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Forest Program Director

Reference     (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors   Nature Conservation (Terrestrial Ecology)
Location   Colorado
Type   Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status   Full Time
Level   Senior Level
Deadline   15/01/2017
Company Name   Aspen Center for Environmental Studies
Contact Name  
Website   Further Details / Applications
Also Listing:
IMPORTANT:  This Advertiser has requested that applicants MUST be National Residents / Valid Work Permit-holders.  Other applicants need not apply.


 Aspen Center for Environmental Studies seeks a Forest Programs Director to oversee all aspects of forest health projects and partnerships.  The Forest Programs Director collaborates with other ACES staff and external partners to execute, develop, and improve ACES’ forest health research, monitoring, restoration and education programs.

This person will lead, influence, manage, and maintain these programs, ensuring ACES’ continued reputation as regional experts in the fields of climate change and forest health.

This agenda is supported at the highest level in the organization, a key ingredient for success.  Director will participate in designing the methodology for approaching and achieving success of the program and drive its application.  This is a rare opportunity to apply passion, technical knowledge, project management, and facilitation skills to undertake cutting-edge research on forest health and develop innovative means of communicating the complex relationship between climate change and forest health.


Primary Duties and Responsibilities:
1. Direct all aspects of ongoing forest health research and monitoring programs, including but not limited to the Forest Health Index and Forest Forecasts models.
2. Lead collaborative forest restoration projects, including but not limited to the Hunter-Smuggler Cooperative Plan.
3. Manage and improve forest health outreach and education programs, including but not limited to the State of the Forest Report and Future Forest Roundtable.
4. Conceive of new and innovative forest health advocacy and education initiatives that are outside of existing program scope and scale. 


1. Forest Health Research and Monitoring Programs– Enhance the quality, scope, and content of ACES’ forest health research and monitoring programs.  Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Update annual datasets for the Forest Health Index (FHI), adding new indicators when appropriate.
  • Update foresthealthindex.org annually to reflect most recent data and scores.
  • Collaborate with partners to further refine FHI scoring methodology.
  • Engage with the project’s science advisory board to ensure that the FHI remains scientifically robust.
  • Design, implement and export standards-based curriculum that utilizes data from the FHI.
  • Export the FHI to other mountain communities.
  • Explore potential to expand scope of FHI to include the entire state of Colorado.
  • Maintain forestforecasts.org interactive online data portal.
  • Modify forestforecasts.org to include animations of total forest cover as well as future forest types.
  • Explore potential for expanding scope of forestforecasts.org to include all plant species in North America.
  • Develop innovative approach to increase users of forestforecasts.org.
  • Collaborate with other organizations (USFS, NPS, etc.) to integrate forestforecasts.org into their interpretive efforts.
  • Develop new, innovative research and monitoring projects to further ACES’ mission. 


2. Collaborative Restoration Projects— Devise and implement collaborative restoration projects to improve regional forest health and enhance wildlife habitat.  Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Lead and facilitate all aspects of the Hunter-Smuggler Cooperative Plan (HSCP), including bi-annual Implementation Meetings.
  • Work with the USFS to plan and implement forest health and wildlife habitat improvement projects within the HSCP.
  • Collaborate with USFS specialists to develop long-term a stewardship contract to streamline and finance forestry work within the HSCP.
  • Collaborate with Pitkin County and City of Aspen to ensure continued funding of HSCP restoration projects.
  • Facilitate adequate pre- and post- treatment monitoring to ensure efficacy of projects.
  • Explore potential for additional restoration work in the wildland-urban interface of the Roaring Fork Valley.


3. Forest Health Outreach and Education— Manage and improve forest health outreach and education programs, including but not limited to the State of the Forest Report and Future Forest Roundtable. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Write, design, and distribute an annual State of the Forest Report that educates on current forest health issues and ACES efforts to address them.
  • Enhance distribution mechanism for Forest Report so it reaches a wider audience.
  • Explore potential for expanding the geographic scope of the Forest Report to include the entire Rocky Mountain Region.
  • Write, design and publish an education tree guide for the general public. 
  • Provide leadership to Future Forest Roundtable Steering Committee in developing meaningful agenda content.
  • Maintain a strong leadership presence at all Future Forest Roundtables.
  • Coordinate with ACES Education Director to enhance standards-based forest health curriculum.
  • Devise mechanism to distribute curriculum to schools throughout the American West.
  • Deliver lectures on current forest health issues to land managers, policy makers, and educators throughout the region.
  • Coordinate with ACES Naturalist Field School Director to lead programs focused on Forest Health.
  • Coordinate with ACES Naturalist Director and ACES Education Director to train Naturalists and Educators on regional forest health issues and ACES forest initiatives.
  • Produce forest health interpretive displays for ACES sites and beyond.


4. New and Innovative Forest Health Initiatives— Conceive of new and innovative forest health advocacy and education initiatives that are outside of all existing program scope and scale. 

  • Execute innovative means to educate the American West on forest health issues and promote ACES forest health initiatives.


Secondary Responsibilities:

  • Lead and coordinate production of other ACES publications including but not limited to ACES Annual Report.
  • Support visitor experience at Hallam Lake, including guest interaction and answering phones.
  • Assist with grant writing and other development activities to support ACES initiatives.
  • Assist with ACES Board logistics as needed.
  • Assist with ACES special events.
  • Participate in database, website, and technology changes, upgrades, and improvements.
  • Other duties as assigned to further the mission of ACES.


Desired Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Science Degree in Forestry, Forest Ecology, Environmental Science or related field, plus minimum three years relevant professional experience. While a college degree is required, individual reputation, knowledge and experience in forest health/ecology sector will be key criteria.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, with extensive experience in technical writing and public speaking.  Director must communicate effectively with a variety of stakeholders (from government staffers to corporate executives) to identify opportunities to enhance and improve program elements and effectiveness.   
  • Director will be a thought leader in regard to forest health, ecology, and environmental science issues and must possess outstanding interpersonal and communication skills, including experience interacting with the media. This person must demonstrate a political sensibility and be keenly sensitive to various constituencies and the diplomacy appropriate for each. 
  • Director must be aware of proper business practices and present programs that are practical and financially sound.  Director must genuinely enjoy people and be an effective team player, while also carefully introducing, promoting and driving change.  Director will face rejection from time to time, but must be resilient and be creative in finding alternate routes to the desired outcomes. This will include engaging in healthy debate.
  • Director needs to have a personality and management style that inspires others, encourages coworkers and stakeholders to present their ideas and motivates a highly diverse group of people to understand what is expected and how to achieve/own those objectives.  Director must gain the respect of others by virtue of style, character, expertise and example, rather than through force or position.
  • Director must be highly organized and have strong administrative and leadership skills, including experience with operating budgets and the related accountability. 
  • Director must have well-developed personal computer skills including Excel and WordPress. 
  • Director must have a proven ability to build productive relationships by positively interacting with coworkers and clients. 


Reporting Relationship
This position reports to ACES Chief Executive Officer.


This is a full-time, year-round position at Hallam Lake, Aspen, Colorado.


Benefits and Compensation
Salary is commensurate with experience, plus a benefit package.  Housing may be provided. 


Application Submission
Email cover letter and resume to acesjob@aspennature.org.

Deadline for receipt of complete application is January 15, 2017.

No phone calls please.


Start Date
March 2017

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