Program Associate, Dangermond Preserve

Organization icon

The Nature Conservancy

Location icon

Santa Barbara, CA, United States

Apply now
Clock icon

20 days ago


Santa Barbara, CA.

The Dangermond Preserve is located in Santa Barbara county, and this position requires being within reasonable commuting distance (Lompoc, Buellton, Goleta, Orcutt, Santa Maria, Santa Barbara), as they would work from the preserve at least once a week.


The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Grounded in science, we develop innovative 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; respect for people, communities, and cultures; and a collaborative, bipartisan approach. Thanks to more than 1 million members, over 400 scientists, and the dedicated efforts of our staff and partners, we impact conservation around the world.

The California Chapter is TNC’s largest state program and one of the largest, most dynamic conservation organizations in the country. With approximately 230 employees, from financial analysts and fundraisers to ecologists and economists, we are currently invested in 14 strategies to address the biggest challenges facing California and the world, including numerous community-based projects designed to increase the pace, scale, and effectiveness of conservation. Over the past six decades, we have protected 1.4 million acres, 5,000 miles of streams, and 3.8 million acres of ocean habitat in California and off the coast.

The California Chapter believes that we are most effective when we are embedded in our state’s communities, politics, media, and environmental issues. For this reason, and to reduce our carbon footprint when meeting in person, all staff live in California, including those in a home office.

Finally, we are passionate about the middle ground in American politics and life. The hallmark of The Nature Conservancy is its “big tent” approach, engaging people across the political and ideological spectrum to find solutions that last. We ask all employees to embrace this critical strategic position of our organization.


The Jack and Laura Dangermond Preserve is a 24,364-acre property that sits at Point Conception—the point that generally marks the transition between the cold waters of Central and Northern California and the warmer regions of Southern California. The land has remained free from significant development for nearly 100 years. Under the management of TNC since 2017, this exceptional landscape serves as a living laboratory for the conservation science needed to inform management and restoration of this remarkable landscape and similar landscapes and seascapes around the world.

In order to achieve the Dangermond Preserve’s ambitious goals, the team must successfully secure public and private funding, as well as meet core business obligations within TNC. The Conservation Associate is central to ensuring these functions are met. They do this by filling a range of roles, from supporting all stages of fundraising from both public and private sources, to helping the team to meet annual planning and budgeting responsibilities. The Program Associate serves as a liaison to the Land, Water, and Oceans teams, and to other Conservancy departments such as Development, Marketing, External Affairs, Science, Finance and Operations.


Want to help save the planet? The Nature Conservancy is seeking a Program Associate to help with key aspects managing and implementing the strategic plan for the Dangermond Preserve. They will provide high-level and administrative support for the Program, working closely with and reporting to the Preserve Director. A primary responsibility of the Program Associate is to support all stages of fundraising from public and private sources, from drafting proposals to tracking grant reporting requirements. The Program Associate aides with the scheduling and facilitation of team meetings, budgeting processes, and other strategic program activities such as strategy and team retreats. They will also serve as a Liasson to the Land, Water, and Oceans teams, and to other Conservancy departments such as Development, Marketing, External Affairs, Science, Finance and Operations. The Program Associate manages projects independently, as well as tracks the progress of projects led by others. They will excel at project management, and organization, with strong written and verbal communication skills. They will manage specific projects, conduct research, synthesize and organize material accordingly. They will administer contracts, manage an internet-based file sharing system and program calendars. The Program Associate will take the initiative to solve problems as they arise, seeking input and equitable solutions from their supervisor and team. They will work collaboratively with the Point Conception Institute and Santa Cruz Island Preserve Program Associates.


  • BA/BS, law or business degree and 5 years of work experience (or equivalent combination of education and experience).
  • Organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Oral and written communication skills
  • Experience managing and tracking multiple projects simultaneously
  • Experience using applications such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel.

Desired Qualifications

  • Salesforce experience
  • Experience with contract management and review
  • Experience writing reports for private and/or public grants
  • Experience building and managing relationships with diverse partner organizations/entities


Each person who works at TNC contributes to our goal of protecting nature for future generations. Another one of TNC’s primary goals is to cultivate an inclusive work environment so that employees around the globe feel that their unique contributions are valued. To quote a popular saying at TNC, “You’ll join for the mission, and you’ll stay for the people.” To learn more, head to YouTube to hear stories from staff or visit Glassdoor.

We’re proud to support the health and wellbeing of the people we employ. We offer a competitive, comprehensive benefits package that includes healthcare coverage, flexible spending accounts, 401(k) plan with an 8% employer match, parental leave, accrued paid time off, life insurance, disability coverage, employee assistance program, and other benefits that support work-life balance.

If you’re interested in working with us, please apply—we’d love to hear from you.


Salary is based on candidate qualifications and geographic location. Estimated salary for this position would fall within $65,800 - 77,250.


To apply for job ID 52829, submit your materials (resume and cover letter) online by using the Apply Now button at by 8:59 PM PST on Sunday, April 2. Need help applying? Visit our recruitment page or contact

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.

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 with diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and cultures. 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 orientations, gender identities, military or veteran status or other status protected by law.