Research Assistant/Associate: Economics and Spatial Analysis

Earth Innovation Institute
San Francisco, CA, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
3-4 Years
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.

Position summary: Reporting to the Chief Economist, the Research Associate or Research Assistant will support research on the economics of tropical deforestation and climate change. Research topics will include linkages between forests and sustainable development goals; design and evaluation of policies and programs for reducing deforestation and accelerating reforestation; and analysis of new funding streams for protecting and restoring forests. Research outputs may include peer-reviewed academic journal articles, institutional working papers, policy briefs, and blogs. Research activities will involve acquisition, integration, management, and analysis of large spatial data sets, statistical analysis, and literature review.

Our organization: Earth Innovation Institute catalyzes innovative, large-scale transitions to low-emission rural development in tropical regions through research and policy design that promotes sustainable farming, forestry, and fisheries, while improving rural livelihoods and enhancing the capacity of the planet to support life. Through targeted, regional interventions, we seek to increase rural household wellbeing while decreasing emissions of greenhouse gases. We work with local partners to design and implement low-emission rural development strategies in Brazil, Indonesia, Colombia, and Peru.


  • Support the preparation, writing, editing, publication, and dissemination of research on tropical deforestation and reforestation, climate change, sustainable development, and conservation finance, including by:
    • acquiring integrating, managing, and analyzing large spatial data sets;
    • performing statistical and econometric analyses;
    • conducting literature reviews;
    • and preparing tables, figures, and maps
  • Active participation in research-related meetings
  • Potential for field visits
  • Contribution to grant reporting and proposals
  • At the Research Associate level, potential to assist in selecting research topics and contribution to the direction of programs
  • Other programmatic and administrative duties as needed

Qualifications and Experience:

  • Master’s degree in Economics, Geography, Environmental Science, or a related discipline, plus at least one year of relevant experience; or a bachelor’s degree plus at least three years of relevant experience
  • Training in spatial analysis and econometric methods
  • Experience acquiring, integrating, and managing large data sets
  • Proven ability to perform quantitative analyses
  • Experience in scientific and/or economic research, preferably in an international environment
  • Familiarity and interest in climate change, forestry, agriculture, rural development, and/or conservation, preferably in a developing country context
  • Familiarity and interest in environmental or international development policy
  • Experience living or working in a developing country desired
  • Excellent written and spoken English a must; writing and speaking ability in Indonesian, Portuguese, and/or Spanish a plus
  • Strong motivation, personal initiative, commitment to excellence and results, can-do attitude, and professional demeanor
  • Organized, careful, flexible, detail-oriented, with ability to balance multiple tasks, meet deadlines, and anticipate needs
  • Ability to work as part of a team
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with people from a variety of disciplines, cultures, and backgrounds
  • Enthusiasm for scientific and/or economic research

Skills: The ideal candidate will possess all or most of the following skills, but candidates with aptitude and interest to learn new skill sets are encouraged to apply as well.

  • Deep expertise managing and analyzing large spatial data sets
    • Excellent GIS skills
    • Expert understanding of ArcGIS/QGIS;
    • Fundamental knowledge of best practices in handling spatial data;
    • Demonstrated experience processing large geospatial data sets and/or remote sensing images
  • Ability to leverage processing languages to process large spatial data sets in a reproducible manner
    • Strong programming skills in R or Python;
    • Knowledge of command line utilities such as GDAL preferred
  • Strong econometrics skills. Knowledge of statistical inference in panel, time-series, and cross-sectional settings
    • Stata and SQL preferred but not necessary

Location: San Francisco, CA
Application deadline: January 31, 2019
Desired start date: ASAP

Compensation: Full-time exempt position. Compensation based on qualifications and experience with competitive benefit package.

Application Instructions: Please send cover letter, resume or CV, writing sample, and contact information for 3 references to  . Please reference Job 08-307-JMB19 in the subject line of the email.

Organizational Summary:

The Earth Innovation Institute is a not-for-profit, independent research institute with headquarters in San Francisco and offices in Brazil, Indonesia and Colombia. We pursue our goals of slowing climate change, conserving tropical forests and fisheries, and improving rural livelihoods by promoting sustainable rural development through a blend of research, consensus-building, policy analysis and reform, and private sector engagement.