Farm Bill Pollinator Conservation Planner and NRCS Partner Biologist

Bismarck, North Dakota
$40,000- $46,500 (starting) per year, commensurate with experience.
Mar 12, 2018
Apr 01, 2018
Job Level
Mid level
Employment Type
Full time, Permanent
Salary Type


Come join a growing team of conservation professionals at the Xerces Society who are dedicated to protecting some of the world’s most important animals.  Invertebrates are essential to the reproduction of most flowering plants, including many fruits, vegetables, and nuts; they play an important role in pest management; and they are a critical food source for birds, fish, and other animals. Yet invertebrate populations are often imperiled by human activities and rarely accounted for in traditional conservation.  

Established in 1971 and based in Portland, Oregon, the Society is at the forefront of invertebrate protection worldwide, harnessing the knowledge of scientists and the enthusiasm of citizens to implement conservation programs. We take action by protecting endangered species and their habitat, producing ground-breaking publications on insect conservation, training thousands of farmers and land managers to protect and manage habitat for beneficial insects, and raising public awareness about the invertebrates of forests, prairies, deserts, creeks, wetlands, and oceans.  Our methods focus on advocacy, education, scientific analysis, and applied research to defend invertebrates such as bees, butterflies, mollusks, and dragonflies. 


Under the direction of the Xerces Society Senior Pollinator Conservation Specialist (Midwest Region), and in collaboration with USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) North Dakota state office staff, the Farm Bill Pollinator Conservation Planner will provide conservation planning, technical support and training focused on pollinators, honey bees, declining butterflies, declining bumble bees, and other beneficial insects to farmers and NRCS field office planners in North Dakota and Montana. During the first several months, this position will support conservation planning in field offices close to Bismarck.  Over time, the incumbent will provide support to conservation planners throughout North Dakota and into Montana. The ideal candidate will be able to bring together conservation planning guidance that addresses multiple goals of soil, water, and pollinator conservation.

ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES: Working as a team with NRCS field and area offices, Xerces Society Pollinator Program staff, and NRCS state technical experts, the Farm Bill Pollinator Conservation Planner will:

  • Assist NRCS conservation planners in the development of conservation plans that improve or create pollinator or beneficial insect habitat on farms and ranches in North Dakota and Montana.
  • Assist in the implementation of conservation efforts targeting declining butterflies, bumble bees and other pollinator species.  This includes habitat evaluation, monitoring, and conservation planning.
  • Assist in the implementation of honey bee habitat conservation efforts.
  • Provide technical advice on pollinator, butterfly, honey bee, and beneficial insect habitat restoration projects to NRCS conservation partners and agricultural producers.
  • Answer landowner questions about conservation of pollinators, declining species, other beneficial insects, and monarch butterflies.
  • Coordinate and conduct trainings on pollinators, declining species, or beneficial insect conservation.
  • Work with Xerces Society and NRCS specialists to develop or refine technical documents that support establishment, enhancement, or management of pollinator habitat, including habitat for declining species. Technical documents may include habitat evaluation guides, conservation practice specifications, plant lists, seed mixes, fact sheets, and habitat restoration guidelines.
  • Travel out-of-town for multiple days (approximately 5 overnights per month) to support conservation planning.



  • Strong knowledge and experience in wildlife habitat planning, restoration and management unique to the northern Great Plains. This includes experience with prairie and grassland restoration, native plant establishment (both woody and herbaceous), shelterbelt design, brush management, invasive species control, and range planting.
  • Knowledge of the ecology of pollinators, including the biology of native bees, monarch butterflies, honey bees, and declining species.
  • Understanding of commercial beekeeping in the U.S.
  • Understanding of common agricultural practices in North Dakota and eastern Montana.
  • Knowledge of weed identification and management in the northern Great Plains.
  • Excellent written communication skills, including the ability to write clear email, conservation plans, and technical documents for diverse audiences. Primary audiences include NRCS conservation planners, farmers, ranchers, and conservation partners.
  • Exceptional verbal communication, presentation, and public speaking skills for diverse audiences that include farmers, ranchers, conservation partners, and others.
  • Excellent organizational skills and ability to develop work plans and work independently on assigned tasks.
  • Working knowledge of common software applications (e.g., Word, Excel, PowerPoint).


  • Experience working in an USDA NRCS field office, implementing the NRCS conservation planning process and using NRCS conservation planning tools.
  • Knowledge of USDA Farm Bill conservation programs and the work of the NRCS or the Farm Service Agency (FSA).
  • Knowledge of prescribed grazing and prescribed fire.
  • Knowledge of Integrated Pest Management practices, and strategies for reducing negative impacts of pest management on pollinators and other beneficial insects.



  • A Bachelor’s degree (Master’s degree strongly preferred) in natural resource management, ecology, conservation biology, entomology, wildlife biology, horticulture, or more than 4 years of experience in conservation planning, pollinator or wildlife conservation, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Valid driver’s license.


  • Bilingual or multilingual.
  • Pesticide applicators license.


  • Lift and move supplies, materials, equipment weighing up to 30 lbs.
  • Work in the field for long days under potentially adverse weather conditions.
  • Frequently traverse across agricultural roads and fields, unpaved roads and walkways, and unimproved trails for periods of 8 hours.
  • Drive vehicle for periods of up to 8 hours.


  • Full-Time, salaried, exempt position, scheduled to work ~ 40 hrs/week.

COMPENSATION:  $40,000- $46,500 (starting) per year, commensurate with experience.

BENEFITS: This position includes a generous benefits package: eleven paid holidays, paid time off, paid health, dental, and disability insurance, option to participate in a pre-tax flexible spending account for medical and dependent care expenses, participation in a 401k retirement program upon eligibility and a flexible work environment.

TERMS: The Xerces Society is an at-will employer. Nothing in this job description restricts management’s right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time.

In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the required employment eligibility verification form upon hire.

MORE INFORMATION:  For more information on the Xerces Society and our programs, please see our website:


  1. Combine cover letter, resume, and the names and contact information for three references into a single attachment in MS Word or Adobe PDF. Use your full name as the file name for the attachment. Subject line of your email is: “Farm Bill Pollinator Conservation Planner (North Dakota)” Send to


APPLICATION FOLLOW UP:  Unfortunately, due to the volume of communications we are unable to respond to individual applicants inquiries. We ask that applicants do not contact our office via phone or email about their application. You will be contacted if selected for an interview.

All applicants will receive email notification once position is filled.