Blue Carbon Specialist

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The Nature Conservancy

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Exmore, VA, United States

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15 days ago


Nassawadox, VA, Virginia


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’s 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.”


TNC’s Volgenau Virginia Coast Reserve is a 50-year old program launched to protect the globally significant barrier island, coastal bays, and mainland portion of Virginia’s Eastern Shore. With ownership of all or parts of 14 barrier islands and thousands of acres of mainland property, TNC’s programs focus on migratory bird conservation, marine habitat restoration, land protection, coastal resilience, research partnerships, and community engagement. In collaboration with academic, state, and federal partners, we have been successfully restoring eelgrass to Virginia’s coastal bays for the past 20 years, and the project’s success - the largest seagrass restoration on the planet – was instrumental in the development of a methodology to estimate the net greenhouse gas emission reductions and removals resulting from the restoration of seagrasses. Using the approved methodology, TNC and partners have developed and are in the process of having verified the first registered blue carbon seagrass project in the world. . While we have a relatively robust understanding of the greenhouse gas emission reductions associated with the restoration, the scale of the project provides numerous co-benefits to the Virginia Coastal Bays, such as increased fish biomass and water clarity, which we would like to further explore. The Blue Carbon Specialist will work to expand the understanding and evidence of co-benefits of eelgrass restoration through research, analysis, collaboration, and publication of a scientific paper.

The Blue Carbon Specialist will conduct data analysis and provide technical support in statistical analysis, modelling, environmental accounting, and GIS or other relational database technologies. The Blue Carbon Specialist provides technical and scientific support for conservation and carbon initiatives in Virginia to help fill critical capacity and knowledge gaps and contribute to larger-scale expansion of Natural Climate Solutions (NCS). NCS provide climate change mitigation via conservation, restoration, and sustainable management of forests, wetlands, grasslands, and agricultural lands. As part of a larger learning network at TNC, the NCS Prototyping Network, the Specialist will connect and regularly engage with the NCS Prototyping Team and similar projects in multiple global geographies to share information and support peer-to-peer learning.

The Blue Carbon Specialist position will be based at the VCR in rural Nassawadox, on Virginia’s Eastern Shore and be part of a dynamic, professional team. This is position is currently funded for two years with future opportunities to be considered.


The Blue Carbon Specialist will perform data analysis, designing and producing complex queries and processing spatial and other relational data sets. The Specialist may produce maps and other graphic products and reports. They may develop and maintain a GIS and/or other databases that could include environmental, biodiversity, and land management information from various sources. We anticipate that a scientific publication in a peer-reviewed journal will result from this project.

The Blue Carbon Specialist conducts scientific surveys and research, records data, writes reports, and conducts other tasks in order to coordinate NCS research including analysis; monitoring, evaluation and learning specific to subaquatic vegetation (SAV) co-benefits, conservation, and restoration in Virginia. This position will work in close collaboration with other TNC staff and partners in supporting the design and implementation of research, assessment of co-benefits and climate change mitigation potential for NCS (in particular seagrass blue carbon projects). The Blue Carbon Specialist provides scientific, technical, and project management support. They will help execute the ongoing VCR blue carbon project and verify progress, while also identifying or developing approaches and tools that can be used more broadly across TNC.


  • Develop and implement NCS research, especially in the context of seagrass, blue carbon, and restoration/conservation activities.
  • Work, in collaboration with other VCR staff and academic partners on co-benefit assessments and data analysis.
  • Develop, collect, and analyze data and maintain a library of data maps, analysis, reports, and publications as relates to eelgrass conservation and co-benefits.
  • Provide research and expertise in support of policy analysis, legislative, corporate and/or policy priorities.
  • Deliver spatial analysis, data and field services to teams and partners
  • Engage in fieldwork as necessary to ground-truth data and/or assist with data collection
  • Represent TNC at priority meetings and on committees where technical input is required.
  • Writes technical reports, including writing and submitting manuscripts to be published in scientific journals.
  • Prepare program materials including presentations and other communications.
  • Works as part of a team of TNC local and global staff, academic, state and federal partners.
  • May work flexible schedule and travel frequently throughout the region.
  • May work over the weekends, in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, in hazardous terrain and under physically demanding circumstances.


  • Master’s Degree in environmental or natural science, social science, environmental economics, or related field and 1 year of experience, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience collecting, manipulating, analyzing, and interpreting scientific data.
  • Experience preparing reports, presentations, and other communications.
  • Experience with statistical analysis, including use of software such as R, Python, Stata or similar.
  • Experience working well within a close-knit, multidisciplinary team.


  • Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.
  • Commitment to incorporating dimensions of diversity, equity, and inclusion in interactions with others.
  • Experience in ecosystem or biological research, particularly in coastal systems or field work settings.
  • Familiarity with blue carbon analysis and accounting.
  • Experience with GIS and remote sensing data, as well as with using GIS software for mapping and analysis.
  • Experience and interest in building capacity and relationships with colleagues, partners, and stakeholders.
  • Excellent organization and coordination skills and attention to detail.
  • Ability to manage project deliverables and meet deadlines.
  • Experience in taking initiative and working independently or with minimal oversight.
  • Excellent communication skills via written, spoken, and graphical means, including the ability to communicate scientific results and practices to technical and non-technical audiences.


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.


To apply for job ID 51695, submit your materials online by using the Apply Now button at by 11:59 PM EST on July 13, 2022. 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.

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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.