Nature Conservancy seeking steward for Yellow Island

Looking for a real change? Consider applying to be the Yellow Island Preserve Steward. Phil Green is retiring and the Nature Conservance, which owns the island, is seeking a new steward. To apply visit

According to the Nature Conservancy: "Yellow Island is among the most colorful of The Nature Conservancy's preserves, long known to passengers aboard Washington's San Juan Islands ferries for its dramatic wildflower displays. The small island’s springtime floral display is greater than that of any similar-sized area in the 170-island San Juan archipelago."

The Yellow Island Preserve Steward is responsible for day-to-day oversight of the Yellow Island Preserve and the associated Marine Protected Area (MPA) andimplements preserve management projects in consultation and cooperation with the Puget Sound Stewardship Coordinator and the Washington Stewardship Manager. The Preserve Steward lives on and maintains the preserve; interacts with visitors; performs routine maintenance oftrails, equipment, and structures; provides surveillance of the surrounding Marine Protected Area; and is responsible for all record keeping related to the MPA andland management projects. This position works closely with the Stewardship Coordinator and Manager and requires regular contact with Conservancy members and the general public.

This is a resident seasonal position (May – October) with heaviest activity occurring on weekends, especially during spring and early summer. As a requirement of this position and pursuant to an employee housing agreement, the Preserve Steward must live on the island in a cabin owned by The Nature Conservancy during the employment period. In addition, a boat will be provided for transport to and from the island.


Yellow Island Preserve Steward participates in preserve operations for The Conservancy’s San Juan Island ownerships. This may include one or more of the following functions:


Greet visitors and provide information on Yellow Island’s cultural and natural history and The Nature Conservancy’s preserve policies and objectives. Ensure that preserve use guidelines are respected and the island’s natural features are not disturbed.

Develop and facilitate volunteer and educational opportunities related to Yellow Island and San Juan Islands ecology and conservation.

Support TNC’s philanthropy and marketing efforts: donor and member trips, writing communication pieces, and sharing the Yellow Island story with the public.


Coordinate with Contractors and other Stewardship staff to implement stewardship activities including: invasive species control, prescribed burns, brush control, tree removal, planting and propagation, and other restoration and management activities.

The Preserve Steward is responsible for maintaining onsite records related to management actions, observations, preserve use and conditions, and for providing monthly reports for central record-keeping.

Perform routine maintenance on trails, signs, structures, and associated systems. Perform troubleshooting maintenance on boats, motors, and equipment as necessary and arrange yearly boat and mooring maintenance.

Keep the cabin water, solar, propane and wood heating/cooking systems in safe working condition.

Conduct required yearly monitoring on TNC’s five San Juan Islands property interests; write and submit reports.

Participate in TNC meetings and functions in Seattle or other locations in WA; requiring periodic travel.


Enforce fishing regulations by providing copies of the fishing regulations to people fishing illegally. Keep a journal of illegal fishing activity. Help enforce the closure to commercial sea urchin/sea cucumber harvesting by maintaining a working relationship with WA Dept of Fish & Wildlife agents. Document and report all infractions to WDFW agents, TNC staff, and the director of Friday Harbor Labs.

Aid USFWS personnel by maintaining signs on Low and Nob Islands and providing information to the public about appropriate behavior near San Juan National Wildlife Refuge islands.


Level of Position & Expectations

Non-supervisory, technician level position.

Performs tasks with minimal supervision and makes independent decisions based on analysis, experience and judgment.

May oversee interns or volunteers.

Ensures program compliance with internal policies and external requirements.

Work Environment & Schedule

This is a seasonal, full-time position (35 hours per week) from May to October.

Work on weekends and major summer holidays is required. Paid holiday leave will be available on alternate dates.

As a requirement of this position, the Preserve Steward must live on the island in a cabin owned by The Nature Conservancy. Willingness to live and work in relative isolation with rustic facilities. Must accept intrusions on privacy and personal space as part of spring/summer routine. Smoking is not permitted on the preserve or in Conservancy facilities. Pets are not allowed.

Work is performed in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain and under physically demanding circumstances.


Experience in verbal and written communication, including public speaking.

Experience using common software applications such as Word, Excel, web browsers, Skype, etc.

Possess skills and knowledge necessary operate motorboat safely in marine environment. WA State boater safety certification required.

Must have valid driver's license and good driving record.

Ability to lift and carry 40 lbs. over short distances, physical ability to clear heavy brush with minimal equipment and to carry heavy loads over uneven trails, up and down stairs, and in beach-to-boat transfers.

Basic first aid/CPR training or willingness to obtain.

Bachelor’s degree and 3 years’ experience in natural resource management, park interpretation/education, or related field; or equivalent combination of education and experience.


Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.

Bachelor's degree and 5+ years’ experience in natural resource management, park interpretation/education, or related; or equivalent combination of education and experience. 

Ability and willingness to apply science to decision-making and guide activities.

Knowledge of local ecological land management principles and ability to recognize relevant plant and animal species for conducting appropriate stewardship activities.

Knowledge of current trends and practices in conservation, land management and natural resource preservation.

Excellent communication skills via written, spoken and graphical means in English and other relevant languages.

Experience working successfully under minimal and long-distance supervision.

Experience with GPS and GIS for field applications.

Ability to operate chainsaw, brush-cutter, backpack sprayer, and other tools.

Experience with residential facilities maintenance in rustic conditions. Basic construction/carpentry skills helpful.

Experience with prescribed burning, wildland fire response training (e.g. FF-2 certification).

Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.


In-person interviews are tentatively scheduled for the week of April 16th, 2018.

A LITTLE ABOUT US The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. One of our core values is our commitment to diversity. Therefore, we are committed to a globally diverse and culturally competent workforce. Working in 72 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.

The Nature Conservancy offers competitive compensation, 401k or savings-plan matching for eligible employees, excellent benefits, flexible work policies and a collaborative work environment. We also provide professional development opportunities and promote from within. As a result, you will find a culture that supports and inspires conservation achievement and personal development, both within the workplace and beyond.

The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Our commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our conservation mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of men and women of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and culture. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects our global character is a priority and we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military, protected veteran status or other status protected by law.

The successful applicant must meet the requirements of The Nature Conservancy’s background screening process.

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