Cahaba River Society Field Programs Director

Birmingham, AL

Cahaba River Society field programsPosition Summary:

Leads, plans, coordinates and implements Stewardship (river restoration projects) and Recreation programs of the Cahaba River Society.  Leads all paddling field programs for Stewardship, Recreation, and CLEAN Education Programs and supports environmental education activities for CLEAN. Leads riverbank cleanups, invasive plant removal, streambank stabilization projects, and recreation trips; supports student field trips, including canoe trips, stream walks, teacher training. Manages volunteers, interns, part-time field staff and consultants, collaborates with project partners; leads strategic program planning, metrics tracking, and reporting; assists with budgeting, fee billing, fundraising, reporting and financial management of programs.

About the Cahaba River Society (CRS): 

Founded in 1988, CRS leads our community to restore and protect the Cahaba River watershed and its rich diversity of life. The diverse lives depending on the Cahaba include the people of Birmingham and central Alabama as well as the River’s globally significant biodiversity of freshwater wildlife. The Cahaba, the heart of “America’s Amazon,” has more fish species per mile than any other river in North America and a similar rich diversity of other river life.  The Cahaba is a major source of the Birmingham area’s drinking water, and CRS’ service area – the “peopleshed” of those whose lives are affected by the River – is larger than the watershed, including Jefferson, Shelby, Bibb, Perry and Dallas County, stretching from Birmingham to the Black Belt.

Through collaboration, river restoration policy advocacy, and bringing people to the River for hands-on education, recreation, and volunteerism, we have been building community support and making a lasting positive impact for over 30 years. Learn more about the full range of our goals, partners, programs and successes at

Staff and Board Relationships: 

Supervised by the Executive Director. Works in close teamwork with Education Director. Supervises part-time staff, interns, and volunteers. Office/Communications Manager and Administrative Director provide support. Partners with River Sustainability Director, Development Director. Works with members of the CRS Board of Directors in their areas of expertise and as lead staff for the Stewardship Committee, support staff for Education Committee, other committees as needed.


Lead Responsibilities:

  • Leads strategic direction, program development, and resource coordination of Stewardship and Recreation programs, in coordination with CRS staff and Board. Sets program outreach and growth goals and strategies, including for equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI).
  • Trip leader for all paddling trips for Recreation, Education, and Stewardship. Leads, markets, and schedules recreational trips throughout the year with support from Education Director, Communications Manager, and other staff. Must be able to direct field trip participants to hike and canoe in a safe manner, including unloading and loading of canoes, negotiating obstacles or hazards in the river, establishing stops for breaks or instruction and directing participants in emergency situations.
  • Plans, markets, schedules, and supervises stewardship projects. Identifies projects, solicits project partners and funding. Organizes and provides support to volunteers, organizational partners, and interns, coordinates scheduling of staff. Coordinates media and provision of equipment and materials. Monitors and evaluates success of vegetation management and bank stabilization methods.
  • Photo by Cahaba River Society member Bill Andrews of family kayaking on the Cahaba River at Highway 280 March 14, 2021.Supervises and schedules part-time staff and field trip interns. Coordinates with and supervises consultants for special projects.
  • Tracks and reports Stewardship and Recreation program metrics, including for EDI, evaluates results. Supports tracking and reporting of Education program metrics. Documents accomplishments with photography and video and with text for social media, website, annual report, grant reports.
  • Oversees program budget by submitting annual budgets, making and monitoring income projections, ensuring fee billing, recommending payment of program invoices, assisting in project financial accounting.
  • Supports project funding. Writes and advises program content areas of grant proposals, ensures that grants and contracts are complied with, coordinates with Development Director and Executive Director for reporting to granting agencies.
  • Implements program liability and safety policies and training, including: updating and ensuring compliance with field trip safety protocols, arranging staff safety training, maintaining files of certification dates and field trip waiver forms, maintaining first aid supplies. Successfully completes required safety training.
  • Oversees maintenance, secure storage, and replacement of field equipment and vehicles, including truck, trailer, canoe fleet, paddling equipment, restoration supplies.


Teamwork Responsibilities Together with the Education Director:

  • Coordinates hiring of part-time staff and interns for the Education, Stewardship, and Recreation programs, subject to Executive Director’s approval. Writes and posts job announcements, responds to letters of application, interviews and recommends hires.
  • Scouts new and existing field trip locations to identify safe, teachable locations close to service populations. Maintains field trip locations. Leads and completes staff field trip training.
  • Team-teaches educational field trips for students and teacher trainings, especially for canoe trips, also provides support as needed for stream walks, classroom and virtual presentations, curriculum development. Provides participants with field instruction about the ecology and natural history of the Cahaba and other local rivers.


Supporting Functions:

  • Plans, organizes, and supports special fundraising and educational events in partnership with staff, volunteers, Board and partners.
  • Assists in cultivating grant, donor and business contacts, soliciting new CRS memberships and engaging adult, youth, and corporate leadership in CRS.


Required Skills, Education and Experience:

  • Minimum of a bachelor’s degree or equivalent professional experience in biology, environmental studies, environmental education, or related field. Familiarity with natural history and ecology of rivers, Alabama knowledge is a plus.
  • Trip Leading and Outdoor Leadership experience relevant to position.
  • Teaching and/or environmental education experience, outdoor teaching experience preferred. Experienced in working with children, able to safely manage children in outdoor setting.
  • Proven organizational and leadership abilities. Self-directed, able to work independently and collaboratively as a team member and deal effectively with staff, the Board, and the public.
  • Program administration, strategic planning and development capabilities.
  • Good oral and written communication skills, computer skills for Word, Excel, scheduling and collaborative work apps, facility with social media.
  • Fundraising, budgeting and financial management abilities.


Special Requirements:

  • Ability to complete required canoe and safety training and administer first aid and rescues – Wilderness First Aid and CPR required; Wilderness First Responder, swiftwater rescue training desired.
  • Physical capability of hitching and unhitching a canoe trailer, loading and unloading equipment, including canoes, and safely driving with a canoe trailer in tow, including ability to back a trailer with reasonable skill.
  • Flexible salaried hours will require regular activities on weekends and some weekday nights.
  • Valid Alabama Driver’s License and Child Abuse Screening.
  • Cahaba River Society is a drug-free workplace.


Salary and Benefits:

Salary negotiable based on qualifications. The Cahaba River Society currently contributes the full cost of the single rate for health insurance and shares the premium for group life insurance, vision, dental, and disability insurance. CRS provides access to a cafeteria plan for tax benefits for child care & medical expenses. CRS will cover the cost of annual TB testing & staff vaccinations against Hepatitis A,  Hepatitis B and Influenza, Generous leave allowance provided for vacation and sick time. Pay is on a salary basis, allowing flex-time. CRS provides funds for and encourages staff development.


Applying for the Position: 

Send resume and cover letter telling us more about your qualifications and why working in this position and for this organization would be meaningful to you, by January 4, 2022, addressed to:   Beth Stewart, Executive Director, [email protected]. Questions about the position may also be sent there.  Applications may also be mailed to 2717 7th Avenue South, Suite 205, Birmingham, AL, 35233.


Non Discrimination Policy:

The Cahaba River Society is an equal opportunity employer. We will not discriminate and we will take affirmative action measures to ensure against discrimination in employment, recruitment, advertisements for employment, compensation, termination, upgrading, promotions, and other conditions of employment for any employee or job applicant on the bases of race, gender, gender identity or gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, age, religion (creed), disability, or military status.  We also will not discriminate in selection of volunteers and vendors or provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, clients, volunteers, contractors, vendors, and program partners.