This is a great opportunity for a young professional looking to get their start in the conservation and trails world. The Fellow will help us create a stronger trails community throughout Iowa.

Do you have a heart for community organizing, networking, advocacy and Iowa trails? Help us create a stronger trails community throughout Iowa to support effective advocacy for trails, trail funding and policies.

Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation is a statewide conservation nonprofit that works with private landowners and public agencies to protect and restore Iowa’s land, water, and wildlife. As part of that mission, INHF is active in efforts to help communities and counties create a system of multi-use trails throughout the state. Through establishing and enhancing trails, INHF hopes to advance environmental protection, create community engagement, and encourage healthy lifestyles. INHF has been leading the way in multi-use trails work for 40 years. Our works continues into the future by creating and equipping a trails community with information to make them a more effective stakeholder group to advocate for trail funding and policies.

This fellowship offers the opportunity to work with a variety of INHF staff departments, stakeholders, and local leaders. The Ackelson Fellow will gain experience in field advocacy as well as outreach to community and elected leaders, and will be helping to share strategies for policy related action. The Fellow will travel within Iowa, report to INHF’s director of trails and greenways, and work closely with the INHF conservation programs director, communications staff and other INHF staff.

Responsibilities: The Fellow will work with staff to help develop a trails advocacy network system that may include individuals, businesses, community groups, outfitters, elected officials and trail groups. S/he will work to compile a series of interviews with business leaders, healthcare providers, elected officials, etc. on the benefits of multi-use trails. This may include developing interview questions, using visual and audio recordings, research to determine the best individuals to interview, and some statewide travel. The Fellow will further work with staff and partners to create a campaign/communications template for keeping trail advocates informed and engaged. S/he will create a framework for a statewide economic development study for trails that may include working with a university or corporation to structure the study, identify and apply for funding to cover the cost of the study, and involve additional stakeholder interviews.

The ideal candidate will have strong networking and communications skills, interest in Iowa’s multi-use trail system, and political or environmental policy; possesses the ability to work independently and execute statewide programs; acts with high integrity and professionalism; is detail oriented; is able to adapt to a rapidly changing environment and is willing to work nights, weekends on occasion. This full-time fellowship will be active between July and December 2019 with some flexibility in start/end dates. Monthly stipend and travel expenses are provided. Benefits are not included in this temporary position.

To apply: Deadline- June 1, 2019

Please send cover letter and resume to Kari Walker, INHF administration director, at Questions can be directed to Andrea Boulton at

About the Mark C. Ackelson Fellowship

This fellowship was endowed at the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation to honor Mark C. Ackelson, who devoted his career to protecting and restoring Iowa’s land, water and wildlife. Mark served as INHF President for 18 years, and he provided strong leadership roles for Iowa conservation coalitions plus national organizations that promote conservation and trails.

This fellowship is intended to help launch the careers of future conservation leaders. Fellows work alongside INHF’s professional staff and partners on a select project for a limited time. The focus of the Ackelson Fellowship will likely vary from year to year, as urgent or unusual opportunities present themselves.






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