Director of Science and Freshwater Programs

The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
Montpelier, VT, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
NGO/Civil Society
Experience Level: 
Entry Level (0-2 Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


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.

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 74 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.





Director of Science and Freshwater Programs provides science leadership and scientific support for Vermont conservation initiatives within The Nature Conservancy’s strategic conservation priorities.  Additionally, they provide strategic leadership on freshwater resilience, river restoration, and climate adaptation projects and programs in Vermont.  They supervise and manage staff and work within a team structure to share science across programmatic functions.



Director of Science and Freshwater Programs strategically directs freshwater project implementation, including floodplain and wetland restoration, aquatic connectivity and river health initiatives. They help shape and inform TNC’s freshwater policy approaches; cultivates, maintains and influences strategic relationship with key partners; and provides analysis and application of scientific data to advance systems level change necessary to keep Vermont’s lands, waters and human communities resilient, connected and adaptable in a changing climate.  The Director manages a team to apply scientific analysis and prioritize areas and activities for protection, conservation and restoration.  In addition, the Director may oversee scientific research and analysis, project implementation strategies and decisions-making tools in order integrate Vermont conservation outcomes with landscape and regional scale initiatives. The Director engages with the academic community, public agencies, and other NGO’s to deploy conservation practices, influence public policy, and identify research gaps that advance terrestrial and freshwater conservation and climate adaptation. Familiarity with aquatic and climate science as well as ecosystems service science is essential.


  • Develop and design ecosystem-level conservation strategies using current conservation and ecological science.
  • Develop, manage and oversee Science and Freshwater programs within Vermont.
  • Deliver tools, biodiversity and resilience data, field services and training to staff and partners.
  • Conducts fact checks and scientific review of grant proposals and communications material, as well as policy testimony.
  • Oversee and/or conduct the design and implementation of scientific research application relative to program area.
  • Supervise science and freshwater staff and coordinate fieldwork and logistical support for research, project development and monitoring.
  • Represents TNC in meetings and collaborations with partners, governmental agencies, legislative committees and the general public. Ability to articulate important scientific and freshwater concepts to a variety of audiences.
  • Represent the chapter in division-level planning and project development.
  • Manage public grants, contracts or request for proposals.
  • May work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, in hazardous terrain and under physically demanding circumstances.


  • Master's Degree in science related field and 2 years of experience or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience managing staff, projects, workloads and finances under deadlines.                                     
  • Experience synthesizing, interpreting and communicating scientific information.        
  • Experience preparing reports of findings.
  • Experience working and communicating with a wide range of people.
  • Experience working collaboratively with multiple teams, holding others accountable and meeting deadlines.


  • Multi-language skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.
  • Familiarity with social sciences and strong communication skills for communicating scientific information.
  • Experience training others.
  • Experience applying science research to guide policy and decision-making
  • Vision, decisiveness and proven negotiation skills.
  • Attention to detail and ability to delegate.
  • Ability to take or recommend action despite missing information.
  • Strong knowledge of common software applications including ArcGIS.




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.




To apply to position number 48590, submit resume (required) and cover letter separately using the upload buttons. Due to business interruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have extended the application deadline for this position.  All applications must be submitted in the system prior to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on June 14, 2020.
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