Visual Resource Inventory Project Manager

Feb 25, 2020, 16:45 PM
Location : Mid-Atlantic Region
Department : Conservation
Supervisor : Science & Stewardship Director
Type : Full time/Exempt - Term: 2-years
Position Summary:

Natural Resource & Land Stewardship Program Mission

The mission of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) Natural Resource & Land Stewardship Program is to steward the Appalachian National Scenic Trail (ANST) corridor lands, which protect the Appalachian Trail experience as well as the corridor’s natural, cultural and scenic resources. This is accomplished through effective implementation of the Cooperative Management System involving ATC, Trail-maintaining Clubs, the National Park Service Appalachian National Scenic Trail office (APPA), and other public-agency partners.

The A.T. offers a diverse array of scenic opportunities along its 2,189 miles from Georgia to Maine, and as a National Scenic Trail, the vistas and viewpoints of the A.T. are understood to be a fundamental part of the A.T. experience. Still, protecting and maintaining high quality scenic view experiences along the A.T. remains a challenge. Scenic viewscapes are increasingly jeopardized by a variety of external and internal factors. Steady population growth in the Eastern United States, intensifying land use near the trail, increasingly larger scale utility and resource extraction infrastructure, and changing forest composition throughout the Appalachian Mountains, all have the capacity to negatively impact the scenic quality of the A.T. In order to best manage the scenic resources of the A.T., it’s critical to understand where these scenic views are located and their extent, quality and value is as it relates to the visitor’s experience.  


Under the primary supervision of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) Science and Stewardship Director, this position is responsible for providing leadership in visual resource inventory and assessments for the Appalachian National Scenic Trail (ANST). The Visual Resource Inventory Project Manager will facilitate collaboration between ATC, Appalachian Trail-maintaining Clubs, agency partners and other Appalachian Trail (A.T.) landscape partners to achieve visual resource inventory assessments of all A.T. viewpoints and vistas throughout the states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Utilizing the National Park Service (NPS) Visual Resource Inventory (VRI) protocol developed by the NPS Air Resources Division, this position is responsible for recruiting and coordinating volunteers and partners, planning and leading VRI protocol trainings, coordinating and managing field monitoring visits, data collection, data entry and data management. This position will also be responsible for supervising 2-3 seasonal VRI technicians annually.

The Visual Resource Inventory Project Manager position is a two-year term position with the possibility of an extension.

Essential Duties/Responsibilities:
  • Develops a complete and thorough understanding of the NPS Visual Resource Inventory protocol and training manual.
  • Collaborates with ATC staff and agency partners to coordinate and host standardized VRI protocol trainings.
  • Communicates with AT Maintaining Clubs and partners to recruit VRI assessment team members.
  • Coordinates with VRI team members to plan and complete VRI field assessments at all 91 documented A.T. viewpoints in PA and all 58 documented viewpoints in NJ, considering any additional undocumented viewpoints necessitated by field assessments.
  • Coordinates with ATC staff, AT Clubs and agency partners to produce a complete updated listing of official A.T. views for PA and NJ.
  • Coordinates and leads phone and web conferences with club and agency partners for the purpose of data and information gathering.
  • Maintains detailed assessment and data records from VRI field and phone sessions.
  • Converts all data collected during field and phone assessments into a digital format.
  • Aggregates, organizes and manages VRI data on the NPS Enjoy the View data portal.
  • Compiles quarterly and annual summaries of program accomplishments compatible with ATC and agency partner reporting needs.
  • Compiles a summary document at the completion of the project, outlining lessons learned, areas for improvement and any suggested changes to the VRI protocol.
  • Supervises seasonal VRI Technicians; includes detailed work planning, training, management and administrative oversite.
  • Responsible for purchasing and managing workshop training materials and field supplies.
  • Responsible for inventorying VRI tools and equipment and maintaining in good working order.

  • BA/BS degree. Degree in conservation biology, ecology, forestry, natural resources management, surveying, or outdoor resource related field.
  • Creativity and attention to detail while handling multiple tasks and meeting assigned deadlines.
  • Ability to solve problems and handle issues of a complicated/complex nature.
  • Supervisory and project planning/implementation experience.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.
  • Ability to maintain favorable relations and inspire cooperation with volunteers.
  • Ability to support and present training programs using a variety of media.
  • Familiarity and experience with ArcGIS software and GIS principles.
  • Familiarity and experience using field-based GPS technology.
  • Demonstrated proficiency with map and compass.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, Access and Google applications.
  • Experience living and working outdoors, including primitive, backcountry camping.
  • Willingness to participate in overnight backpacking trips.
  • Must be willing and able to work a flexible schedule; position requires regular travel throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey and some weekend work.
  • Strong photography and composition skills desired.
  • Wilderness First Aid or Wilderness First Responder and CPR training strongly desired: training may be able to be obtained post hire.
  • Leave No Trace Master Educator or Trainer preferred: training may be able to be obtained post hire.
  • Familiarity with the Appalachian Trail or other trail work strongly desired.

Physical Demands:
  • Work environment is a multi-person office/visitor center with moderate noise and open floor plan.
  • Regular use of a computer is required; Microsoft Office, Office 365, ESRI GIS, NPS database and Google applications are used.
  • Must be able to provide or arrange transportation to training and field sites (rental vehicles and mileage reimbursement provided when relevant).
  • Requires valid state driver’s license with a safe driving record.
  • Incumbent may be exposed to hazardous physical conditions and seasonal exposure to extreme weather conditions, including rain, snow, humidity, intense heat, and sunlight.
  • Incumbent must be able to hike for extended periods, stand for long periods, perform routine moderate lifting, carry up to 40 pounds in a backpack over a minimum of five miles, traverse rough uneven terrain and wet and slippery surfaces.

Work Environment:

To Apply:
Please submit a cover letter, resume and contract information for three professional references. Applications and questions about the position should be sent to [email protected]. The position will remain open until filled, however preference will be given to applications received by March 20th, 2020.

ATC Equal Employment Opportunity Statement:

ATC encourages collaboration, flexibility, and fairness with all employees and volunteers to enable participation and contributions to their fullest potential. We are committed to being a diverse and inclusive organization, and recognize that diversity contributes to an effective and successful organizational culture and mission. The ATC prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity and/or expression), national origin, political affiliation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, political affiliation, union membership, or any other status protected by the laws and regulations in the locations where we operate.

Position Type : Careers - Full Time