Science Program Manager

The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
Seattle, WA, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
NGO/Civil Society
Experience Level: 
Mid-Level (5-7 Years)
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


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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. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.
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 Science Program Manager works with the Lead Scientist and supervises and manages 4-6 members of the Washington Chapter science team and supports an innovative partnership between The Nature Conservancy’s Washington Chapter and the University of Washington’s College of the Environment. They serve as a subject matter resource for the Conservancy’s conservation initiatives. They manage science team budgets and contracts, while providing subject matter resource in social sciences, program evaluation, conservation technology, or data science.




The Science Program Manager supports the Lead Scientist and coordinates a team from The Nature Conservancy and the University of Washington (UW) to accomplish an ambitious body of natural and social science spanning terrestrial, aquatic, marine, and urban ecosystems. They develop and maintain collaborative partnerships with other scientists and institutions to build and enhance Conservancy practices. The Science Program Manager works directly with the Director of Conservation and the Lead Scientist to deliver a solutions-oriented body of applied science supporting The Nature Conservancy’s conservation priorities.
Team & Program Management (50%)

The Science Program Manager supervises and supports 4-6 scientists developing applied solutions to guide The Nature Conservancy’s conservation priorities. They support the Director of Conservation and Lead Scientist in building an innovative program between The Nature Conservancy and the University of Washington’s College of the Environment, linking TNC scientists and UW graduate students and researchers, developing projects and allocating resources. They work closely with TNC’s conservation leadership team and UW’s Interdisciplinary Conservation Science Lab to coordinate a shared research agenda to develop and implement projects that directly support the Conservancy’s priorities. In addition to supporting the TNC-UW partnership, they will play a role in building and fostering partnerships with other universities and research institutions. The Science Program Manager manages 4-6 scientists, science team budgets, contracts, and funding proposals.

Advancing Science (35%)

The Science Program Manager will work both independently and with colleagues to advance science; developing new tools, testable strategies and approaches, and leading scientific inquiry and problem-solving related to one of the following areas of expertise: social sciences, program evaluation, conservation technology, or data science. Advancing science may include developing scientific metrics of conservation success, searching for alternative ways to approach and solve conservation problems, and helping the Lead Scientist in building new and innovative partnerships for TNC.

Communication (15%)

The Science Program Manager will communicate scientific findings and the scientific basis for conservation priorities and actions to the general public, partners, media, and the scientific community. Communication may be through peer-reviewed literature, other published materials and maps, presentation at meetings and conferences, news media, and field tours. The Science Program Manager will help build connections to other TNC programs in the region and around the globe to elevate Washington science and share learnings and stories.




Level of Responsibility: The Science Program Manager is a senior member of the Washington Chapter’s Science Team and plays a leadership role on the Chapter’s Conservation Team, with significant strategic and partnership responsibilities.  

  • They report to the Director of Conservation, with a dotted line to the Lead Scientist.
  • Directly supervise and manage the Washington Science Team.

Within the scope of the position, the Science Program Manager will:

  • Connect and leverage TNC science with UW Interdisciplinary Conservation Science Lab through an innovative partnership, ensuring a well-coordinated program of work.
  • Manage science team contracts and budgets, ensuring effective allocation of resources and compliance with TNC policies
  • Manage and implement multiple complex projects, including managing project teams, setting deadlines, and ensuring accountability.
  • Work closely with science and conservation program leadership and staff to help develop, prioritize, and deliver an ambitious program of work.
  • Create, build, and maintain effective partnerships with academic, NGO, agency, tribal scientists and technology partners.
  • Ensure programmatic commitments, Conservancy policies and procedures, financial standards, and legal requirements are met and managed for compliance; decisions may bind the organization financially or legally.

Work Environment and Schedule

The Science Program Manager works in TNC’s Seattle Office and manages a team that works statewide and in partnership with field staff, agencies, tribes, consultants, NGOs, and academics. They will travel (up to 25%) and will work primarily in professional office settings, with some work in the field, sometimes in inclement weather and within steep and rugged terrain. May require working long and/or flexible hours.




  • Master’s Degree in science, engineering or technology related field and 5 years of experience OR equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Supervisory experience, including motivating, leading, setting objectives and managing performance.
  • Experience managing complex or multiple projects, including managing finances and coordinating the work of other professionals and partners.  
  • Experience synthesizing, interpreting, and communicating scientific information.
  • Effective communicator with the ability to relate scientific concepts to a variety of audiences, including members, donors, and the media.
  • Experience developing and leveraging collaborative relationships.
  • Ability to travel within Washington State; must have a valid driver’s license or ability to obtain one prior to beginning the position.


  • PhD in science related field and 4 years of experience OR equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Multi- lingual skills and multi-cultural or cross cultural experience appreciated.
  • Experience with scientific program management, budgets and contracting.
  • Area of subject-matter expertise is flexible, with demonstrated experience in social science, program evaluation, conservation technology, or data science strongly preferred.
  • Demonstrated experience in publishing in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.
  • Experience fundraising and/or writing grants and research proposals.
  • Proven ability to negotiate and develop work programs with external partners, including academics, agencies and/or tribes.
  • Flexibility and interest to understand and move between different subject matter across all Washington ecosystems.
  • Knowledge of key conservation issues and partners working in The Pacific Northwest.




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.




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