Job Listings

Private Lands Engineering Assistant

Virginia Tech
Job Location:
Blacksburg, 24061
Extension and Outreach

Job Description

The Conservation Management Institute (CMI) at Virginia Tech is seeking applications for a Private Lands Engineering Assistant (PLEA) to support implementation of the Working Lands for Wildlife (WLFW) Aquatics Connectivity Framework. This project is a collaboration between CMI and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) WLFW program.

Through the Farm Bill, NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to farmers, ranchers, and forest owners/operators who voluntarily undertake conservation practices on working lands. The WLFW program systematically targets conservation efforts to enhance wildlife habitat on agricultural landscapes while improving agricultural and forest productivity. The WLFW Aquatic Connectivity Framework will employ conservation strategies to conserve aquatic ecosystems and their connectivity while enhancing efforts to maintain productive agricultural lands, adapt to a changing climate, and sustain our natural resources and quality of life. This framework seeks to unify and streamline aquatic resource conservation through Farm Bill programs utilizing an ecosystem approach that benefits numerous aquatic species across the eastern and central regions of the U.S.

This position will have a strong emphasis of coordinating with the U.S. Forest Service to expand projects being planned and implemented within the Monongahela National Forest to surrounding private lands.

  • The PLEA position will be based in either the North Area NRCS office located in Morgantown, WV or the South Area NRCS office located in Beckley, WV. Field work will be conducted within the surrounding region.

Required Qualifications

  • Demonstrated technical proficiency in Autodesk Civil 3D, ArcGIS, and Microsoft Excel
  • Demonstrated experience in topographic surveying techniques, including the use of level and grade rod, total station, and RTK/GNSS equipment
  • Demonstrated ability to develop construction drawings, design reports, and project plan sheets
  • Excellent verbal/written communication and organizational skills and demonstrated ability to communicate clearly and effectively with diverse audiences
  • Ability to work independently with little supervision and with diverse clientele
  • Possess a valid driver's license and pass criminal background check

Preferred Qualifications

  • Stream Restoration Certification, equivalent to Wildland Hydrology Level III or higher
  • Experience with the development and applications of hydrologic and hydraulic computer models using HEC-RAS, HEC-HMS, SWMM
  • Experience with Rivermorph software
  • An advanced degree in environmental science or engineering related curriculum, possession of an EIT (Engineer-in-Training) designation, or successful completion of the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
  • Experience with project permitting
  • Proficient knowledge of aquatic ecology and the ability to effectively integrate engineering principles with comprehensive understanding of aquatic resources as a whole
  • Knowledge of NRCS engineering practices
This position requires frequent field work involving moderate hiking in all seasons and weather conditions. Successful candidates should expect to work occasional evenings and weekends to accommodate the schedules of private landowners as necessary and appropriate.

Appointment Type


Review Date


Additional Information

***The PLEA position will be based in either the North Area NRCS office located in Morgantown, WV or the South Area NRCS office located in Beckley, WV

The successful candidate will be required to have a criminal conviction check.

About Virginia Tech

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech pushes the boundaries of knowledge by taking a hands-on, transdisciplinary approach to preparing scholars to be leaders and problem-solvers. A comprehensive land-grant institution that enhances the quality of life in Virginia and throughout the world, Virginia Tech is an inclusive community dedicated to knowledge, discovery, and creativity. The university offers more than 280 majors to a diverse enrollment of more than 36,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students in eight undergraduate colleges, a school of medicine, a veterinary medicine college, Graduate School, and Honors College. The university has a significant presence across Virginia, including the Innovation Campus in Northern Virginia; the Health Sciences and Technology Campus in Roanoke; sites in Newport News and Richmond; and numerous Extension offices and research centers. A leading global research institution, Virginia Tech conducts more than $500 million in research annually.

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or military status, or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants, or on any other basis protected by law.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Jennifer Phillips at during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.

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