If hard, rewarding work is calling you …

Join our team to help protect and preserve Virginia’s most vital resource. Our staff works hard to nurture the James, enjoy the James, and restore the river we love.

Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountains and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

Staff picking up tires

Environmental Science Internship

Position Description: (Ideal dates: May 11 to September 4, 2020)

The Environmental Science Intern will assist JRA staff in implementing James River Watch, JRA’s water quality monitoring program, with an emphasis on the Richmond region. The Intern will build knowledge of protocols and methods for testing E. coli concentrations and other physical water quality parameters and will oversee weekly monitoring at sites on the James River and tributaries throughout the Richmond region. The Intern will be responsible for successfully executing the lab-based components of the bacteria testing process, and for interpreting and uploading results in a timely fashion. Additionally, the Intern will help to train and manage teams of citizen volunteers and maintain JRA’s online, interactive data reporting system to maximize public engagement. Through field and lab-based experiences, the intern will become familiar with water quality issues in Richmond and across the James River watershed.

JRA is seeking an intern who can be available on Thursdays and Fridays from mid-May to early September at minimum (approximately 10-15 hours per week). Based on the candidate’s interests and abilities, opportunities may also exist to assist with regional advocacy, restoration or education projects.
This internship is unpaid, and the intern should be comfortable working in a laboratory and outdoors completing water quality monitoring activities.

Questions concerning the Environmental Science Internship can be directed to Jamie Brunkow at jbrunkow@thejamesriver.org.


  • Currently pursuing degree in Environmental Science, Biology, or a related field
  • Highly motivated self-starter who wants to use their skills to make a difference for the environment
  •  Excellent communication and writing skills
  • Valid driver’s license and reliable transportation
  • Willingness to work outside, possibly in inclement weather
  • Excellent computer literacy

To apply, send a cover letter and resume to Jamie Brunkow at jbrunkow@thejamesriver.org by April 17th .

Staff Scientist

Position Summary:

The Staff Scientist is a key member of JRA’s Advocacy Program, and acts as the lead staff person collecting, interpreting and translating scientific information to support JRA’s policy agenda and broader advocacy work. JRA’s Advocacy team develops strategies to address threats to river health utilizing a range of advocacy, science and legal tools as needed. This position will report to the JRA’s Senior Advocacy Manager/Riverkeeper.

Essential Functions:

The Staff Scientist provides scientific analysis supporting JRA’s policy priorities and conservation goals. The Staff Scientist builds and facilitates relationships with partner organizations, coordinates scientific monitoring programs in the watershed, and synthesizes and interprets scientific data to further JRA’s programmatic work.  The Staff Scientist works collaboratively with the Advocacy team to advance initiatives that protect and restore the river through policy making, regulatory compliance, land stewardship and individual actions. Key duties include:

  • Lead JRA’s James River Watch program, to track water quality and share river conditions with the public. Guide the planning and implementation of JRA’s flagship water quality monitoring program across ~30 sites statewide.
  • Oversee the organization of JRA’s scientific datasets including but not limited to James River Watch and State of the James. Perform data analysis and assist with the production of reports.
  • Identify new or existing datasets to help track trends in water quality, climate change, fisheries, or other priority topics. Pursue opportunities to expand JRA’s scientific monitoring of river health through citizen science and strategic partnerships in the region.
  • Expand and diversify the constituency for healthy rivers by raising public awareness of river issues and providing training for citizen scientists/advocates.
  • Provide major support for JRA’s migratory fish passage and culvert assessment program, working with partners to prioritize regional fish passage projects and implement efforts to enhance aquatic connectivity.
  • Act as a voice for JRA working to convey scientific concepts and material to a variety of audiences including but not limited to public hearings, stakeholder advisory groups, media events, and other public speaking engagements.
  • Monitor regulatory activities with the potential to impact river health and draft comment letters on permits, policies, and regulations related to water quality or JRA’s advocacy priorities.
  • Support the Advocacy/Riverkeeper team with pollution response activities: investigating and helping to resolve reports of spills or other issues affecting the health of the river.
  • Educate a variety of audiences including the general public, students, landowners, business leaders and policy makers about the James River.

Professional Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree required, masters degree prefered, with 3 years experience in a science, fisheries and/or policy related field.
  • Must have strong initiative and be a self starter. Excellent at problem-solving, meeting deadlines and schedules, and overall time management.
  • Experience researching information from divergent sources and compiling it into a cohesive reporting structure.
  • Familiarity with water quality sampling protocols.
  • Knowledge of regulatory or other policy-related initiatives.
  • Ability to coordinate volunteer groups – including communicating with and working with diverse audiences.
  • Strong communications, analytical skills, teamwork, integrity, and reliability.
  • Physical requirements – lift and carry a min. of 25 lbs.
  • Ability to work occasional weekends and evenings.
  • Must have a valid driver’s license, safe driving record.


JRA offers a dynamic and flexible work environment. Pay will be commensurate with experience. This position is full-time, exempt. JRA is an equal opportunity employer.

To apply for this position, please submit your resume and cover letter by email to admin@thejamesriver.org or by mail to:

James River Association
Attn: Jamie Brunkow
211 Rocketts Way, Suite 200
Richmond, VA 23231

Resumes will be reviewed as they are received.  The position will remain open until filled, but interviews will be scheduled with qualified candidates starting March 25, 2020. Otherwise, no calls or visits, please.