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Conservation Advocate - East Bay and Northern California

About CNPS

The California Native Plant Society (CNPS) is a statewide non-profit conservation organization ( founded in 1965, with more than 11,000 members in 35 chapters across California and Baja California Mexico. The mission of CNPS is to increase understanding and appreciation of California’s native plants and to conserve them and their natural habitats through scientific study, education, advocacy, horticulture, and land stewardship. The East Bay Chapter of CNPS (CNPS-EB) consists of members within Alameda and Contra Costa counties.


The Conservation Advocate - East Bay and Northern California is responsible for providing conservation advocacy on projects for the CNPS-EB and supporting the state office’s conservation priorities in Northern California. Reporting to CNPS’ Conservation Program Director in Sacramento and working closely with CNPS-EB’s Conservation Committee, the Conservation Advocate works to build public support for native plant conservation in the East Bay and Northern California, including developing and implementing advocacy strategies, building and strengthening diverse partnerships, and educating the public and stakeholders about plant conservation challenges in the region.

A focus of the position is developing and communicating advocacy positions and best practices for ecologically beneficial vegetation management to local land managers and fire agencies, and to state agencies concerned with forestry and vegetation fuel management.

Based in the East Bay, the position includes up to three days per week (60% time) working in the East Bay, with regular trips to the CNPS state office in Sacramento, and frequent travel to field sites, including CNPS and stakeholder meetings throughout Alameda County and Contra Costa County and elsewhere in Northern California.


  • Analyze local and regional plant conservation and land management issues. Formulate, recommend, and facilitate appropriate conservation advocacy positions on behalf of CNPS. Partner with the Conservation Committee of CNPS-EB to analyze local plant conservation and land management challenges, and develop and implement advocacy strategies and campaigns with local land managers and government agencies to advance native plant conservation
  • Analyze and comment on NEPA and CEQA documents and other planning and policy documents.
  • Represent CNPS on conservation and land management issues with other conservation organizations, government agencies, and officials, at public meetings, site visits, working committees, and other venues. Make presentations to engage the general public on priority plant conservation issues.
  • Strengthen existing partnerships and identify new opportunities with conservation and community organizations around priority conservation areas and land management issues.
  • Coordinate, including working with the Public Relations Program and volunteer leaders, to produce materials for blogs, newsletter articles, webinar programs, publications, and action alerts. Assist in preparing press releases, interviewing with the press, and/or arranging interviews with lead volunteers, and in social media.
  • Working with volunteer leaders, identify and advance opportunities to integrate CNPS-EB conservation priorities across the Chapter, engaging other Chapter programs such as the native plant nursery, public education, science, and field restoration programs to support and inform the Chapter’s conservation work.
  • Provide assistance as requested by the EB Chapter Board of Directors with fundraising efforts
  • Provide regular reports summarizing activities.


  • BA/BS degree, with a degree in conservation biology, natural resource management, botany, biology, public policy, or related field.
  • 4-8 years of professional work experience including experience with issue analysis, campaign/project management, and public communications.
  • Strong commitment and dedication to environmental conservation.
  • Excellent writing skills with expertise writing in a variety of formats, such as blogs, newsletter articles, action alerts, comment letters, and internal and external reports for various audiences.
  • Excellent oral communication skills, including ability to speak publicly and provide testimony in a variety of forums.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including giving and receiving regular feedback.
  • Commitment to advancing equity and inclusion in the conservation movement.
  • Demonstrated ability to work well with a wide variety of people, including volunteers, agency personnel, community leaders, academics, elected officials, professional and amateur botanists, members of the community, and other stakeholders.
  • High degree of initiative and ability to work both independently and as part of the CNPS organization team.

Desired Knowledge and Experience

  • Experience in community or environmental advocacy.   
  • Knowledge of native plants and plant communities in the East Bay and throughout California
  • Experience working in socio-economically diverse communities.
  • Understanding of local, California and Federal plant conservation laws and regulations.

Physical Requirements

Physical requirements include the ability to use a computer for prolonged periods; travel regularly involving frequent multiple-hour car trips, and conduct fieldwork alone, sometimes in remote and rugged areas and often off-trail. These requirements are representative, and reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.

Additional Information

  • Travel to locations in the East Bay and multi-day travel throughout Northern California will be required. 
  • Work time is generally Monday through Friday 8:00 to 5:00, but is flexible. There will be frequent evening meetings and occasional weekend commitments
  • A valid California driver’s license.

Status and Compensation

This is an exempt, full-time staff position supervised by the CNPS Conservation Program Director. The salary range for this position is $70,411 to $75,878, commensurate with qualifications and experience. CNPS offers very competitive benefits, including full payment of employee health insurance premiums, life insurance, and a 6% retirement match. Annual paid leave benefits include 12 holidays, 12 sick days, and 15 paid vacation days to start.

Equal Opportunity Policy

It is CNPS’s policy to afford equal employment opportunities to all persons. This policy demonstrates CNPS's commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive environment that values the different perspectives that diversity fosters. To better understand the demographic profile of CNPS applicants, we request candidates to fill out the voluntary questionnaire that is part of the application form. Your responses will remain confidential, anonymized, and not shared with the hiring committee.

To Apply

Please submit a resume, cover letter, and writing sample. Please include any pertinent information, including professional and personal experience that is relevant to the position. The deadline to apply is June 18, 2021.

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