Friday, April 27, 2012

OSI Seeking Field Coordinator

Open Space Institute Seeking Southern Appalachians Field Coordinator

Reports To:  Executive Vice President/Grant and Loan Coordinator 
Department: Conservation Finance Program
Location:              Flexible location in the southern Appalachian region

Program Summary
The Conservation Finance Program (CFP) of the Open Space Institute seeks to facilitate protection of selected landscapes in the eastern United States by making available grant and loan capital to the region’s land trusts for land transactions, and leveraging public and private funds for strategic conservation.  The Program is currently active in New England and southeastern Canada (Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts; Quebec, Brunswick and Nova Scotia); the Middle Atlantic (New Jersey and Pennsylvania); and the southeast (North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia).  To date, OSI has made 100 grants and loans totaling almost $95 million to protect 1.7 million acres of land with a total real estate value of $550 million. The Coordinator will be a part of the Conservation Finance team, which includes staff in New York and other field coordinators in the mid-Atlantic and New England. 

Position Summary

The Coordinator will work under the supervision of OSI’s Executive VP to launch the Southern Cumberland Land Protection Fund that will focus on a 3 million-acre region in Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia.  The Coordinator, working also with OSI’s Grant and Loan Coordinator, will also be responsible for coordinating other potential research and land protection initiatives in the southeast.  

This position is flexible and may be designed as either a part-time (3 – 4 days a week) or full time. The position will be based in the region between Chattanooga, Atlanta, Nashville and Birmingham. The job will require periodic travel to meet with potential grantees and other stakeholders, monitoring of pending and potential land transactions, interaction with advocacy efforts about new public funding sources, and assessment of trends in funding and land use, promising financing strategies and ways to assist the region’s land trusts.  The Coordinator will be responsible for all aspects of the Fund, including working with OSI staff and advisors to prepare grant and loan recommendations for OSI’s board’s review.

Responsibilities & Duties

Research and Analysis

  • Develop written assessments of key conservation and funding opportunities and needs in focus areas
  • Maintain pipeline of pending and potential land transactions seeking loan and grant support
    • Assist OSI Credit Director in due diligence of loan applications in the region; prepare funding recommendations.

    Program Outreach

    • Conduct outreach to land trusts, public agency officials and conservation advocacy organizations in the region
    • Represent OSI at key land trust, advocacy and other gatherings in the region
    • Support OSI communications staff  to amplify awareness of the region and land protection projects
    • Interface with prospective grantees/borrowers
    • Organize and participate in meetings of grantees and advisors and efficiently share information with these and other stakeholders
    • Assist Executive Vice President in efforts to raise the visibility of focus areas and raise philanthropic capital funds.

    Program Administration
    • Implement all aspects of the Southern Cumberland Land Protection Fund
    • Track and organize grants and loans in the region
    •  Work in coordination with OSI legal team to monitor and enforce grantee and borrower compliance with grant and loan terms and implement course corrections where appropriate under supervision of OSI staff
    • Investigate and pursue relevant training and professional development.

    Skills/Core Competencies

    • Required:
      • Excellent organizational skills
      • Strong written and analytical skills.
      • Strong interpersonal skills
      • Willingness to travel throughout the region.
    • Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
    • Self-starter with ability to work remotely (e.g., home office)
    • Ability to use good judgment and take initiative

    • Desirable:
      • Familiarity with land conservation transactions
      • Understanding of land conservation science
      • Familiarity with land conservation policy and  advocacy
      • Fund raising experience
      • Familiarity with GIS, and other relevant technologies


    • Bachelors and/or Graduate degree with an interest in environmental studies, conservation or related areas  
    • Nonprofit work or experience with environmental organization desirable
    • Knowledge of Southern Appalachians
    • Demonstrated capacity for teamwork

    How to Apply

    Please send your resume and cover letter to Antonia Bowring at   We will only contact finalists.  The application deadline is May 15th, 2012.

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