Program Associate/Senior Program Associate-GIS

Winrock International
Arlington, VA, United States
Position Type: 
Experience Level: 
0-2 Years
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


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Winrock International is a mission-driven, non-profit organization. This core principle shapes Winrock’s programs and activities that empower the disadvantaged, increase economic opportunity, and sustain natural resources around the world. Instead of being profit-oriented, Winrock International strives to make the greatest difference on the ground to improve livelihoods and contribute to a healthier, more sustainable planet.

Winrock International’s values and excellence are exemplified in its Ecosystem Services Unit, which has positioned Winrock as a world leader in the evaluation of ecosystem services from forests and agriculture for over twenty years. Among its greatest strengths is the Ecosystem Services Unit’s capacity to harness cutting edge technology, data, and methodologies to produce original analyses and then translate and distil them to best serve a wide range of intended audiences.

Position Description

The GIS analyst contributes to the Ecosystem Services Unit's global work in the sphere of GIS, Remote Sensing, land cover change, watershed management, climate change mitigation and adaptation, REDD+, ecosystem services valuation, environmental services, and related topics. The analyst supports the Unit Director and Program Officers and works with other staff in the Unit to implement and manage Ecosystem Services project activities, carrying out and presenting scientific analyses, ensuring timely completion of tasks within scope and budget.

The analyst is primarily responsible for carrying out spatial and non-spatial technical analysis and assisting in project design and management. The position will require frequent domestic and international travel (estimated 15-30% of year ) to project sites to support consultations with clients and key stakeholders from government, civil society and private sector, to conduct field work and technical trainings, and to deliver presentations on scientific topics to technical and non-technical audiences. The position will also assist in business development by producing text, figures and maps for proposals.

The position requires excellent English writing and communication skills for technical reports, communication materials and proposals. The candidate must be highly skilled in ArcGIS, and mastery of other geospatial standards and platforms is also desired. As an important element of the Unit's portfolio is the generation, evaluation, and analysis of remote-sensing derived spatial products for assessment of dynamics of land use change and impacts of climate change – including but not limited to TerrSet (IDRISI) and Google Earth Engine (GEE) software platforms. The analyst must have skills in programming automated geospatial data management and analysis (e.g. Python, PostGIS). Additional desired skills include familiarity with ESRI Enterprise software and GEE for development of web-facing interactive spatial tools and communication products that cater to a diverse global audience. The position will be expected to provide advice and guidance on geospatial science-based decision making in natural resource management and the piloting of new technologies and techniques in GIS, especially web-based GIS.

The selected candidate will become part of a close-knit interdisciplinary team of scientists and geospatial experts working in international development with a focus on land use, hydrology and climate change. The work environment is collaborative and dynamic, providing growth opportunities in science, geospatial analysis, and international development. Professional fluency in English required. Spanish and/or French language is desired.


GIS and Technology leadership
• Capable of leading high-level GIS analysis, leveraging ESRI Enterprise software, conducting and advising on remote sensing methods and analysis, assisting in the development of web-based tools and other products to efficiently communicate results to a broad audience.
• Maintain high level of scientific rigor on technical deliverables, including close adherence to latest best practices and recommendations from the scientific community
• Follow new developments in geospatial technologies for application in ECO’s work, tools and methodologies through participation in professional networks, attendance of industry events, and personal skills development.
• Train overseas and US-based staff on analytical techniques to ensure skillsets are sustained within unit
• Manage a suite of Winrock-branded GIS-centric methods, toolkits, etc. that can be packaged and reused into multiple new business efforts.
• Serve as an ambassador of Winrock to global private and government audiences, emphasizing our unique technical capabilities in addressing interlinked social and environmental issues.
• Conduct geospatial data management and programming.

Project Implementation
• Manage spatial and non-spatial technical analyses with scientific rigor
• Work both independently and in teams; seeking guidance and advice as needed.
• Assisting in the writing and development of reports and proposals.
• Maintain positive relationships with clients and development partners through proactive and professional communication.
• Travel both domestically and internationally. This may include field work involving hiking for multiple hours sometimes carrying heavy equipment and staying in less than ideal accommodations.
• Conduct presentations and trainings to a variety of stakeholders.

Business Development
• Help secure new grants and contracts by assisting in proposal writing, coordination, and co-authoring technical sections of several proposals per year.
• Help identify sources of new funding to support the Ecosystem Services Unit through work with government, multilateral agencies, non-government organizations, etc.
• Actively seek new funding opportunities and share unit responsibility for meeting annual business development targets.
• Directly coordinate with other units in the Environment and Energy (E2) group, as well as other groups at Winrock, to identify opportunities and develop strategies for pursuing interdisciplinary work with Winrock's practices in water, adaptation, clean energy, agriculture, and human rights.

• Current US work authorization.
• Graduate level degree or equivalent work experience in environmental science, forestry, ecology, environmental studies, geography, geospatial science, or a related discipline.
• At least two years professional work experience
• Ability and willingness to travel internationally up to 15%-30% of year, for 1-3 weeks at a time, often to developing countries.
• Demonstrated advanced aptitude in GIS technologies including ESRI desktop, server and Enterprise software.
• Demonstrated advanced aptitude in programming automated geospatial data management and analysis (e.g. Python, PostGIS).

• Experience with open source geospatial database development such as PostGIS, and GEE
• Experience with geospatial web development.
• Experience with application of existing scientifically validated models, e.g. hydrologic, biogeochemical or climatic models.
• Experience designing, and leading trainings, capacity building efforts, or course on technical subjects to domestic or overseas audience
• Strong knowledge of geostatistical and inferential statistical techniques in a natural resource management context.
• Familiarity with climate and carbon science literature in forestry and/or agriculture
• Experience working or living in developing countries.
• Professional competency in Spanish and/or French Languages a plus.

Winrock is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to providing equal employment opportunity for all people and value diversity and inclusiveness. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to perceived or actual race, color, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, age, physical or mental disability, medical condition, family care status, or any other basis protected by law.