Specialist, Programs, Nature-Based Climate Solutions


Grade: 3

Salary Range: $57,401 – $66,011


About Us: Delta Institute

We address Midwestern environmental, economic, and climate challenges today, so that our home and region are more resilient, equitable, and innovative tomorrow.

Delta exists because environmental, economic, and climate issues hit communities—urban and rural—through disinvestment, systemic inequity, and policy decisions. We collaborate at the community level to solve our home region’s new and legacy issues, by focusing on the self-defined goals and needs of our partners.

Our work takes us to population centers like Chicago, St. Louis, and Detroit; to mid-sized cities such as Gary and South Bend, Indiana; to Great Lakes coastal towns like Michigan City, Indiana and Muskegon, Michigan; and to rural communities and watersheds with tens of thousands of acres of farmland and waterways across our region. It’s quite likely that you—or someone you know—lives, works, or passes through a community that Delta has helped since our founding in 1998.

Functional Hive – Programs

All Midwest communities and landscapes thrive through an integrated approach to environmental, economic, and social challenges. Our work is organized into distinct initiatives that move our mission forward, clearly define our work, and articulate impact. The programs functional hive strives to successfully address the challenges and creatively assist in sustainable solutions.

The Program You’ll Work Within: Nature-Based Climate Solutions

Impact Statement: By 2025, Delta will have assisted municipalities in integrating natural and green infrastructure – improving the environment, mitigating the impacts of climate change, and strengthening communities – reducing stormwater impacts by 100 million gallons and leveraging at least $100 million in investment.

Theory of Change: By standardizing green infrastructure, creating innovative financing mechanisms for municipalities, and using natural solutions to water management, Delta will help our community partners attain improved water quality, canopy cover, and address equity issues through the beautification and quality-of-life-improvements that healthier water and trees bring.

Goal 1: Increase adoption and integration of green infrastructure.

  • Objective 1: Create standards and educational products to increase efficiency and effectiveness of implementation activities; scale with dedicated marketing and communications.
  • Objective 2: Coordinate and scale implementation-focused projects across the region, with an emphasis on resource-limited communities.

Goal 2: Create an integrated administration program to scale up implementation of Green Infrastructure.

  • Objective 1: Expand and formalize Delta’s role in catalyzing and scaling up private investment and insurance markets to invest in GI.
  • Objective 2: Make it more streamlined for municipalities to access carbon and water markets.

Core Skillset

A Specialist performs program, administrative or organizational development-related tasks. Specialists are directed in their work on a day-to-day basis but manage large work projects with some guidance from Directors and Leads. Serves as liaison with clients and stakeholders and is responsible for ensuring timely communication, consistent workflow and high quality deliverables. Specialists represent the organization at public events and raise funds to support the organization. Other core skillset attributes are:

  • Work in a timely and collaboratively manner on multiple deliverables with internal and external stakeholders
  • Identify and lead specific organizational initiatives
  • Developing new strategies that advance Delta and its mission
  • Strong analytical and problem solving skills
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Advanced knowledge of environmental and economic issues not only in the Great Lakes region but in the Midwest


Specialist, Programs, Nature-Based Climate Solutions

Position Specifics

As a Specialist, an employee will know what happens on the ground in the dynamic landscapes of the Midwest and Great Lakes. A Specialist will bring that robust experience to Delta while working within the team to implement a variety of projects that focus on changing how we think about the practices that we implement on the landscape, how we value the environmental impacts, and how to change the structural drivers to create large-scale impacts. A Specialist will bring a solid background in sustainability work to the team spanning planning to implementation; and, will continue to build expertise in the team’s focus areas. As a subject matter expert, the Specialist should relish managing multiple projects and seeking funding to address some the greatest barriers scaling environmental sustainability. The Specialist should have experience working for or with local governments and agencies thereby demonstrating knowledge of government processes such as planning and procurement. The Specialist should be aware of and comfortable liaising with the wide change of internal and external stakeholders which may include municipal staff (planning, public work, sanitary district, park district), land managers, engineers, landscape designers, contractors, nurseries, work force development partners, etc.

The Specialist should be at home tackling difficult environmental and social problems with often unclear paths to success, or take iterative approaches with a long-term goal of seeking solutions to larger social and environmental issues. The Specialist will also need to be comfortable working by yourself, with multiple types of personalities, on tight deadlines, in ambiguous and circuitous circumstances, and have an overall positive outlook on the change that can happen in the world.

As part of a truly multidisciplinary organization, the Specialist will also interface and support other projects that require unique skills and knowledge (specifically, projects within our Sustainability and Support Services that align with their skillsets); and have a knack translating complex ideas to a variety of audiences both internally and externally.

What you’ll be doing:

  • Collaborate on multiple projects to ensure high-quality, on-time, and on-budget deliverables
  • Manage staff, interns, and partners to complete deliverables
  • Assist in the creation of decision support tools for a variety of stakeholders
  • Identify, lead, and implement projects and/or project tasks as part of a project team
  • Work to conceive and develop proposals, and engage team members in the development process
  • Collaborate on team planning and implementation meetings
  • Where project structures require it, take a hands-on approach by developing work plans with tasks, timeframes, milestones, resources, and dependencies; or, when required, a hands-off approach by providing project teams with the resources they need to execute high-quality project deliverables
  • Develop and maintain key professional affiliations in support of organizational and professional development goals
  • Identify program partners and collaborate across boundaries to meet common objectives
  • Identify and understand the primary users of products, services, and deliverables
  • Maintain effective communication with clients and stakeholders managing and meeting project expectations including being comfortable facilitating and presenting to internal and external audiences
  • Be adaptable in occasional ambiguity; and be willing to go the extra mile to get the job done

What you’ll have:

  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in urban planning, environmental science, or related field with Master’s degree desirable or equivalent experience;
  • At least 5-7 years of relevant professional experience
  • Proven track record of engaging foundations, government agencies and private sector partners
  • Strategic and excellent organizational skills, be a self-starter and motivated and enjoy working in a team environment
  • Ability to apply systems thinking to complex environmental issues
  • Demonstrated success developing and evaluating program models, and selecting and successfully operationalizing innovative programs
  • Proficient in using technology as a management reporting tool and experience working with information technology staff to develop and implement program evaluation systems
  • Ability to organize, analyze and visualize data
  • Proficient in analyzing data and technical documents to produce deliverables
  • Strong project management skills managing complex, multi-faceted projects resulting in measurable successes and program growth
  • Experience in managing and motivating people to meet high performance standards
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills with exceptional attention to detail
  • Be able to work in a fast-paced environment, manage multiple tasks and deadlines, and manage work in sometimes ambiguous situations

Core competencies are the values and defined behaviors that we believe are central to the ability of every employee to do the work of the Delta Institute. These core competencies are a combination of knowledge, skills and behaviors that are the mark of a good Delta employee. Core competencies are a distinguishing characteristic of Delta employees for our clients, customers and stakeholders. They are a visible demonstration of our shared values and are evident in how we work together. Individuals can be at different levels of ability on a specific core competency which is why we measure ability each year and provide feedback and development suggestions.

All Delta employees have these core competencies:

  • Adaptive
  • Cooperative
  • Equitable
  • Passionate
  • Pragmatic
  • Transparent
  • Tenacious

Physical Demands and Work Environment

  • Continually required to sit
  • Continually required to utilize hand and finger dexterity
  • Continually required to climb, balance, bend, stoop, kneel or crawl
  • Continually required to talk or hear
  • While performing the duties of this job, the noise level in the work environment is usually moderate
  • The employee must occasionally lift and /or move up to 10 pounds

Delta offers its employees a competitive salary with a robust benefits package that includes generous paid time off, 401k, and medical, dental & vision insurance. Delta is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Please email application packet (one PDF) that includes the following:

  • cover letter
  • resume

All as one PDF to: careers@delta-institute.org
Subject line: Specialist, Programs, Nature-Based Climate Solutions
No phone calls, please. Position is open until filled.

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