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Anthony A. Lapham River Conservation Fellow Job Details

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Employer:  American Rivers.
Categories:  Water/wastewater
Legal/Env. Law
Travel Required:  16-25%
Job Type:  Contract
Preferred Degree:  Bachelors
Experience Required:  2-3 years
State/Province:  DC - District of Columbia
City:  Washington
Salary:  $35,000 plus benefits
Job Description: 

ITLE:  Anthony A. Lapham River Conservation Fellow 
LOCATION: Washington, D.C.
DATE: Summer 2013 – Summer 2015
APPLICATIONS DUE: January 18, 2013
STIPEND: $35,000 plus benefits*

Downloadable Announcement [PDF]


The Anthony A. Lapham River Conservation Fellowship at American Rivers provides an excellent professional development opportunity for talented post-graduates pursuing careers as leaders in the field of conservation advocacy.  Recent graduate degree (MA/MS/PhD/JD/MBA) recipients will focus on an applied research project that will make a tangible contribution to American River’s mission.  Working with a team of professional staff, the individual will apply practical research and advocacy skills and develop a network of professional contacts in their field of expertise.  The individual will be an integral part of a dynamic organization comprised of experienced conservationists and emerging leaders and will participate in a range of organizational functions including staff retreats and Board of Directors meetings.

This fellowship honors the memory of Anthony A. Lapham who served for many years on the board of American Rivers, including as its Chairman.  The program reflects his integrity, intellect, concern for humanity and commitment to excellence; we seek candidates who possess these qualities.


American Rivers is a national non-profit conservation organization that protects healthy natural rivers for the benefit of communities, fish and wildlife.  Our program staff are expert advocates who develop practical policy solutions and work with civic and community leaders to implement those solutions at the local, state and federal level. American Rivers places a strong emphasis on maintaining a learning culture and positive work environment. The organization is based in Washington, D.C., with regional operations in the Pacific Northwest, California, the Great Lakes, the Greater Northeast and the Southeast.  For more information,  


The goals of the Anthony A. Lapham Fellowship Program are to develop the next generation of conservation leaders and to generate work products that directly support the mission and goals of the organization.  Advancements in river conservation will be especially important during the coming years due to the extreme threats to rivers, headwater streams and freshwater supplies brought on by global warming, population growth and sprawl.  We need to develop the next generation of skilled leaders who can promote practical environmental solutions that achieve measurable results for natural and human communities. 

The Lapham Fellow will help shape community-oriented solutions to river conservation challenges, educate civic leaders about the benefits of healthy rivers, inform legislative and legal proceedings, and influence opinion leaders.  The fellowship includes the implementation of a project that directly supports the goals of one or more of American Rivers’ conservation programs.

The project will fall within one of four categories: (1) sustainably managing our freshwater resources; (2) restoring rivers (through approaches such as dam removal) and achieving natural flood protection by restoring the natural functions of rivers, wetlands and floodplains; (3) conserving America’s heritage by protecting our remaining free-flowing rivers and connecting communities to their rivers; and (4) achieving resiliency in natural and human communities in the face of global warming.  Projects might include analysis of the contributions of healthy rivers to employment, property values, public health and safety and other community priorities; or the impacts of poorly managed rivers on water supply, flooding or public safety.  The topics will change depending on the needs of the organization in any particular year. Fellows will publish results in an appropriate format and present their project results to various audiences.  For more information about the project areas for the 2013-2015 Fellowship year, view the application form.

The 24-month Fellowship will be supported by a team of conservation staff and members of our Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee, which includes some of the nation’s foremost experts on freshwater conservation science and policy. Conducting an applied research project under the guidance of expert advocates will provide the Fellow with invaluable experience as they begin their career.

Fellows also will receive lobbying training, have opportunities to participate in meetings with congressional offices and federal agency officials, and attend congressional hearings.  Additionally, Fellows will engage in organizational activities including meetings of our Board of Directors; staff meetings and retreats; andNational River Cleanup® activities. 


  • Graduate degree in stream ecology, hydrology, geomorphology, public health, public policy, law, economics or engineering, or related fields
  • Dedication to environmental principles
  • Extensive research and analysis skills
  • High academic achievement
  • Proven leadership ability
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills
  • High degree of personal integrity
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work both autonomously and as a member of a team in a professional environment
  • Ability to travel as necessary for research


  • Resume – Description of your work experience (both paid and volunteer) including an outline of each job/responsibilities, contact information for each employer, and dates of employment.
  • Transcripts – Official transcripts for all higher education institutions attended must accompany your application.  (We accept unofficial copies of transcripts for the application process, but those contacted for an interview will need to provide original transcripts at that time.)
  • Letters of Recommendation – Two letters of recommendation are required.  You may choose to have faculty members or current/former employers submit these letters.  Letters should be sent directly from the recommenders.  The Letter of Recommendation Instruction form [PDF] should be provided to all recommenders for guidance in writing recommendation letters.
  • Academic Mentor Information – Preference will be given to candidates that identify an academic mentor, who will assist during the duration of the fellowship.  Please submit bio of and letter from your academic mentor with your application.  Letters should indicate mentor's willingness to fulfill the duties of this role.  Academic Mentor Instruction form [PDF] should be provided to your mentor as guidance in writing the letter. 
  • Personal Statement – Please submit an original essay with your application.  The essay should be 2-3 pages in length, no less than 11 point type, at least 1.5 line spacing, typed in Times New Roman font, and have at least 1 inch margins.  Your essay should address the following:
    • What are your short-term and long-term career goals?
    • How will this fellowship assist you in accomplishing your goals?
    • How has your academic training/field of study, employment history, and volunteer experience prepared you for this fellowship?
    • What can serve as evidence of your leadership skills and ability?
  • Research Project proposal – A two-page proposal outlining your applied research project.  For more information about the project areas for the 2013-2015 Fellowship year, view theapplication form.

Only complete applications (letters of recommendation and academic mentor letters can be sent separately) will be reviewed; partial applications will be discarded. For further information about all attachments please refer to the Application Form.

Please submit all materials to Applications can be submitted via mail, but email is preferred. If sending the application by mail, send to:

American Rivers
Anthony A. Lapham River Conservation Fellowship
1101 14th Street, NW, Suite 1400
Washington, DC 20005

Letters of recommendation and academic mentor letters should be sent via email directly from the recommender/mentor, with the candidate's full name in the subject line. Recommenders/Mentors can also send letters via mail, but the letter must be enclosed in a sealed envelope with their signature across the seal. Please provide letter of recommendation and academic mentor instructional sheets to appropriate parties. 

Application Deadline: 11:59 pm EST January 18, 2013

* Anthony A. Lapham River Conservation Fellows are eligible for health and dental insurance as well as generous leave benefits.

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