The Senior Scientist, Ecosystem Services (Senior Scientist) will be a subject matter expert to enhance NFWF’s ability to quantify how its investments increase carbon sequestration or reduce greenhouse gas emissions at multiple spatial or temporal scales. The Senior Scientist’s focus will be nationwide in scope and requires the incumbent to have a comprehensive understanding of the factors influencing fluxes in greenhouse gases across a variety of ecosystems throughout the United States. In-depth knowledge of climate science, ecosystem ecology, and skills in carbon accounting associated with habitat restoration practices (i.e., nature-based solutions) are required, as is an understanding of the various factors that threaten existing carbon stocks (e.g., land-use change, fire). A thorough understanding of policy initiatives and associated sustainability standards being adopted by government agencies and businesses to reduce greenhouse gases is also essential. The Senior Scientist will also work to improve and maintain tools that estimate the carbon benefits of NFWF’s investments and will closely coordinate program efforts with the Director of Data Science, the Science and Evaluation team, and other Foundation staff.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Serve as a resource for NFWF with deep knowledge of carbon and climate policies, including voluntary/compliance markets, standards, reporting frameworks, and other sustainability initiatives being adopted by government agencies or businesses.
- Provide subject matter expertise for the Foundation on carbon and climate change science with a focus on quantitative measurement and accounting of the benefits of nature-based solutions.
- Ensure the climate and carbon science components of NFWF’s programs are science-based, aligning project portfolios with measurable ecosystem services outcomes.
- Work with science and program staff to conduct analyses that help quantify carbon benefits of NFWF’s investments at multiple spatial scales (from individual projects to national scale).
- Conduct analyses that allow NFWF to optimize its investment strategies to achieve carbon benefits while continuing the Foundation’s core mission of conserving fish and wildlife populations and their habitat.
- Work with science and program staff to develop, upgrade, and maintain tools and associated data-management systems that will allow NFWF to efficiently estimate the carbon benefits of its investments. Keep abreast of new or updated datasets, software tools, or analysis techniques applicable to carbon accounting.
- Administer and oversee work performed by external contractors.
SECONDARY DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Support the development of public and private partnerships to secure operational and programmatic funding for NFWF programs in coordination with the Chief Conservation Officer, Development and Government Relations staff, and NFWF regional partnership offices.
- Review and evaluate submissions by grant/contract recipients and applicants to ensure strategies and results are aligned with NFWF’s climate and carbon goals.
- Perform other duties as assigned by the Director of Data Science or the Chief Conservation Officer.
MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS (EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE, SKILLS)
- Masters of Science and 5-10 years relevant work experience, or PhD and 3-5 years relevant work experience.
- Demonstrated experience working at the nexus between climate science and policy, including engagement with government agencies, NGOs, and businesses striving to meet sustainability goals.
- Experience estimating and/or measuring the carbon benefits of habitat restoration practices such as reforestation, conversion of cropland to grassland, or practices associated with regenerative agriculture (e.g., seasonal cover crops, no-till agriculture, and grazing management).
- Demonstrated state of the art knowledge of datasets and approaches to measure carbon benefits of habitat restoration projects.
- Skills in the management and analysis of spatial data and GIS (ESRI ArcGIS or ArcPro) and experience using relational databases.
- Experience conducting data analyses in R or other software packages, including validating the estimates from models or tools with independent datasets.
- Compiling or analyzing data from flux towers or other field-based measurements of changes in greenhouse gases.
- Strong listening, communication, and problem-solving skills, including ability to effectively communicate complex information to both scientific and public audiences.
- Exceptional time-management skills to organize and prioritize work and meet deadlines.
- Experience in the development of web-based tools, particularly spatially-explicit tools built on the ESRI ArcGIS platform preferred.
- Experience in quantifying the benefits of other ecosystem services (e.g., water quantity and quality) preferred.
- Experience working and communicating with stakeholders such as federal or state natural resource management agencies, academia, private landowners, and non-profit organizations preferred.