Global Durable Freshwater Protection Scientist (Location Flexible)

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The Nature Conservancy

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Arlington, VA, United States

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21 days ago


Arlington, Virginia, USA


Remote home office; the location for this position is flexible within countries where The Nature Conservancy is a registered NGO and has an already established office. This position is not eligible for relocation or immigration assistance.




The Nature Conservancy’s mission is to protect the lands and waters upon which all life depends. As a science-based organization, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that we can create a world in which people and nature thrive. We’re rooted in our Mission and guided by our Values, which includes a Commitment to Diversity and Respect for People, Communities, and Cultures. Whether it’s career development, flexible schedules, or a rewarding mission, there are lots of reasons to love life #insideTNC. Want a better insight to TNC? Check out our TNC Talent playlist on YouTube on Glassdoor.

Our goal is to cultivate an inclusive work environment so that all our colleagues around the globe feel a sense of belonging, and that their unique contributions to our mission are valued. We’ll only achieve our Mission by hiring and engaging a diverse workforce that reflects the communities in which we work. In addition to the requirements in our postings, we recognize that people come with talent and experiences outside of a job. Diversity of experience and skills combined with passion is a key to innovation and a culture of inclusion! Please apply – we’d love to hear from you. To quote myriad TNC staff members, “you’ll join for our mission, and you’ll stay for our people.”


The Global Freshwater Protection Scientist provides strategic leadership, as well as technical and scientific support to global, regional, and local-level freshwater protection projects to inform conservation planning including prioritization, strategy design, implementation, and measures tracking and reporting. They act as a subject matter resource for freshwater protection initiatives, measures of conservation success (MOS), and potentially other conservation activities. They may supervise and manage other staff members.

The Global Freshwater Protection Scientist advises global, regional and local-level conservation teams on how to identify freshwater conservation priorities, particularly for biodiversity; design and conduct conservation science and planning; and measure progress and tangible results. They develop and improve analytical tools, data, and methods for global, regional, and local projects to guide conservation planning, implementation, and status evaluations. Specifically, these functions will drive for freshwater protection results through our Global Protection delivery mechanisms, including TNC’s 30 x 30 Biodiversity Initiative, One Conservancy Protection Initiative, Enduring Earth Partnership, and Debt Strategies supporting land, inland waters and marine goals to be achieved by TNC and through our partners. They partner with scientists across TNC and in government, academia, and other NGOs to identify and address priority issues related to freshwater protection, project planning, implementation, and monitoring. They will publish on cutting-edge science issues and applications. They provide leadership in the review and refinement of metrics, indices, and other freshwater science-related content to inform and contribute to regional and global policy initiatives applied to conservation like the Global Biodiversity Framework and 30x30 commitments. They will contribute to organization-wide initiatives that inform our global freshwater portfolio of projects by providing guidance on defining biodiversity priorities, evaluating alignments with other efforts and goals (e.g., people and climate), current conditions and future threats, and needs to address them. They manage and/or coordinate the processes and staff to accomplish these functions cooperatively.

The location for this position is flexible within countries where The Nature Conservancy is a registered NGO and has an already established office. This position is not eligible for relocation or immigration assistance.


By joining our Global Protect Oceans, Lands. And Water team, you will become part of a group that is a force to be reckoned with; a force for nature, a force for people, and a force for our planet. Our team consists of a dedicated globally dispersed and diverse group who are leading the conservation effort on multiple fronts and who expertly bring strategy and action together.

We’re looking for an individual with infectious curiosity that sparks interest and engagement in others. Someone with direct experience conceiving and implementing strategic science initiatives, approaches, and new ideas and who has a clear understanding of freshwater biological diversity conservation initiatives that wants to make a lasting difference for nature and people.

Key responsibilities and scope for this position are:

  • Conceive and implement strategic science initiatives, new ideas, and approaches, including analyses that will support our conservation programs, inform strategic decisions, improve and contribute to our conservation measures, etc.
  • Support program objectives by working in a complex matrix organization environment, across a large business unit, multi-state/country or division/region-wide programs.
  • May supervise program staff to develop and manage work plans and large project budgets.
  • Act as a technical liaison within and outside of the organizational.
  • Collaborate with a wide range of conservation partners to identify research needs, present technical concepts and support fieldwork
  • May manage a grant, contract, or write a request for proposal.
  • Interpret guidelines, evaluate information, and modify processes to adapt to changing circumstances for the program.
  • Provide training for internal and external colleagues on freshwater ecology and conservation biology.
  • Must work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, in hazardous terrain, and under physically demanding circumstances.
  • May require frequent travel domestically and/or internationally (up to 40%) and work during evening and weekend hours.


  • Master's Degree in science related field and 6 years of experience or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Supervisory experience.
  • Record of peer reviewed publications in scientific journals.
  • Experience directing a major program of strategic importance and working with multi-disciplinary and diverse teams.
  • Experience in relationship building with peers, partners, government agencies, Indigenous Peoples and local communities, landowners, academic community, etc.
  • Experience manipulating, analyzing, and interpreting statistical or environmental data.
  • Experience fundraising and/or writing grants and research proposals.
  • Excellent communication skills, written, spoken and graphical.


  • Multi-language skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.
  • PhD in freshwater sciences, conservation ecology, or related field.
  • 10 years of experience working with global, regional, and local level projects.
  • Well-networked and reputable thought leader in conservation science.
  • Knowledge and experience with durable freshwater protection initiatives and tools.
  • Experience presenting to and/or communicating with government or legislative staff, community or business leaders, program leadership, and/or similar audiences.
  • Critical analytical thinking and excellent English writing skills are essential.
  • Ability to write and speak in a language other than English, such as Spanish, Portuguese, French or Chinese, highly desirable.
  • Savvy interpersonal skills, must be a team player.
  • Ability to diagnose complex problems and identify solutions.
  • Ability to manage a budget to ensure sound financial performance.


Since 1951, The Nature Conservancy has been doing work you can believe in protecting the lands and waters that all life depends on. Through grassroots action, TNC has grown to become one of the most effective and wide-reaching environmental organizations in the world. Thanks to more than 1 million members, over 400 scientists, and the dedicated efforts of our diverse staff, we impact conservation throughout the world!

The Nature Conservancy offers competitive and comprehensive benefits packages tailored to the individual countries where we work. These may include health care benefits, retirement benefits, parental leave, paid time off, life insurance, and disability coverage as well as an employee assistance program and other life and well-being benefits. Learn more about our benefits in the Culture Tab on

We’re proud to offer a work environment that is supportive of the health, well-being, and flexibility needs of the people we employ!


To apply for job ID 51861, submit your cover letter and resume online by using the Apply Now button at Need help applying? Visit our recruitment page or contact

The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Our commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our conservation mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of people of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and culture. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects our global character is a priority and we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military, protected veteran status or other status protected by law.

TNC is committed to offering accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans in our job application process. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, please send a note to with Request for Accommodation in the subject line.

Where legally permissible, TNC requires all new employees to be fully vaccinated and willing to keep up to date with vaccines that protect against COVID-19. By accepting an offer of employment, you agree to comply with this requirement, unless you are entitled to a legally mandated exemption.