Spatial Scientist, Africa Region

The Nature Conservancy, Negotiable among the following: Kenya/Tanzania/Zambia/Germany/United Kingdom/Netherlands/United States, United States

Skill Required:, Media and CommunicationResearch and Analysis
Preferred Experience: 
3 to 10 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
1st February, 2015

Job Description

The spatial scientist supports spatial and statistical analysis related to The Nature Conservancy’s Development by Design approach – proactive scenario planning to avoid, minimize or offset the negative environmental impact of development - in the rangelands of northern Kenya and key conservation areas in Zambia, along with other geographies as assigned. Requires sufficient knowledge and work experience in one or more of the following functions:

  • Advanced knowledge of management, manipulation and analysis of both vector and raster spatial data;
  • Knowledge  of  statistical  analysis,  particularly  of  spatial  data  and  data  related  to  population monitoring;
  • Experience with remote sensing and basic cartography;
  • Ability to Manage and Coordinate  Projects and coordinate closely with Program Managers and Conservation Director; and
  • Willingness to present project overviews at conferences and meetings and write periodic progress reports, final reports and scientific manuscripts as needed.    


  • Science Activities:  Conducts landscape analyses to assess ecological integrity and identify potential priority sites using standard optimization modeling tools (i.e. Marxan).  Develop predictive models of threats and/or species distributions. Integrate spatial data with field surveys to document ecological systems in project areas using standard methods and techniques.
  • Innovation:  Participates in the ongoing development of new tools, methods, processes, and techniques that improve conservation action in The Nature Conservancy’s conservation priority areas and thematic opportunities.
  • Communications:  Communicates the role of the Development by Design initiative in the conservation of biodiversity, and explain the utility of science based conservation to partners.  In collaboration with the Conservation Director and Africa TNC Program Managers, communicate regularly with key project partners and others to maintain strong partnerships and facilitate effective conservation.
  • Information Requests:  Responds to requests for ecological information from partners and provide interpretation, as needed.


  • MS degree in Geographic Information Science, Ecology, Geography or related field and 4 years related experience, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience in designing, maintaining and analysis of spatial databases to meet organizational needs.
  • Experience in developing and managing multiple projects.
  • Experience in cartography and remote sensing


  • Graduate degree in biological or information sciences with course work indicating knowledge of complex spatial analysis and/or statistical modeling, or comparable research experience is required. Experience with peer reviewed publication process desirable.
  • Demonstrated experience with statistical analysis (parametric, nonparametric and spatial methods), spatial analysis and species distribution modeling and/or population viability analysis. Knowledge of climate change and/or development build-out modeling highly desirable. Project management and administrative experience, database management, word processing, and GIS skills.
  • Ability to work effectively with others under pressure and tight deadlines. Capable of working independently to complete projects.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills. Ability to write technical reports utilizing available resources.
  • Willingness to travel throughout the project areas such as those in Kenya, Zambia:
  • Comfort articulating and advocating for The Nature Conservancy’s conservation mission.

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