Senior Manager of Conservation Operations

Senior Manager of Conservation Operations

Senior Manager of Conservation Operations 150 150 CatalinaConservancy
Catalina Island Conservancy
November 21, 2021
Job Type
Contact Name (not public)
Monica McCoy


The Catalina Island Conservancy's Conservation Department develops, implements, and oversees an innovative conservation management program which uses an adaptive management approach to improve and maintain the biodiversity and ecological health of the island.  The Conservation Operations Manager supports the Director of Conservation in managing the operational aspects of the department by developing and overseeing proposals and budgets, supervising Department's staff, and implementing the annual work plan.

Essential duties and responsibilities:

  • Supports the Senior Director of Conservation, the CEO, and works toward the goals of the Conservation Strategic Plan in carrying out the mission of the Conservancy and attaining the goals of the Conservation Department.
  • Provides oversight and direction to staff and volunteers of the Conservation Department in accordance with the organization's policies, protocols, and procedures. Directly supervises the Department Coordinator and GIS/Data manager. Serves as second-level manager for Plant and Wildlife program leads. The Conservation department generally has 6-10 staff members along with a variety of interns, volunteers, and researchers both in the field and in office and lab settings.
  • Responsible for budgets related to operating expenses, grants, restricted accounts, and projects of the Conservation department. Special attention should also be given to revenue development in order to support department goals.
  • Supports various department staff in developing funding opportunities relating to individuals, foundations, and the public sector. Oversees grant implementation and ensures quality reporting.
  • Collaborates with the Senior Director of Conservation on developing and monitoring operating and capital budgets and in developing and managing consultant contracts.
  • Serves as point person for many areas including: construction, vehicles, roads, trails, fire abatement, Southern California Edison, leased properties, recreational visitors, working field staff, researchers, and educators to help minimize and mitigate negative impacts to the ecology of Catalina Island lands.
  • Supervises the management of Conservation Department assets, including the research bunkhouse, vehicles, native plant nursery and field equipment.


  • Knowledge and experience in business, supervision, ecological principals and management.
  • Demonstrated excellence in all aspects of project and grant management.
  • Experience working in non-profit organizations desired.
  • Demonstrated experience in budget management and accounting principles and practices.
  • Experience with HR policies, data and IT management desired.
  • Demonstrated ability in leadership support including development of department staff members with training, mentoring and in some cases progressive discipline.


  • Ability to adapt and respond to unexpected or unplanned ecological (e.g., fire, drought, new invasions) or programmatic (e.g., changes in organizational priorities or funding) circumstances while still progressing towards core program goals.
  • Ability to analyze diverse facts and develop clear, concise reports and recommendations.
  • Solid understanding of the social, legal, and ecological basis for land management policies that influence ecosystem restoration and management decisions.
  • Ability to function flexibly and effectively in a complex organizational environment with a range of different departments and operations.
  • Develops or works with a variety of databases including software to project manage, budget nad track history and activities of the department.
  • Works in a collaborative environment with all departments, stakeholders and business partners of the Conservancy along with Federal/State/County control agencies.
  • Ability to work within the goals of the Conservation Strategic Plan, the Senior Director of Conservation, CEO and the overall mission of the Conservancy.
  • Ability to find positive outcomes and approaches in a complex environment that may include unforseen issues, rules/regulations and possible roadblocks to collaboration necessary to reach ultimate goals.



  • Strong ability to negotiate, advocate and speak publicly.
  • Demonstrated excellence in written and oral communication skills.
  • Ability to work both independently or as a part of a team is essential.



  • Minimum of a Bachelor's degree in business management (or a related field), with minimum of three years of experience in management or supervisory positions required. MBA/Masters degree desired. An equvalent combination of education/experience will  be considered.
  • Experience working in conservation or land use or similar organizational environments preferred. Interest and training in environmental, biological, ecological fields an advantage.


The physical demands described here represent those that must be met by an employee to perform the essential functions of this job successfully or that an employee may encounter while performing the essential function of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • The employee must desire to live and work on Catalina Island and be comfortable with the major aspects of island life, including schools, medical care, housing, shopping, and transportation.
  • The work environment characteristics described here represent those employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. The office environment has moderate noise levels and is a non-smoking environment. Field conditions are strongly weather-dependent and may be hot, dusty, cold, muddy, and/or wet depending on season and degree of exposure.  Smoking is allowed only at limited designated locations on the island.  Work may be conducted independently or with groups of staff and volunteers.  Hiking conditions include steep, rugged terrain with unstable rocky substrate and cactus. Wild animals, including bison and rattlesnakes, may also be encountered in the field and pose some threat.
  • The physical demands described here represent those that an employee must meet to perform the essential functions of this job successfully. Position involves functioning in both field and office environments. Fieldwork involves manual labor, hiking long distances over rugged terrain and through dense scrub, and a routine handling of plants.  The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds. This job's specific vision abilities include close vision, distance vision, color vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus.

How To Apply

Resumes or completed job applications can be dropped off or mailed to 125 Clarissa Ave., Avalon, CA 90704, or emailed to

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