprofit organization that seeks to inspire and empower people to value and preserve our freshwater resources. Founded in 1968, we were the first freshwater biology research lab in North America. Over the last fifty years, the organization has shifted focus from exclusively research to incorporate education and public policy work. Collective action and sound physical science remain the heart of Freshwater’s mission.

Today, Freshwater works to tackle many complex water issues in Minnesota and downstream that threaten water quality, public health, and quality of life. As everything that happens on land impacts water, we engage in this work through a variety of programs that align to build community, professional, political, and science leadership and capacity. In alignment with our mission, we strive to activate our organizational values in our internal and external operations:

• We value safe and reliable water for all Minnesotans and everyone downstream.
• We value equity and inclusion of diverse perspectives.
• We value community-led solutions that foster equitable and durable change.
• We value science- and evidence-based principles as a basis for our advocacy and action.
• We value convening collaboratively and serving as a catalyst for constructive dialogue and change.
• We value teamwork, transparency, integrity and shared leadership.
• We value sustainability in our operations (reducing water use and energy consumption, reaching carbon-neutral impact and zero waste production).

To that end, we believe strongly that people who will be impacted by a decision need to be involved in naming the problem being addressed, and in crafting the solution. This requires deep, thoughtful engagement in local communities, and a commitment to honor the time and perspectives of those engaged.

Position description
Context: Over the last several years, Freshwater has emerged as an in-demand, trusted convener who understands the science behind water-resource management as well as the social science behind governance, shared decision-making, planning, and behavior change. We use proven participatory engagement methods to curate and lead stakeholder-driven processes that lead to enhanced relationships, increased buy-in, and enduring action and changes on the landscape. Our staff continually adapt and improve our methods, and train others interested in the techniques we incorporate into our work. We are seeking a qualified staff member to join our team, with a primary focus on supporting our work on local government One Watershed, One Plan efforts.

As Freshwater provides support for community-based efforts that align with our values and strategic priorities, new opportunities to support others’ work arise with some regularity; topics and locations will change over time. For example, projects in this program area have included designing, leading, and following up on:

– 4 different One Watershed, One Plan efforts around Minnesota
– A series of workshops to identify farmer-driven strategies to protect groundwater and agricultural economies at the same time
– A strategic planning workshop for the Iowa Floodplain and Stormwater Managers Association
– A series of workshops with representatives from state agencies and interest groups to identify barriers to and strategies that will enhance outcomes from Minnesota’s Clean Water Fund
– A series of workshops for cities and watersheds in the metro to identify community-specific strategies to increase climate resilience
– Ongoing opportunities to support the advancement of water reuse technologies and approaches in Minnesota.

Position Responsibilities include:
– Contributing to the development of Freshwater events, programs and partnerships
– Collaborating with other staff to build integrated approaches to addressing complex water challenges
– Coordinating with partners to understand their needs and goals, and designing processes to meet those goals
– Planning, leading or participating in meetings, workshops, or events (online for now)
– Transcription, organization, and analysis of quantitative and qualitative data
– Writing reports, memos, and other communication items for various audiences
– Presenting outcomes to partners, including nonprofit staff, local government staff, elected officials, and community members

Experiences and skills required:
– Ability to convene, organize, and create meaningful working relationships with people from varying backgrounds and experiences in a group setting
– Experience with and a commitment to participatory planning approaches
– Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, including racial justice and intercultural relationships and competence
– Commitment to personal and professional growth and development, and development of other staff
– Outcomes-oriented, creative problem solver
– Strong organizational, planning and time management skills
– Comfortable in a collaborative environment, with the ability to also work independently and be self-guided
– Effective communication skills both verbal and written
– Proficiency with Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
– Working knowledge of qualitative and quantitative analysis tools and techniques

Preferred qualifications
– 3 years of relevant experience OR a Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning or related field
– Specific experience advancing environmental justice
– Specific experience leading or supporting systems change efforts
– Familiarity with Art of Hosting techniques
– Ability to proficiently communicate in a language other than English, with preference for Spanish, Hmong, Somali To apply:

Please submit the following as a part of your application by email:
– Cover letter: Please answer the following questions as a part of your cover letter:
– What intrigues or excites you about this position and/or working at Freshwater?
– What would you hope to contribute to this work?
– What would you hope to learn from this work?
– Resumé
– Three references, including a minimum of 1 from professional experiences
– Two examples of relevant work (such as a produced report or document, process design, sorted qualitative analysis spreadsheet, newsletter article, etc.)

Applications are due by noon on Monday, August 17, 2020 to:
John Linc Stine, Executive Director