Landscape Monitoring Scientist at The Nature Conservancy

We work with local communities, governments and organizations to conserve Africa’s important places. Africa is special. Its wild lands and waters are home to incredible numbers and diversity of species living close to people. For most rural Africans, connection to place takes on unique meaning, more so than anywhere else on Earth because their daily existence depends on the productivity of their natural resources. Challenges in Africa Some 60 percent of Africa’s lands and waters – community property, in a sense – are managed by the people who live on them. These people are undoubtedly the most vulnerable on Earth. A continuing threat is their lack of control over the communal lands and waters they depend on for survival. And as the people struggle, so too does the wildlife that relies on the same resources. An absence of strong institutions and governance further compounds these challenges. Therefore, our work in Africa is focused on perfecting and exporting the best examples of community-led conservation across the continent’s vast shared lands and waters. These examples are ones that provide tangible benefits to people. Conservation has to pay to be successful.

YOUR POSITION WITH TNC

The Landscape Monitoring Scientist provides technical and scientific support and leadership as a subject matter resource (SMR) for conservation initiatives in Conservation by Design (CbD), other conservation activities, and measures of conservation success (MOS). This position uses remote sensing data, Google Earth Engine, and statistical software to analyze changes over time in land cover and establishes counterfactuals when possible to assess the impact of TNC and partners’ interventions. A core part of this position is building local teams’ capacities to do remote sensing analysis on their own.

Reporting to the Director of monitoring and Evaluation, Africa region, the position will be shared 50/50 between TNC’s Africa and Global Climate teams. The position may be based in Africa or North America.

Essential Functions

The Landscape Monitoring Scientist advises conservation teams on designing and conducting experiments to measure our conservation impacts on the ground using remote sensing imagery. This position will lead a program to build local capacity to use remote sensing analysis to measure large-scale changes on the ground. They collaborate with other scientists and institutions to enhance Conservancy practices in remote sensing.

Responsibilities And Scope

  • Support program objectives by using remote sensing analysis to inform adaptive management of projects and programs.
  • Participate in cross-functional teams working on forest, grasslands and fire management.
  • Manage a grant, contract, or write a request for proposal.
  • Develop staff expertise in using automated remote sensing analysis.
  • Lead ecological baseline and endline remote sensing assessments for projects and strategies.
  • Disseminates best practices and provides training to resolve technical issues.
  • Establish the Conservancy as a leader in using Google Earth Engine for project monitoring and evaluation.
  • Must work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, in hazardous terrain, and under physically demanding circumstances.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Master’s Degree in a science-related field and 4 years of experience or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience writing Google Earth Engine scripts for grassland and fire analyses.
  • Experience using R to convert Google Earth Engine outputs into tables and figures.
  • Experience manipulating, analyzing, and interpreting statistical and environmental data.
  • Experience with peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals.
  • Experience leading or participating on cross-functional teams.
  • Experience managing complex projects including the financial aspect and coordinating the work of peers and partners.
  • Experience working and communicating with a wide range of people.

Desired Qualifications

  • Multi-language skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience are appreciated.
  • Ph.D. and 1-3 experience.
  • Strong knowledge of common software applications.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Training experience.

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