Habitat Technician - Prairie Coteau

Clock icon


Clear Lake, South Dakota, USA



The mission of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is to conserve the lands and waters upon which all life depends. As a science-based organization, we develop innovative, on-the-ground solutions to the world’s toughest environmental challenges so that people and nature can thrive. Our work is guided by our values, which include a commitment to diversity and respect for people, communities, and cultures. From a rewarding mission to career development and flexible schedules, there are many reasons to love life #insideTNC. Want to know more? Check out our TNC Talent playlist on YouTube to hear stories from staff or visit Glassdoor.

One of TNC’s primary goals is to cultivate an inclusive work environment so that employees around the globe have a sense of belonging and feel that their unique contributions are valued. We know we’ll only achieve our mission by hiring and engaging a diverse staff that reflects the communities in which we work. Recognizing that people bring talent and skills that have been developed outside the scope of a job, we take a holistic approach to recruitment that considers life experience in addition to the professional requirements listed in our postings. Please apply – we’d love to hear from you. To quote a popular saying at TNC, “you’ll join for the mission, and you’ll stay for the people.”


The Habitat Technician (HT) will participate in land management activities like prescribed fire work, operating and maintaining stewardship equipment, monitoring and other tasks. This is a field position with minimal administrative/office work. The HT duties will include daily conversations with supervisor to receive assignments and efficient and concise communication of assignments to the land management crew. Personal organization and excellent communication skills are a must for this position. The HT will be expected to travel individually or with a crew to perform various grazing program and habitat maintenance duties on TNC preserves throughout the Prairie Coteau in northeast South Dakota and southwest Minnesota.


Want to support grassland conservation and work collaboratively with the ranching and conservation community? The Tri-State (SD/ND/MN) Chapter is dedicated to conserving the natural resources that make South Dakota unique. This is an exceptional career opportunity for a highly motivated, capable individual interested in joining the world's leading conservation organization!

All duties listed under the Responsibilities & Scope section will be part of the position. The HT position also may include a variety of outreach activities such as meeting with local tenants, assisting with field trips, and working with volunteers. Occasional overnight or extended periods away from base office may be required.


  • Assist with maintaining TNC land as well as public lands including state-owned Wildlife Management Areas (WMA's) as well as other protected lands.
  • Implement prescribed burns with TNC, MN Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR).
  • Assist with fireline construction, preparation for and implementation of prescribed burns and mop-up activities. This may include mowing firebreaks or clearing trees and brush for prescribed burn management. It may also include repairing and organizing burn equipment.
  • Will perform other land management duties as assigned.
  • Ability to perform heavy physical work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain, and under physically demanding circumstances.
  • Repair and organize stewardship equipment.
  • Use safety equipment and maintain safety conscious attitude at all times.
  • Maintain and install barbed wire and electric fencing for grazing programs
  • Control of exotic species by biocontrol measures or through herbicide application with back-pack and ATV type sprayers, mowing, hand cutting with machetes, chainsaws, brush cutters, and other tools.
  • Maintain accurate records and maps of herbicide use, biocontrol releases, mowed areas, and species managed.
  • Assist on prairie reconstruction projects including seed harvest, post seeding mowing management and spot treatment of noxious weed patches.
  • Install and maintain preserve boundary signs.
  • Works in a high stress team environment.
  • Identify observed management needs in and communicate information to supervisor verbally or in writing.
  • Maintain daily journal and work log, summarizing daily work completed.
  • Discuss calendar of proposed activities with supervisor daily.


  • High school diploma or GED and 1 year’s training in science-related field or related experience in land management.
  • Experience recognizing plant and animal species.
  • Must be qualified, or able to become qualified, as a Fire Fighter Type 2 (FFT2), including Introduction to ICS (I-100), Human Factors on the Fire line (L-180), Introduction to Wild Land Fire Behavior (S-190), Firefighting Training (S-130), and one training burn serving under the supervision of a qualified FFT2. See http://www.tncfiremanual.org/firefighter.htm
  • Must achieve physical fitness standard as determined by local Fire Program Manager and the TNC Fire Manual.
  • Experience working in a team environment.
  • Experience operating various types of equipment in a safe and efficient manner (e.g. Lawn mower, chainsaw, UTV, ATV or OHV, two-way radio, or similar equipment).
  • Must be able to obtain related licenses or certifications as required. (e.g. First Aid, CPR,
  • herbicide or pesticide application, DOT Health Card).

In addition, the following DESIRED skills and/or experiences would be an asset for this role but are not required. For applicants without these, please view these as areas or skillsets where you will have opportunities for growth and professional development:


  • Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.
  • 1 - 2 years’ experience in land management or related field.
  • Experience working with or knowledge of natural systems.
  • Ability to obtain driver’s license, maintain a good driving record, and able to pass DOT federal medical exam.
  • Ability to follow instructions from colleagues/coworkers/team members.
  • PC and/or mobile device familiarity, including database knowledge or understanding.


Since 1951, TNC has been doing work you can believe in. Through grassroots action, we have grown from a small non-profit into one of the most effective and wide-reaching environmental organizations in the world. Thanks to more than 1 million members, over 400 scientists, and the dedicated efforts of our diverse staff and partners, we impact conservation around the world!

As a short-term, temporary position, we offer the legally required benefits (sick leave, worker’s compensation, etc.)

We’re proud to offer a flexible work environment that supports of the health and well-being of the people we employ.


This position requires a valid driver's license and compliance with the Conservancy's Auto Safety Program. Employees may not drive Conservancy-owned/leased vehicles, rental cars, or personal vehicles on behalf of the Conservancy if considered "high risk drivers." Please see further details in the Auto Safety Program document available at www.nature.org/careers.

Employment in this position will be contingent upon completion of a Vehicle Use Agreement, which may include a review of the prospective employee's motor vehicle record.

This position is based on a 40-hour work week, but may require irregular hours, long days, and travel on short notice.

Housing is provided in possibly mixed gender facilities for the full term of employment. Transportation from TNC office to the various preserves will be provided by TNC.
This position is based in Clear Lake, SD. The salary range is $15.50 to $18.00 per hour and is benefits eligible. The position will run from May 6th – August 23rd, 2024. Start and end dates can be flexible. There is one opening for this position.

TNC also fosters an environment supportive of empowering our employees, amplifying an equitable workforce, and creating opportunities to participate in our nine Employee Resource Groups.

In alignment with the global organization, the Tri-State chapter is making an intentional effort to creating a community of inclusivity and belonging through collaboration and feedback. We’re committed to building a culture based on trust, transparency, empathy, and accountability. We value individuality and difference of backgrounds and ideas, and we encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply.


The starting pay range for a candidate selected for this position is $15.50 to $18.00 per hour. This range only applies to candidates whose country of employment is the USA. Where a successful candidate’s actual pay will fall within this range will be based on a variety of factors, including, for example, the candidate's location, qualifications, specific skills, and experience. Please note countries outside the USA would have a different pay range in the local currency based on the local labor market, and not tied to USA pay or ranges. Your geographic location will be confirmed during the recruitment.

Job Family: Conservation

Internal Job Code: 450002

Salary Grade: 2


To apply for job ID 54407, submit your materials online by using the Apply Now button at https://careers.nature.org/. Need help applying? Visit our recruitment page or contact applyhelp@tnc.org.

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 people 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.

Do you have military experience? Visit our U.S. Military Skills Translator to match your military experience with our current job openings!

TNC is committed to offering accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans in our job application process. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, please send a note to applyhelp@tnc.org with Request for Accommodation in the subject line.

An attractive salary and benefits package is part of TNC’s value proposition to our employees. TNC strives to provide competitive pay and bases salaries on the geographic location of the role committing to being equitable across groups and providing hiring salary ranges when possible.

Since we support flexible and remote work for our employees, many positions have a flexible location within countries where we’re registered as a Non-government Organization and established as an employer. This may mean we’re unable to provide a hiring salary range in the posting for some of our positions. However, candidates invited to be part of our interview process will be provided their location specific range upon request.