Manager, Resilient Communities and Watershed

Sonoran Institute
Denver, CO
United States
Professional Areas: 
GIS / Technology
Land-Use Management
Regional Planning
Sustainability Planning
Experience Level: 
AICP Certification: 

Outstanding career opportunity with leading community-based natural resource conservation organization serving the North American West for experienced manager. The ideal candidate will have an advanced degree or equivalent experience in natural or water resource management, communicating public policy or climate science, land use, urban/regional planning or related field. We are seeking a team-player with a passion for our work or the desire to learn about and develop a passion for the work of the Sonoran Institute. If you are ready to help make the West great again then keep reading and prepare yourself for an opportunity like no other.

Who we are
The Sonoran Institute’s mission is to connect people and communities with the natural resources that nourish and sustain them. We work at the nexus of commerce, community, and conservation to help people in the North American West build the communities they want to live in while preserving the values which brought them here. We envision a West where civil dialogue and collaboration are hallmarks of decision making, where people and wildlife live in harmony, and where clean water, air, and energy are assured.

The Sonoran Institute has a track record of helping communities plan and adapt to change. Across the North American West, population growth, shifts in the region’s economies, and the impacts of a changing climate are affecting communities and the natural resources that nourish and sustain them. Effective strategies to increase climate resilience, manage growth, and ensure economic prosperity requires sound information, problem-solving tools, collaboration across boundaries and sectors, and improved laws and policies at all levels of government.

The Sonoran Institute’s Colorado Growing Water Smart (CGWS) program helps communities bridge the gap between water management and land use planning to build a more resilient future. This is especially important for Colorado as its population continues to rapidly grow. From 1 million people in 1930 to over 5 million today, projections now anticipate that Colorado’s population could nearly double by 2060. To sustain this growth, Colorado will need to better manage its water supply. Although Colorado is a headwater state, the state’s water supply faces increasing uncertainty with over-appropriated river basins, longer droughts, and more frequent fires. The Colorado Water Plan predicts that by 2050 the state could have a supply gap of up to 560,000 acre-feet.

General Overview
The Manager is primarily responsible for managing activities under CGWS. S/he works closely with the Associate Director, Resilient Communities and Watersheds, and a larger team to develop and execute a variety of duties. The Manager is responsible for education and outreach activities designed to promote community participation in CGWS and elevating the program’s profile among local and state officials. Additionally, s/he participates in the design, marketing, organization, and facilitation of training workshops and provides planning and community engagement assistance to individual communities participating in CGWS. Lastly, the Manager presents and represents the organization at various partner meetings, conferences and other public venues and will be expected to contribute content and editorial review for the Sonoran Institute’s social media, on-line resources, and various publications.

The Manager also will assist in various financial, administrative, and fundraising activities in support of CGWS. These include monitoring program budgets, managing vendor contracts and agreements with consultants; and drafting funder proposals and reports.

Key Responsibilities

  • Develop content and produce written program materials and presentations for prospective communities to participate in CGWS
  • Schedule and present at community meetings and conferences about CGWS
  • Draft, edit, and proofread content for a variety of media, including press releases and announcements, opinion pieces, and social media that describe program activities and accomplishments
  • Assist in the development of training workshop materials and design of workshop sessions
  • Present and facilitate individual workshop sessions
  • Coordinate refinements to community action plans following workshop and requests for follow-up technical assistance
  • Provide direct planning, facilitation, and community engagement assistance as part of follow-up assistance requests
  • Represent Sonoran Institute in meetings, conferences, and other public events organized by partner organizations
  • Assist in the preparation of annual program budgets and individual project budgets, review monthly program financial reports, and make program budget revisions as needed
  • Prepare, submit for approval, and oversee vendor and consultant contracts and payments
  • Develop/manage relationships and contracts with outside agencies, consultants, and partners.
  • Oversee office management and administration in the absence of the Associate Director.
  • Assist in drafting, editing, and proofreading funding proposals and reports
  • Meet with current and prospective funders
  • Respond to information requests from Sonoran Institute Executive, Marketing, Development, and Finance staff
  • Present on program activities to Sonoran Institute Board of Directors

Education & Experience

  • Advanced degree or equivalent experience in natural or water resource management, communicating public policy or climate science, land use, urban/regional planning or related field
  • Five or more years of increasingly responsible experience in relevant fields is desired


  • Demonstrated verbal, written, and graphic communication skills
  • Ability to communicate complex ideas and information to a broad range of audiences.
  • Strong analytical and program management skills
  • Experience in group facilitation and public engagement
  • Proficiency in using the suite of Microsoft Office 365 programs
  • Current valid driver’s license
  • Ability to travel by car and plane in the United States


  • Proficiency in the principles and practice of land use planning or water resource management in Colorado
  • Experience with training or public process design and stakeholder engagement and outreach
  • Experience with website/digital/graphic design/video or other new media tools   
  • Proficiency in using Adobe InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop
  • Familiarity with GIS or other analytical tools
  • Experience working in a non-profit organization
  • Proficiency in Spanish language

What Sonoran Institute Offers Employees

We offer our employees a comprehensive benefits program that includes: employee only medical 100% paid, dental base plan 100% paid, employer paid life and LTD, flexible spending account, retirement plan with employer match, paid holidays, paid time off (20 days first year), and also voluntary vision, STD, and life insurance.

This position will be located in Denver, CO.

How to Apply

Please submit cover letter and resume to

Published on:
January 14, 2019 - 9:25am
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