[ES_JOBS_NET] Spatial Scientist Position at The Nature Conservancy focused on Lake Tangankyika

Erika Marín-Spiotta marinspiotta at wisc.edu
Fri Mar 18 18:53:50 MDT 2016

 TNC is hiring a new Spatial Scientist position focused on Lake Tanganyika

[image: tnc logo]

Many of the last remaining intact terrestrial and freshwater systems in the
tropical world are in Africa – from the intact delta of the wild Ogooué
River to the grasslands of Northern Tanzania to the deep and spectacular
lakes of the Rift Valley. Ecosystem services such as fish protein, clean
water, and floodplain productivity that intact ecosystems provide act as
life support for many poor, rural communities dependent upon them.
Economies of sub-Saharan Africa are also growing rapidly, and ecological
systems and services are likely to be significantly stressed in the coming
decades. We need accurate and compelling conservation-related spatial data,
remote sensing analysis, and map products to create better informed
decision making, whether at the national government or local community

The Nature Conservancy’s Africa Region seeks a broadly trained scientist
with expertise in complex spatial analysis over large landscapes. This
person will work on projects related to spatial database management,
participatory mapping of ecosystem services, and spatial analyses in
priority freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems of the Lake Tanganyika Basin
and its riparian countries (Tanzania, Zambia, Burundi and the Democratic
Republic of the Congo). She/He will focus on projects that identify
existing ecological resources and ecosystem services as well as threats to
those resources. This person will also work to integrate socioeconomic
aspects – such as farmer or fisher perceptions – into spatial analyses as a
team member working with The Nature Conservancy and the Lake Tanganyika
Authority to build an Atlas of Freshwater Resources for use by a multitude
of stakeholders operating within the Lake Tanganyika Basin. This person
will engage in capacity building activities to enhance skills sets for
members of the Lake Tanganyika Authority and other national and regional
stakeholders to use spatial products generated through projects. She/He is
responsible for various project-related tasks, including project planning,
analysis, report preparation and publication of results. She/He may also be
expected to provide detailed spatial analysis and map production in support
of our other programs throughout the continent, such as the Greater Mahale
Ecosystem in Tanzania, the African Great Lakes Region, the Ogooué River in
Gabon, the Tana River in Kenya, and the Kafue River in Zambia. Key
approaches include support to the Lake Tanganyika Authority, national
governments, and other stakeholders in freshwater resource prioritization
and mapping, water infrastructure planning, source water protection,
freshwater protected area planning, and freshwater fisheries management.


The spatial scientist supports landscape-scale spatial analysis, with a
focus on freshwater ecosystems, related to The Nature Conservancy and the
Lake Tanganyika Authority’s work in the Lake Tanganyika Basin and its four
riparian countries: Tanzania, Zambia, Burundi, and DRC. Requires sufficient
knowledge and work experience in one or more of the following functions:

   - Advanced knowledge of management, manipulation and analysis of both
   vector and raster spatial data in geo-coded database structures;
   - Strong cartographic skills;
   - Experience with remote sensing;
   - Ability to manage and coordinate projects and coordinate closely with
   Program Managers and other science staff; and
   - Experience presenting projects at conferences and meetings and writing
   progress reports, final reports, scientific manuscripts and developing
   training materials in both French and English.


   - Science Activities: Conducts participatory ecosystem service mapping
   and modeling and application of results. Integrate spatial data with field
   surveys to document social and ecological systems in project areas using
   standard methods and techniques.
   - Innovation: Participates in the ongoing development of new tools,
   methods, processes, and techniques that improve conservation action in The
   Nature Conservancy’s conservation priority areas and thematic opportunities.
   - Communications: Communicates the role of The Nature Conservancy in the
   conservation of biodiversity, and explain the utility of science-based
   conservation to partners. In collaboration with the Conservation Director
   and Africa TNC Program Managers, communicate regularly with key project
   partners and others to maintain strong partnerships and facilitate
   effective conservation.
   - Information Requests: Responds to requests for ecological information
   from partners and provide interpretation, as needed.


   - Master’s degree in Geographic Information Science, Ecology, Geography
   or related field and 4 years related experience, or equivalent combination
   of education and experience.
   - Experience in designing, maintaining and analyzing spatial databases
   to meet organizational needs.
   - Experience in developing and delivering web-based training materials
   using tools such as Screenshot-O-Matic, WebEx, or Team Viewer.
   - Experience in teaching others how to use common spatial analysis tools
   and map product outputs.
   - Record of peer reviewed publications in scientific journals.
   - Experience fundraising and/or writing grants and research proposals
   - Experience leading or participating on cross functional teams.
   - Experience working and communicating with a wide range of people
   - Experience managing complex projects including the financial aspect
   and coordinating the work of peers and partners
   - Fluency in speaking, reading and writing in French and English is


   - Graduate degree in biological or information sciences with course work
   indicating knowledge of complex spatial analysis considered.
   - Demonstrated experience with landscape-scale spatial analysis and
   freshwater modeling. Knowledge of climate change impacts on ecosystems and
   methods for understanding community perceptions of these changes is highly
   - Project management and administrative experience, database management,
   word processing, and open source GIS skills (e.g. QGIS).
   - Ability to develop maps in ArcGIS Online to share with partners.
   - Ability to work effectively with others under pressure and tight
   deadlines. Capable of working independently to complete projects.
   - Communicating clearly via written and spoken means in English and
   French. Communication skills in Swahili and at least one other language
   common to the African Great Lakes region are desirable.
   - Excellent graphical communication skills. Ability to write technical
   reports utilizing available resources. Ability to produce
   professional-quality map products.
   - Willingness to travel throughout the Lake Tanganyika Basin and
   particularly the phase 1 project focal areas in Tanzania and Zambia.
   - Comfort articulating and advocating for The Nature Conservancy’s
   conservation mission.


This position requires a valid driver’s license and compliance with the
Conservancy’s Auto Safety Program. Employees may not drive
Conservancy-owned/leased vehicles, rental cars, or personal vehicles on
behalf of the Conservancy if considered “high risk drivers.” Please see
further details in the Auto Safety Program document available at

Employment in this position will be contingent upon completion of a Vehicle
Use Agreement, which may include a review of the prospective employee’s
motor vehicle record.


Please visit:
To apply to position number 44036, 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 April 1, 2016.
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