Jobs at Ducks Unlimited


The following jobs are now available with Ducks Unlimited. Scroll down the page for details about each job. The ability to apply online for the position will be available soon.

Chief Scientist - National Headquarters
(Memphis, TN)

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Intern - GPR
(Bismarck, North Dakota)

Wetland Conservation Specialist II - Wyoming

Conservation Specialist - Living Lakes (MN/IA)
(Windom, Minnesota)

Managing Director of Gift Planning
Memphis, TN

Director of Development - Great Lakes/Atlantic Region
Southern New York and New England

Conservation Specialist

Administrative Assistant - Development (Part-time)
Great Lakes/Atlantic Region, Ann Arbor, MI

Chief Scientist

(Memphis, TN - National Headquarters)

Key Function

Ducks Unlimited's Chief Scientist serves as the organization's leader on waterfowl and habitat science, provides continental vision and direction in addressing DU's science needs and ensuring that DU maintains its standing and credibility as a top notch science-based organization, and is a key spokesperson for DU on matters related to waterfowl biology and management at the national and international levels.    

Primary Responsibilities
The Chief Scientist will assume a leadership role in contributing to DU's national and continental conservation objectives through the advancement and application of waterfowl science, and by exercising a leadership role in addressing responsibilities such as:

  • Providing leadership, guidance, and cohesiveness to DU's Science Team (a team of primarily waterfowl scientists and researchers located in NHQ and the four regional offices) to address science priorities, coordinating other internal ad hoc science-based teams created to address specific needs, and serving as the primary liaison to the board-level Conservation Programs Committee's Science Subcommittee.  Supervising any potential future science staff hired and stationed in NHQ Conservation. 
  • Serving as a principal liaison to DU Canada (DUC) relative to waterfowl science and habitat management, and serving a similar science-focused capacity relative to DU de Mexico (DUMAC).  This science-based linkage and active collaboration among the three organizations is key to promoting and maintaining the use of a science-based, continental perspective in guiding DU's allocation of resources and continental conservation programs.  
  • Leading (with science leadership in DUC and DUMAC) the revision and updating of DU's tri-national International Conservation Plan, and stepping that down to develop and implement the first-ever National Science Plan for DU.
  • Leading development and implementation of a landscape assessment and prioritization process, incorporating biological and business considerations, to help guide DU's allocation of resources.   
  • Serving as a primary spokesperson for DU with respect to the diverse array of biological and scientific issues related to waterfowl and habitat conservation.  
  • Conducting and coordinating scientific analysis, research, and synthesis of information as necessary to support expanded and strengthened work in policy, and providing scientific support to the Public Policy Steering Committee and Executive Team as needed. 
  • Representing DU in activities related to the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP), and serving as DU's representative on important national committees and interagency teams such as species joint ventures or action teams, committees/working groups of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, the North American Bird Conservation Initiative, the Association of State Wetland Managers, and similar groups.
  • Seeking and expanding funding to support the scientific work necessary to advance DU's conservation vision.    
  • Serving as the Science Editor for the Ducks Unlimited Magazine, developing and reviewing other publications and printed materials, and contributing significantly to DU's conservation communications efforts in cooperation with staff from Communications, Development, and other organizational units.  


  • Demonstrated passion for waterfowl and habitat conservation.
  • Extensive knowledge of waterfowl biology and ecology, and a broad understanding of North America's waterfowl and their habitat conservation issues and needs at the continental level.
  • Knowledge of state and federal agencies, NGOs, quasi-governmental organizations (e.g., flyway councils) and other wildlife conservation entities and their conservation programs that affect waterfowl populations and habitats.
  • Knowledge of and experience with the NAWMP and Joint Ventures and having an extensive network among the Plan and wildlife conservation community.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead teams of conservation partners, both internal and external, towards shared strategic goals.
  • Ability to successfully work and interact personally and professionally with a broad range of partners including academic and agency scientists, state/federal/NGO waterfowl and habitat managers, and DU volunteers and major donors.
  • Ability to quickly review and assimilate scientific and policy information in disciplines outside specific areas of existing expertise.
  • Knowledge of Ducks Unlimited's continental conservation activities as well as other aspects of the organization is desirable.
  • Strong written and verbal communications skills.

Education and Experience

  • Ph.D. in natural resource conservation, wildlife or waterfowl biology, or a related discipline.
  • Minimum of 10 years of related experience and evidence of progressive advancement in previous jobs.
  • Previous significant experience in waterfowl biology/ecology and conservation and management of waterfowl populations and habitats, preferably with a conservation agency or large NGO.

Reporting Relationship

The Chief Scientist will be a part of Ducks Unlimited's Conservation Leadership Team and will report to the Chief Conservation Officer.


For further information regarding this position, please contact Paul Schmidt. To apply, please send a letter of interest and resume by Friday, September 30, 2016 to:
Paul Schmidt, Chief Conservation Officer
Ducks Unlimited, Inc.
One Waterfowl Way
Memphis, TN  38120

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Intern - GPR

Bismarck, North Dakota

Ducks Unlimited seeks a motivated candidate to provide GIS and mapping support for its conservation efforts in the Great Plains Region. This 1.5-year position will be stationed in the Great Plains Regional Office in Bismarck, North Dakota. The GIS Intern will provide support for a collaborative research project assessing the impacts of oil and gas development on waterfowl abundance and production. 

The primary duty for this position:

  1. Manual classification of water in wetlands using aerial photography collected during spring and summer to assess wetland habitat conditions.
  2. Secondary duties include:
  3. Perform classification of grassland using aerial photography collected during spring to determine the amount of upland cover on sample plots.
  4. Digitize disturbance data and populate the associated attributes.
  5. Prepare field maps.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • B.S. degree in GIS or a related field 
  • Proficiency with ArcGIS, ArcMap, and Spatial Analyst
  • Experience with heads-up digitizing and remote sensing.
  • Experience with cartography. 


Salary for Ducks Unlimited interns is $1,800 per month.  
This position reports to the Manager of Conservation Planning station in Bismarck, ND in the Great Plains Regional Office.

To apply, send a cover letter, resume, and three references with daytime telephone numbers to:
Kaylan Carrlson
2525 River Road
Bismarck, ND 58503
Email is preferred method of application. Additional application forms will be provided upon receipt of cover letter and resume.  Position will remain open till filled. Kaylan Carrlson at Ducks Unlimited, Inc., Phone (701) 355-3525; email 

Wetland Conservation Specialist II – Wyoming

The Great Plains Region of Ducks Unlimited, Inc. (DU) is seeking an experienced conservation specialist for Wyoming. The conservation specialist will work under the direction of the Manager of Conservation Programs for Colorado & Wyoming and become part of a team of biologists, engineers, and other professionals. The selected candidate will collaborate closely with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and Environmental Protection Agency as part of cooperative position to develop a Wetland Program Plan and then deliver conservation objectives identified under the plan. The successful applicant will collaborate with private landowners, conservation partners, and promote conservation programs in Wyoming. The position is funded through September 30, 2018 and may be extended, subject to available funding. The position will be located at the Wyoming Game and Fish Department's regional office in Casper, Wyoming.


Candidates must have a minimum of a Bachelor of Science degree in a natural resources field with 2 years of related experience. Applicants must have a working knowledge of wetland ecology, waterfowl, shorebird, and water bird biology, state/federal wetland conservation programs, policies, and laws. Understanding of various wetland conservation programs (e.g., NAWCA, etc.) as well as state and federal regulatory requirements (e.g. National Historic Preservation Act and Clean Water Act) as they relate to wetland restoration and enhancement is beneficial. Excellent written and oral communication skills, ability to manage multiple projects, wetland restoration and enhancement experience are required. Familiarity with Wyoming's biological resources, local and regional environmental issues, and private and public stakeholders is beneficial.

Duties and Responsibilities 

  • Lead the development of Wetland Program Plan which includes establishing restoration goals and objectives for Wyoming.
  • Implement strategies and objectives identified in the Wetland Program Plan.
  • Collaborate with agency personnel, NGOs, and private landowners to disseminate technical assistance and programmatic information.
  • Coordinate restoration and land protection activities with other organizations and partners. 
  • Write grants and assist the conservation team in delivering projects by requesting public funds to help secure resources necessary to achieve the DU and WGFD goals and objectives.
  • Represent DU and WGFD at wetland conservation venues and assist with a variety of fundraising activities, including working with Development staff, Grassroots staff, and Volunteers.
  • Assist with negotiation of project agreements, report writing, permitting, and biological technical issues affecting project delivery.

To Apply: Send a cover letter, resume and three references with daytime telephone numbers to Christy Nelson, 1825 Sharp Point Drive, #118, Fort Collins, CO 80525, (email is preferred method of application). Additional application forms will be provided upon receipt of cover letter and resume. For more information regarding this position, contact Martin Grenier at 970.775.4416 or

Deadline: Applications will be accepted through October 14, 2016. 

Conservation Specialist – Living Lakes (MN/IA)

Windom, Minnesota 

Ducks Unlimited is a seeking a wildlife biologist or natural resource specialist to deliver on-the-ground habitat conservation activities as part of DU's shallow lakes and prairie pothole wetland conservation programs in Minnesota and Iowa. This position identifies, develops and delivers prairie and wetland restoration and shallow lake enhancement projects with state, federal, and NGO partners in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa, and coordinates closely with Ducks Unlimited engineering staff on project delivery. This position will assist on DU land protection projects in Minnesota and Iowa including facilitative land acquisitions, conservation easement acquisition and monitoring, and other land protection opportunities. This position reports to the Manager of Conservation Programs and works closely with the Minnesota biologist, Iowa Regional Biologist, and DU engineers to manage and develop new projects, secure and utilize public grants and philanthropic funding, and implement DU's conservation plan and strategies for the Living Lakes area. The position requires strong communication and coordination skills with DU staff, private landowners, and conservation partners, and good public speaking and presentation skills. The position also assists with volunteer events, major donor fundraising and stewardship, public policy efforts, and the development of outreach, education, and communication materials. 

Essential Responsibilities
As part of DU's Living Lakes team with the Manager of Conservation Programs, Minnesota Biologist, and Iowa Regional Biologist, the candidate will:

  1. Develop, coordinate, and guide field-level implementation of DU conservation projects in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa with agency and NGO partners, including shallow lake and large wetland engineering enhancements, and prairie and small wetland restorations.    
  2. Identify and help deliver facilitative fee-title land acquisition, conservation easements, and prairie wetland restoration projects. 
  3. Conduct annual monitoring on DU conservation easements.
  4. Assist with public and private grant proposal solicitation, writing, and reporting, including developing project cost estimates for future budgets and grant proposals, such as:
    1. Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Fund proposals and grants;    
    2. NAWCA grants & proposals;
    3. Other public funding opportunities;
    4. Private philanthropic funding proposals to individuals, foundations, clubs, and others.
  5. Support public policy objectives in coordination with Manager of Conservation, Director of Public Policy and DU volunteers.
  6. Support state and regional efforts as needed, including:
    1. Promoting the Living Lakes Initiative and other regional and national conservation fundraising priorities;
    2. Assist fundraising staff with foundation, corporate, and individual major donor philanthropy cultivation and stewardship;
    3. Assist in developing communication resources;    
    4. Participate in staff meetings and partner meetings as necessary;
    5. Other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications

Must have a Bachelor of Science in a wildlife or related field from an accredited university. A Master of Science degree in a natural resource field is preferred, ideally focused on waterfowl, wildlife, wetlands, and/or prairie. At least two years of professional work experience is preferred, with knowledge of prairie and wetland habitat restoration planning and delivery highly preferred. Experience with prairie and wetland restoration and/or shallow lake enhancement and management a plus. Experience with land protection, funding proposal writing and grant administration, regulatory permitting, and GIS mapping tools preferred. This position requires frequent work out-of-doors, possibly in inclement weather, and may require physical exertion or lifting as needed.

Travel: Candidate must be able and willing to travel frequently, including overnight travel.
To Apply: Please send cover letter, resume and references to Jocelyn Bautista at, (734) 623-2000. Additional forms will be provided once the cover letter and resume are received. For questions regarding this position, please contact Jon Schneider, Manager of Conservation Programs, at (320)762-9916 or Application Deadline is Friday October 7, 2016.

Managing Director of Gift Planning 

Ducks Unlimited, Inc., the continent's leader in waterfowl and wetlands conservation, seeks a Managing Director of Gift Planning to provide strategic direction and leadership for the organization's gift planning efforts and to be responsible for identifying, cultivating and soliciting planned gifts to support the conservation mission of Ducks Unlimited and ensure the success of the Rescue Our Wetlands campaign.

Position Description

  • Identify, cultivate, solicit and steward planned gift prospects; travel locally and nationally to complete prospect visits. Maintain records of activity with prospects including contact reports and substantial conversations.
  • Partner with National Director to move assigned leadership prospects to philanthropic commitment.
  • Assist other development staff to develop strategies for working with planned gift prospects in their portfolios.
  • Collaborate with development management team to design and establish long- and short-range development goals as they relate to the gift planning program planning process.
  • Establish revenue and performance goals, objectives, action plans, and benchmarks for the Planned Giving development program to support the priorities defined in the Strategic Plan.
  • Oversee the supervision of Directors of Gift Planning, which includes work allocation, training, and problem resolution; evaluates performance and makes recommendations for personnel actions; motivates employees to achieve peak productivity and performance.
  • Promote a cohesive fundraising team of staff and volunteers to implement a comprehensive planned gift program and support other fundraising activities.
  • Develop and maintain strong relationships with conservation and fundraising staff to further the development program and the mission of DU.
  • Maintain professional development as it relates to pertinent tax code and laws that affect charitable gift and estate planning. Responsible for conveying information to colleagues through brown bag presentations and other internal communications as necessary.
  • Serve as member of the development management and leadership prospect management teams.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.


Applicants must have a four-year degree from an accredited university, eight years of fundraising experience which includes at least six years of development or gift planning experience. The position requires an in-depth knowledge of income, tax and estate tax law and estate planning techniques along with fluency in planned giving software. Candidates must also have superb communications, writing, and presentation skills; ability to persuasively convey the mission of DU; proven success in building and maintaining long-term relationships with fundraising constituents and in soliciting and securing major gifts; and knowledge of current and evolving trends in gift planning. 

The Managing Director of Gift Planning reports to the National Director of Development. Candidates must be willing to work hours that extend outside of the typical workday and workweek throughout the year; significant overnight travel is required. The successful candidate will be expected to reside near and work from the Ducks Unlimited National Headquarters located in Memphis, TN.

To apply, please submit a cover letter indicating why you are interested in the position and a resume highlighting your qualifications to Haley Heard at Alternatively, materials can be mailed to 1 Waterfowl Way, Memphis, TN 38120. Additional application forms will be provided upon receipt of cover letter and resume. Resume review will begin on November 11, 2016 and continue until the position is filled.

Director of Development

Great Lakes/Atlantic Region
Southern New York & New England

Ducks Unlimited, Inc., the continent's leader in waterfowl and wetlands conservation, seeks a Director of Development with the following primary responsibilities:

  • Identify, qualify, cultivate and solicit major and planned gifts from individuals, corporations and foundations that are part of an identified prospect portfolio to support the conservation mission of Ducks Unlimited and ensure the success of the Rescue Our Wetlands campaign.
  • Coordinate with conservation and development colleagues to develop proposals and secure funding for Ducks Unlimited's priorities as defined in the Strategic Plan, to include support for operations, conservation in key landscapes and educational programs. 
  • Partner with the event staff to raise awareness of DU's major gift program to increase major gift revenue in the region.
  • Collaborate with other fundraising staff to assist in achieving all annual fundraising team goals.
  • Work with the volunteer leadership to motivate and guide all volunteers to assist with major gift fundraising.
  • Serve as the staff liaison to the State Campaign Committee in assigned states.
  • Achieve goals established in Annual Work Plan.

The ideal candidate will have a minimum of four years fundraising or related experience with an emphasis on personal major gift solicitation and a strong conservation ethic. Additional qualifications include:

  • Bachelor's degree
  • Excellent interpersonal, relationship and team building skills
  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • Commitment to and experience with prospect moves management
  • Ability to provide leadership and guidance to other fundraising professionals and volunteers
  • Computer literacy with a proficiency in word processing, spreadsheet and database management programs

The successful candidate will be a self-starter who has the ability to work independently as well as part of a team and is driven to succeed. Familiarity with planned giving, experience with comprehensive campaigns, relationships in and a working knowledge of the region's philanthropic community, and an interest in outdoor conservation activities are also desired. The selected candidate should have the desire and ability to travel extensively within the region and will be expected to reside in a mutually agreed upon city in the region. 

For additional information about this position, contact Todd Bishop, Managing Director of Development, at

To apply, please submit a cover letter indicating why you are interested in the position and a resume highlighting your qualifications to Haley Heard at Alternatively, materials can be mailed to 1 Waterfowl Way, Memphis, TN 38120. Additional application forms will be provided upon receipt of cover letter and resume. Resume review will begin on November 11, 2016 and continue until the position is filled.

Conservation Specialist (Montana)

Employment Location and Work Area: Position will be located in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) area office in Great Falls, Montana. Some flexibility in location may be allowed depending on successful applicant's current residence and experience. Work area will include north-central and northeastern Montana with occasional duties elsewhere in Montana.

Position Overview: The Ducks Unlimited, Inc. (DU) Conservation Specialist will be responsible for helping promote and deliver NRCS Farm Bill programs and the Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks (FWP) Migratory Bird Wetland Program throughout north-central and northeastern Montana. Specifically, the specialist will work with area and county NRCS offices on implementation of the following programs: Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) - Wetland Reserve Easement (WRE) and Agricultural Land Easement (ALE), Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) and Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). The specialist will work with FWP staff on implementation of FWP's Migratory Bird Wetland Program and other wetland-grassland conservation opportunities. This is a salaried position with benefits, and is co-funded by the USDA-NRCS, DU and FWP. Funding is for three years but can be extended upon success of the program and funding availability. Successful applicant will be an employee of DU's Great Plains Regional Office located in Bismarck, ND and will receive primary supervision from DU. Daily supervision will be provided by NRCS staff. Successful applicant will receive required training from USDA, DU and FWP.


  • Provide programmatic, administrative and biological technical assistance for NRCS Farm Bill programs to private landowners, governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations;
  • Promote and assist FWP staff in delivering the Migratory Bird Wetland Program with a focus on wetland-grassland enhancement, restoration and retention projects; 
  • Work closely with area and county USDA and FWP staff to ensure that conservation programs are implemented on private lands in a manner that maximizes wetland values, soil, water, waterfowl and other wildlife benefits of the program;
  • Promote and assist NRCS staff in delivering EQIP and CRP programs with a focus on wetland and grassland retention;
  • Assist USDA, FWP and private landowners with applications, ranking, contracts, restoration plans, management plans, biological evaluations, grazing plans and other documentation required for participation in conservation programs;
  • Help increase private landowner interest in Farm Bill programs and the FWP Migratory Bird Wetland Program by promoting the programs through public outreach;
  • Coordinate with conservation partners to effectively leverage conservation resources for delivery of conservation programs;
  • Assist with other duties as assigned.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities:

  • Ability to develop a strong knowledge of the Farm Bill and FWP Migratory Bird Wetland Program including application processes, developing restoration plans, conducting site visits, compatible use requests and grazing plans;
  • Knowledge of the principles used in the management of waterfowl and other grassland-dependent wildlife populations;
  • Strong knowledge of wetland ecosystems, wetland restoration, wetland management practices and range management practices required to maximize wetland functions and values and enhance wetland habitats for waterfowl, water birds and other wetland-dependent wildlife populations;
  • Working knowledge of farming, ranching and related agricultural operations;
  • Proficient with computers, including Microsoft Office software; proficient with ArcGIS preferred; 
  • Ability to work effectively—both independently and as a member of a team;
  • Ability to effectively plan, organize and prioritize work activities and complete tasks and reports to meet deadlines;
  • Ability to prepare and present information on conservation programs to peers and the public;
  • Possess strong interpersonal skills in order to effectively communicate with private landowners, USDA staff, FWP staff, other wildlife professionals and the general public;
  • Ability to walk for several hours on uneven terrain in hot and cold conditions while collecting data and survey information;
  • Possess strong writing skills for preparation of technical and popular reports, management plans, restoration plans, etc.;
  • Possess a valid driver's license and a vehicle;
  • Must be able to pass a background investigation for access to USDA computer systems;
  • Must pass drug screening test.

Minimum Education and Experience Requirements:

  • 4-year Bachelor of Science degree in wildlife management or a closely related natural resources field and 1 year of experience in the natural resources field is preferred;
  • Any combination of education, experience and training that enables the applicant to possess the required knowledge, skills and abilities.

Comments: Duties may require periodic overnight travel, both in and out of state. Successful applicant must provide his/her own vehicle and will be reimbursed for mileage. Expenses for overnight travel such as lodging and meals will be reimbursed. Duties may require field work in extreme weather conditions. Salary range is $32,000 - $38,000/year plus benefits package.

To apply: Send a cover letter, resume and three references with daytime telephone numbers to Abby Dresser at Additional application forms will be provided upon receipt of cover letter and resume. For more information regarding this position, contact Abby at 406.544.6445 or

Deadline: Applications will be accepted through November 21, 2016. 

Administrative Assistant - Development (Part-Time)

Great Lakes/Atlantic Region – Ann Arbor, MI

Ducks Unlimited, Inc., the continent's leader in waterfowl and wetlands conservation, seeks a part-time administrative assistant to support the operational activities of the development department with a focus on data integrity.
Primary responsibilities include:

  • Provide administrative and clerical support to the Great Lakes/Atlantic development staff. Duties may include maintaining calendars, scheduling appointments, arranging travel, drafting and preparing correspondence, answering and directing incoming calls as well as coordinating bill payments, expense reports and credit card statements.
  • Assist with prospect management by entering call reports and prospect moves in database and by coordinating submission of pledge forms and presentation of donor plaques with NHQ
  • Generate reports for program data analysis, state campaign efforts and development events.
  • Support development events/dedications to include creating invitation lists, tracking RSVPs, and general event planning.
  • Provide Major Sponsor/Feather Society customer service.
  • Maintain Major Sponsor and Feather Society records.
  • Assist with meeting and travel arrangements.
  • Other administrative duties as assigned.

Qualifications include:

  • Minimum of two years administrative/clerical experience. 
  • Excellent computer skills including Microsoft Office Suite proficiency are required; experience with membership database preferred.
  • Exceptional telephone and customer service skills.
  • Detail-oriented, self-motivated, have exceptional organizational skills, and able to work independently as well as in a team environment.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Demonstrated interpersonal skills to effectively relate to donors, volunteers and staff.
  • Commitment to the mission and goals of Ducks Unlimited.

The Administrative Assistant reports to the Managing Director of Development and is based at the Great Lakes/Atlantic Regional Office in Ann Arbor, MI. For additional information about this position, contact Todd Bishop, Managing Director of Development, at

To apply, please submit a cover letter indicating why you are interested in the position and a resume highlighting your qualifications to Haley Heard at Alternatively, materials can be mailed to 1 Waterfowl Way, Memphis, TN 38120. Additional application forms will be provided upon receipt of cover letter and resume. Resume review will begin on November 4, 2016 and continue until the position is filled.



It is the policy of Ducks Unlimited, Inc. to afford equal employment opportunity to all qualified persons regardless of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, military status, disability, age, or genetic information except where age or gender is a bona fide occupational qualification as allowed by the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

To be considered for employment, applicants MUST apply for a specific position and have the minimum qualifications listed in the job posting.



The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor’s legal duty to furnish information