JOB TITLE: Pollinator Conservation Specialist, NRCS Partner Biologist, Urban Farms and Small-Scale Operations

LOCATION: Memphis, TN. The person hired for this position is expected to be able to work from a home-based office in the Memphis area, and commute to the Memphis NRCS field office one to two days per week.

COMPENSATION: 5,085.60 per month, $61,027.20 annualized

STATUS & SCHEDULE: Full-Time, salaried, exempt position, scheduled to work ~ 40 hours/week.

JOB START DATE: September 2024



All applications must be submitted via our application website at:

We are committed to creating a more diverse workforce that is welcoming to all employees and the communities we serve. As part of the application process, please be prepared to answer a brief essay question (1,000 characters or less) in which you describe any opportunities or experiences you have had working or collaborating in diverse, multicultural settings, and/or any actions you might take to help make a work setting be more inclusive for everyone.

Xerces is happy to provide accommodations for the job application process if needed. If you need an accommodation to complete the job application process, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Come join a growing team of conservation professionals at the Xerces Society who are dedicated to protecting some of the world's most important animals. We are seeking a skilled and collaborative Pollinator Conservation Specialist who will provide habitat conservation technical support and training for urban farms, small scale operations, community gardens, and backyard gardens in underserved communities in western Tennessee.

At Xerces, we harness the knowledge of scientists and the enthusiasm of the public to implement conservation programs. We help farms and public agencies develop conservation plans for pollinators and beneficial insects, produce ground-breaking publications on insect conservation, train thousands of farmers and land managers to protect and manage habitat for beneficial insects, protect endangered species and their habitat, and engage the public to raise awareness about invertebrates found on farms, forests, prairies, deserts, streams, wetlands, towns and cities. Our methods focus on habitat evaluation and conservation planning, education, scientific analysis, advocacy, and applied research to conserve valuable invertebrates, such as bees, butterflies, mollusks, and fireflies.


Working as a member of the Xerces Society's Pollinator and Agricultural Biodiversity Program, the Pollinator Conservation Specialist, Urban Farms and Small-Scale Operations will work with historically underserved and beginning farmers in community gardens and other community organizations, focusing on conserving habitats for pollinators and beneficial insects. This position will be based in the Memphis, TN working primarily from a home office, as well as one day a week at the Memphis, TN USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service office. The person hired in this position will work closely with the Tennessee NRCS, the Xerces Society Pollinator Team, the USDA People's Garden Initiative, local partners, and farmers.

The person hired for this position will provide site-specific pollinator and beneficial insect conservation and habitat planning support with a focus on the area around Memphis, TN; conduct remote and in-person training on pollinator and beneficial insect conservation techniques regionally; support and build partnerships with local conservation and urban agriculture organizations; and assist urban and small farm producers in adopting pest management practices that are protective of farmers, neighboring communities, and pollinators. As the person in this position builds relationships with the NRCS, and local and regional partners, the geographic scope of this position may expand into neighboring counties, including into eastern Arkansas and potentially state-wide in Tennessee. Finally, this position will support adoption of innovative technologies that provide pollinator habitat while meeting multiple other natural resources goals such as improved soil health, water management, urban cooling, carbon sequestration, landscape beautification, new business opportunities (e.g. sale of wildflowers for pollinators), and more.


Working as a team with NRCS conservation staff, local partners and Xerces Society Pollinator and Ag Biodiversity Program staff, the Pollinator Conservation Specialist, Urban Farms and Small-Scale Operations will:

  • Provide project-specific technical support on pollinator and beneficial insect conservation techniques and planning to urban or small farms and community gardens; to NRCS state and field office staff working in urban landscapes; and to agricultural and community organizations supporting farming or gardens in urban landscapes.
  • Coordinate and conduct workshops, field days, and other trainings on pollinator and beneficial insect conservation to underserved urban and small farm partners, community gardens and farms, NRCS and other conservation staff, local partners, and others.
  • Assist in the development of site-specific pollinator or beneficial insect conservation plans for agricultural producers working on urban and small farms or community gardens in Memphis, TN and the surrounding regions.
  • Develop Xerces' relationships and foster new partnerships with farmer organizations and networks that support underserved urban and small farms, community gardens, or other community organizations, connecting them to resources and technical support.
  • Develop or assemble relevant pollinator and beneficial insect guidance documents for the NRCS and local partners, including plant lists, habitat installation guides, and reduced risk pest management guidance, focused on the unique needs and challenges of urban landscapes in Tennessee.
  • Learn the ins and outs of NRCS conservation programs (especially the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and the Conservation Stewardship Program) and practices, conservation planning, and how best to support NRCS field office conservation planners and their clients through the habitat planning process.




  • An understanding of pollinator and pollination ecology, and the biology of other beneficial insects. Knowledge of invertebrates, natural ecosystems, ecological processes, and their conservation needs.
  • Knowledge of plants and habitat features that support pollinators and other beneficial insects.
  • Understanding of urban or small farming systems, and the challenges faced by historically underserved Black, Hispanic/Latinx, Indigenous, and other communities of color.
  • Ability to develop, lead or support collaborative conservation, agriculture or community partnerships.
  • Ability to synthesize, interpret and clearly communicate complex scientific information to influence conservation practice.
  • Ability to develop and give engaging presentations to audiences of more than twenty adults.
  • Excellent written communication skills in English, including the ability to write clear emails, project reports, and technical conservation documents for diverse audiences.
  • Ability to communicate professionally with a wide variety of people from diverse backgrounds.
  • Ability to manage complex or multiple projects.
  • Ability to manage time and multiple activities under deadlines, while delivering quality results.
  • Ability to work independently on assigned tasks.
  • Working knowledge of common software applications (e.g. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, web browsers).
  • Ability and willingness to work with diverse teams and constituents in a respectful, equitable, and inclusive fashion.
  • Ability to travel out-of-town for multiple days (sometimes on a monthly basis).


  • Knowledge and experience in implementing USDA Farm Bill conservation programs.
  • Experience working in an USDA NRCS field office, implementing the NRCS conservation planning process and using NRCS conservation planning tools.
  • Experience in urban or small-scale farming or managing community gardens in underserved or under resourced communities.
  • Experience in community development or facilitating collaborations in agriculture or conservation.
  • Experience working with organic farming or permaculture.
  • Basic knowledge of Integrated Pest Management practices, Conservation Biological Control, and other strategies for reducing negative impacts of pest management on pollinators and other beneficial insects.
  • Ability to speak multiple languages (Spanish preferred).



  • Bachelor's degree in natural resource management, ecology, agronomy, conservation biology, entomology, wildlife biology, horticulture, or other closely related field of study.
  • Valid driver's license in the United States and a motor vehicle records check allowing employee to be insured under Xerces corporate liability insurance
  • Current authorization to work in the United States with any employer. Visa sponsorship is not provided for this position.


  • Master's Degree in a field listed above
  • 3 years of experience in conservation planning, agriculture, wildlife conservation, or equivalent combination of education and experience.

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS: Be able to perform the following with reasonable breaks and/or reasonable accommodations:

  • Operate a computer and other office productivity machinery, such as a telephone, copy machine, and computer printer for periods of 1-8 hours.
  • Occasionally move and transport supplies, materials, and equipment weighing up to 30 lbs;
  • Occasionally drive vehicle for periods of up to 8 hours;
  • Occasionally work outdoors in the field for 1-8 hours per day, under potentially adverse weather conditions;
  • Occasionally traverse across unpaved roads, walkways, fields and unimproved trails for periods of 1-8 hours, carrying 10 pounds of material or equipment.
  • Occasionally travel overnight when necessary for meetings, project assessments, implementation, meetings, or planning.

BENEFITS: This position includes a generous benefits package including; twelve paid holidays, paid time off accrued at a rate of 1.73 hours for every 30 hours of pay (15 days per year for a 40 hour/week schedule, plus 16 hours of initial PTO hours at hire), medical, dental, vision, and prescription drug coverage, the option to participate in a pre-tax flexible spending account for medical and dependent care expenses, short-term disability insurance where not provided under state law, long-term disability insurance, participation in a 401k retirement program with employer contribution match upon meeting eligibility requirements, and a flexible work environment.

TERMS: The Xerces Society is an at-will employer. Nothing in this job description restricts management's right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time. In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the required employment eligibility verification form upon hire.

MORE INFORMATION: For more information on the Xerces Society and our programs, please see our website:


All applications must be submitted via our application website at:


The Xerces Society is proud to be an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer including disability and veterans. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran.


We request priority referral of protected veterans for all openings with our organization. In order to be considered for employment, all applicants for employment with Xerces Society, apply through our Job Board. When referring or being referred as a candidate, including protected veterans, please refer them to this applicant site;

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