Ecosystem Program Assistant


Pittsburgh, PA


US$17+ (hourly)


Part time

Jul 28


UpstreamPgh, formerly the Nine Mile Run Watershed Association, just celebrated 20 years as a 501c3, and 15 years since the completion of the Nine Mile Run Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration in Frick Park. Throughout the years the work of Upstream has migrated from Frick Park and into the upper watershed: Upstream. Our tagline is “Healthy Ecology, Healthy Community”, and as a group focused on clean water, we are equally focused on people. We strongly believe that humans are a part of nature, and not separate. Our projects and programs are aimed at reconnecting people to the environment through nature-based solutions like green stormwater infrastructure. We are dedicated to serving those people and communities that are most underserved and developed a set of Climate Equity Principles to accompany the NMR Environmental Equity Study which guides us as we work toward climate justice in the Pittsburgh region.

We would like for our staff to reflect the diversity of the communities that we work within. UpstreamPgh is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes applicants of any actual or perceived race, religion, age, sexual orientation, disability, or any other identifying traits.

Position Overview

UpstreamPgh is hiring an Ecosystem Program Assistant to join our dedicated staff in the east end of Pittsburgh, PA. We are seeking someone who loves to spend time outdoors, get their hands dirty in the garden, work with volunteers, and facilitate successful community programs. This position will support the Watershed Programs Manager and other staff in facilitating restoration programming, addressing new challenges in Fern Hollow, and maintaining green stormwater infrastructure.

This position will manage the Urban EcoStewards Program, which is a major component of our long-term stewardship program for both the restored Nine Mile Run Stream and our growing inventory of Green Stormwater Infrastructure Projects. An overarching function of this position is to further develop and implement the program through the recruitment, training, and retention of community volunteers.

UpstreamPgh operates with a team-based approach, and this position will work closely with the Watershed Programs Manager, with additional support to and from the Executive Director and other Program Managers.

Desired Start Date: September 6th, or sooner if possible

Reports To: Watershed Programs Manager

Position Category: Part-Time (24-32 hours) with the possibility of Full-Time with future funding

Responsibilities (% of the time):

Urban Ecostewards (40%)

  • Facilitate, with the Watershed Programs Assistant and Watershed Programs Manager, the Urban EcoStewards Program in the Upper and Lower Watershed
  • Plan and schedule weekly or bi-weekly volunteer events in late spring through fall for restoration area and/or green stormwater infrastructure maintenance
  • Introduce and train new volunteers within the Urban EcoStewards program, providing them with the confidence and skills to serve their community
  • Track and manage a modest program budget, volunteer hours, and program accomplishments

Green Stormwater Infrastructure Maintenance (40%)

  • Maintain commercial Green Stormwater Infrastructure Projects, such as the Forest Hills Borough Building Campus through the end of 2022
  • While most maintenance activities can and should be conducted through the Urban EcoStewards Program, it may be necessary to perform some maintenance activities independently when volunteer numbers are low.

Miscellaneous (20%)

  • Help staff weekend and evening events requiring significant staff involvement such as bi-annual stream sweeps, water walks, and tabling opportunities
  • Maintain field equipment and inform supervisors about tool requirements
  • Help develop a new co-op program for residential stormwater project installation and maintenance with the possibility of a growing role in this program.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

  • Familiarity with Pennsylvania native, invasive, and other frequently used landscape plants
  • Project and volunteer management/coordination
  • Excellent interpersonal, verbal, and written communication skills.
  • Ability to communicate effectively at all levels internally and externally.


  • High School Diploma and experience working in a relevant field are required, or a college degree in a relevant field could substitute for experience.
  • Demonstrated capacity to work independently without close oversight, while also operating as a team player in a flexible, creative, and evolving environment.

Other Preferred Qualifications and Attributes

  • 1-2 years of experience performing field work or native landscaping and some experience working with or supervising volunteers
  • Experience coordinating and assisting with projects
  • Knowledge of climate change, environmental issues, and climate justice/environmental equity.
  • A personal commitment to and deep understanding of UpstreamPgh’s mission and demonstrated skills in cultural competence and a commitment to social justice.
  • Energetic, outgoing, flexible, and able to thrive in a collaborative, evolving environment.
  • Availability to work some evenings and weekends

Starting Pay

UpstreamPgh recently established salary ranges for all position levels in the organization. This part-time position would start at $17 per hour, with room for growth based on performance. If the position was to go full-time and additional tasks were taken on, the pay rate would be adjusted.

To Apply

Candidates should send the following to Jan Raether, Watershed Programs Manager at with “Ecosystem Program Assistant” in the subject line:

  • Resume
  • Cover letter with an available start date

We will be accepting applications through August 18th and will schedule interviews on a rolling basis with a goal of someone starting no later than September 6th.

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Healthy Ecology, Healthy Communities