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Senior Scientist

Employer
Conservation Science Partners
Location
Remote (within the United States)
Salary
$95,000- $125,000
Closing date
Jul 20, 2024

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Sector
Nonprofit
Field
Conservation science
Discipline
Ecology
Job Level
Senior level
Salary Type
Salary
Employment Type
Permanent

POSITION DESCRIPTION: Senior Scientist

Conservation Science Partners (csp-inc.org) is seeking a Senior Scientist passionate about

ecology and conservation to provide analytical, technical, project management and client relations

leadership as part of a team of conservation biologists, ecologists, and data scientists working to

address conservation challenges across the U.S. and internationally.

 

About: Conservation Science Partners (CSP) is a dynamic 501(c)(3) nonprofit established in 2012 to meet

the analytical and research needs of diverse stakeholders in achieving conservation and protection of the

natural world. Our mission is to apply human ingenuity to the preservation of nature using science,

technology, and lasting partnerships with conservation practitioners. We connect the best minds in

conservation science to solve problems in a way that is comprehensive, flexible, and service-oriented.

CSP works in the complex and fast-paced nonprofit realm using tools that include data science and

advanced analytics; risk analysis and climate change vulnerability analyses; species and habitat

modeling; and wildlife and ecological connectivity analysis to identify solutions through land and water

use, designating protected areas, and advancing social and environmental justice. We are a recognized

leader in the development of data, models, and maps to convey the status of and change to natural

systems and human impacts on the environment. Core clients and partners include federal agencies,

foundations, environmentally progressive businesses, and other non-governmental organizations.

Outcomes of projects are designed to explain ecological phenomena and lead to tools, map products,

and strategies often tailored to the needs of decision makers.

 

Organizational Values and Culture: Our core values include scientific and technical excellence and

integrity, which help to advance the function, direction, and initiatives of the organization. We support

and encourage creativity and innovation in practice and products; respectful co-production of

knowledge; and connection to the living world. We are actively seeking project opportunities that

directly involve Black, Indigenous, and communities of color and diverse international partners, address

disparate impacts of environmental change, and support social justice. We welcome the broader

complement of knowledge and skills that stem from applicants’ professional and life experiences. We

seek a candidate with deep curiosity directed toward diverse research interests, as well as aptitude and

enthusiasm to develop new skills and areas of expertise.

 

Position Description: The Senior Scientist position provides scientific leadership within and across

programs (or ‘Labs’) at CSP and supports the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Scientist, and Chief Operating

Officer in charting and pursuing organizational strategies. More specifically, this position will provide

management and oversight of multiple active projects, analytical leadership, and supervision and

support of multiple staff and teams working in the T&E Lab and the Analytics Lab. This position involves

a substantial focus on the development of new project work and funding sources that align with the

thematic foci and strategic goals of our programs. It also requires a broad and sustained understanding

of staff portfolios and assignments, to ensure that project workloads are fulfilling and manageable, while

programmatic objectives are being met. Project work in these labs often focuses on terrestrial

wildlife-habitat relationship (including modeling of demography, connectivity, and human-wildlife

interactions), large-scale conservation planning and design, and the development of sophisticated,

web-based tools and software tailored to meet the dynamic needs of clients or partners. The work

typically requires highly creative thinking and collaboration based on field, in situ and remotely sensed

data, cloud computing techniques, and advanced inferential modeling.

 

The Senior Scientist should have very well-developed problem-solving and analytical thinking capabilities

and a demonstrated record of applying these skills to ecological research, including a solid record for

publishing in the scientific literature and leading successful teams. They should demonstrate attention to

reproducibility and quality assurance/quality control in all their work. We are looking for someone with

excellent organizational and communication (oral and written) skills; a deep curiosity directed toward

diverse research interests; the aptitude and enthusiasm to develop new technical skills and areas of

expertise; and the flexibility and willingness to ‘lean into’ the various emerging needs of a small, dynamic

nonprofit. It is expected that this position contributes to an internal culture of diversity, equity, inclusion,

innovation, creativity, and experimentation, and helps to advance the function, direction, and initiatives

of the organization.

 

Primary responsibilities and skills are expected to include, but not be limited to:

● Stewarding and working with a diverse range of partner organizations to achieve their

conservation objectives, including NGOs, federal and state agencies, foundations, and

environmentally progressive companies.

● Providing organizational capacity and technical leadership for multiple research efforts

simultaneously, including proposal scoping and development, project design and analyses, and

communications with clients, funders, research collaborators, graduate students, interns,

contractors, and project personnel.

● Leading robust and regular efforts to identify and secure new clients, partners, funding

opportunities, and diversified revenue streams, driving future CSP research activities in the areas

of core technical and programmatic emphases in this position.

● Directly supervising the activities of two or more lead scientists, staff scientists, postdoctoral

scientists, and/or contractors, as appropriate.

● Linking quantitative analyses and models to the development of meaningful conservation and

natural resource management strategies and decisions; engaging stakeholders and end-users

early on and iteratively in research (e.g., drawing on relevant concepts, theories, and the

‘co-production of knowledge’) to ensure scientific outputs are actionable; working closely with

CSP staff, clients, and partners to develop, test, facilitate, and advance innovative and creative

practices in conservation, and build relationships across multiple sectors, as appropriate.

● Implementing and advising on the development of ecologically relevant statistical models (e.g.,

species distribution and connectivity models, demographic models, multivariate or hierarchical

regression models) using programming languages such as R or Python implemented in platforms

such as Google Earth Engine or The Planetary Computer.

● Designing, implementing, and/or stewarding data processing and ingestion pipelines using

portable, reproducible techniques that includes version control workflows (Git), containerized

environments (Docker), and utilizing cloud based computational resources (e.g. Azure, Amazon

Web Services, and/or Google Cloud Platform).

● Providing day-to-day development and/or management of complex workflows, budgets, and

timelines for projects within programs—in collaboration with project leaders and administrative

staff—to ensure sustained, timely, and measurable outcomes for all projects.

● Stewarding the iterative refinement and implementation of programmatic planning documents,

among other CSP planning efforts, in close collaboration with the Chief Executive Officer, Chief

Scientist, and Chief Operating Officer.

● Leading, co-developing, or supporting a robust variety of manuscripts, reports, professional

presentations, web applications, or other science communication tools that may also broaden

the audience that our products typically reach.

● Ensuring the regular use of best practices, policies, and procedures for reproducible, scalable

scientific solutions, project workflows, systems, and budgets that drive project teams toward

outputs and outcomes that are punctual and durable.

 

Additional desired skills:

● Extensive research experience with one or more federally listed species, through field studies,

computer modeling, or in other applied settings.

● Fluency in SQL, JavaScript, html, CSS, Markdown, and/or LaTeX.

● Proficiency with solving large-scale problems using end-to-end software development workflows

and machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms in a responsible manner.

● Ability to steward the provision and optimization of large computational loads using cluster, GPU,

and distributed computing platforms.

● Familiarity with continuous integration/deployment and implementation of these concepts into

end products.

● Experience with geographic information systems, web-based data visualization, and related map

tools or platforms (e.g., Mapbox, CARTO, QGIS, ArcGIS).

● Experience collaborating meaningfully with indigenous or other under-represented communities

and non-traditional conservation partners with diverse interests and perspectives.

● Demonstrated knowledge of federal contracting, reporting systems, and schedules (e.g.,

grantsolutions, grants.gov, ASAP.gov).

 

Required qualifications: PhD (or equivalent experience) in ecology, conservation biology, or a related

field and a minimum of FIVE years of post-academic professional experience.

Application deadline and expected start date: Priority will be given to complete applications received by

June 24th, 2024, with screening to begin soon thereafter targeting a start date of August 19th, 2024.

Location: Flexible within the United States, remote position or ability to work in the main office in

Truckee, CA.

 

Compensation: Compensation for the Senior Scientist position includes an annual base salary from

$95,000 to $125,000 and the possibility of earning merit-based bonuses in addition to base salary. The

actual base pay offered may depend upon a variety of factors, including without limitation, the level of

education attained, certifications or other professional licenses held, qualifications of the applicant for

the position, years of relevant work experience, and location in which the applicant lives and/or from

which they will be performing the job. We offer a comprehensive group medical, dental, and vision

insurance package; retirement benefits; and professional growth and advancement opportunities.

 

How to apply: Please email a cover letter explaining how your goals, skills, and experience fit the core

responsibilities of the role and please also describe how your broader knowledge and experiences can

contribute to our organizational culture and values. Include the names and contact information of at

least three relevant professional references, as well as your CV, and send to: hiring@csp-inc.org. Your

cover letter, reference list, and CV should be compiled and sent as a single PDF file. Please indicate

SENIOR SCIENTIST in the subject line. We sincerely appreciate all those expressing interest in this

position. However, only applicants invited for an interview will be contacted.

 

CSP is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national

origin, sex, disability, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, creed, veteran

status, parental status, or marital status in its programs and activities. We recognize that diverse

backgrounds, cultures, and experiences can only enrich our community and our conservation mission and

goals. As part of our intentional efforts to increase inclusivity, equity, diversity, and justice, we encourage

applicants from underrepresented groups in conservation, e.g., those who identify as non‐binary,

LGBTQ+, are people of color, or represent any combination of these and other identities.

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