Position announcement: Stewardship & Education Program Associate (now closed)

About FMR

Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR) is a leading nonprofit that protects, restores and enhances the Mississippi River and its watershed in the Twin Cities region. Our focus is the metro area, but our impact is often regional or national.

Our goals are to:
• improve water quality,
• conserve important lands,
• engage people in learning about and taking action to protect and enhance one of the world's greatest rivers,
• inspire widespread commitment to this natural wonder flowing through our communities, and
• protect our river's unique scenic, natural, cultural and recreational qualities.

With an annual budget of $4.3 million, FMR employs a dedicated, professional staff of 25 who work to improve the river's health through policy advocacy, education and engagement, land conservation and ecological restoration and other disciplines. For over 30 years, FMR has established deep relationships and credibility with thousands of residents, volunteers, landowners, partner organizations, government agencies, and elected officials.

With a well-known and respected brand, a seasoned and effective staff, a strong board of directors, and a growing support base, FMR is poised for continued growth and success. Our workplace culture is collaborative and fun; staff members share a common love of the river and dedication to FMR's mission, vision and core values.

FMR believes the Mississippi River belongs to all of us and its gifts should flow to everyone in our community. We strive to be culturally competent, welcoming and inclusive. We are working toward greater social and environmental justice, using our resources and influence to redress structural inequality in our own organization and where it intersects with the health and vitality of the Mississippi River. We encourage interested applicants from all backgrounds to apply.

The position

This position is 32 hours/week, with benefits.

The Stewardship & Education Program Associate reports to the Stewardship & Education Director and will join a team of five in FMR's Stewardship & Education department. The associate will support FMR's volunteer stewardship and restoration events and environmental education programs. In addition to managing day-to-day administrative tasks, they will be responsible for coordinating two key initiatives: the Storm Drain Stenciling program and Stream Health Evaluation Program.

Since 2006, FMR has coordinated the Stream Health Evaluation Program (SHEP) in the Rice Creek Watershed District. SHEP uses trained volunteers to evaluate the biological health of streams by sampling benthic macroinvertebrates, small stream-dwelling bugs. Storm drain stenciling is a hands-on outdoor service activity focused on improving our local water resources. Using paint and stencils, volunteers mark storm drains with the message, "Keep 'em Clean, Drains to River (Lake or Creek)!" and distribute educational door hangers to neighborhood homes and businesses.

The position is right for an organized and detail-oriented person with a genuine commitment to protecting the environmental and cultural resources of the Mississippi River. The ideal candidate will have well-developed communication skills and one or more years of relevant experience in community outreach, volunteer coordination, strategic communications or related responsibilities.


  • Work collaboratively with the Stewardship & Education Team to understand, help shape, and meet the organization’s outreach, education and volunteer engagement priorities and goals.
  • Coordinate the Storm Drain Stenciling & Education Program, including facilitating outdoor educational events, communications, participant registration and data entry. Upload and organize event photos after each event on Flickr and organize and track stencil bin check-out requests.
  • Coordinate the Stream Health Evaluation Program, leading events on evenings and weekends.
  • Assist the Stewardship & Education team with educational workshops for community members and K-12 youth to benefit water quality, habitat, and the River.
  • Assist the Youth Program Manager with outreach/communications, coordination of supplies and leading youth programming events. Assist with programming and facilitation for the Environmental Stewardship Institute summer program and school-year council.
  • Assist the Volunteer Coordinator with FMR habitat restoration and public stewardship events, often on evenings and weekends.
  • Assist with developing promotional materials and other communications efforts to promote education programs to the public as needed.
  • Work within the Stewardship & Education Program on implementing FMR’s goals and strategies for diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Other administrative support or duties as assigned.

Minimum qualifications

  • Strong written, oral, and interpersonal communication skills. Ability to lead educational activities for large groups.
  • Interest in community engagement, volunteer coordination, and environmental education.
  • Strong project management and organizational skills, including the ability to plan work, meet deadlines and balance multiple projects and objectives.
  • Willingness to work a flexible schedule — often on evenings and weekends — that is adaptive to the organization's needs.
  • Experience and comfort interacting with people of all ages and cultural backgrounds, including being comfortable with the challenges and rewards of intercultural communication.
  • Strong organizational ability, ability to manage time and work efficiently.
  • Self-motivation, initiative, ability, and eagerness to work as part of a team.
  • Having access to personal transportation is required, as well as a willingness to transport project equipment in their vehicle. Mileage and parking costs for work-related travel will be reimbursed.
  • Strong teamwork ethic, flexible with a positive, proactive attitude.

Additional desired qualifications

  • Experience facilitating or teaching environmental education events with the public or school groups.
  • Experience with Google Meet, Google Drive (documents, spreadsheets and presentations), databases and other office-related software and online meeting platforms (Zoom, Teams).                                  
  • Proficiency in database, spreadsheet and word processing software.                                 
  • Knowledge or background in natural resources, water quality or environmental education.

Salary & benefits

Pay for this position is $22/hr. Benefits are prorated based on hours and include health, dental and short-term disability insurance, retirement match, parking/transit allowance and generous paid vacation, sick and holiday leave. 

To apply

Please consolidate your application into one PDF document that includes: a cover letter summarizing your interest in and qualifications for the position; a 1-2 page résumé; and the names, titles and phone numbers of three professional references (or two professional and one personal reference). Please include your last name in the file name and email it as an attachment with "Stewardship & Education Program Associate" as the subject line to mbierma@fmr.org.

The position will remain open until filled. Applicants are encouraged to apply by February 16, 2024. Learn more about FMR's commitment to advancing equity.


Upcoming Events

Tuesday, July 30, 2024 - 5:30pm to 8:00pm
Rotary Pavilion at Levee Park, Hastings
Saturday, August 3, 2024 - 9:00am to 2:00pm
Mississippi River Gorge, Minneapolis
New date: Saturday, August 10, 2024 at 5 p.m.
Hidden Falls Regional Park, St. Paul