Job Openings

Regional Riparian Forest Buffer Specialist


Partnership and stakeholder-related responsibilities:

  • Provide staff support for the Riparian Forest Buffer Advisory Committee, leadership team and action teams, etc.
  • Assist with planning and hosting the Riparian Forest Buffer Summit.
  • Represent the Bureau of Forestry at in-state and multi-state meetings related to riparian buffers (such as the Riparian Buffer Advisory Committee and the Chesapeake Bay Forestry Workgroup, etc.)
  • Create, foster and expand productive relationships with appropriate partners.
  • Cooperate with other bureaus and state agencies to enhance riparian buffer restoration efforts within the Commonwealth.
  • Liaison with other conservation agencies/organizations, as appropriate, to stay abreast of best practices and programs, such as CREP and other partner programs for buffer implementation.
  • Attend trainings, workshops and conferences as appropriate/necessary.

Communication-Related Responsibilities:

  • Conduct workshops/trainings related to riparian buffer implementation, management or program specifics.
  • Conduct public presentations, when appropriate/requested.
  • Articulate to multiple audiences the importance of riparian buffers to wildlife and water quality.
  • Assist with creating brochures/fliers and other communications and outreach materials, as needed.
  • Assist with developing communication and outreach strategies targeting landowner segments and groups.
  • Increase visibility of riparian buffer programs within Pennsylvania.

Planning, Reporting and Administrative Responsibilities:

  • Grant writing and reporting activities, as needed.
  • Assist the Bureau of Recreation and Conservation with its riparian forest buffer grant program (grant review, technical assistance, etc.).
  • Maintain appropriate records and files, and provide periodic reports of accomplishments, as required.
  • Track and map implementation of riparian forest buffers across Pennsylvania.
  • Assist with review of grant applications, as requested.
  • Review applicable policies/regulations and provide feedback as appropriate.
  • Assist with quarterly reporting to WPC and DCNR.
  • Complete monthly reporting as required, such as expense reporting, travel reimbursements, etc.
  • Complete other bi-monthly, monthly, quarterly, annual, etc. reporting duties as required.

Technical assistance responsibilities:

  • Support the Commonwealth’s Chesapeake Bay implementation plan by accelerating riparian tree planting and riparian conservation efforts within the Bay watershed and across the Commonwealth.
  • Work with conservation partners and landowners of all types to identify new riparian tree planting locations, especially within (but not limited to) the eastern half of Pennsylvania.
  • Provide technical assistance in the form of advisement, design and implementation for planting and maintenance of new buffers, including management and treatment of existing riparian forest buffers.
  • Implement and manage all aspects of the riparian tree plantings. This may include:
    • Help negotiate riparian tree planting contracts
    • Assist landowners with funding applications
    • Custom design riparian planting sites, including mapping and development of plants and materials list
    • Coordinate with land owners, contractors, partner organizations, volunteers and planting contractors to ensure that all materials, tools, information, tree stock and technical assistance are available at the right time and the right place.
  • Provide relevant riparian forest buffer information to interested landowners.
  • Teach landowners the knowledge and skills to implement best practices related to riparian buffers.
  • Liaison with other agencies or institutions regarding new technologies/best practices.
  • Lead efforts on riparian forest buffer implementation on agricultural lands, such as pasture and crop fields, especially with counties working to implement county-level Chesapeake Bay WIPs.

General Duties:

  • Support other areas of programming within the Rural & Community Forestry Section within DCNR Bureau of Forestry, as requested by the RCF Section Chief (such as TreeVitalize and Woodland Stewardship).
  • Review and comment on written material, as requested by others in the bureau.
  • Provide appropriate information, as requested, to the state forester’s office, field offices and other program offices.
  • Establish and maintain good communications with the bureau’s field offices and other program areas, other bureaus of the department, other governmental agencies and conservation organizations.
  • Perform public relations duties, including staffing display booths, addressing interested groups and participating in meetings with cooperating public and private agencies.
  • Attend and participate in appropriate training programs and conferences.
  • Perform all other duties as assigned. 


  • Must have excellent organizational skills and be able to handle multiple tasks and priorities.
  • Excellent work ethic, drive and motivation to succeed as an individual and as a team player.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills are required. Must have the ability to work successfully with people at all organizational levels and from all backgrounds,
  • Must have excellent verbal and written communication skills: ability to effectively meet with, speak with, educate and present to a wide variety of audiences and individuals.
  • Good computer skills are required, including data management and document development.
  • Public presentation experience and skills required.
  • Must excel in working independently as well as with a team and have excellent time management skills.
  • Bachelor’s degree in natural resource management, environmental science, forestry, related field OR a related degree and equivalent experience.
  • Knowledge of Pennsylvania environment, ecology and natural systems
  • Basic knowledge and experience with ArcMap software and Global Positioning System (GPS) technology.
  • Must be flexible with schedule and willing to work occasional evenings and weekends, as needed.
  • Must be able to perform physical work, carry heavy equipment and navigate uneven terrain.
  • Must possess a valid driver’s license and be willing/able to travel to various locations throughout the Commonwealth on a regular basis.


  • Previous experiences in natural resources.
  • Ability to identify plant species in order to design riparian planting plans and advise landowners.
  • Previous experience working with agricultural landowners and communities.
  • Knowledge of riparian forest buffer planning, implementation and maintenance techniques.


The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy considers applicants and volunteers without regard to race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, sexual preference, disability, marital status or veteran status. Read the WPC Equal Opportunity Employer Statement.