Conservation Science Partners (csp-inc.org) is seeking a Lead Scientist passionate about ecology and conservation to support a team of conservation biologists, ecologists, and social scientists working on efforts to conserve species and their habitats, including but not limited to the Mojave desert tortoise.
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 species, populations, and ecosystems using scientific principles, innovative approaches, 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: We are seeking a Lead Scientist passionate about ecology and conservation to help support our new Tortoise Lab program at CSP. The position will support a team of ecologists, biologists, and data scientists working to develop a model approach to improved species conservation by pursuing and engaging in a variety of management and conservation efforts, involving strategic monitoring, assessment, social science, research and analytical approaches. Projects involve coordinating with research and management partners in federal, state, local, non-profit, and private sectors to produce more effective conservation, management, and research outputs. This position will support an emphasis on projects aiming to understand and conserve populations of Mojave desert tortoise.
The Lead Scientist should have well-developed problem-solving, statistical, and analytical thinking capacities and a demonstrated record of applying these skills to ecological research. 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 who can balance several projects simultaneously. Specifically, the Lead Scientist will be expected to lead or support the design, development, and deployment of new or existing projects, steward external and internal communications, and manage a variety of project tasks, not just technical ones. 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. 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.
Core responsibilities and skills: The Lead Scientist position brings technical and analytical capacity to a variety of projects, as well as direct and regular engagement and collaboration with core staff, clients, partners, contractors, and other project personnel. Primary responsibilities are expected to include, but not be limited to:
- Contributing to the design, development, and management of multiple projects simultaneously, as well as leading or guiding advanced technical steps for these efforts, with an emphasis on projects aiming to understand and conserve populations of Mojave desert tortoise.
- Demonstrated capacity to work in creative collaboration with diverse partners, including core staff, contractors, clients, postdocs, graduate students, and others to ensure research questions, methods, and outcomes are clear, and to support appropriate communication, interpretation, translation, and use of scientific products for multiple audiences, including land managers and policy makers.
- Knowledge of common Geographic Information System data formats and tools to download, process, map, and export such data. Preparing or deriving GIS and other spatial data layers, including metadata, and tabular data sources for use in modeling, reporting, and planning activities, using a variety of tools and cloud-based platforms (e.g., Azure, Google Earth Engine, QGIS, ArcGIS).
- Developing ecologically relevant statistical models (e.g., species distribution and connectivity models, population demographic models and viability analyses, multivariate or hierarchical regression models) using reproducible workflows developed in statistical programming languages such as R or Python implemented in platforms such as Azure, Google Earth Engine, Circuitscape, or within a GIS environment.
- Supervising the activities of one or more staff scientists, postdoctoral scientists, and/or contractors, as appropriate.
- Supporting existing or developing new funding partnerships and revenue streams, helping to sustain this position over the longer term.
- Developing or supporting manuscripts, reports, and professional presentations.
- Learning new methods and software for specific projects, as appropriate.
Additional desired skills (or willingness and aptitude to receive training):
- Research or management experience with Mojave desert tortoises, through field studies, computer modeling, or in other applied settings.
- Strong familiarity with a variety of land cover datasets, climatological data, as well as related prioritization-based approaches to public lands policy development and management.
- Experience with analyses pertaining to climate and land cover change impacts on wildlife populations and their habitats.
- Experience collaborating meaningfully with indigenous or other under-represented communities and non-traditional conservation partners with diverse interests and perspectives.
- Knowledge of federal contracting, reporting systems, and schedules (e.g., grantsolutions, grants.gov, ASAP.gov)
Required qualifications: MSc or PhD (or equivalent experience) in ecology, conservation biology, or a related field AND a minimum of three years of research or professional experience.
Application deadline and expected start date: Priority will be given to complete applications received by July 1, 2022, with screening to begin soon thereafter; interviews are to occur in the second half of July and an ideal start date of no later than August 1, 2022.
Location: Flexible within North America, home or office-based, with preference for the Reno-Tahoe region and CSP’s Truckee, CA, headquarters.
Compensation: The Lead Scientist salary range is $70,000- $80,000 depending on experience. 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 LEAD 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.