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Position available: Water Quality Senior Program Specialist

Application deadline: Open until filled    |    Download PDF


The Great Lakes Commission (GLC) is seeking a highly motivated individual to join our team to help reduce water pollution and enhance water quality across the Great Lakes basin. This includes Great Lakes as well as the tributary watersheds that drain into them. GLC projects and initiatives are directed at rural and urban settings, as well as on a watershed scale. Projects in rural settings focus primarily on water pollution from agricultural sources while projects in urban settings address municipal sources including urban runoff and discharges from sanitary and storm sewers. Addressing complex water quality challenges involves scaling up proven approaches and testing new ones. Water quality trading,  Blue Accounting, and green infrastructure are examples of innovative approaches we are exploring to connect upstream and downstream water users. The Senior Program Specialist for water quality will assist in all aspects of the GLC’s water quality program.

Specific Responsibilities

The Great Lakes Commission has a flexible team-staffing model for its projects. The senior program specialist will serve on multiple teams and perform tasks that support specific project goals and objectives. Specific duties and responsibilities of this position include:

  • Research and writing to prepare reports, fact sheets, articles, memos, web pages, and social media communications;
  • Analyzing, aggregating and delivering data and information that support water quality projects;
  • Assisting with the establishment and ongoing operation of project teams (e.g., planning and organizing conference calls, in-person and online meetings; summarizing and reporting out on  discussions; working with managers to ensure appropriate follow up);
  • Staying abreast of science, policy, tools and techniques to augment  contributions to individual project teams and the GLC’s water quality program overall;
  • Seeking opportunities to enhance the GLC’s water quality work.

Skills and Experience

A master’s degree in natural resources management, biology, ecology, environmental science or policy, or a related field plus three years of experience is preferred. An undergraduate degree plus 5 or more years of relevant experience is also acceptable.

  • Experience with federal and/or state water quality policy and programs  [e.g., U.S. Clean Water Act and related programs (319; NPDES permits, TMDLs, etc.); state water quality policy/programs;  USDA-NRCS programs];
  • Competency in water/environmental science (i.e., course work and/or applied experience in: hydrology; ecosystem dynamics; pollution transport, fate and delivery, or related field);
  • Strong writing skills; ability to translate complex ideas and information to general audiences
  • Proficiency with MS Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook); advanced use of Excel
  • Experience working with project teams and assisting with their day-to-day operations (e.g., working knowledge of GoToMeeting, Webex, Skype for Business and similar services and managing communities online)
  • Preference will be given to candidates who have:
    • Familiarity with water quality data sources (e.g., data regarding: water discharge permits; land use; pollution concentration/load; water use impairments; hydrology; facility operations)
    • Experience with watershed management or pollution/runoff models (e.g., SWAT, STEPL, RUSLE2, SPARROW);
    • Familiarity with regular and geospatial data analysis software/tools (e.g., GIS and data analysis software).

Travel Requirements

Periodic travel will be required, generally within the Great Lakes basin, approximately 3-6 times per year. Most travel will require a 1 or 2 overnight stay.

Personal Attributes

  • Confident, self-motivated, and energetic
  • Highly organized; excellent at time management
  • Systems thinker; can quickly process information and relate it to other work/objectives
  • Team player; enjoys working collaboratively
  • Continuous learner; expands personal knowledge in support of professional goals
  • Passionate about improving water quality in the Great Lakes basin

Salary and Benefits

Anticipated salary for this position ranges between $46,000 and $55,000 per year, depending on education, skills, and experience. The Great Lakes Commission offers a competitive benefits package.

Application process

The requirements for this application include a cover letter, resume and salary history. All of these items must be provided if applicant is to receive consideration. The application deadline is open until filled.

Please address your application and submit by e-mail to the following address:

Great Lakes Commission
ATTN: Senior Water Quality Specialist Position

2805 S. Industrial Hwy., Suite 100
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-6791
E-mail: – Subject Line: Water Quality Specialist

No phone calls, please.

About the Great Lakes Commission

The Great Lakes Commission was established in 1955 with a mandate to “promote the orderly, integrated and comprehensive development, use and conservation of the water resources of the Great Lakes basin.” Founded in state law with U.S. federal consent, with membership consisting of the eight Great Lakes states and associate member status for the provinces of Ontario and Québec, the Commission pursues four primary functions: communication and education, information integration and reporting, facilitation and consensus building, and policy coordination and advocacy. Each Member jurisdiction is represented by a delegation consisting of three to five members who are appointees of the respective governor or premier, legislators or senior agency officials. A board of directors, consisting of the chair of each delegation, is the Commission’s executive body. In carrying out its initiatives, the Commission works in close cooperation with many partner organizations, including U.S. and Canadian federal agencies, binational institutions, tribal/First Nation governments and other regional interests. Representatives appointed by partner entities participate extensively in Commission activities through a formal Observer program. The Commission is supported by a professional staff in Ann Arbor, Mich. Learn more at

Note: The Great Lakes Commission, as an equal opportunity employer, complies with applicable federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination. It is the policy of the Great Lakes Commission that no person shall be discriminated against, as an employee or applicant for employment, because of race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, height, weight, sexual orientation, marital status, partisan considerations or a disability or genetic information that is unrelated to the person’s ability to perform the duties of a particular job or position.


Position available: Aquatic Invasive Species Program Specialist

Application deadline: Open until filled    |    Download PDF


The Great Lakes Commission has an immediate opening for a self-starting, highly motivated team player to join our aquatic invasive species (AIS) program. This position reports to the AIS program manager and will assist with project management and implementation. The ...   Read More »

Coalition of states, cities, tribes, business, industry, and conservation groups urge Congress to pass Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act

For immediate release: March 17, 2016  |   Download News Release PDF  |   Download Joint Letter on GLRI Authorization

Ann Arbor, Mich. – A coalition of Great Lakes states, cities, tribes, business, industry, and conservation leaders today called on congressional leaders to pass the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act,...   Read More »

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For immediate release: February 24, 2016  |   Download News Release PDF

Washington, D.C. – Protecting drinking water from toxic algae blooms and failing water infrastructure, and sustaining implementation of the Great Lakes restoration strategy, topped the agenda of issues decided at the Great Lakes Commission’s Semiannual Meeting, which concluded today in ...   Read More »

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