Sagebrush Communications Specialist, Intermountain West Joint Venture

Intermountain West

Position Title: Sagebrush Communications Specialist

Organization: Intermountain West Joint Venture (IWJV)

Location: Intermountain West, location negotiable 

Organization Overview: Over the past three decades, the IWJV built a solid foundation for coordinated habitat conservation by assembling strong and diverse public-private partnerships. They leverage science, funding, communications, and other resources to achieve conservation at a meaningful scale across the Intermountain West.

Conserving migratory bird habitat inherently involves fostering collaboration among people with diverse perspectives and values. Finding common ground is paramount to implementing conservation that will matter to migratory birds, other wildlife and fisheries, and people. That’s why the IWJV focuses on bringing a multitude of interests together to create a shared vision across physical, organizational, and cultural divisions to address ecosystem-scale challenges.

Position Overview: The IWJV is seeking a Sagebrush Communications Specialist to provide content development and other communications support to the IWJV’s sagebrush program and Partnering to Conserve Sagebrush Rangelands effort. This position is responsible for conveying the relevance of conservation to people. This means telling stories about conservation action benefiting ecological services, positively impacting the economy, and strengthening communities. 

Duties: In this role, you will work on some of the biggest conservation challenges facing sagebrush rangelands. This includes the pressing twin threats of invasive annual grasses and wildfire, as well as conifer expansion and infill and the degradation of wet meadows. Your communications will explore how IWJV partners are working across fence lines, land ownerships, and other institutional barriers. You will work with incredible people at all levels of state and federal government, as well as private companies, sovereign nations, non-governmental organizations, and landowners. You will lead in the creation of amazing stories through multiple mediums, such as: in-depth feature writing, films and videos, coordinating and participating in inspiring events afield, fact sheets, presentations, interactive virtual maps, and science communications, among other tools. Your work will be published on our platforms as well as those of our partners, shared by state and federal offices, and used by the conservation community. 

Strategic Communications Planning

  • Develop and maintain a communications plan for the sagebrush program that defines overarching communications goals, objectives, target audiences, key messages, tactics, and tools.
  • Work with partners in the sagebrush program to identify communications needs/goals.
  • Participate in select regional or national communications campaigns with other conservation partners. Support will be provided in the form of strategic planning as well as the implementation of the design and delivery of communications tactics and tools.
  • Assist the Communications and Marketing Coordinator, alongside the Water 4 Communications Specialist, in developing general communications strategies and related tools for the IWJV. 

Design and Delivery of Communications Tactics and Tools

  • Writing Projects & Communications Tools: Generate creative and original news posts, feature stories, videos, website content, talking points, fact sheets, PowerPoint presentations, graphics, and social media posts. These tools will be published through the IWJV’s communications outlets and shared with key, pre-identified partners via a detailed distribution strategy. This includes content development to support general IWJV communications needs associated with management board meetings, State Conservation Partnership and Sagebrush Conservation Committee events, government relations tasks, fundraising opportunities, and other needs outside of sagebrush topics.
  • Website: Provide and upload content related to sagebrush habitat science and conservation, and digital support for Management of this website includes delivering timely information to target audiences. This includes working closely with staff and partners to craft creative, fresh, engaging, and timely news items, developing/maintaining a story map, and compiling/maintaining relevant resources.
  • Social Media: Contribute approximately 50 percent of the content for IWJV’s Facebook and Instagram accounts according to an established timeline. This includes featuring timely news and creative digital media as well as sharing partner content. Additionally, it includes expanding the audiences and engagement on these platforms through collaborating and coordinating with the IWJV Water 4 Communications Specialist and interacting with other organizations’ social media accounts.
  • Media Library: Contribute high-quality, creative visual and audio content in support of the sagebrush program to the IWJV Media Library for staff and partner use. This includes labeling and cataloging photos.
  • eNewsletter: Work with the Water 4 Communications Specialist to create a monthly IWJV e-newsletter and upload it to MailChimp. Coordinate with the Operations Specialist to ensure the Partner Database is current for e-newsletter distribution. (Each month the Sagebrush Communications Specialist will alternate producing the e-newsletter with the Water 4 Communications Specialist.)
  • Reporting: Support the development of the sagebrush program annual reports by providing communications-related content and conducting proofreading as requested. Prepare reports in a visually appealing design/layout that effectively communicates accomplishments, highlights partnerships, and demonstrates value to partners, including funders.
  • Innovative Tactics & Tools: Identify, recommend, and implement emerging technologies and other tactics or tools to increase the effectiveness, efficiency, and relevancy of IWJV communications efforts.
  • Science to Implementation: Incorporate results and recommendations of relevant science and research projects into communications tactics and tools to enhance effectiveness and partner engagement.

Communications Partnerships and Capacity-Building

  • Sagebrush Partnerships: Galvanize new relationships, advance existing partnerships, bolster trust, and build communications capacity in local conservation communities to support sagebrush communications efforts. This includes working closely with the IWJV Communications and Marketing Coordinator, Sagebrush Collaborative Conservation Specialist, Director of Strategic Partnerships, and local partners to craft creative, fresh, engaging, and timely communications tactics and tools that support shared goals.
  • Communications Partnerships: Develop and strengthen relationships with communications staff in the sagebrush program to help implement communications that add value and build capacity 2 by addressing identified needs. Work with the Water 4 Communications Specialist to build communications networks across/between key regions, as appropriate.
  • Coordination, Support, and Special Assignments: Provide miscellaneous coordination and/or support to meet the goals of the IWJV and its Communications Program, as needed or requested by the IWJV Communications and Marketing Coordinator.
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Land Management Sagebrush Communications Support: With the USFWS and BLM support of this position, special assignments will specifically be requested throughout the year pertaining to partnership-driven sagebrush conservation in the forms of reports, success stories, fact sheets, videos, etc.

Analysis and Evaluation

  • Using Google Analytics and/or other quantitative assessments, compile and analyze data (e.g. # of website visitors, most frequent pages visited, number of e-news reader increases, bounce rate, etc.) that track and evaluate the effectiveness of digital tactics and tools.
  • Identify and develop ways to assess qualitative engagement with sagebrush communications, including word-of-mouth feedback from partners and the sharing of communications products through the partnership.
  • Collaborate with IWJV Water 4 Communications Specialist on analysis and evaluation efforts to ensure consistent and comprehensive efforts across the IWJV Communications program.


  • Demonstrated skills in popular and technical writing and copy editing, with a high level of attention to detail to proof completed work to ensure accuracy. Must be highly proficient in grammar and punctuation application.
  • Passion for conservation, working lands, and natural resources.
  • Demonstrated skills in designing and delivering communications and story-telling tools such as social media, eNewsletters, news posts, fact sheets, feature stories, storymaps, and presentations. 
  • Ability to work independently and efficiently, take initiative and innovate, and support a team environment, especially to meet deadlines.
  • Experience employing a variety of virtual meeting platforms and digital tools with an interest in pursuing emerging technologies for communications.
  • Experience developing and posting website content (especially using WordPress and/or Squarespace) and updating/managing social media accounts (primarily Facebook and Instagram).
  • Ability and willingness to travel up to a week a month, at times.
  • Knowledge of wildlife and conservation.
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher in communications, journalism, writing, literature, marketing, natural resources, or a related field.

Salary/Pay: $50,000-$60,000, full time

Application Deadline: 5 p.m. MST on December 5

Anticipated Start Date: Negotiable, but around February 2023

How to Apply: Please use the online application to view the full job description as well as how to apply.