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

About the James River Association

Founded in 1976, the James River Association is the oldest and largest river conservation group in Virginia, and the only organization solely dedicated to protecting and restoring America’s Founding River, the James River. JRA’s mission is to be the guardian of the James River – to provide a voice for the river and take action to promote conservation and responsible stewardship of its natural resources. To accomplish our mission, JRA’s two strategic goals include: 1) Achieving a fully healthy James River; and 2) Helping communities within the watershed realize the benefits from a healthy James River and support protecting it.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice

We’re committed to embedding the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion and justice (DEIJ) in all parts of our work and our watershed. We acknowledge this takes time, intention, and effort. It requires truly listening to others, identifying shared goals, and charting a strategic course through collective action. People who have been historically marginalized in the James River Watershed have suffered injustices for far too long. At JRA, we recognize that at times our actions and inaction have contributed to the problem, and now we are stepping up to be part of the solution.

JRA is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment based on race, color, religion, national origin, age, gender, sex, ancestry, citizenship status, genetic information, sexual orientation, veteran status, military status, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Open Positions

People and Culture Manager

We are seeking a full-time People and Culture Manager to provide support for the human resource and equity needs of the organization through a lens of creating an environment and culture where employees can reach their potential and thrive within their roles, which enhances the health and success of the organization.

Founded in 1976, the James River Association (JRA) is the oldest and largest river conservation group in Virginia and the only organization solely dedicated to protecting and restoring the James River. JRA’s mission is to be the guardian of the James River – to provide a voice for the river and take action to promote conservation and responsible stewardship of its natural resources. To accomplish our mission, JRA’s two strategic goals include: 1) Achieving a fully healthy James River, and 2) Helping communities within the watershed realize the benefits of a healthy James River and support protecting it.

The organization’s operating budget is approximately $3.7M, with 34 full-time and up to 16 seasonal or part-time employees working across Virginia in four offices, including the headquarters located in downtown Richmond, VA, with regional offices in Williamsburg, Lynchburg, and Scottsville. This is a hybrid position based in Richmond.

Summary of Job Responsibilities and Requirements

  • Manage Human Resources functions for the organization, ensuring strong HR administration.
  • Manage staff life cycle processes of recruiting, contracting, on/off-boarding, professional development and performance management, staff relations, and benefits management, ensuring they are executed accurately and effectively.
  • Assess and seek to improve JRA’s staff training and development, recruitment practices, performance management, and other human resource practices.
  • Be a leader in JRA’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice. Partner with leadership and staff to ensure HR and inclusion initiatives support JRA’s cultural values. Act as the point person for DEI & J’s Task Force.
  • Oversee the implementation of our multi-year Strategic Equity Plan, understanding its integration with our 5-year Strategic Plan. Along with the full staff (and Board), participate in the implementation of other aspects of the 5-year Strategic Plan, as appropriate.
  • Plan and schedule monthly staff meetings with an eye toward meaningful and informative content and creating opportunities to foster engagement and connection.
  • Establish and lead the Culture Committee/Club that will help maintain a positive culture, support staff wellness, and, along with all staff, work to embed working norms throughout the organization, including the annual all-staff gatherings.
  • Research group professional development opportunities and training, as well as investigate mentoring programs and practices. Set up / implement where deemed to be valuable in partnership with the program supervisor.
  • Lead the analysis and eventual development of an internship/fellowship program, including pursuing collaboration with HBCUs.
  • Handle employment-related inquiries from job applicants, employees, and supervisors, including complex and/or sensitive matters. Be a confidential resource for staff to listen to concerns or provide advice on their work and their relationships and roles within their team and the wider organization.
  • Attends and participates in employee coaching meetings, ending employment meetings, and investigations.
  • Maintain equitable and fair compliance with federal, state, and local employment laws and regulations and recommend best practices; review policies and practices to maintain compliance.
  • Maintains knowledge of trends and new technologies in human resources and talent management.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Key Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in human resources, business or nonprofit administration, or a related field is required. A SHRM-CP or PHR certification is a plus.
  • Minimum five years of professional experience required, preferably in human resources and in a non-profit environment. A master-level degree in a related field may substitute two years of the work experience requirement.
  • Ability to pass pre-employment background screening.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Proficiency with Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice strategies and efforts. Proven cultural competency and understanding of the ethical issues surrounding Human Resource/People & Culture management.
  • Ability to build personal relationships based on connection, trust, and credibility. Demonstrated self-awareness, empathy, and a people-centric approach. Takes personal responsibility for decisions and actions. Communicates with honesty and kindness and creates the space for others to do the same.
  • Excellent writing skills and the ability to communicate powerfully.
  • Proficiency in data analysis. Ability to leverage quantitative and qualitative data to enable informed decision-making.
  • Processes a high level of energy, a positive, “can-do” attitude, and is a team player. Flexible, resilient, and able to work and thrive in a fast-paced, changing environment.
  • High degree of initiative with the ability to work independently and handle conflicting priorities while maintaining consistent, quality performance standards.
  • Promotes and adheres to the company’s mission, vision, values, and policies.
  • Comfortable with a hybrid work environment.

Physical Requirements

  • Prolonged periods of sitting at a desk and working on a computer.
  • Must be able to lift 15 pounds at times.
  • Must be able to access and navigate each department at the organization’s facilities.

Competitive Salary & Benefits Package includes fully paid employee-only health and dental coverage, Life and LTD insurance, generous paid time off (starting at four weeks/year), twelve paid holidays, and 401(k) matched contributions! Professional development and growth opportunities. Work-life balance and dynamic, hybrid/flexible work environment. The exempt salary range for this full-time (FTE 1) position is $58,000-$65,000, depending upon related credentials and work experience.

APPLY by sending your resume and cover letter to Coco Provance at cprovance@thejamesriver.org.  This position will remain open until filled; interviews will begin after March 1, 2024.

EOE M/F/D/V JRA reserves the right to alter, change, modify, and/or terminate this job posting at any time without notice or obligation to any party.

Seasonal Stewardship Assistant

The James River Association (JRA) is seeking four Seasonal Stewardship Assistants: two to be located near Charlottesville, VA and two to be located near Farmville, VA. The two near Charlottesville will work out of the Louisa County NRCS office and cover Albemarle, Fluvanna, and Nelson Counties. The two near Farmville will work out of the Amelia NRCS office and cover Amelia, Powhatan and Goochland Counties. The timeframe for this position is May 20-August 12, 2024, with a 2 week flexibility on start and end dates. Most of the work will be in the field with the option for office-related work to be telework from home and/or from a partner office in the respective areas.

Position Summary:

JRA is seeking four Seasonal Stewardship Assistants to join our Restoration team. The primary focus of this position will be to perform site assessments of riparian forest buffers as part of the James River Stewardship Program (JRSP), which was launched in 2022. This program was developed to assess and perform needed maintenance on riparian forest buffers installed 3-15 years ago through the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), Virginia Agricultural Cost-Share Program (VACS), and the James River Buffer Program (JRBP). Assessments include visual observation of invasive plant species and native tree establishment, and light tree shelter maintenance at the select project locations. The position will be employed by JRA, but will also be working closely with Virginia Department of Forestry, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Soil and Water Conservation District staff. JRA will provide each pair of Assistants access to one vehicle to share, laptops, and supplies needed for assessments. Housing is not provided.

This seasonal opportunity is a perfect match for students or individuals wanting to learn about natural resource management, work with private and public landowners, connect with a broad partnership of conservation professionals, and get their hands dirty while improving the landscape for water quality, wildlife habitat, and human communities. Note that it will include a lot of driving, possibly working in extreme weather conditions and traversing difficult terrain. This position will receive on the ground training in Wilderness First Aid, plant identification, and buffer maintenance and assessment by JRA and partner staff.  

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Work with one other Seasonal Stewardship Assistant to assess ~200 acres of riparian forest buffer projects installed 3-15 years ago on primarily agricultural lands
  • Data management related to site assessments
  • Work with one other Seasonal Stewardship Assistant to develop draft recommendation reports that include an invasive species management plan and replanting plan for ~200 acres of assessed riparian forest buffers
  • Meet regularly with NRCS, DOF, SWCD, and JRA partners 
  • Other duties as assigned such as buffer maintenance, blog writing, workshops with landowners, or other activities related to buffer stewardship


A successful candidate will possess the following:

  • Some experience (education or lived) in restoration, agriculture, or forestry
  • Interest in learning how to identify native and invasive plant types found in riparian habitats
  • Comfort communicating with rural and agricultural landowners and comfortable in farm landscape
  • Willing to participate in JRA’s random drug testing policy for vehicle operators and attendants
  • Ability to perform physical work, navigate uneven terrain, and work in various weather conditions such as heat, rain, and cold
  • A valid driver’s license
  • Computer skills, particularly in word processing and record-keeping (Microsoft Word and Excel), and familiarity with internet communication and search tools. GIS experience is a plus, but not required.
  • Excellent at problem-solving, meeting deadlines, following schedules, and overall time management
  • Ability to coordinate with partners and collaborators via email and phone
  • Strong communications, analytical skills, teamwork, integrity, and reliability

Compensation: JRA offers a dynamic and flexible work environment. Pay is set at $15/hour, 30-40 hours a week for 12 weeks. This position is part-time, non-exempt. JRA is an equal-opportunity employer. 

Apply: To apply for this position, please submit your resume and cover letter by 5pm on March 15, 2024 by email to admin@thejamesriver.org or by mail to:

James River Association
Attn: Jordan Bennett
16 South 17th Street, Suite 100
Richmond, VA 23219

Upper James River Seasonal Environmental Educator

The James River Association is seeking a seasonal environmental educator to be based out of our Lynchburg office who will lead education programs for elementary, middle, and high school students. This position will be responsible for working within a team of Environmental Educators and assisting with educational programming within the Lynchburg area. Education programs typically extend from February-November (10 month contract).

Position Summary:

The Upper James River Seasonal Environmental Educator will be an instrumental member of the education team in the Lynchburg area.  This position will be required to work within the team to facilitate field-based educational programming in the Lynchburg area. This position will require excellent communication skills with respect to emailing and scheduling.  The schedule of this position will include fluctuating hours with some night and weekend work. 

Required Qualifications:

  1. A deep commitment to environmental and conservation issues, especially as it relates to the James River.
  2. Experience in the field of environmental, outdoor, and/or experiential education, with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in education, environmental science, or a related field. 
  3. Strong working knowledge of best practices in providing environmental education experience for secondary school-aged youth.
  4. Knowledge of watershed systems and water quality issues.  Knowledge specific to the James River is highly preferred.
  5. Experience in leading canoeing trips with children and/or adults.
  6. Experience with lesson plans that are in accordance with Virginia Standards of Learning.
  7. Must be able to lift 45 pounds in order to move equipment (canoes, kayaks, etc.).

This position will be compensated at an hourly rate of $20 per hour, based upon experience. 

To apply for this position, please submit your resume and cover letter by e-mail to cjohnson@thejamesriver.org.

Resumes will be reviewed as they are received.  The position will remain open until filled. Interviews will be scheduled with qualified candidates as they are received.  JRA is an equal opportunity employer.  


Ready to give back to the James? Whether it’s getting your hands dirty with one of our Watershed Restoration projects, acting as a voice for the river through our Advocacy efforts or helping out with office tasks, there is a job for everyone to play a part in making a cleaner James River.

If your community is in the James River watershed, you can give back to its health.
Whether you appreciate access to clean water or just feel passionate about protecting our environment, there are things you can do that don’t involve getting wet!

Use your time on the river to give back to its health.

We are a voice for the James, identifying the risks facing our river and sharing solutions that will produce results for clean water and healthy waterways. With so much ground to cover, we need your help.

If you live or work in the James River watershed, you can give back to its health.

We have great opportunities if you prefer working on land – or even your own backyard.

Use your time on the river to give back to its health.

We also have opportunities for individuals who enjoy time on the James. If you routinely spend time fishing, paddling, or boating the James or one of its tributaries, these are great ways to get involved!