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The Oregon Community Foundation


Since 1973 The Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) has pursued a mission to improve lives for all Oregonians through the power of philanthropy. We work with individuals, families, businesses and organizations to create charitable funds that support the community causes they care about. These funds support the critical work that nonprofits are doing across Oregon.


We have a temporary assignment for a part-time Research Assistant – Working Lands. Working lands are defined as places where things that humans need are grown. The primary focus is on farms, ranches and forests.  This is an ideal opportunity for a current graduate student to obtain work experience in the field of environmental research. The position is 28 hours per week beginning June through September 2018 (dates flexible). This assignment will last for a maximum of 12 weeks, or less, depending on the project completion.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Work with OCF donor to develop goals and outcomes for a summer environmental research project to highlight the need and opportunity for conservation and restoration on working lands, defining the research questions to guide the summer project
  • Create a research design and framework for understanding the Oregon landscape of working lands to organize information on geography, strategies employed and more
  • Create a master list of contacts across the full spectrum of working lands, beginning with the owners, managers, and growers, with the full list to include land trust leaders, watershed councils, conservation districts and tribes
  • Review, synthesize and summarize available research about working lands management, conservation and restoration and regenerative growing strategies in Oregon
  • Develop an interview plan, including drafting research questions and an interview guide, to explore the needs of owners, managers and growers and develop an understanding of promising strategies for conservation and restoration on farms, ranches and forests
  • Assist with preparing data reports and data visualizations as appropriate
  • Assist with other working lands research-related tasks such as compiling printed or electronic materials, preparing presentation and report materials, and analysis as needed
  • Assist in drafting plans for a more in-depth research project on working lands to take place in 2019 that will include a second phase of stakeholder interviews and explore a working lands funding strategy that includes representation from all above groups
  • Manage and track communications with potential fund grantees in the area of working lands
  • Provide regular updates/summary reports on activities and progress


Required Skills and Abilities:

  • Undergraduate degree required, with graduate-level course work in social science research methods and data analysis helpful, preference given to a student with major in a field related to the environmental sciences/environmental studies
  • Familiarity with qualitative data collection and analysis such as conducting interviews or reading interview transcripts and other documents to identify common themes and key points
  • Familiarity with Oregon geography and working lands management strategies in general; familiarity with forestry, ranching and agricultural industry sectors and environmental regulations in Oregon preferred
  • Experience gathering, reading and synthesizing research articles and reports in order to identify key points, common themes, etc.
  • Strong written communication skills, including experience writing for “lay” audiences
  • Strong interest in nonprofit organizations, community foundations, and civic engagement; some work or volunteer experience in nonprofit organizations
  • Experience working in Microsoft Excel, Word and PowerPoint
  • Ability to exercise discretion and maintain confidentiality
  • Ability to work effectively and cooperatively with OCF staff members and OCF donors
  • Strong organizational skills, attention to detail and accuracy; ability to prioritize and manage several tasks efficiently and effectively within deadlines
  • Ability to manage a self-directed project, keeping on task with milestones toward a final deadline and asking clarifying questions when needed to move the work forward


Work Schedule and Compensation:

Hours are flexible – work can be completed anytime between the hours of 8:30 and 5:00 Monday-Friday. 28 hours per week, $19.60 per hour. No benefits are included for temporary, part-time assignments.

To Apply:

The Oregon Community Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer and we welcome a diverse pool of applicants.  We strive to build a diverse workforce to promote effective work in partnership with all communities and population groups in Oregon. Resumes will be accepted through our recruitment portal through June 5, 2018.  Cover letters are extremely helpful and encouraged.  Writing samples are also encouraged, but not required. Visit and find the Job Openings tab to begin the application process.

To apply for this job please visit the following URL: →

☆ Dont forget to tell your interviewer that you heard about this opportunity from the Urban League of Portland ☆