Conservation Assistant, Bull Run

VOF’s Preserve at Bull Run Mountains is a living laboratory and open-air museum in the backyard of the nation’s capital. The Conservation Assistant will be responsible for executing all aspects of VOF’s mission and land management needs at our Bull Run Mountains Natural Area Preserve, under the direction of the Preserve Manager. This includes land stewardship and day-to-day operational activities, as well as public engagement, research, and education-based objectives.

Our Conservation Assistant will primarily provide regular site presence and security, resource monitoring and stewardship, and public engagement related tasks.

Title: Conservation Assistant

Position Timeline: Open Until Filled

Start Date: The chosen candidate would be asked to start as soon as reasonably possible.

Position Status:  Full-time Exempt

Benefits: Health, vision, dental, 401k match with immediate vesting of first 4%, STD/LTD, FSA, employer paid life insurance, and a generous PTO plan.

Salary: $46,000-$48,000, depending on experience

Weekly schedule:  VOF’s Preserve at Bull Run Mountains hosts scientific and educational activity seven days a week, but its trails systems are open to general access on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays - year-round. As a result, this position requires regular and consistent weekend work Wednesday – Sunday (8-hour days).

  1. They will regularly execute a full suite of physical land management and stewardship activities (maintaining public access infrastructure, trails, and boundaries), enforce use guidelines, and steward the 10 different plant communities that make up the preserve (and the organisms and cultural history resources that they hold).
  2. A strong requirement for this position is an interest in (and experience with) physical, outdoor work (that includes trail maintenance, invasive species removal, and minor carpentry work).
  3. Act as a liaison to our diverse and varied partners by coordinating and leading a plethora of volunteer and partner activities (trail maintenance, invasive plant removal, archaeological research, and a variety of community and institutional science projects).
  4. Occasionally act as coordinator and host for public and private events – which include K-12 schools, special interest groups, and universities.
  5. Engage with local and underserved communities.
  6. Collect visitation/program data and perform routine evaluations and analyses of identified metrics to measure efficacy and efficiency of outreach.
  7. Develop and execute digital and social media objectives, under the supervision of the Preserve Manager.
  8. Provide routine technical support to the Preserve Manager.
  9. Provide support related to “unexpected/after-hours” management needs (which can occasionally pop up as an unexpected on-site-need, but is most typically via phone, email, and social media communications).
  10. Support all aspects involved with or related to the management of a state-designated Natural Area Preserve. This includes all activities related to the protection and conservation of natural and cultural resources, scientific research, organizing events and programs for the benefit of the human communities that we serve, routine land management duties, and other tasks as assigned. Examples of these duties include invasive plant removal work, trail maintenance, archaeological and biological survey work, stream restoration, stream monitoring and trout release work, geospatial mapping, leading naturalist hikes, etc.
  11. Assist with the management of Volunteers, interns, fellows, and other staff – as assigned by the Preserve Manager.
  1. Experience in and a passion for habitat/land/public access stewardship (such as trail work, invasive plant removal, carpentry).
  2. Experience in physical labor, fieldwork, and other “farm” style working conditions.
  3. A strong preference for working outside and completing physical tasks/working with one's hands. The ability to problem solve and "get the job done".
  4. A willingness to consistently work weekends and provide regular on-site presence.
  5. The ability to work largely independently and autonomously. This role demands a person with a high level of responsibility and self-accountability.
  6. The possession of a Chainsaw/Sawyer Certification and Pesticide (herbicide) Applicator Certification – or the ability to gain certification within 6 months of employment.
  7. GIS familiarity a plus.
  8. Someone with a comfortability working largely in the field. This includes all weather conditions that are expected within a calendar year.
  9. An interest in interpretation, outreach, and informal education. 
  10. An interest in working on issues of diversity, inclusivity, representation, and equity.
  11. An outgoing and enthusiastic personality.
  12. Someone who enjoys nature, history, and trail hiking.
  13. Must possess a community-minded approach to conservation.
  14. An interest in assisting with scientific studies and distilling that information into engagement content.
  15. Must be reliable and possess a solid work ethic.
  16. Someone who enjoys working directly with and for the communities we serve.
  17. A comfortability with Microsoft Word applications and other standard computer software.
  18. Experience producing quality results with limited resources, changing time availability, and unexpected circumstances.
  19. Flexibility and adaptability to changing circumstances in pursuit of shared goals.
  20. Someone with the ability to consider and be thoughtful of often competing interests from a variety of stakeholder/user groups.

Interview Process: 

1. Applications will begin being reviewed immediately and job posting will remain open until filled. Selected candidate will be asked to start as soon as reasonably possible.

2. To be considered for this position, candidates must submit a resume/cover letter and three professional references with their application.

3. Qualified candidates will be contacted to set-up a phone interview.

4. Selected candidates will then be offered to have a 2-hour in person field interview with our hiring panel. 


Reasonable Accommodation: During the selection process, applicants with disabilities may request reasonable accommodation by contacting Sara Brooks, VOF HR Manager,


The Virginia Outdoors Foundation does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, or disability. EEO/AA


Physical Requirements: Must be able to sit and stand for long periods of time. Must be able to walk/hike long distances over varied terrain and in changing weather conditions. Must be able to lift a minimum of 50 pounds.

Questions or requests related to the position can be emailed to the Human Resources Manager, Sara Brooks at or Preserve Manager, Joe Villari at