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Senior Scientist

Website Conservation Science Partners

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 wit 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.

To apply for this job please visit csp-inc.org.

Background Image: American Rivers | Scott Bosse

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