Associate Scientist, MPAs and Climate Change

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Conservation International

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Santa Barbara, CA, United States

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21 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.


Research scientist – Marine Protected Areas and Conservation.

Research scientist with a recent Ph.D. in marine biology or related field to assist in research in the theory and practice of MPAs in an era of rapid climate change, with special emphasis on communications outreach, building a community of practice, and indigenous knowledge.

Position objective: Assess and communicate MPA design and management approaches for climate change. The position will participate in a program that provides climate change information to efforts to expand marine conservation to 30% of oceans. The position addresses fundamental challenges associated with ocean biodiversity conservation as ecosystems and species move in response to climate change and respond to ocean acidification. This position will participate in climate change analyses, lead communication and building of communities of practice in MPAs and climate change, and help design and fund-raise for program thematic focal areas (e.g., coral reefs, polar oceans).

24-month appointment with the possibility for renewal.


  • Conduct research on Marine Protected Areas and climate change.
  • Build a community of practice in MPAs and climate change (reserve managers, including communities).
  • Coordinate outreach and communications efforts related to MPAs and climate change.
  • Supervise engagement of marine climate change research team in one focal region, leading 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.



  • Recent advanced degree (Ph.D.) in marine sciences or related field.
  • Some field experience, either pre-or post-doctoral or as part of Ph.D., is strongly desirable.
  • A climate-change-related thesis topic and publication record are required.
  • 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 research relevant to climate change adaptation and vulnerability in marine or (ideally) MPA settings.


  • 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.

Application Deadline: June 30, 2022 (11:49 PM EST)

See all Conservation International Career Opportunities HERE

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