APA – Massachusetts Chapter » Jobs » Planner/Conservation Agent – City of Salem

Planner/Conservation Agent – City of Salem

The Planner/Conservation Agent’s duties consist of a mix of planning and project management activities. The position provides support, coordination, and technical assistance to the Conservation Commission in carrying out its mandate and its mission to protect the community’s natural resources, which includes 14 miles of coastline, three rivers, extensive flood zones, and a diversity of other inland and coastal ecosystems. Provides professional supervision for the Commission’s work and projects. Uses professional expertise, critical thinking and interpersonal skills that require considerable judgment and initiative in determining courses of action not clearly defined by precedent, statute or established guidelines. Supports the Commission’s direct stewardship of 130 acres of protected open space.

Responsibilities include planning initiatives; preparing grant applications and managing grant programs (including the Green Communities grant program); managing construction projects; working with residents and neighborhood groups; and being responsible for other planning and community development projects as assigned by the Director.

The ideal candidate has strong written and verbal communication skills; project management skills; analytical and interpersonal skills; familiarity with the Wetlands Protection Act, land use and zoning; and an ability to interpret development plans. GIS skills are a plus.

Work schedule is largely during business hours, but also includes regular evening meetings, some early morning, evening, and/or weekend field work and site visits. Attendance at relevant training sessions and professional meetings is expected.


  • Assists the Conservation Commission in the administration and enforcement of the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act and the City of Salem Wetlands Ordinance. Assures legal requirements are met; schedules and attends meetings/hearings; processes and distributes/submits forms.
  • Reviews Notices of Intent/other filings and associated documents for accuracy, completeness and compliance with the law and regulations. Assures or conducts review of field delineations, sensitive areas, presence of rare species etc. Engages technical expertise/consultants with Commission approval, as needed.
  • Prepares reports, correspondence, presentations, and other written material for Commission review. Submits recommendations to the Commission; prepares decisions and Orders of Conditions. Monitors construction to ensure compliance with permits. Responds to complaints, investigates potential violations and takes/recommends appropriate action/remediation.
  • Serves as an information resource, researches issues, and provides data to other City boards and residents on issues related to wetlands, conservation and environmental matters.
  • Supports the Commission’s stewardship of the Forest River Conservation Area and its trail infrastructure.
  • Assists the Commission and City with other open space and resource protection issues. Assists with coordinating preparation and updating of the City’s Open Space and Recreation Plan to meet criteria for approval.
  • Researches, pursues and coordinates grant and other funding opportunities; writes proposals and manages grants including the Green Communities program.
  • Provides technical assistance in the review of development plans before other boards, as appropriate.
  • Undertakes planning and community development initiatives. Responsible for research and analysis, studies, reports and presentations. Manages construction projects. Undertakes neighborhood and planning initiatives and works with residents and neighborhood groups.
  • Represents the City at public, agency, and neighborhood meetings, as required.
  • Performs duties independently under established policies and performs other duties as assigned by the Director.


Bachelor’s degree in environmental science, planning, or related field and a minimum of two years of experience in wetlands protection, land conservation, environmental management, planning, or related field; or master’s degree in environmental management, planning, or related field. AICP preferred.

Understanding of planning principles and practice. Project management experience and ability. Knowledge of Wetlands Protection Act and the Green Communities Act.

Familiarity with land use and zoning.  Ability to read and interpret development plans and specifications.

Ability to research and analyze complex issues and to develop relevant and realistic plans, programs and recommendations.

Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing; to establish positive public relations for the City; and to interact effectively with a wide variety of individuals and groups, including but not limited to: the public, business and non-profit community, boards and committees, consultants, and co-workers.

Demonstrated ability to work both independently and cooperatively as part of a team, to assume responsibility, to prioritize and resolve problems, to work under pressure in a fast paced work atmosphere and to coordinate and manage complex projects.

Computer skills pertaining to the operations of the department.  GIS skills a plus.

Valid Massachusetts driver’s license to get to and from project sites within the City and the Commonwealth at various times during the workday.


Duties involve a combination of activities in normal office setting as well as outdoor field and site work. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.

Outdoor field and site work is performed under a variety of weather conditions, including inclement weather. Duties may require moderate physical exercise such as walking through wooded areas, hilly terrain, wetlands and construction sites. There can be exposure to potential health hazards, such as Lyme disease, airborne particles, plant irritants such as poison ivy, and the hazards associated with site work and construction such as noise and heavy equipment. Regular use of computer keyboards requiring eye-hand coordination and finger dexterity.

Attendance at evening meetings and occasional travel to meetings and other communities.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to talk or hear.  Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision and depth perception. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate. However, noise level may increase during outside site visits.

Interested individuals are encouraged to apply to  jobs@salem.com no later than August 14, 2018.





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