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


Community Engagement/GIS Coordinator

The James River Association (JRA) is seeking a full time Community Engagement/GIS Coordinator to be based at its headquarters office located in Rocketts Landing in Richmond, Virginia.

About the James River Association:
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 has offices in Richmond, Lynchburg, Williamsburg, and Scottsville, as well as the James River Ecology School on Presquile National Wildlife Refuge. JRA pursues its vision of a fully healthy James River that supports thriving communities by protecting the James River and connecting people to it. We work through four program areas based on a model of individual engagement – awareness, appreciation, action, and advocacy. JRA’s core values are: We are optimistic; We are catalysts; Credibility is our currency; and Community drives everything we do.

The James River Association (JRA) is seeking a Community Engagement/GIS Coordinator to join our Richmond-based team. This position will work both in the field and in the office, and will be required to interact with diverse audiences. The position will be responsible for 1) facilitating engagement with partners and communities in support of JRA’s programs, 2) overseeing JRA’s RiverRats program and supporting other programs, and 3) creating maps, conducting geospatial analyses, and contributing to database management for the organization. Project management responsibilities will include planning, oversight, resource tracking and reporting. Responsibilities will include supporting local partnerships, working in databases, and public outreach coordination. The successful candidate will work collaboratively with key staff and volunteers to facilitate long term planning, execution, logistics and follow up. This position will report to the Program Director.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Community and Partner Engagement (40%)

  • Assist with virtual and in-person community meetings and partner collaborative initiatives across JRA programs by providing facilitation support (note taking, meeting coordination, communication, graphic support, etc.). Examples include, but are not limited to assistance with the Living Shoreline Collaborative, Upper and Middle James Riparian Consortium, Walkable Watershed projects, and Fish Passage partnership efforts.

Community-Based Field Activities (30% time)

  • Oversee JRA’s RiverRat program, engaging and recruiting volunteers to patrol the James and its tributaries and to take action to protect and restore it. Identify and conduct key training opportunities for RiverRats, review and compile RiverRat patrols, respond to pollution complaints and questions as necessary, and make patrol data available to RiverRats and JRA staff. 
  • Assist with communication and field coordination associated with James River Watch, JRA’s citizen water quality monitoring program. 
  • Support 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. 
  • Support JRA’s River Hero Homes program by assisting with rain barrel distribution and associated workshops.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) (30%)

  • Basic cartography creation/management to illustrate concepts and data associated with JRA’s programmatic work for reports, meetings, and documents.
  • Performing data analysis for JRA’s programmatic work.
  • Managing a centralized geospatial database for JRA, including developing and maintaining all documentation for data acquisition and data management. Identify and fill data gaps through publicly available sources, developing partnerships or creating the geospatial data when feasible.
  • Qualifications:
    Bachelor’s degree in environmental science, ecology, biology, geography, planning, landscape architecture, or a comparable field and at least one year of professional experience.
  • Experience with Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
  • Experience with meeting support and facilitation desired.
  • Excellent at problem-solving, meeting deadlines, following schedules, and overall time management.
  • 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.
  • Valid driver’s license.


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, with salary history, by email to admin@thejamesriver.org or by mail to:

James River Association
Attn: Shawn Ralston
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 26, 2021. Otherwise, no calls or visits, please.