Natural Resources Program Coordinator

Base County
Counties Served

ISU Extension and Outreach in Polk County (Polk County Extension) builds a strong Iowa by connecting residents to the research and resources developed by Iowa State University. ISU Extension and Outreach in Polk County offers educational programming and experiential learning opportunities to residents focused in four areas: K-12 outreach and youth development; health and well-being; agriculture and natural resources; and community and economic development.

Polk County Extension, based in Altoona, has an immediate full-time opening for a Natural Resources Program Coordinator. Under general supervision, the coordinator will work with team of staff and volunteers to plan and implement the Master Conservationist program, Master Gardener education and volunteer service program, and other natural resources programs in Polk County. Leads the coordination of Master Conservationist program.  Organizes special program committees, assists with facilitation of Master Gardener program.  Assists with the development and implementation of Natural Resources Education related events.


RESPONSIBILITIES include, but are not limited to:

Volunteer Management 
•    Organize the Master Conservationist Program.  Recruit, screen and identify class members. Work with volunteer class coordinators and ISU to operate the class. 
•    Assist with maintenance of local Master Gardener volunteer contact database. Assist with authorization of volunteer and education hours on the Iowa Master Gardener reporting database. 
•    Assist with the coordination of requests from community for Master Gardeners to speak/present about horticulture related subject matter.
•    Work with Master Gardener Advisory Council, Master Conservationist program alumni, and other volunteer committees to carry out county-sponsored activities, events, and social media. 

•    Responsible for maintaining technical knowledge of Master Gardener Programs, Master Conservationist Programs and other Horticulture Education programs offered by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
•    Responsible for leading the facilitation of the local delivery of the Polk County Master Conservationist program and assisting with facilitation of the local delivery of the Master Gardener program. 
•    Explore opportunities and deliver Natural Resources programming in areas such as, but not limited to: urban agriculture, local foods programming, School Garden 101, Advanced Vegetable Horticulture Course, etc.

Public Relations 
•    Distribute news releases about county Natural Resources programs. 
•    Post Natural Resources events in program calendar and report attendance. 
•    Work with Master Gardener and Master Conservationist projects to ensure adequate branding of program and help coordinate efforts to schedule educational events. 
•    Develop and coordinate public relations for the Master Conservationist program and assist with public relations for the Master Gardener program. 
•    Develop Natural Resources displays for the office and for external events. Ensure that all Polk County Extension Natural Resources program materials are in accordance with the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Visual Identity Guide.

Team Member 
•    Work with ISU Extension and Outreach to deliver the Master Gardener and Master Conservationist program, following program policies. 
•    Assist in the coordination of efforts of the Master Gardener and Master Conservationist volunteers to ensure that all external funds (donations, grants, contracts) are secured with proper authorization. 
•    Provide leadership in responding to horticulture questions submitted to the Polk County Extension office.
•    Responsible for cooperating with conservation, horticulture or natural resource education coordinator(s) within the region. 
•    Inform Regional Director of program impacts. 
•    Assist with the preparation and implementation of the Polk County Fair

Communications and Other Responsibilities 
•    Collaborate with marketing staff on the creation and distribution of relevant and timely social media posts on the Polk County Natural Resources, including Master Gardener, social media channels. Inform marketing staff of upcoming promotions for county-wide social media channels and newsletter. 
•    Edit and distribute a monthly Polk County Extension Master Gardener newsletter. 
•    Maintain all correspondence for the Master Conservationist and assist with all correspondence for the Master Gardener program. 
•    Maintain the ISU Extension and Outreach – Polk County Natural Resources website and assist with maintaining the Polk County Master Gardener web sites. 
•    Follows all policies, rules and procedures as directed by the Extension Council and Regional Director. 
•    Perform other duties as assigned. 


•    Associate degree and a minimum of 2 years of experience in one or more areas of the position description, such as environmental science, conservation, horticulture, agricultural education, etc.
•    Capable of coordinating volunteer efforts including conflict management skills 
•    Advanced knowledge of Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat, newsletter creation, email 
•    Access to reliable transportation; valid driver’s license 
•    Employment contingent on successful screening in Child Protection Safety Program (Criminal Background Check) 
•    Able to lift and move 30 pounds 

Preferred Qualifications

•    Bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as environmental science, conservation, horticulture, agricultural education, etc.
•    Alumni of the Iowa State University Extension’s Master Conservationist program 
•    Experience in volunteer development and management 
•    Experience facilitating educational programs 
•    Experience in program development 
•    Experience in establishing partnerships and networks 
•    Bilingual; fluent in a second language 

Additional Information

•    Strong communication skills 
•    Demonstrated organizational skills 
•    Ability to set up audio visual equipment and manage the distance education process, technically and programmatically. 
•    Ability to work independently, and as a team 
•    Knowledge of basic office machinery 

Applications will be considered upon submission and will be accepted until position filled. 
For guaranteed consideration submit all necessary documents before 8 a.m. on September 18, 2023. 

Required Documents (.pdf format) emailed to 
Cover Letter 
ISU Extension and Outreach, Polk County Employment Application

Job Type
Full Time
40 hours/week. M-F 8 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Some flexing of hours will be needed to accommodate some evenings, weekends, and occasional overnights. 
Wages (type)
Wages (status)
$22 - 23 per hour. Classified as an Extension Educator position. 

•    100% of employer provide individual health, life, dental and disability insurance premiums paid
•    Paid time off 
•    9 holidays plus 2 additional floating holidays 
•    IPERS retirement plan 
•    AFLAC (Optional and at employee’s expense) 

Application Deadline

Iowa State University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or protected Veteran status and will not be discriminated against.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider. For the full non-discrimination statement or accommodation inquiries, go to