Forest Ecologist


Flagstaff, Arizona (AZ)  



The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working to make a positive impact around the world in more than 30 countries, all 50 United States, and your backyard. Founded in 1951, the mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Visit to learn more.


The Forest Ecologist provides scientific leadership in forest management, focusing on developing and applying science-based practices integrated in a dynamic socio-political environment. The position works as part of a cross-functional team within the Conservancy as well as with external stakeholders to: 1) design and implement science-informed adaptive management and monitoring programs; 2) help resolve conflicting perspectives among stakeholders through the emphasis on best science practices; and 3) help accelerate and guide forest restoration through collaboration, building relationships, and creative problem-solving. In the course of addressing forest management issues, the Forest Ecologist may work on a range of related land, habitat, and water management issues and be asked to develop and apply a variety of techniques and practices that promote innovation in monitoring, modeling, and the use of information in decision-making.

  • Master’s degree in ecology or science-related field and 4 years experience or equivalent combination of educationand experience.
  • Experience initiating, building, and maintaining relationships with key partners, state/local/federal agencies and operating within a collaborative environment where other drivers, besides scientific information, need to be considered in decision-making and the identification of desired outcomes.
  • Experience analyzing and synthesizing statistical data relevant to ecology and communicating findings to technical, managerial, and lay audiences.
  • Experience designing and leading complex or multiple projects, including managing finances and coordinating the work of other professionals and partners.
  • Experience leading and/or participating on cross-functional teams.
  • Experience in writing grants and research proposals.
  • Record of peer-reviewed publications dealing with aspects of ecology or related field.
  • Experience working with Microsoft Office Suite Software and facility with or willingness to learn geographic information system-based spatial analytical tools.


  • Master’s degree and 4 years experience or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Advanced analytical skills including manipulating, analyzing, and interpreting ecological and statistical data on forests and other natural communities.
  • Knowledge of species, natural communities, ecosystems, ecosystem processes, and their conservation needs.
  • Knowledge of current trends and practices in forest management and forest ecology.
  • Ability to use common modeling tools to project effects of management actions or other drivers on factors such as vegetation patterns, fire behavior, watershed functions, or wildlife dynamics.
  • Managing time and diverse activities under deadlines while delivering quality results.
  • Basic computer knowledge (emails, spreadsheets, documents).  Proficiency in Microsoft Office suite, databases and Internet. Working knowledge of mapping/spatial analysis software applications (e.g. ArcGIS) preferred. Ability to use provided computer technology to enhance the quality of work.
  • Communicating clearly via written, spoken, and graphical means in English and other relevant languages.


The Applied Scientist III may work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain, and under physically demanding circumstances.  These conditions may:

  • require physical exertion and/or muscular strain
  • present possibility of injury
  • require long hours in isolated settings




  • Ability to work in a complex matrixed organization environment.
  • Designs, implements, and directs complex and diverse projects, encompassing multiple programs and coordinating the work of other professionals, inside and outside the organization.  Incorporates cross-disciplinary knowledge to support program objectives.
  • Cultivates and develops creative ideas to improve conservation strategies.
  • Anticipates, analyzes, diagnoses and solves complex ecological problems.
  • Compiles and organizes scientific data with attention to detail.
  • Analyzes situations, evaluates alternatives, and implements solutions.
  • Interprets guidelines, evaluates information, and modifies processes to adapt to changing circumstances.


  • Ability to make sound decisions for TNC is the following areas (legal, financial, conservation, reputation).
  • Makes decisions with teams as well as independently based on analysis, experience, and judgment. Evaluates risks and understands when to consult other staff in decision-making processes that may affect the work of other or involve reputational risk.
  • Performs tasks with minimal supervision.


  • May lead and/or participate on cross-functional teams
  • May lead a small staff of scientists, technicians, interns and/or volunteers on a project basis.
  • May help develop and manage work plans and large project budgets.
  • Develops, administers, and modifies budget based on circumstances.
  • May manage grants or contracts. May write requests for proposal.
  • May negotiate and contract with vendors.


  • Ability to work cooperatively with a number of staff and external parties, sometimes under pressure, in order to agree on shared goals. Helps define roles and responsibilities, complete project work in a timely manner.
  • Provide a variety of information to staff and others, contributing to conservation projects and assisting workflow throughout the organization.
  • Work and communicate effectively with a diverse group of people, including scientists, preserve staff and others, providing and obtaining needed information.
  • Collaborates with a wide range of conservation partners to identify research needs, present technical concepts in local community forums as well as at national or international conferences, and support fieldwork.
  • Provides training for internal and external colleagues on ecological and conservational scientific principles.
  • Demonstrated experience writing grants and researching proposals.
  • Ability to simplify and explain complex scientific data to general audiences.
  • Communicates strategic project goals and objectives.

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.


To apply to position number 41102, 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 3, 2013.

Failure to complete all of the required fields may result in your application being disqualified from consideration.

You must click submit to apply for the position. You may select save for later if you prefer to create a draft application for future submission. Once submitted, applications cannot be revised or edited.

If you are experiencing technical issues, please refer to our applicant user guide or contact



The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  Women, minorities, veterans and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

The successful applicant must meet the requirements of The Nature Conservancy’s background screening process

Flagstaff, Arizona
The Nature Conservancy
Human Resources