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Senior Staff Scientist, Ecosystem Services

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Washington D.C.
Commensurate with experience.
Closing date
Nov 11, 2022

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The Senior Scientist, Ecosystem Services (Senior Scientist) will be a subject matter expert to enhance NFWF’s ability to quantify how its investments increase carbon sequestration or reduce greenhouse gas emissions at multiple spatial or temporal scales. The Senior Scientist’s focus will be nationwide in scope and requires the incumbent to have a comprehensive understanding of the factors influencing fluxes in greenhouse gases across a variety of ecosystems throughout the United States. In-depth knowledge of climate science, ecosystem ecology, and skills in carbon accounting associated with habitat restoration practices (i.e., nature-based solutions) are required, as is an understanding of the various factors that threaten existing carbon stocks (e.g., land-use change, fire). A thorough understanding of policy initiatives and associated sustainability standards being adopted by government agencies and businesses to reduce greenhouse gases is also essential. The Senior Scientist will also work to improve and maintain tools that estimate the carbon benefits of NFWF’s investments and will closely coordinate program efforts with the Director of Data Science, the Science and Evaluation team, and other Foundation staff.



  • Serve as a resource for NFWF with deep knowledge of carbon and climate policies, including voluntary/compliance markets, standards, reporting frameworks, and other sustainability initiatives being adopted by government agencies or businesses.
  • Provide subject matter expertise for the Foundation on carbon and climate change science with a focus on quantitative measurement and accounting of the benefits of nature-based solutions.
  • Ensure the climate and carbon science components of NFWF’s programs are science-based, aligning project portfolios with measurable ecosystem services outcomes.
  • Work with science and program staff to conduct analyses that help quantify carbon benefits of NFWF’s investments at multiple spatial scales (from individual projects to national scale).
  • Conduct analyses that allow NFWF to optimize its investment strategies to achieve carbon benefits while continuing the Foundation’s core mission of conserving fish and wildlife populations and their habitat.
  • Work with science and program staff to develop, upgrade, and maintain tools and associated data-management systems that will allow NFWF to efficiently estimate the carbon benefits of its investments. Keep abreast of new or updated datasets, software tools, or analysis techniques applicable to carbon accounting.
  • Administer and oversee work performed by external contractors.   



  • Support the development of public and private partnerships to secure operational and programmatic funding for NFWF programs in coordination with the Chief Conservation Officer, Development and Government Relations staff, and NFWF regional partnership offices.
  • Review and evaluate submissions by grant/contract recipients and applicants to ensure strategies and results are aligned with NFWF’s climate and carbon goals.
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the Director of Data Science or the Chief Conservation Officer.  



  • Masters of Science and 5-10 years relevant work experience, or PhD and 3-5 years relevant work experience.
  • Demonstrated experience working at the nexus between climate science and policy, including engagement with government agencies, NGOs, and businesses striving to meet sustainability goals.
  • Experience estimating and/or measuring the carbon benefits of habitat restoration practices such as reforestation, conversion of cropland to grassland, or practices associated with regenerative agriculture (e.g., seasonal cover crops, no-till agriculture, and grazing management).
  • Demonstrated state of the art knowledge of datasets and approaches to measure carbon benefits of habitat restoration projects.
  • Skills in the management and analysis of spatial data and GIS (ESRI ArcGIS or ArcPro) and experience using relational databases.
  • Experience conducting data analyses in R or other software packages, including validating the estimates from models or tools with independent datasets.
  • Compiling or analyzing data from flux towers or other field-based measurements of changes in greenhouse gases.
  • Strong listening, communication, and problem-solving skills, including ability to effectively communicate complex information to both scientific and public audiences.
  • Exceptional time-management skills to organize and prioritize work and meet deadlines.
  • Experience in the development of web-based tools, particularly spatially-explicit tools built on the ESRI ArcGIS platform preferred.
  • Experience in quantifying the benefits of other ecosystem services (e.g., water quantity and quality) preferred.
  • Experience working and communicating with stakeholders such as federal or state natural resource management agencies, academia, private landowners, and non-profit organizations preferred.  



Commensurate with experience.



Washington, DC



Application Notes: 

Please submit a cover letter describing your interest and qualifications, and resume.   


Applicants must be currently authorized to work in the US on a full-time basis.  


COVID-19 Policy -  In an effort to protect our employees and their families, and mitigate the spread of COVID-19, as a condition of employment all newly-hired employees must provide National Fish and Wildlife Foundation proof of full vaccination.  Any proof of vaccination submitted to National Fish and Wildlife Foundation will remain confidential.


Equal Opportunity Statement - The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation complies with all applicable federal, state and local laws in its commitment to being an equal opportunity employer. The Foundation does not discriminate against applicants or employees on the basis of race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, ancestry, marital status, personal appearance, citizen status, disability, sexual orientation, gender, identity or expression, pregnancy, child birth or related medical conditions, family responsibilities, matriculation, genetic information, political or union affiliation, veteran status or any other status protected by applicable law.  


Disclaimer - The statements contained herein are intended to describe the general nature and level of work to be performed by the employees in these positions. The statements are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of a person in each position. Other responsibilities, duties, and skills may be assigned and management retains the right to add or change the responsibilities, duties, and skills at any time.


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