Many of the last remaining intact terrestrial and freshwater systems in the
tropical world are in Africa – from the intact delta of the wild Ogooué
River to the grasslands of Northern Tanzania to the deep and spectacular
lakes of the Rift Valley. Africa’s lands and freshwaters contain astounding
freshwater biodiversity while supporting the livelihoods of hundreds of
millions of people. Ecosystem services such as fish protein, clean water,
and floodplain productivity that intact ecosystems provide act as life
support for the many poor, rural communities dependent upon them. The
economies of Sub-Saharan Africa are also growing very rapidly, and these
ecological systems and services are likely to be significantly stressed in
the coming decades. We need accurate and compelling conservation-related
spatial data, remote sensing analysis, and map products in order to create
better informed decision making, whether at the national government or local
The Nature Conservancy’s Africa Region seeks a broadly trained scientist
with expertise in complex spatial analysis over large landscapes, with an
emphasis on freshwater systems. This person will work on projects related to
data compilation, threat analysis, spatial modeling and ecosystem service
modelling in priority freshwater, terrestrial, and marine conservation
areas. She/He will have a focus on projects that identify existing
ecological resources and ecosystem services as well threats to those
resources and their contribution to ecosystem functioning. She/He models the
impacts of various development scenarios on the functioning of natural
systems, including but not limited to hydropower dam development, land cover
change and climate change. The spatial scientist participates as a team
member on various terrestrial, marine and freshwater projects while serving
as the primary analyst for TNC’s freshwater projects throughout Africa.
She/He is responsible for various project-related tasks, including project
planning, analysis, report preparation and publication of results. She/He
will be expected to provide detailed spatial analysis and map production in
support of our various programs throughout the continent. Freshwater
systems of focus include Lake Tanganyika and other African Great Lakes, the
Ogooué River in Gabon, the Tana River in Kenya, and the Kafue River in
Zambia. Key approaches include support to governments and other
stakeholders in freshwater resource prioritization and mapping, water
infrastructure planning, source water protection, freshwater protected area
planning, and freshwater fisheries management.
The spatial scientist supports landscape-scale spatial analysis, with a
focus on freshwater ecosystems, related to The Nature Conservancy in
Africa’s programs throughout the continent. Currently we have programs in
Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Gabon, Namibia and Seychelles. Requires sufficient
knowledge and work experience in one or more of the following functions:
Advanced knowledge of management, manipulation and analysis of both
vector and raster spatial data;
Knowledge of freshwater ecosystems and spatial tools related to
freshwater resource mapping and modeling;
Strong cartographic skills;
Experience with remote sensing;
Ability to manage and coordinate projects and coordinate closely with
Program Managers and other science staff; and
Willingness to present project overviews at conferences and meetings and
write periodic progress reports, final reports and scientific manuscripts as
RESPONSIBILITIES AND SCOPE
Science Activities: Conducts landscape analyses to assess ecological
integrity and identify potential priority sites using standard spatial
analysis and modeling tools. Develop predictive models of threats and/or
species distributions. Participate in ecosystem service modeling and
application of results. Integrate spatial data with field surveys to
document ecological systems in project areas using standard methods and
Innovation: Participates in the ongoing development of new tools,
methods, processes, and techniques that improve conservation action in The
Nature Conservancy’s conservation priority areas and thematic opportunities.
Communications: Communicates the role of The Nature Conservancy in the
conservation of biodiversity, and explain the utility of science-based
conservation to partners. In collaboration with the Conservation Director
and Africa TNC Program Managers, communicate regularly with key project
partners and others to maintain strong partnerships and facilitate effective
Information Requests: Responds to requests for ecological information
from partners and provide interpretation, as needed.
MS degree in Geographic Information Science, Ecology, Geography or
related field and 4 years related experience, or equivalent combination of
education and experience.
Experience in designing, maintaining and analysis of spatial databases
to meet organizational needs.
Experience in developing and managing multiple projects.
Experience in cartography and remote sensing.
Graduate degree in biological or information sciences with course work
indicating knowledge of complex spatial analysis and/or statistical
modeling, or comparable research experience.
Experience with peer reviewed publication process.
Demonstrated experience with landscape-scale spatial analysis and
freshwater modeling. Knowledge of climate change impacts on ecosystems
highly desirable. Project management and administrative experience, database
management, word processing, and GIS skills.
Ability to work effectively with others under pressure and tight
deadlines. Capable of working independently to complete projects.
Communicating clearly via written and spoken means in English. Basic
communication skills in French desirable.
Excellent graphical communication skills. Ability to write technical
reports utilizing available resources. Ability to produce
professional-quality map products.
Willingness to travel throughout the project areas such as those in
Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Gabon.
Comfort articulating and advocating for The Nature Conservancy’s
HOW TO APPLY
To apply to position number 43232, submit resume and cover letter as one
document. All applications must be submitted in the system prior to 11:59
p.m. Eastern Time on June 26, 2015.