Lead Scientist, Climate Change; Location: Negotiable, US

The Nature Conservancy in Virginia

Deadline May 12, 2017
Date Posted March 15, 2017
Type Post-doc
Salary Competitive
Employment Type Full-time


The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working to make a positive impact around the world in more than 65 countries, all 50 United States, and your backyard. Founded in 1951, the mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. One of our core values is our commitment to diversity. Therefore, we are committed to a globally diverse and culturally competent workforce. Visit www.nature.org/aboutus to learn more.


The successful applicant will work in the Office of the Chief Scientist and work closely with our Public Policy team to assist in the mitigation of, and adaptation to, climate change.


If you have a personal passion for conserving and protecting the natural world with a belief in The Nature Conservancy’s mission, then please apply to this position and learn more about the Conservancy.






The Lead Scientist will offer technical and science strategic leadership across the entire organization in areas such as: climate mitigation practices and technology, climate adaptation strategies, natural solutions to climate mitigation, climate-smart agriculture, and spatial planning for renewable energy. S/he will drive efforts to establish TNC as a global leader in solving the global climate challenge.  S/he conducts original research, publishes findings and communicates to diverse audiences to add to the evidence base for conservation and decarbonization energy strategies in support of TNC organizational goals.


The Lead Scientist will be an active collaborator with the Science Cabinet in the Office of the Chief Scientist – a collaborative group that brings top level thought leadership to the organization’s strategy leaders, establishes and advances critical science issues with the external academic and practitioner communities, and takes on joint research to address pressing trans-disciplinary issues in conservation.







·        Fosters risk taking and innovation to strengthen the use climate change science within the organization.

·        Leads project teams and/or staff in support of major science initiatives and projects.          

·        Places special emphasis on research and synthesis that advances the evidence base for understanding effectiveness of major conservation strategies in improving biodiversity and human well-being.                      

·        Communicates findings and best practices in high-level international forums and peer reviewed publications, and cultivates an external presence in coordination with TNC Communications team as an expert and leader in relevant disciplines

·        Provides critical, evidence-based thought leadership, advising on and influencing the creation and execution of major climate-related strategies for TNC’s five Global Programs:   lands, waters, oceans, climate change and cities http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/urgentissues/index.htm?intc=nature.tnav.ourwork

·        Leads efforts to translate findings and best available science into regionally or sectorally appropriate guidelines, tools, and/or best practices for the organization and the broader conservation community

·        Enlists academic, public sector, and NGO scientists in research on challenges of interest to the organization

·        Identifies, cultivates and solicits major donors and grant opportunities in support of program activities.                                      

·        Plans, organizes and directs project programs.                                      

·        Develops work plans and project budgets.                                    

·        Spend 30% or more of work time travelling globally.                    






·        PhD degree in related scientific field, plus 10 years related experience in the design, execution and communication of applied science.                                        

·        Post-doctoral experience.            

·        Supervisory experience, including motivating, leading, setting objectives and managing performance.              

·        Established connections and/or collaborations with prominent climate change research and practitioner groups and individuals

·        Expert knowledge of current and evolving trends in the science of mitigating and adapting to climate change.                     

·        Extensive record of premier publications in top-notch peer reviewed scientific journals.                                

·        Experience translating science across traditional disciplinary boundaries and into pragmatic climate-related, conservation and/or natural resource management decisions.

·        Fundraising experience (with foundations, government agencies, and individuals) for broad programs and projects.                                        

·        Experience creating or functioning within university partnerships.

·        Experience with networking in the scientific community.

·        Experience working and communicating with a wide range of people.

·        Experience with decision making with legal, financial and reputational results and consequences.







·        Experience in identifying, cultivating and soliciting major donors

·        Ability to resolve large-scale, complex problems through systematic, rigorous studies.

·        Ability to propose, implement and manage short and long term programmatic goals.

·        Ability to produce scientific research that balances data and resource limitations with rigor and credibility

·        Ability to participate in the formulation of broad, strategic policies.

·        Ability to manage and guide projects and project teams.

·        Ability to deal effectively and diplomatically with all levels of management and staff.

·        Proven negotiation and persuasion skills.








Accountability for Outcomes

Pushes for excellence. Establishes challenging goals for self and others to drive performance in support of the Conservancy’s mission. Rewards behavior that achieves these standards and is aligned with the organization’s mission/ values. Takes action to address performance problems in a timely and appropriate manner.

Builds Organizational Capability

Builds or adapts organizational structures to accomplish the mission and to improve performance. This includes reorganizing organizational systems, structures, processes, procedures, communication channels or reporting relationships. With the Conservancy’s strategic filter in mind, determines who can contribute, gets the right people involved, and builds bench strength for the future.

Collaboration & Teamwork

Shows a willingness to put the needs and goals of a global organization before personal/local/departmental needs. Works with others across organizational boundaries. Makes decisions, sets priorities, and allocates resources to help the organization as a whole achieve results.

Courage & Decisiveness

Makes decisions and stands by them. Makes timely decisions even under pressure and when lacking complete information. Has the courage to modify decisions and admit why and how they were wrong.

Develops Strategic Partnerships

Improves position of the Conservancy with key stakeholders and constituents. Builds broad, global networks with internal and external stakeholders (e.g., boards, NGOs, government agencies, donors, other conservancies) to raise awareness of conservation issues and further organizational goals.

Focused Innovation

Personally demonstrates innovative thinking and encourages this behavior in others. Is willing to take calculated risks within organizational parameters in order to achieve tangible results that advance the strategic agenda of the Conservancy. Achieves results by generating and encouraging the development of imaginative, novel, or original ideas and solutions that are consistent with TNC strategy.

Influences for Results

Achieves results by persuading, convincing, or influencing others. Adapts approach to the individual or group and knows how and when to use complex influence strategies. Uses success stories and passion for the mission to generate enthusiasm and support.

Strategic Initiative

The ability to identify trends and opportunities for the Conservancy to achieve effective global conservation. Develops strategies and plans aligned with the mission. Understands both the immediate and long-term implications of each decision by looking beyond their local environment.

Visionary Leadership

Inspires team to meet challenges and implement the strategy. Includes communicating an inspiring vision and generating clarity, commitment and passion for the mission.









To apply to position 45287 visit www.nature.org/careers  and submit resume and cover letter.   Application deadline May 12, 2017.






How To Apply

You can apply for this position online at http://www.nature.org/careers