Job Post

Ecotrust Seeks Natural Resource Data Scientist

January 19, 2022

Position Title     blue_ecotrust_logo_sq-01
Natural Resource Data Scientist
Position Summary 
The Natural Resource Data Scientist (NRDS) is responsible for leading applied, collaborative, and reproducible research related to monitoring, predicting, and communicating the conditions of natural resources and the potential environmental, economic, and equity impacts of management and conservation activities. They will oversee and contribute to partnership building and fundraising for complex, multi-year, collaborative efforts drawing heavily on emerging best practices in co-production and research justice, combining analytical expertise and fluency in communicating technical work to diverse audiences. The NRDS will work closely with the Forests & Ecosystem Services and Knowledge Systems teams at Ecotrust.

The Natural Resource Data Scientist (NRDS) will lead and collaborate closely with internal and external partners on a multi-year project incorporating satellite imagery, forest measurements, and economic activity data to integrate observable changes in managed forests into actionable information and data products characterizing the climate, community, and biodiversity impacts of timber production. 

The NRDS will also contribute to natural resource mapping and assessments, scenario modeling, and tradeoff analyses with forest owners and managers (particularly American Indian Tribes, but also including private industrial, non-industrial, and public forest owners) to support learning, capacity-building, and adaptive management efforts led by these partners. This work will include: data acquisition and cleaning; model building, evaluation, and interpretation; and the integration of data visualization into concise and compelling written materials and presentations to diverse audiences.

The NRDS will help manage project timelines, budgets, and contribute to grant writing and reporting. As the NRDS grows into their role as a Director-Level staff member at Ecotrust, they can expect to develop and manage large, complex, multi-year projects and partnership efforts with budgets of $250K+. Directors at Ecotrust have a greater responsibility for actively engaging in justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) work and modeling principles of JEDI in their everyday actions and interactions. Therefore, the NRDS will also be expected to build up and strengthen their existing JEDI competencies and demonstrate leadership for racial equity through their work. 

(Responsibilities and tasks outlined in this document are not exhaustive and may change as determined by the needs of the organization or employee.)


Key Qualifications and Transferable Skills

Transferable skills may be gained through education, work experience (including the military) or life experience that are relevant for this position. Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply for positions where they do not meet 100% of the listed skills and qualifications. Even if you do not meet all of the requirements described, if you believe you are a good fit for the position, we encourage you to apply.

  • Authentic commitment to Ecotrust’s core values and mission to create economic opportunity, social equity, and environmental well-being. Commitment to advancing racial equity and addressing climate change.
  • Expertise, with 8+ years in quantitative analysis, with at least 5 years experience quantifying and modeling natural resource conditions and/or processes (e.g., ecosystem services).
  • Fluency in data science fundamentals, including common data types and pre-processing, approaches to exploratory data analysis, common predictive tasks, model fitting and scoring, model comparison and critique, and addressing uncertainties and errors. 
  • Experience developing collaborative research projects. Ability to communicate and interact effectively with people from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, including experience working with Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities and/or collaborators.
  • Fluency in cultural constructions including race, acculturation, and privilege and awareness and/or lived experience of social inequality and communities of color that intersect with your work.
  • Expertise, with 8+ years experience in quantitative analysis, with at least 5 years involving geospatial data acquisition, processing, and analysis involving large raster and vector datasets.
  • Strong Python programming skills and proficiency with the Python scientific computing stack (e.g., Numpy, Scipy, Scikit-Learn, (Geo)Pandas). 
  • 3+ years of experience with tools, techniques, and best practices in data science, including version control and collaboration tools (Git, GitHub), development environments (e.g., conda or virtual environments), the Linux operating system, relational databases, and common data science tools such as Jupyter Notebooks. Examples of code contributions to open-source projects are strongly encouraged.
  • Familiarity with grant writing and reporting.
  • At least 3 years experience managing and providing professional development coaching to direct reports; Demonstrable track record supervising diverse, small-to-medium sized teams.
  • Ability to deliver compelling writing and oral presentations for technical and non-technical audiences and for racially and culturally diverse audiences.
Other Useful Qualifications
The items listed below represent qualifications that are desirable in a candidate but are not required.  Some of these may be gained through professional development and coaching once on board.
  • Familiarity or expertise in tools and techniques for image processing, machine learning, deep learning, Bayesian data analysis, time series analysis, and/or application of optimization and heuristic algorithms.
  • Relationships or experience developing and maintaining relationships with tribal communities, including familiarity with and/or lived experience in advancing Indigenous sovereignty and self-determination. 
  • Experience employing principles of user centered design and engineering and supporting the completion of user needs assessments. Awareness of research approaches founded in knowledge co-production, research justice, and/or involving traditional knowledge.
  • Experience or familiarity with forest growth-and-yield modeling, particularly using the Forest Vegetation Simulator.
  • Knowledge and experience with land or water stewardship practices and connections with markets, including common conservation and/or management activities in forestry, farming, and/or fisheries.
  • Experience or familiarity with principles and practices of attributional Life Cycle Assessment.


Please do not contact staff directly but rather refer to our website and info session for this position. Thank you.
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