The Pinelands Preservation Alliance (PPA) seeks a Director of Science who will oversee the planning and creation of a new Pinelands Research Institute to foster scientific research in and about the New Jersey Pine Barrens ecosystem and conservation program, and will provide scientific expertise to support PPA’s policy initiatives.
PPA is a well-established environmental organization that undertakes policy and advocacy, nature-based education and recreation, sustainable farming and food systems, and constituency building in and around the Pinelands National Reserve of southern New Jersey. PPA is an independent nonprofit charitable organization founded in 1989 with a staff of 22 year-round employees. In addition to conservation policy, stewardship and constituency building initiatives, PPA operates an outfitter and recreation program called Pinelands Adventures and a 72-acre regenerative farm called Rancocas Creek Farm.
PPA has begun feasibility and planning work towards creating a Pinelands Research Institute that will promote research in biology, ecology, fire management, rare species conservation, hydrology and other topics for which the Pinelands provide a valuable setting and context. The Institute will be headquartered and housed at a facility in the Pine Barrens. The Director of Science and the Pinelands Research Institute will be the founding leader of this initiative. The Director will be responsible for creating detailed plans and working with other PPA staff and collaborators to launch the Institute. This position requires a talented scientist with the vision, ambition, and collaborative and organizing skills to create a productive research program that will carry out excellent research and host outside scientists with interests that connect with the Pinelands setting. The Director will attract research and facilities funding to support the initiative. The Institute will also provide learning opportunities for high school, undergraduate and graduate students through collaborations with educators, college and university faculty, government scientists, and nonprofit organizations. The Director, therefore, will have a demonstrated commitment to education that takes advantage of the Pinelands’ unique biological communities, fire ecology, smart growth plan and conservation policies.
PPA also requires the Director to provide scientific expertise to all aspects of PPA’s work especially its policy and advocacy work. Over time, the Director will hire additional staff that can provide support on these matters, but until funding streams are established, the Director will operate as both science lead and Institute Director.
Expected responsibilities for this position:
• Develop a rigorous plan to launch a Pinelands Research Institute, present the plan for review and approval by PPA management and board of trustees, and carry out the final plan.
• Create a three-year research plan and seek funding to support the research activities.
• Create procedures, documents and pricing structures for attracting visiting researchers to the Institute.
• Manage staff assigned to the Institute.
• Plan, facilitate and carry out effective research programs consistent with annual and long-term plans.
• Develop annual budgets for the Institute and its facilities, including operating income and expenses and capital investments.
• Develop relationships with researchers who may have an interest in carrying out research and/or teaching activities at the Institute.
• Oversee and coordinate the use of shared research spaces and equipment by PPA and visiting researchers.
• Work with PPA communications staff to market the Institute to a wide range of prospective audiences and visitors.
• Work with Pinelands Adventures staff to ensure recreation and education activities at the Institute facilities run smoothly alongside research activities.
• Identify, coordinate and pursue funding opportunities, including grants, gifts and earned income, to support the Institute and its facilities, in cooperation with PPA managers and development staff.
• Ensure that the Institute operates in compliance with applicable local, state, and federal laws and regulations and relevant standards of safety and scientific integrity.
• In cooperation with other PPA staff, organize scientific conferences, gatherings and discussions to advance understanding of and promote research on topics relevant to the Pinelands.
• Supervise the maintenance of the Institute’s facilities and equipment to ensure safe and effective operation of the Institute for research, education and recreation.
• Support other PPA staff with scientific expertise relevant to conservation, stewardship and policy initiatives.
• Participate in organizational activities as a member of PPA’s staff.
Required qualifications are:
• PhD in a relevant scientific field, such as biology, ecology or environmental science.
• Research skills and experience as demonstrated by documented projects at the graduate or higher level.
• At least two years of management experience in a research lab, field station or similar setting.
• Demonstrated ability to raise and manage grant funds in support of scientific research.
Preferred experience includes:
• Experience with facilities planning, budgeting, and stewardship.
• Outdoor education program leadership experience.
Salary and benefits include:
• Starting salary of $80-110,000 a year, depending on experience and qualifications.
• Four weeks paid vacation in addition to holidays, and personal/sick leave.
• Access to PPA’s health insurance plan after 3 months of employment.
• Access to a 403B retirement savings plan, and an employer matching program after 12 months of employment.
Please email the following required materials to Jaclyn Rhoads, Assistant Executive Director, Pinelands Preservation Alliance, at email@example.com.
• Cover letter.
• Curriculum Vitae.
• Research statement (up to 2 pages).
• Teaching statement (up to 2 pages).
• Leadership statement, covering previous leadership experience, style, and vision for developing programmatic goals for PPA and the Institute (up to 2 pages).
The application period will remain open until at least March 1, 2024, after which it will remain open until filled.