Rural Communities and Forest Communications Specialist – Sierra Institute for Community and Environment

Taylorsville, California

The Sierra Institute for Community and Environment (Sierra Institute) is looking for a Rural Communities and Forest Restoration Communications Specialist.

The selected applicant will be responsible for the development and implementation of communications strategies for the full spectrum of Sierra Institute’s work. This position is a tremendous opportunity to help the organization better leverage all forms of communication — from social media to the local newspaper — to tell the story of our work to combat climate change through landscape scale restoration initiatives and the development of vibrant rural communities. This position presents a unique opportunity for an aspiring communications professional or science communicator to engage with professional staff and partners carrying out a wide range of programming to promote healthy and sustainable forests and watersheds by investing in the well-being of rural communities and strengthening their participation in natural resource decision-making and programs. Work will include participation in an array of programming events — including field visits, collaborative meetings, and community events — to allow the individual to document and share the breadth of Sierra Institute and partner’s work. The position is guaranteed for a term of one year and may be extended by mutual agreement and available funding. Applications are due by November 30th, with an anticipated start date of January 2023. Position is open until filled.

The selected candidate will advance their knowledge and professional skills while contributing to meaningful outcomes for rural communities and landscapes through involvement with a suite of Sierra Institute projects. Responsibility areas described below provide an overview of the core efforts the Communications Specialist will contribute to. These are meant to provide a general understanding of the position, and may not capture all responsibilities.

Communications and Outreach (~70%): Responsibilities will include the full range of communications and outreach activities, including collecting, developing, and curating content for social media, identifying and managing notable observations, drafting and editing blog posts, newsletter articles, etc., providing website design and maintenance support, and assisting with the planning and implementation of conferences and community events hosted by Sierra Institute.

General Organizational Support (~30%): As a member of Sierra Institute’s professional staff, the Communications Specialist will contribute to the organization’s overall pursuit of its mission. Responsibilities will include assisting with the coordination of as well as participating in field trips, assisting with the development and posting of recruitment materials, and other organizational support activities. This position is eligible for remote work, however, the Communications Specialist will be required to travel to various locations within the Northern Sierra (predominantly Plumas and Lassen Counties) and other areas of importance to Sierra Institute and partner’s work to document seasonal implementation work, field tours, and other events. The Communications Specialists will also be responsible for traveling to other areas within the Sierra, the Sacramento region, and the Bay area to participate in and document Sierra Institute conferences, workshops, and events.


  • An undergraduate or advanced degree in communications or related field; or social science, natural resources, or related field;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills;
  • Photography and videography skills;
  • Ability to learn and take over website content development and updating (WordPress);
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel);
  • Proficiency in a variety of social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram.
  • Basic understanding of land management policies, and natural resource issues such as climate change, wildfire, forestry, and ecological restoration;
  • Interest in strengthening community engagement in natural resource management;
  • A willingness to work and live in a rural, mountainous area that receives snow and ice in winter;
  • A team-oriented perspective with a productive level of self-guidance and initiative;
  • An ability to bring critical thinking skills, creativity, and laughter to the workplace;
  • A personal vehicle for transportation outside of work;
  • Experience living and/or working in a rural setting and a strong desire to learn about rural issues.

The following qualifications are not required but preferred:

  • Demonstrated knowledge of collaborative resource management and community involvement;
  • Experience with professional communications related to rural communities and natural resource management;
  • Experience with an array of social media, and communication tools, potentially including online surveys, webinars, website management, and/or utilizing other computer software programs;
  • Experience using ESRI ArcGIS or other geospatial platforms for story-telling.

Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Skills or experiences that can fill in for desired qualifications may be considered.

Salary will be proposed commensurate with experience. Sierra Institute offers a competitive benefits package. Staff housing may be available.

Send your resume, cover letter, and contact information for your references as one pdf to with the position title you are applying for in the subject line.

For more information, click here.

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