The Water Policy Fellow works with the Agriculture and Water team on a range of issues and activities related to the Alliance’s Great Lakes and agriculture nutrient policy priorities and research. The Fellow will support work across the Great Lakes region through research, writing, and policy analysis. The Fellow will work both independently and collaboratively on varying tasks to ensure timely and high-quality deliverables. Additionally, the Fellow may be asked to represent the Alliance in a public-facing capacity, attending community events, public hearings, and events hosted by partners and decision-makers. The Water Policy Fellow reports to the Senior Policy Manager. The Alliance for the Great Lakes sets a protection agenda for the Great Lakes, a resource of global significance and the world’s largest source of surface freshwater. The Alliance seeks to protect the Great Lakes from their greatest threats, build a resilient future for communities and instill the value of clean water throughout the region. Learn more about the Alliance at

Essential Duties/Responsibilities

  • Compile an agriculture and water governance and policy outline for the Great Lakes region to be shared internally with the Alliance and close partners
  • Research and draft report detailing the cost of intervention for nutrients and algae blooms for water utilities in key geographies in the basin
  • Assess and develop a process for tracking agriculture-related permits in key geographies in the basin
  •  Assess current information and processes for quantifying nutrient sources in the Lake Erie Watershed
  •  Research a prioritized list of current and alternative funding and policy mechanisms for achieving nutrient reduction targets in Green Bay, conduct a gap analysis, and report on findings
  •  Review literature focused on agriculture and nutrient pollution management, policy, socioeconomic, and governance and contribute to an annotated bibliography and resource sharing process
  •  Support the Alliance’s policy positions through public-facing communications, including writing, attending community events, participating in public hearings and events hosted by partners and decision-makers as needed


  • The ideal candidate will have experience in water policy, law, and/or planning with some background related to agricultural impacts on water and communities preferred
  • Bachelor’s degree plus 1 year of experience in policy research or a related field preferred (1 year of graduate-level school work would meet this preference)
  • Strong listening, written, and verbal communications skills
  • Ability to review multiple source documents (including peer-reviewed academic literature), filter important information, and summarize key points from research and meetings respectively
  • Ability to manage multiple pieces of work in a fast-paced environment and shift focus quickly from one priority to another
  • Ability to work collaboratively with a staff team located in different offices with varying types of expertise and priorities
  • Some knowledge of large-scale or watershed planning or water law is a bonus
  • Attraction to mission-driven public interest work
  • Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint

Job Parameters/Expectations

  •  Work with Supervisor to design the plan of work with clearly defined outcomes and timelines subject to the Fellow’s abilities and the Fellowship’s aims
  •  Participate in regularly scheduled meetings virtually and possibly some in-person
  • This is a part-time, temporary, paid position for June – October 2021, with extension option pending performance and project development
  • Compensation is hourly with an average goal per week
  •  “Office hours” are expected but flexibility can be discussed, as needed, with supervisor’s prior approval

 Application Process

Please e-mail a cover letter, resume, references, and writing sample to: Include job title in the subject line.

The application period may stay open until June 29 or the position is filled, whichever is earlier. Materials should be compatible with Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat. Applicants will receive confirmation of receipt of their materials and further guidance and updates about the hiring process by e-mail, with interviews provided for finalists. No phone inquiries, please.

 About the Alliance for the Great Lakes

The Alliance for the Great Lakes is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The search process will reinforce the Alliance’s belief that achieving diversity requires an enduring commitment to inclusion that must find full expression in our organizational culture, values, norms, and behaviors.

The Alliance’s vision is a healthy Great Lakes for people and wildlife, forever. Its mission is to conserve and restore the world’s largest freshwater resource using policy, education, and local efforts, ensuring a healthy Great Lakes and clean water for generations of people and wildlife.