Land System Assistant Scientist
Job Search Location(s) United States - Arlington, VA
ID 1175
Apply Now

Land System Assistant Scientist


Conservation International (CI) has been protecting nature for the benefit of all for over 30 years. Through science, policy, and partnerships, CI is helping build a healthier, more prosperous and more productive planet. 



The Resilience Team within the Moore Center division of Conservation International conducts high impact innovative and applied research to support communities, businesses, and countries in mitigating and adapting to climate change. The group uses interdisciplinary science approaches and cutting-edge technological resources to support its mission through science innovation, tool development, and capacity building in close collaboration with key global and local partners.


The Resilience Team is seeking a land system scientist with experience in remote sensing and programming to support a multi-institution multi-scale project to enhance land degradation monitoring at national and sub-national scales. The successful candidate will make contributions that may include research and implementation of innovative monitoring methods for tropical forests at fine temporal and spatial scales, developing methods for assessing vulnerability to droughts in relation to land degradation, guiding the development of a mobile application tool, performing field verification, and implementing capacity building efforts both in person and on line. The successful candidate will be driven and motivated to work in an organization which uses the best scientific knowledge to support nature conservation, and as part of the Moore Center for Science, that person will be part of the team generating that critical knowledge.




  • Develop models and implement workflows for assessing forest degradation using time series of Landsat and Sentinel satellite images at global scales in a cloud computing environment.
  • Develop new hypotheses and research methods to support Conservation International's science agenda and institutional priorities.
  • Manage and/or assist in leading research project design and implementation, including overseeing and supporting field research and data collection.
  • Write reports and develop materials for internal decision makers and external stakeholders. Lead or contribute to a minimum of 2 peer-reviewed publications per year.  Ensure consistency with Conservation International's intellectual property rights prior to publication and/or release of data.
  • Develop or contribute to communications materials including presentations of scientific findings for internal and external audiences.
  • Keep up-to-date on relevant scientific literature.
  • Define conservation objectives.  Monitor and evaluate outcomes, provide periodic progress assessments and suggest refinements as needed.
  • Provide technical and scientific support to CI divisions and regional programs.  Assist project managers in meeting project deliverables, schedules, and budget.
  • As directed, manage or assist in managing technical partnerships within Conservation International and external organizations.  Create detailed information and analyses to guide partners in their decision making.
  • Play a role in representing Conservation International at external meetings with partners, workshops and scientific conferences.
  • Promote capacity building across Conservation International divisions and field programs. Share technical best practices and work collaboratively to instill effective information sharing across programs and units.
  • Identify data gaps and help assess ongoing user needs. Assist in developing tools and resources to more effectively share, interpret and use data.
  • Help identify and participate in fundraising opportunities.  Provide input into grant proposals as directed.
  • Perform related duties as assigned.



  • Does not directly manage staff but may assist less-experienced peers and direct the work of vendors, interns, or contractors.
  • Not accountable for managing a budget but helps track and monitor expenditures.



  • This position is based in Conservation International's Arlington, VA office
  • Work is performed in a typical office environment.
  • Some travel - up to 25% may be necessary. 
  • Flexibility in work schedule in order to accommodate time differences between the Arlington, VA office and the region may be necessary.




  • PhD in land system science, remote sensing, environmental sciences, or similar
  • Demonstrated research experience, including developing research questions and designing studies.
  • Proven ability in successfully interpreting and applying scientific information, data, models and approaches to achieve practical results.
  • Demonstrated scientific writing experience, including scientific reports and/or publications.
  • Proven technical expertise in habitat monitoring, land degradation methodologies and analyses, and ecosystem modeling using a range of remote sensing techniques, image sources, and GIS
  • Proven experience performing analyses on time-series datasets for ecosystem modeling.
  • Proven experience to process and analyze large volumes of data in cloud computing environments.
  • Proven expert technical skills in Python, and familiarity in JavaScript.
  • Proven ability to work in a team environment and work well across cultures as well as within and across organizations.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.  Highly organized and strong attention to detail. 
  • Demonstrated problem solving skills.
  • Excellent analytical and mathematical skills.
  • Familiarity with statistical, GIS, and remote sensing software systems, terminology and procedures.


  • Experience in developing QGIS plugins
  • Proficiency in R for data processing and statistical analysis
  • Fluency in Spanish preferred.




See all Conservation International Career Opportunities HERE



Conservation International Values

We expect that all employees will embrace the values of our organization.

  • Passion: We are inspired by nature and cherish the diversity of life in all of its forms. 
  • Respect: We respect and trust each other, and we embrace our diversity of cultures, talents, and experiences.
  • Integrity: We act with integrity and are accountable for our actions.
  • Optimism: We are optimistic about the future of life on Earth and are confident that, with our partners, we will achieve unprecedented conservation results.
  • Courage: We tirelessly pursue our vision, taking bold action and persevering through challenges.
  • Teamwork: We work together, recognizing that openness, collaboration and cooperation are fundamental to achieving a healthy and prosperous world for all.




Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Women/Vets/Disabled



Back Apply Now