Associate Scientist, MPAs and Climate Change

Organization icon

Conservation International

Location icon

Santa Barbara, CA, United States

Clock icon

30+ days ago

Associate Scientist, MPAs and Climate Change

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.


Science manager– Marine Protected Areas and Climate Change Community of Practice

Research scientist with an advanced degree in marine biology or related field to build a community of practice of MPA managers and stakeholders in an era of rapid climate change, with special emphasis on coordination, communications outreach, and contribution to research in MPA theory and practice.

Position Objective: Build a Community of Practice for MPA managers and planners dealing with climate change and contribute to climate change and marine conservation research. Disseminate cutting-edge research on MPA planning and management for resilience to climate change and connect ocean management stakeholders around the world.

The position addresses fundamental challenges associated with the need to build communities of practice for climate change in conservation communities dealing with ocean biodiversity conservation as ecosystems and species move in response to climate change (including ocean acidification). The position will implement and refine a strategy for building a community of practice in MPAs and climate change and conduct research on program thematic focal areas under the guidance of the lead scientist for CI’s MPAs and climate change initiative.

24-month appointment with the possibility for renewal.


  • Design and build a community of practice in MPAs and climate change (reserve managers, including diverse stakeholders).
  • Conduct research on Marine Protected Areas and climate change.
  • Coordinate outreach and communications efforts related to MPAs and climate change.
  • Lead climate assessments and site engagements to guide planning and management for climate-smart MPAs.
  • Contribute to marine climate change research team in focal regions, with the potential to lead research into possible climate change impacts on MPAs and planning/management solutions to the challenges identified.
  • Other duties as assigned by supervisor.


  • Position based at UCSB, Santa Barbara, CA.
  • Extensive international travel when conditions permit (up to 12 trips/year).
  • Guidance on flexible work arrangements will be shared during the interview process.
  • 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.



  • Advanced degree (M.S., Ph.D.) in marine sciences or related field.
  • Experience in conducting climate change analyses (with an MPA focus preferred), communicating research results to stakeholders and managers, and building a community of practice.
  • Background in working at the interface of traditional knowledge and science is an asset.
  • Demonstrated capacity in the communication of climate change/marine science to non-scientists, policymakers, and indigenous communities are strongly advantageous.
  • The successful candidate will have a background in facilitation, coordination, and organization with experience in conflict resolution and/or moderation strongly desirable.


  • Recent doctorate (Ph.D.) in marine sciences or related field.
  • Experience leading multi-stakeholder groups and/or engagements.
  • Fluency in at least one language other than English is preferred (Spanish, French, Portuguese) fluency in multiple languages is a strong asset.

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