Prairie Management Technician - S H Ordway Preserve

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The Nature Conservancy

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Leola, SD, United States

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9 days ago


Leola, South Dakota, USA

S.H. Ordway Prairie


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 Prairie Management Technician (PMT) plays a key role in implementing preserve management and stewardship on the Ordway Prairie Preserve near Leola, SD. The 7800-acre Ordway Prairie Preserve lies in the heart of the Prairie Pothole Region; also referred to as North America’s “Duck Factory” because of its significant breeding habitat for waterfowl. Ordway Prairie is also the home to one of the Conservancy’s many bison herds and serves as the hub for our conservation work in north-central South Dakota. This is an entry level position that offers training and professional development.

The Prairie Management Technician (PMT) will assist with maintenance and management of the Ordway Prairie preserve and may have occasional opportunities to assist other TNC offices in the MN-ND-SD Chapter. The PMT will work alone, and as a part of our team, to manage and monitor invasive plant species on the preserve. The PMT will also assist in monitoring projects to measure the success of ecological management programs. This can include monitoring of plants, birds, insects, or the resident bison herd. The PMT will assist in maintenance of buildings, equipment, and grazing infrastructure such as fences and livestock watering stations.

This position requires a flexible schedule as needed to accomplish weather dependent projects, and an ability to work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult terrain, and under physically demanding circumstances. The pay range for this position is $16.50-$19.00 DOE. Housing, shared with other team members, is provided for the PMT. This is a full-time (average 40 hours/week) seasonal position running from around mid-May 2023 through late September. There is flexibility with start/end dates. Students are encouraged to apply.


Are you looking for a career to help people and nature? Guided by science, TNC creates innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that people and nature can thrive together. We are looking for someone with passion for conservation and preserving nature. The ideal candidate should have strong communication and problem-solving skills, as well as be able to work alone and with a team. Training is provided. This is an opportunity for someone to learn and grow professionally in the field of natural resource management. Come join TNC and apply today!


  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Experience working in a team environment.


In addition, the following 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 skill sets where you will have opportunities for growth and professional development:

  • Ability to obtain related licenses or certifications as required. (e.g. First Aid, CPR, herbicide or pesticide application).
  • Ability to obtain driver’s license and maintain a good driving record.
  • Knowledge of invasive species including working with herbicides
  • Ability to work collaboratively with colleagues/coworkers/team members.
  • PC and/or mobile device familiarity, including database knowledge or understanding.
  • Experience with prescribed fire, prepping burn units, or writing burn plans.
  • Experience observing animal behavior or caring for animals.
  • Experience completing tasks independently with respect to timeline(s).
  • Experience performing basic maintenance on facilities and equipment
  • Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.
  • Experience with native seed collection or prairie restorations
  • Experience identifying flora and fauna to perform ecological surveys (e.g. plants, birds, butterflies).


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!

TNC offers a competitive, comprehensive benefits package including health care benefits, flexible spending accounts, a 401(k) plan with an 8% employer match, parental leave, accrued paid time off, life insurance, disability coverage, employee assistance program, other life and work well-being benefits. Learn more about our benefits on our Culture Tab on

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 TNC’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." To learn more about the Auto Safety Program, visit under the FAQ section.

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.


To apply for job ID 52622, submit your materials online by using the Apply Now button at Need help applying? Visit our recruitment page or contact

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.

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 with Request for Accommodation in the subject line.

Where legally permissible, TNC requires all new employees to be fully vaccinated and willing to keep up to date with vaccines that protect against COVID-19. By accepting an offer of employment, you agree to comply with this requirement, unless you are entitled to a legally mandated exemption.

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.