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Director, Science and Knowledge

Website Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y)

Organizational Profile

The Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y) is a collaborative effort between a U.S. non-profit organization and a Canadian public charity that together connect and protect habitat from Yellowstone to Yukon so people and nature can thrive. Yellowstone to Yukon takes a scientific and collaborative approach to conservation, and highlights and focuses on local issues that affect the region. Y2Y has partnered with more than 700 scientists, conservation groups, landowners, government agencies, Indigenous governments and communities and businesses to stitch together this landscape.

Y2Y performs a unique role within conservation in the Yellowstone to Yukon region. We act as both connector and catalyst for our diverse range of partners. We strengthen local conservation efforts by bringing a landscape-scale vision as well as offering broader scientific, communications, advocacy, financial and strategic support, and other resources, thus ensuring that local actions effectively serve both community priorities and the Y2Y region. The conservation impact of Y2Y and many of our partners relies on making and effectively advocating for decisions based in strong social and biological science as well as traditional and local knowledge (where appropriate to incorporate such knowledge). This dedicated science position at Y2Y is essential for ensuring that conservation work in the region continues to be guided by the best available information and that our research agenda is driven by and directly supports our desired conservation outcomes through advocacy, communications, and government relations efforts.

For more information, please visit

Position Description

Y2Y is seeking an experienced professional to be our next Director of Science and Knowledge. This individual should have a passion for communicating science, advancing collaborative conservation efforts, and ensuring the practical application of science to serve both policy and place-based conservation outcomes.

The purpose of this position is to work within Y2Y and with external entities to ensure that multi-disciplinary science and knowledge are guiding where and how we do our work; informing how to solve vexing conservation challenges; and informing our policy and government relations outcomes. Most of the work this position will engage in will be at the Y2Y region level although on occasion, work may support targeted national or global connectivity policies we are seeking to impact or focus on a site-level project if it is a model and there are clear plans of how to incorporate model at higher levels across Y2Y.

This person should enjoy working with conservation advocates to ensure our strategies and tactics are informed by science. They should also excel at creating and supporting diverse collaboratives and designing scientific research that directly advances conservation outcomes. Experience working with Indigenous Peoples, including an understanding how to work within an ethical space framework is also important. This person should delight in communicating science in a variety of ways from small groups, to talks and interviews, and through writing; and have demonstrated communication skills to communicate both to science and non-science audiences.

The successful candidate will thrive in a complex, fast-paced work environment while leading a diverse, geographically dispersed team in strategy, planning, advocacy support, partnership development and project execution. In addition, they will lead work that scales across Y2Y and drives change at the systems level.

The position offers flexible location within the Y2Y landscape, with preference for proximity to airports in Idaho, Montana, British Columbia, or Alberta.

This individual will report to the Senior Program Director and will assume oversight of Science and Knowledge projects and team. This includes managing the budget, overseeing, and engaging in fundraising, and promoting a transparent and inclusive work culture. They will lead and develop the science team in its work to directly support the conservation outcomes of our landscape protection, landscape connectivity and communities and conservation team.  The director will also monitor scientific research led by place-based conservation project staff and provide advice and input.


Advance scientific research and syntheses that align with the organizational mission and current strategic plan, and that guide where and how we do our work; inform how to solve vexing conservation challenges. To do this will require:

  • With Y2Y leadership, define priority science/knowledge needs and the pathway for how the science/knowledge will support conservation action and outcomes.
  • Lead or support collaborative initiatives (biological and social science, Indigenous and/or local knowledge) on key issues, sometimes playing a convening role in direct support of conservation outcomes.
  • Develop and maintain positive connections with external scientists and institutions and encourage research in areas that that would most help advance Y2Y’s conservation goals.
  • Commission experts to advance syntheses or particular science and to communicate that science to support our priorities.
  • Oversee Y2Y science and knowledge team from staff to postdocs to interns and contractors and monitor place-based project conservation staff work on project-level science efforts.
  • Work with Y2Y conservation staff to define research priorities, integrate key science needed to guide and communicate the science/knowledge work and ensure alignment between our science and knowledge work and the desired conservation outcomes defined by our other program teams.
  • Participate in external committees and advisory positions where it will assist core Y2Y work.
  • Oversee and lead fundraising proposals and reports to support this priority work.
  • Communicate science to key rightsholders (federal and regional governments and Indigenous governments) and stakeholders to support advances to our conservation priorities and/or promote Y2Y as a legitimate model.
  • Represent Y2Y in earned media (e.g., newspaper and radio), online (e.g., social media and blogs) and through giving talks to a variety of audiences (e.g., scientists, funders, partners, etc.).

Candidate Profile

  • Unabashed advocate for nature and commitment to the Y2Y vision;
  • A sophisticated understanding of the role of science in a conservation advocacy context and an ability to communicate it
  • Advanced degree in related science/knowledge that is pertinent to Y2Y vision and at least 10 peer-reviewed manuscripts in print as co-author;
  • Demonstrated ability to distil complex science and knowledge, and experience supporting it to impact policy and/or conservation action and outcomes;
  • At least 10 years of experience managing or directing high level staff (not just field technicians);
  • Proven track-record of at least 5 years of assembling, leading and engaging in collaborative work with diverse individuals;
  • Strong capacity to translate science for non-scientists, including elected officials and other decision makers, both orally and in writing with at least 10 interviews and/or lay articles written;
  • Demonstrated experience using science and to support conservation policy, action and outcomes and not just doing primary research;
  • Established ability to navigate difference and promote diversity, equity and inclusion;
  • Ability to work in a complex, fast-paced, dynamic environment, adjusting to changing program priorities and responding to opportunities;
  • Experience in raising funds and communicating with donors/funders and experience managing budgets with multiple sources;
  • Ability and interest to travel with some regularity;
  • Facility of spatial science including connectivity as well as experience in interdisciplinary science, and/or climate science desirable;
  • Thrives in a complex, fast-paced work environment while leading a diverse, geographically dispersed team in strategy, planning, advocacy support, partnership development and project execution. In addition, they will lead work that scales across Y2Y and drives change at the systems level.
  • Helpful to have an understanding of Y2Y region and players

Terms of Employment:

  • The position offers flexible location within the Y2Y landscape, with preference for proximity to airports in Idaho, Montana, British Columbia, or Alberta.
  • Salary is commensurate with experience, ranging from $95,000-110,000 and includes Y2Y’s excellent set of benefits.

For Additional Information & To Apply

To explore this opportunity further, please send your cover letter and resume in confidence to

Y2Y is an equal opportunity employer and committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in our workplace and in science, conservation, and society. We strongly encourage applications from members of groups that are underrepresented and/or excluded from these sectors, including but not limited to Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour, people with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Questions about the position can be directed to Short, preliminary interviews may be held via conference call or Zoom. Final interviews will be held in-person in Y2Y’s Canmore office.

If you anticipate needing accommodations for any part of the application or interview process you may contact, in confidence, Robyn Barton, HR Consultant at

To apply for this job email your details to

Background Image: American Rivers | Scott Bosse

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