Planning and Design Specialist

POSITION: Planning & Design Specialist, Tennessee RiverLine (multiple openings)

LOCATION: The University of Tennessee, Institute of Agriculture, UT Extension, Tennessee RiverLine, Knoxville, TN

EFFECTIVE DATE: Review of applications will begin February 27, 2023. Applications received prior to March 6 will be given priority consideration. Applications will be accepted until all positions all filled. The desired hire date is no later than June 1, 2023.


The salary range for this position has been set at $50,000-$55,000 annually. Salary is commensurate with training and experience. Benefits include group hospitalization and life insurance, State Employees Retirement; Workers’ Compensation; sick and annual leave; numerous University of Tennessee and state benefits programs, including liberal time off for holidays and longevity pay after three years of service; reimbursement for official travel. This is a limited-duration appointment. Continuation of the position after June 30, 2024 is contingent upon additional funding and satisfactory work performance.


The Tennessee RiverLine, an initiative of the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, seek motivated and dynamic entry level candidates with an educational background in landscape architecture, architecture, or related field to join its growing team as Planning and Design Specialists. Candidates are expected to possess the knowledge and skills necessary to advance the implementation of the Tennessee RiverLine vision by assisting in the delivery of planning and design initiatives that are aligned with its mission, guiding principles and strategic plan. Successful candidates will hold full-time staff positions at the University of Tennessee with a 100% appointment to the Tennessee RiverLine. These individuals will work with and report to members of the Planning and Design team.

About the Tennessee RiverLine

The Tennessee RiverLine is North America’s next great regional trail system, a continuous system of Tennessee River experiences – including paddling, hiking and biking – along the river’s 652-mile reach from Knoxville, TN, to Paducah, KY. The Tennessee RiverLine reframes the Tennessee River, adjacent public lands and Tennessee River communities as a 1.2 million acre “River Park” that functions locally and regionally and advances the legacy of landscape whose modern history has been shaped by regional planning and systems thinking. By providing a framework for a region, communities and individuals to recalibrate their relationship with the Tennessee River, the Tennessee RiverLine is equally an innovative infrastructure strategy to catalyze economic development and entrepreneurship, promote public health and active lifestyles, ensure equitable access to river spaces and experiences, and inspire a culture of natural and cultural resource stewardship among generations of valley residents, ecotourists and visiting adventure enthusiasts.

The Tennessee RiverLine is an initiative of the UT Institute of Agriculture and principal partners, UT Knoxville and TVA, in collaboration with the Tennessee RiverLine Partnership, a diverse consortium of organizations committed to realizing the vision for the Tennessee RiverLine. The initiative began in and continues to be supported by the UT School of Landscape Architecture, which is a partnership of the UT College of Architecture and Design and the Herbert College of Agriculture.  Students, faculty and staff in departments and colleges of allied disciplines across the UT Knoxville campus, the UT System and other regional institutions support the ongoing development and implementation of the Tennessee RiverLine vision. For more information visit

Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

To achieve our vision, the Tennessee RiverLine aspires to reflect the diversity of experiences, ability levels and backgrounds that defines this region through our staff. We achieve this by exercising equitable and inclusive hiring practices as well as facilitating professional development opportunities that enable our team to support our community partners in realizing their own unique, local vision for the Tennessee RiverLine and engaging diverse communities with empathy and authenticity.


The Planning and Design Specialist supports the curation of the Tennessee RiverLine vision’s ongoing development at regional and local scales and acts as a creative and technical resource to Tennessee RiverLine team members and diverse project partners. Through September 2023, their primary responsibility will be aiding in a scope of work outlined in a USDA Rural Placemaking Innovation Challenge cooperative agreement that has been awarded to the Tennessee RiverLine.  In collaboration with peer planning and design staff and other members of the Tennessee RiverLine team, they will assume primary responsibility to this scope by:

  • Assisting in the development of community outreach program (652 to YOU) summary reports in written and graphic formats
  • Summarizing recommendations for programming and placemaking projects that advance the Tennessee RiverLine vision
  • Assisting in the development and communication of conceptual site designs for priority placemaking projects in written and graphic formats
  • Designing and fabricating exhibitions of outreach program outcomes
  • Collaborating with planning and design staff and other members of the Tennessee RiverLine team

All responsibilities will be conducted in a manner aligned with the Tennessee RiverLine’s guiding principles, as well as its established commitment to design as a practice of critical inquiry, exceptional service, continuous improvement and an inclusive and collegial workplace.



  • A professional degree in landscape architecture, architecture, planning or related field from an accredited institution.
  • Skills in written, graphic, and oral communication evidenced in a portfolio of relevant creative work.
  • Strong interpersonal communication skills and the ability to collaborate with community partners and Tennessee RiverLine team members.
  • Strong work ethic and a desire to learn new skills.


  • A Master’s degree in landscape architecture, architecture, planning or a related field of study
  • One to three years of professional experience with a planning or design practice or related disciplinary career path.
  • Graphic and design communication skills using Adobe Creative Suite, AutoCAD, Rhino, and rendering software (Lumion, VRay, etc).
  • A solid technical foundation in design thinking.
  • Participation in, or volunteer experience with outdoor recreation groups or non-profit organizations.
  • Experience with the community engagement process and planning for and designing public spaces at the conceptual level.
  • Experience with various fabrication techniques
  • Experience with website development


Submit a complete application packet which includes 1) a letter of interest that articulates the candidate’s relevant qualifications and job experience, as well as their understanding of and interest in the Tennessee RiverLine initiative, 2) a portfolio of relevant creative work, 3) a resume or curriculum vitae with at least three professional references, 4) and official or unofficial transcripts showing degree(s) conferred.

Patrick Osborne

Planning & Design Manager

Tennessee RiverLine

2505 EJ Chapman Drive

No. 112

Knoxville, TN 37996


Web Site:

All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment without regard to, and will not be discriminated against on the basis of, race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, or covered veteran status. Eligibility and other terms and conditions of employment benefits at The University of Tennessee are governed by laws and regulations of the State of Tennessee, and this non-discrimination statement is intended to be consistent with those laws and regulations. In accordance with the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, The University of Tennessee affirmatively states that it does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, or disability in its education programs and activities, and this policy extends to employment by the University. Inquiries and charges of violation of Title VI (race, color, and national origin), Title IX (sex), Section 504 (disability), ADA (disability), Age Discrimination in Employment Act (age), sexual orientation, or veteran status should be directed to the Office of Equity and Diversity (OED), 1840 Melrose Avenue, Knoxville, TN  37996-3560, telephone (865) 974-2498.  Requests for accommodation of a disability should be directed to the ADA Coordinator at the Office of Equity and Diversity.

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