Hawaiʻi Sentinel Landscape Coordinator

Trust for Public Land seeks a highly motivated and qualified individual to become the Hawaiʻi Sentinel Landscape Coordinator.  The coordinator will lead an array of public and private partners to develop and achieve diverse natural and cultural resource conservation goals within the landscape’s geographic boundaries (Hawaiʻi Island, Kauaʻi, and Oʻahu – excluding urban Honolulu).  This individual will also collaborate with coordinators from the other sentinel landscapes across the United States and coordinate with the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership Federal Coordinating Committee (FCC).  This is an exceptional opportunity to help advance an extraordinary natural and cultural resources conservation partnership.

The coordinator is expected to be a “force multiplier” who will unify the day-to-day operations of the Hawaiʻi Sentinel Landscape Partnership to help define and achieve agreed-upon collaborative goals.  This individual should be organized, have superior people and problem-solving skills, and be committed to helping the partnership achieve its on-the-ground projects.  The coordinator will be a full-time employee of Trust for Public Land and will work with the Trust for Public Land Hawai’i and Federal Affairs staff and with partners to apply for and administer grants.

Background on the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership

Sentinel landscapes are working or natural lands important to the Nation’s defense mission – places where conserving the working and rural character of key landscapes strengthens the economies of farms, ranches, and forests; conserves habitat and natural resources; promotes resilience to climate change; and protects vital testing and training missions conducted on the military installations that anchor such landscapes.

The U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Defense, and the Interior established the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership through a Memorandum of Understanding in 2013.  The program is a nationwide Federal, state, local, and private collaboration dedicated to promoting natural resource sustainability and the preservation of agricultural and conservation land uses in areas surrounding military installations.  Agencies from the three Departments coordinate the partnership at the national level through the Federal Coordinating Committee (FCC), consisting of representatives from these agencies.

The Sentinel Landscapes Partnership seeks to recognize and incentivize landowners to continue maintaining these landscapes in ways that contribute to the nation’s defense.  Where shared interests can be identified within a sentinel landscape, the local partnership coordinates mutually beneficial programs and strategies to preserve, enhance, or protect habitat and working lands near military installations.  The goal of this work is to reduce, prevent, or eliminate current or future restrictions on military training and testing activities, including restrictions from climate change impacts.

Trust for Public Land Hawai’i developed an application for sentinel landscape designation during the 2021 proposal cycle.  While the proposed Hawai’i Sentinel Landscape was not awarded full designation that cycle, the partners that developed the proposal continue to meet to pursue projects in support of designation as well as conservation outcomes that benefit partners.  The partnership’s members include the U. S. Department of Agriculture (including the Natural Resources Conservation Service and U.S. Forest Service), U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, State of Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources, and the Trust for Public Land.

This position is located in Hawai’i and will be based in the Trust for Public Land’s Honolulu, Hawaiʻi office.  The coordinator may work from home or be housed with a partner organization or agency, depending on needs and opportunities.

Duties and Responsibilities

Consistent with guidance provided by and in close coordination with partnership members, the coordinator will generally be expected to work independently to define and achieve both near- and long-term goals and objectives of the Hawai’i Sentinel Landscape.  The coordinator will need to move seamlessly between leadership, management, and support roles, depending on the specific task.  All tasks are expected to be completed in a timely and responsive manner.  The coordinator is expected to avoid actual or perceived conflicts of interest and act impartially, avoiding any undue bias and influence on the partnership’s vision, mission, and goals.
Duties and responsibilities fall into four general categories:

Day-to-day to management of partnership operations

  • Create and convene an executive-level group which will include representatives of the Department of Defense (INDOPACOM, Navy, Army, Marines, and Air Force), Department of the Interior (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service), U.S. Department of Agriculture (U.S. Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service), Hawai’i Department of Land and Natural Resources, and other local and non-governmental organizations identified by core federal and state partners.
  • Create and convene working groups which plan and implement priorities for the Hawai’i Sentinel Landscape.   
  • Maintain a strong understanding of each partnership member’s goals, primarily as they relate to the Hawai’i Sentinel Landscape.
  • Keep track of and be prepared to report out to others the status of working group activities.
  • Thoughtfully communicate with executive and working group members between meetings as needed.
  • Take charge of the day-to-day creation, revision, and management of the Hawai’i Sentinel Landscape 2023-2026 Implementation Plan, including making recommendations about prioritization to partnership members.  
  • Proactively keep partnership members aware of status on key milestones.
  • Establish a system for tracking and reporting on metrics to the FCC and donors that communicate the impact of the Hawai’i Sentinel Landscape.
National-level coordination and communication
  • Serve as the primary point of contact for the Hawaiʻi Sentinel Landscape for the FCC.
  • Collaborate with coordinators and staff from other sentinel landscapes to enhance learning across partnerships.
Pursue and managing funding
  • Efficiently review funding opportunities forwarded from national and/or partnership members to assess applicability to the Hawaiʻi Sentinel Landscape.
  • Seek out additional sources of public and/or private funding as needed.
  • On an ongoing basis, provide specific recommendations about which funding opportunities to pursue.
  • Create and maintain a list of funding opportunities to help the partnership prioritize and plan for proactively pursuing those opportunities.
  • When pursuit of specific funding opportunities has been approved, take charge of proposal writing and submission in coordination with appropriate partnership members.
  • Foster synergy between all partners such that negative competition dynamics relating to funding opportunities are avoided.
Broader outreach/partnership building
  • Establish and maintain strong relationships with partnership members while also recruiting new partners.
  • Communicate Department of Defense natural resource concerns to audiences most critical to the Hawaiʻi Sentinel Landscape.
  • Draft, seek approval for, and administer a communications plan targeting key audiences.
Minimum Qualifications
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience in natural and/or cultural resource conservation or comparable field.
  • Proven ability and capacity to objectively coordinate diverse interests to achieve large-scale goals.
  • Working knowledge/solid understanding of the military culture and operations (e.g., military personnel ranks, customs and courtesies, unit organizational structure, forces’ capabilities, etc.).
  • Experience working with agricultural community, local governments, and/or private landowners on conservation projects.
  • Professional experience working with ESA regulatory requirements for terrestrial wildlife, such as Habitat Conservation Plans, Critical Habitats, and/or military Integrated Natural Resource Management Plans.
  • Professional experience in partnership building and management.
  • Broad understanding of political, cultural, economic, and environmental issues within the Hawaiʻi Sentinel Landscape boundary and within the state itself.
  • Superior verbal and written communications skills.
  • Strong organization and time management skills.
  • Proficient with standard Microsoft Office software (or equivalent).
  • Proven ability to plan, organize, and lead highly productive and timely video-based meetings that include external participants.
  • Must have and maintain valid (HI) driver’s license.
  • Ability to work efficiently and effectively with minimal supervision.
  • Ability to travel occasionally to out-of-state meetings and inter-island.
Desired Qualifications
  • Career experience working for or with federal or state agencies.
  • Strong understanding of the relationship between Department of Defense testing and training mission and natural and cultural resource challenges.
  • Experience or familiarity with coordinating between federal agencies and working with federal funding and budgeting.
  • Working knowledge of Hawaiʻi ecosystems and/or one or more their associated ESA-listed or candidate species, and Native Hawaiian history, culture, and resources.  Hawaiian language a plus.
  • Proven successful fundraising experience with public agencies, private foundations, and/or corporations, with a focus on grants.
  • Experience working with Hawaiʻi State agencies and local municipalities within the state.
  • Proficient with project management software.
As a regular, full time employee, you will be eligible for Trust for Public Land’s comprehensive benefits program which includes medical, dental, and vision insurance, vacation, holidays, and a 403(b) retirement plan, currently with an up to 7% company match. We offer competitive salaries commensurate with experience; the hiring range for this position is anticipated to fall between $70,000-$95,000.

The Trust for Public Land’s active goal is to be an inclusive and equitable place to work and build community. As the organization actively works to eliminate racial and other disparities it welcomes candidates with diverse backgrounds and/or multicultural skillsets and experiences.

This position is initially funded by the FCC for two years, with an expectation for continued funding based on performance.  The coordinator will work with partners to identify matching funds to meet annual and long-term compensation goals.  Ideally, the coordinator would remain in place through the designation of the Hawai’i Sentinel Landscape and remain as the landscape’s full-time coordinator.