Southern Blue Ridge Forest Ecologist

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Asheville, North Carolina, USA


The mission of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is to conserve the lands and waters upon which all life depends. As a science-based organization, we develop innovative, on-the-ground solutions to the world’s toughest environmental challenges so that people and nature can thrive. Our work is guided by our values, which include a commitment to diversity and respect for people, communities, and cultures. From a rewarding mission to career development and flexible schedules, there are many reasons to love life #insideTNC. Want to know more? Check out our TNC Talent playlist on YouTube to hear stories from staff or visit Glassdoor.

One of TNC’s primary goals is to cultivate an inclusive work environment so that employees around the globe have a sense of belonging and feel that their unique contributions are valued. We know we’ll only achieve our mission by hiring and engaging a diverse staff that reflects the communities in which we work. Recognizing that people bring talent and skills that have been developed outside the scope of a job, we take a holistic approach to recruitment that considers life experience in addition to the professional requirements listed in our postings. Please apply – we’d love to hear from you. To quote a popular saying at TNC, “you’ll join for the mission, and you’ll stay for the people.”


The Southern Blue Ridge Forest Ecologist is a staff member within the Southern Blue Ridge Program of the North Carolina Chapter. This position is based at our Asheville, North Carolina office and works under the supervision of our Southern Blue Ridge Program Director.

Our work across the Southern Blue Ridge focuses on landscape-scale forest restoration and is done in conjunction with numerous partners. This position will focus on implementing applied forest ecology and silvicultural techniques across a variety of ownerships as well as analyzing efficacy of management actions applied throughout the area. The position is based out of TNC’s office in Asheville with hybrid work options available. It is a full-time, three-year term position subject to renewal based on available funding. The salary range is $62,000-68,000 depending on experience.


The Forest Ecologist provides climate-informed forest science and technical leadership to Southern Appalachians program and the North Carolina chapter. They work collaboratively with both public and private partners to further TNC’s ecological goals at a landscape scale. The Forest Ecologist represents TNC in collaborative groups and appropriate regional professional organizations (like Society of American Foresters). They analyze existing forest restoration data, synthesize results, and share with appropriate networks. They use GIS and remote sensing to evaluate the effects of restoration practices using both silviculture and controlled fire in forested systems. The Forest Ecologist develops planning tools and guidance documents for regional use by forest managers. The Forest Ecologist evaluates and monitors forest management practices that lead to climate-adapted forest systems in the region. They ensure application of best available scientific information such that forest practices and recommendations balance sustainability and a commitment to long-term forest resiliency. The Forest Ecologist oversees implementation of innovative silvicultural practices/projects on TNC preserves and when applicable, partner lands, to leverage lessons learned. This includes gaining cooperation from outside parties to apply practices, managing budgets, contracts, design, and on-the-ground implementation.

  • Performs fieldwork including ecosystem assessment and field monitoring.
  • Engage strategically within existing collaborative efforts to advise on forest restoration projects.
  • Timely completion of responsibilities and deliverables, including oversight and management of public and/or private awards.
  • Performs tasks with minimal supervision and makes independent decisions based on analysis, experience and context.
  • Supervises interns, seasonal staff, and/or volunteers on specific forest-related projects.
  • Acts as subject matter expert for TNC initiatives. Provides GIS analytical support for Asheville-based staff on restoration projects. Develops projects to answer ecological questions, as needed. Ensures program compliance with internal policies and external requirements.
  • As needed, acts as team lead and/or facilitator for local or regional internal conservation projects. Delivers decisions and/or deliverables in a timely manner.
  • Provides presentations, written works, and analyses to other natural resource professionals in order to influence agency practices.
  • Identifies and applies for grant funding from public and private sources. Assists philanthropy staff with development of donor solicitations and contact materials as appropriate.
  • Advises implementation of Forest Stand Improvement projects on TNC preserves as needed and available.
  • May work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain and under physically demanding circumstances.


  • Master's Degree in applied science related field, preferably forestry, and 1 year of experience or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience collecting, manipulating, analyzing and interpreting scientific data and translating this to different audiences.
  • Experience preparing reports of findings for different audiences.
  • Experience with relationship-building and collaboration to work closely with a variety of partners to achieve outcomes.
  • Experience completing tasks independently with respect to timeline(s).
  • Experience communicating with excellence in English with the public both in writing and verbally.
  • Experience using Microsoft Office; Outlook, Word, Excel, GPS and ArcGIS and/or similar applications.
  • Experience performing physical work outdoors in all conditions.


  • North Carolina Registered Forester preferred and/or qualifications already in place to pursue registration in first year of employment.
  • 3-5 years’ experience in Southern Appalachian forestry.
  • Experience applying principles of applied forest ecology and forest economics to decision-making and guiding activities on-the-ground.
  • Experience translating peer-reviewed scientific literature to managers and non-technical audiences.
  • Experience writing grant proposals, tracking and completing deliverables, and writing programmatic grant reports.
  • Experience with prescribed fire and other forest restoration practices.
  • Creativity to develop innovative and novel solutions to management challenges.
  • Knowledge of current trends and practices in conservation, land management and climate change adaptation.
  • Multi-language skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.
  • Strong knowledge of computer technology and common software applications.
  • Attention to detail.


Since 1951, TNC has been doing work you can believe in. Through grassroots action, we have grown from a small non-profit into 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 and partners, we impact conservation around the world!

TNC offers a competitive, comprehensive benefits package including health care benefits, flexible spending accounts, a 401(k) plan with an 8% employer match, parental leave, accrued paid time off, life insurance, disability coverage, employee assistance program, other life and work well-being benefits. Learn more about our benefits on our Culture Tab on

We’re proud to offer a flexible work environment that supports of the health and well-being of the people we employ.


This position requires a valid driver's license and compliance with TNC’s Auto Safety Program.

Employees may not drive Conservancy-owned/leased vehicles, rental cars, or personal vehicles on behalf of the Conservancy if considered "high risk drivers." To learn more about the Auto Safety Program, visit under the FAQ section.

Employment in this position will be contingent upon completion of a Vehicle Use Agreement, which may include a review of the prospective employee's motor vehicle record.


The starting pay range for a candidate selected for this position is generally within the range of $62,000 – $68,000 for annual base salary. This range only applies to candidates whose country of employment is the USA. Where a successful candidate’s actual pay will fall within this range will be based on a variety of factors, including, for example, the candidate's location, qualifications, specific skills, and experience. Please note countries outside the USA would have a different pay range in the local currency based on the local labor market, and not tied to USA pay or ranges. Your geographic location will be confirmed during the recruitment.


To apply for job ID 55295, submit your materials online by using the Apply Now button at by 11:59 PM EST on July 18, 2024. 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.

The successful applicant must meet the requirements of The Nature Conservancy's background screening process.

Do you have military experience? Visit our U.S. Military Skills Translator to match your military experience with our current job openings!

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.

An attractive salary and benefits package is part of TNC’s value proposition to our employees. TNC strives to provide competitive pay and bases salaries on the geographic location of the role committing to being equitable across groups and providing hiring salary ranges when possible.

Since we support flexible and remote work for our employees, many positions have a flexible location within countries where we’re registered as a Non-government Organization and established as an employer. This may mean we’re unable to provide a hiring salary range in the posting for some of our positions. However, candidates invited to be part of our interview process will be provided their location specific range upon request.