Director of Science

The Nature Conservancy   •  

Brunswick, ME

Industry: Government & Non-Profit


Less than 5 years

Posted 40 days ago


Founded in 1951, The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. One of our core values is our commitment to diversity. Therefore, we strive for a globally diverse and culturally competent workforce. Working in 72 countries, including all 50 United States, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners.

The Nature Conservancy in Maine is more than 60 years old – we are deeply committed to working with natural resource users, rural communities and many other stakeholders to solve our biggest challenges for nature and people. To learn more about our work in Maine and local history read our

The Nature Conservancy offers competitive compensation, 401k or savings-plan matching for eligible employees, excellent benefits, flexible work policies and a collaborative work environment. We also provide professional development opportunities and promote from within. As a result, you will find a culture that supports and inspires conservation achievement and personal development, both within the workplace and beyond


The Director of Science serves as TNC Maine's lead on conservation science and planning. Leading and managing a team of science, land stewards, and planning staff in Maine, they coordinate with other scientists across and outside the Conservancy to inform the conservation vision for our work in Maine. They also collaborate across the Conservancy in New England and well-beyond and have a strong understanding of the interface between human systems and natural resources. Working closely with the Director of Conservation Director of Government Relations and Director of Communications, they deploy strategic thinking and planning skills and a collaborative, science-based approach to guide TNC Maine's applied conservation (including social, behavioral, and policy science) for forests, freshwater, oceans, and climate/energy siting and adaptation. The Director applies existing and cutting-edge solutions to major conservation challenges and is responsible for leading collaborative enterprises that create a body of scientific work that build on and expand how conservation is carried out for the benefit of nature and people in Maine and beyond. They understand and integrate socio-economic factors as they connect with conservation. They ensure that all science staff are contributing actively and positively to achieving results aligned with TNC Maine and regional priorities, and they empower the team to do science and share learnings widely with a diversity of audiences. They also work with the team to cultivate partnerships which extend our collaborations and increase the impact of our conservation science work. The Director collaborates with other scientists and institutions to enhance conservation practices in general and for the Conservancy in particular


  • Serves as a science convener and a subject matter expert to ensure conservation science and planning best practices are applied throughout TNC Maine's work in forests, freshwater, oceans, and climate.
  • Provides scientific expertise, including natural, economic, and social science considerations, to inform the application of Conservation by Design 2.0 across projects.
  • Leads scientific investigations and supports others to conduct science that supports conservation outcomes of TNC Maine's strategic plan and catalyzing science to improve conservation actions and generate new strategies.
  • Supervises TNC Maine science team and collaborates with other Conservancy teams to support measurable conservation outcomes, provide evidence to inform conservation decisions and priorities, and conduct science to develop new or adapted conservation practices in support of strategic efforts.
  • Fosters effective and innovative partnerships with federal and state agencies, scientific and academic institutions, conservation groups, citizen scientists, and other public and private organizations engaged in conservation science to develop and implement key projects.
  • Helps to lead strategic planning to determine TNC Maine's priorities.
  • Evaluates and synthesizes science and develops tools to facilitate decision-making.
  • Ensures that TNC Maine science is coordinated with global, North America, New England and other Conservancy programs.
  • Assists the Development (fundraising) and External Affairs (policy and communications) teams in securing private and public funding to implement science projects and strategies.
  • Participates in and leads cross-functional teams, modeling excellent project management skills to complete high-quality projects on time and within budget.
  • Maintains scientific credibility through peer reviewed publications, research and communication.
  • Actively listens to others and fosters open exchange of ideas.
  • Reports to the State Director and serves on the chapter's leadership teams.
  • Travels with evening and weekend hours, as needed. May work in variable weather conditions & remote locations.


  • Master's Degree in science related field and 4 years of experience or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience managing complex science projects including project management skills, financial management, and coordinating the work of peers and partners.
  • Supervisory experience.
  • Experience working and communicating science with a wide range of people.
  • Experience manipulating, analyzing, and interpreting statistical or environmental data.
  • Experience fundraising and/or writing grants and research proposals.


  • Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experiences are appreciated.
  • Ph.D. in ecology, biology, natural resources, or social sciences is a plus.
  • Ability to engage in a wide range of conservation issues, analyze complex problems, rapidly build personal/team expertise on new issues, and develop strategic responses or solutions.
  • Experience thinking and working in an interdisciplinary / multidisciplinary manner.
  • Proven ability to leverage applied scientific concepts and technical innovations for broader impact.
  • Strong written, visual, and verbal communication skills and experience translating complex technical and scientific issues to a broad range of audiences and across platforms (e.g. in-person presentations, journals, social media).
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and develop partnerships with a wide range of individuals that do not have a direct reporting relationship, including staff, partner organizations, government agencies, academic institutions, and other stakeholders.
  • Proven experience as a team and project leader.
  • Experience in the domains of sociology, economics, political economy, and / or other social sciences, such as the interrelationship between natural resource conservation and community health (social, economic and/or political) and behavioral science.
  • Experience and/or publication history in one or more of the following areas: nature-based solutions, ecosystem services, or climate change adaptation.
  • General understanding of policy, government processes, laws and regulations as they relate to habitat and species protection, land and natural resource use, and/or energy and infrastructure.
  • Demonstrated success in fundraising including writing proposals and interacting with public and private donors.
  • Proven negotiation skills.
  • Record of peer reviewed publications in scientific journals, original science papers, and/or synthesis papers.

To apply to position number 47639, submit resume and cover letter separately using the upload buttons. All applications must be submitted in the system prior to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on June 18, 2019.