Applied Researcher, Natural Climate Solutions

Organization icon

Conservation International

Location icon

Arlington, VA, United States

Clock icon

26 days ago

Applied Researcher, Natural Climate Solutions

Conservation International protects nature for the benefit of humanity. Through science, policy, fieldwork, and finance, we spotlight and secure the most important places in nature for the climate, biodiversity, and for people. With offices in 30 countries and projects in more than 100 countries, Conservation International partners with governments, companies, civil society, Indigenous peoples, and local communities to help people and nature thrive together.


Conservation International’s Center for Natural Climate Solutions is looking for a staff scientist to support our applied research related to the development of our Natural Climate Solutions (NCS) program and projects. This work on NCS will help achieve the Paris climate agreement of keeping global temperatures well below 2 °C and span all NCS pathways from forest protection and restoration to improved forest management and integration of trees in farmlands. The position will help lead the development of science-based tools for the implementation of NCS interventions at local, national, and global scales, with a focus on the tropics. The staff scientist will work closely with other teams within the Center for Natural Climate Solutions and Conservation International field programs to integrate existing scientific knowledge, new research, and tools to develop and scale emerging NCS projects for people and nature. The successful candidate will also lead and support other projects involving Conservation International's mission and fill other roles as needed for the team's success, such as project management and coordination, communications, and managing partnerships.


Implementation and Technical Support:

  • Advance applied research and development of science-based tools for enhancing carbon sequestration and emissions reductions in working lands and forests.
  • Design and support implementation of NCS projects working with local communities, governments, and the private sector.
  • Provide scientific and technical advice to other NCS projects across CI, such as synthesizing relevant scientific literature and developing guidelines/tools based on best practices.
  • Lead fieldwork to implement NCS projects and science inclusive of testing new tools and best practices in remote locations and demanding physical conditions across CI’s field programs.

Methods and Research:

  • Develop methodologies and tools using remote sensing and field data for carbon monitoring and reporting.
  • Develop and coordinate the validation of carbon accounting methodologies for Verra and other applicable standards.
  • Manage, curate, analyze, and communicate NCS science data.
  • Lead and support the development of associated reports and peer-review publications from NCS research.

Project and Partnership Management:

  • Build and support relationships with other institutions and the private sector to assess opportunities for innovative NCS interventions.
  • Manage highly visible, complex technical projects and partnerships within CI that include preparation of donor reports, and oral presentations for non-technical audiences.
  • Manage external partner relationships, including convening expert stakeholders from peer organizations and, more broadly, as necessary, to accelerate delivery of the above workstreams.

Other duties as assigned by supervisor.


  • This position is based in the US (Arlington, VA office of Conservation International; however, other locations may be considered in the US (Seattle, WA) or based out of a CI field office).
  • Work is performed in a typical office environment, and with the potential for work from a home office.
  • Some travel – up to 25-50%, often in developing countries.
  • Flexibility in the work schedule is required to accommodate time differences between the Arlington, VA office, and international field offices in multiple.
  • For the health and safety of our employees, their families, and our community, all US-based Conservation International staff are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. This mandatory vaccine requirement applies to all staff working remotely, in a hybrid work arrangement, and on-site in CI US offices. Effective January 4, 2022, new hires will be required to provide proof of full vaccination with a government-approved vaccine as a condition for employment. Requests for reasonable accommodations or exceptions related to medical or religious reasons will be considered. Candidates are NOT required to state their COVID-19 vaccine status in their application.



  • Bachelor's degree in forestry, forest ecology, natural resource management, or related fields.
  • Minimum of 5-7 years of work experience that includes knowledge of technical aspects of improved forest management, forest restoration, and/or climate-smart agricultural production systems.
  • Experience and up-to-date working knowledge related to climate change mitigation and associated programs (e.g. REDD+, reforestation/restoration).
  • Experience with statistical methods and software used to analyze and interpret large ecological datasets (e.g., field inventories, satellite imagery).
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Highly organized and strong attention to detail and experience with workflow documentation for projects and data (e.g., Github).
  • Demonstrated problem-solving skills and ability to build on existing knowledge to develop new approaches.


  • Masters/Ph.D. degree in forestry, forest ecology, natural resource management, or related fields.
  • Knowledge of multiple forest biomes and improved land stewardship practices, especially in the tropics.
  • Experience in writing peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals and research proposals.
  • Proven technical skills in software used in data processing, and statistical and geospatial analysis (e.g., Esri GIS, qgis, R, JavaScript, or Python).
  • Proven experience in ecological field methods (especially forest ecosystems), including design and implementation of field plot inventory methods and including the processing and analysis of primary field data.
  • Experience working with sustainable production certification schemes and/or forest carbon projects.
  • Experience in development of carbon methodologies and/or project verification/validation according to carbon methodologies.
  • Ability to work independently and with minimal guidance.
  • Spanish and/or Portuguese language skills.

To apply for this position please submit a resume and cover letter.

See all Conservation International Career Opportunities HERE

Conservation International is an Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Women/Vets/Disabled