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WATER QUALITY COORDINATOR

The Merrimack River Watershed Council (MRWC) seeks a full-time Water Quality Coordinator to join our dynamic and growing team. This role is ideal for someone who is a highly organized self-starter and prides themselves on: 1) collaborative teamwork, 2) technical skills in water quality, 3) constructive problem solving, 4) existing community connections in the Greater Lowell and Greater Lawrence areas, or the skills to build those connections. If you have a strong work ethic, passionate drive, and enduring commitment to water and climate justice in our watershed, consider joining our team.

About MRWC: The MRWC is a nonprofit environmental organization that protects and improves the Merrimack River Watershed for all people and wildlife through science, education, recreation, and advocacy. Our mission is a mandate to both protect our communities from environmental harm and to educate and engage residents in restoring our vital natural resources. We work with diverse stakeholders, decision makers and communities to address threats including water pollution, habitat loss, aging infrastructure, and climate change. We also promote public access to the river and its greenspaces. MRWC has a main office in Lawrence, Massachusetts and a secondary office in Concord, New Hampshire. However, MRWC works throughout the entire 5,000 square mile watershed, which begins in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and flows out to the ocean at Newburyport and Salisbury, Massachusetts.

About the Position: The Coordinator will work closely with MRWC Program Managers to expand, integrate and manage MRWC’s activities in: 1) water quality monitoring, 2) watershed planning, 3) green infrastructure project development for climate resilience and water quality improvements, and 4) engagement of a diverse group of stakeholders to solve water related issues. The Coordinator will implement programing to monitor the physical, chemical and biological integrity of the Mighty Merrimack River and its tributaries. The Coordinator will build out partnerships with local organizations and key agencies to identify and adopt science-based solutions to water quality and quantity issues.

Location: This position is based out of our Lawrence, MA office, but there is opportunity to work remotely a few days a week, when field work and in-office work are not required. Water monitoring and river events happen regularly throughout the watershed so regular travel and field work within the watershed should be expected.

Schedule: Full-time exempt with options for flexible scheduling. This position requires occasional early morning or weekend sampling, and occasional evening meetings and weekend events.

Key Responsibilities:

 1. Water Quality Monitoring Program coordination

  • Manage and refine MRWC’s volunteer-based water quality monitoring on the main stem of the Merrimack, including regular year-round sampling, hotspot monitoring, data analysis, and technical reporting
  • Adjust and improve the program over time to ensure program is scientifically sound and efficient
  • Manage data collection, data recording, QA/QC and upload to EPA database
  • Maintain water quality monitoring equipment and supply inventory
  • Analyze samples using our in-house IDEXX system
  • Analyze data and develop annual reports
  • Communicate findings to local, state and federal partners through presentations, meetings, and public speaking engagements
  • Identify areas for further study or for targeted solutions, based on data findings
  1. Watershed planning
  • Support municipalities in developing EPA 9-point watershed-based plans aimed at studying and solving non-point source pollution issues, including:
    • Designing water quality monitoring studies in Merrimack tributaries
    • Coordinating with the EPA and commercial labs for sample analysis
    • Conducting background research on water quality issues
    • Engaging stakeholders to identify water quality issues and potential solutions
    • Facilitating the design of Best Management Practices for stormwater and non-point source pollution management
  • Support municipalities in developing and implementing climate resilient, nature-based solutions to flooding and water quality
  • Promote watershed-wide mindset and cross-municipality collaboration in water management
  1. Project and Program Development
  • Leverage existing projects and relationships to develop new projects
  • Identify key solutions to water quality issues and work with the Program Managers and stakeholders to develop projects around those solutions
  • Present information to municipalities, wastewater treatment facilities and other key partners
  • Build connections between water quality programming and other areas of the organization such as community engagement, youth education, restoration and others
  1. Stakeholder Engagement:
  • Build enduring local partnerships to advance water quality improvement projects, collaborative solutions, and investments
  • Expand the number of community connections of the MRWC with community members, volunteers, businesses, local organizations, and municipal government departments, particularly in environmental justice communities

Required Qualifications: Above all, we seek an individual who is motivated to take on new challenges, and believes in this work. The ideal candidate is a collaborative self-starter with drive and enthusiasm. Required:

  • Bachelor’s degree + 4 years of relevant work experience or Master’s degree + 2 years of relevant work experience
  • Degree in environmental science, hydrology, aquatic biology, ecology, environmental chemistry, civil/environmental engineering or related field
  • Project coordination experience
  • Excellent inter-personal, verbal and written communication skills
  • Demonstrated success managing data
  • Ability to develop and carry out scientific studies – design a study, collect data, manage data analysis and draw conclusions
  • Experience working across diverse groups and neighborhoods
  • Experience or interest in ensuring equity and inclusion in science and making technical concepts accessible to all audiences
  • Strategic thinker and desire to develop collaborative solutions to complex problems
  • Proficient in GIS software and Microsoft Office Suite

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Bilingual in Spanish (spoken and written) is not required but is a plus
  • Familiarity and community connections within Lawrence, Lowell or nearby area is not required but is a plus
  • Experience with data visualization software and programming such as R, Tableau or Visual Basic is not required but a plus

*This position requires occasional field work, including on water, in boats, or on uneven terrain.

Salary and Benefits: Starting salary is dependent on experience. Benefits package includes a health insurance contribution, paid time off, paid family and medical leave, and mileage reimbursements.

To Apply: Submit a cover letter and resume, which will be considered on a rolling basis until Monday, May 16th at 5pm detailing your interest and qualifications to careers@merrimack.org with the subject line “Water Quality Coordinator.” No calls, please.

At the Merrimack River Watershed Council, we don’t just value difference — we celebrate it and we thrive on it for the benefit of our employees, our services, and our community. MRWC is proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.

NH AmeriCorps Members

The Merrimack River Watershed Council (MRWC) protects and restores the Merrimack River watershed for all people and wildlife through education, recreation, science, ecological restoration and advocacy. We work with diverse stakeholders and decision makers to address threats such as combined sewer overflows and climate change; educate the public on important watershed issues; engage communities in drinking water protection; and promote public access to the Merrimack and its tributaries.

As part of our growing NH team, MRWC has two half-year positions (22.5 weeks) available as part of the Summer/Fall Lakes Region Conservation Corps (LRCC), an AmeriCorps State program. Members serving with MRWC will work together to achieve the following tasks:

    1. Educational and outreach events
        • Coordinate and serve as on-site lead for 1-3 events per month in NH, including volunteer recruitment, tracking, logistics, equipment, etc. Events may include: tree-planting, invasive species removal, trash cleanups, paddling trips, guided nature walks, speaker series, etc.
        • Identify and develop partnership opportunities and connections with underserved communities
        • Develop a cohesive curriculum for all NH events
    2. Ecological restoration projects
        • Assist the Restoration Project Manager to identify, plan and implement a suite of riparian buffer restoration projects
        • Lead community tree-planting events and invasive removal projects, including volunteer recruitment, tracking, logistics, equipment, etc.
        • Contribute towards building the water quality and/or biological monitoring program in NH
    3. Communications for the MRWC NH team
        • Lead the development, scheduling, and posting of social media content
        • Serve as the lead on coordinating and conducting tabling events 

These positions are based out of our new Concord, NH office, although occasional flexibility on working from home 1-2 days/week will be discussed during the interview process. Restoration projects occur throughout the watershed so regular travel is expected. This position requires occasional early morning and evening commitments, and approximately 1-3 weekend events/month.

Benefits:

    • Wilderness First Aid & CPR Certification
    • Living allowance: $534 biweekly stipend
    • AmeriCorps Segal Education Award of $3,172.50 (half-year) received upon successful completion of the program (minimum of 900 hours for half-year).
    • Free housing or a housing stipend of $500/month
    • Student loan forbearance on qualifying loans
    • Professional development opportunities including in-house training, staff mentoring, and engaging with partners
    • MRWC will also support external training opportunities requested by the AmeriCorps members (subject to approval by host site supervisor)

Minimum qualifications:

    • Science-based and/or educational studies and strong writing skills
    • People skills and an interest in developing skills for sharing science-based information with a non-science audience
    • Excellent oral and written skills
    • Ability to serve independently and as a team member
    • Strong computer and word processing skills (some GIS is a plus)
    • Experience and ease in presenting information to small and large groups
    • Work performed outdoors may be in inclement weather and around construction equipment. Sufficient mobility is required to navigate uneven terrain, steep slopes, moving water and other field conditions.

Candidate requirements:

    • At least 18 years of age by May 16, 2022
    • Be covered under personal health insurance for the duration of the term
    • Comfortable in and around water bodies (rivers, lakes, etc.)
    • Be able to lift 50 pounds, carry and use heavy tools
    • Work independently and with a group
    • Be available for full service term: May 16, 2022 – October 19, 2022 (end date dependent on completion of service hours)
    • Willing to work occasional evening and weekends
    • Hold a valid driver’s license and provide their own vehicle and insurance
    • Fully vaccinated against COVID-19 according to CDC standards (Reasonable accommodations may be considered on a case-by-case basis for exemptions to this requirement in accordance with applicable law)
    • Meet AmeriCorps’ minimum requirements:
      • Must clear all required National Service Criminal History Checks
      • Must be a US citizen, US national, or legal permanent resident of the US
      • Must be high school graduates, GED recipients, or must be working toward attaining a high school diploma or GED during their term of service

Rolling applications will be accepted until April 1, 2022, but interested applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Applications are reviewed in the order of submission.

To apply for this position, please visit: https://www.lakesregionconservationcorps.org/apply-now

Explore the river

Our mission is to improve and conserve the Merrimack River watershed for people and wildlife through advocacy, education, recreation and science.

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