Senior Research Analyst (Ecosystems Program)

Boulder, CO, United States 🇺🇸

With world attention focused on both the environment and the economy, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is where policymakers and business leaders turn for win-win solutions. This leading green group, with programs from Boston to Beijing, has tripled in size over the past decade by focusing on strong science, uncommon partnerships and market-based approaches. You can be part of a vibrant workplace that welcomes diverse perspectives, talents and contributions, where innovation and a focus on results are a way of life.

Overall Function

Environmental Defense Fund is seeking a Senior Research Analyst who will provide scientific and policy analysis support to the Ecosystems Program’s Habitat Team. The team is focused on developing mechanisms to improve habitat quality on agricultural, range, and silvicultural lands. One current approach is to develop “habitat exchanges” – programs intended to offset habitat losses from land conversion through restoration and improved habitat management on working lands. The Senior Research Analyst will work within the science division of the team to conduct research and analysis, collect and analyze data and documents, develop publications, attend meetings and conferences, and support the overall functions of the Habitat science division. The Senior Research Analyst reports to the Conservation Scientist – Habitat.

The goal of the science division of the habitat team is first to ensure that the science underlying habitat exchanges is rigorous and reviewed by the scientific community, and that EDF is a credible source of translating science into action.  The second is to conduct research and analyses that advance the Team’s scientific and programmatic goals.  The third is to strengthen the Habitat Team’s scientific capacity through partnerships, funding opportunities, and by strengthening the Team’s connection to EDF’s Office of Chief Scientist.

The Senior Research Analyst will be expected to assist with the Habitat Team’s work through research, communication, direct involvement with the program staff and EDF’s Office of Chief Scientist, and professional engagement in relevant scientific fields. He/she is expected to stay current on conservation science by reading literature, attending key conferences, publishing in journals and online forums, making scientific presentations, engaging in technical committees and working groups, and maintaining active memberships in professional societies. 

Key Responsibilities 

  • Review, synthesize and analyze scientific literature on topics relevant to the Team’s work.
  • Analyze current tools and frameworks being implemented by the Ecosystems Program’s Habitat Team, providing the necessary recommendations for improvement.
  • Build and maintain data bases that inform the Team’s work.
  • Contribute to publishing peer-reviewed journal articles through research, analysis, and writing.
  • Assist the Conservation Scientist in responding to science-related Habitat Team inquiries.
  • Contribute to science communications to lay audiences including white papers; fact sheets, reports, blogs, web publications, etc.
  • Manage specific project tasks such as outreach to potential partners, developing work plans and timetables, and managing project work and deliverables.
  • Represent EDF in meetings with NGOs and other partners, technical work groups, and external forums and conferences with a high degree of professionalism.
  • Build relationships and regularly consult with scientists and other experts to provide insight to relevant program goals.


  • Master’s degree in related conservation field required;
  • Experience conducting independent scientific analysis
  • Direct experience with biodiversity offsets mechanisms and metrics preferred;
  • Ability to synthesize, interpret and communicate scientific data in an advocacy setting;
  • Excellent attention to detail and organizational abilities;
  • Excellent oral and written communications ability;
  • Strong analytical skills, with experience using statistical software;
  • Ability to work independently, and successfully handle and prioritize diverse, simultaneous tasks;
  • At least 2 years of work experience in fast-paced, detail-oriented environment;
  • Experience with Geographic Information Systems is preferred; and
  • Proficiency in the use of IBM PCs and Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, etc.)

Due to the volume of employment applications and queries received, EDF is unable to respond to each application individually. Applicants will be contacted directly if selected as a candidate.

Environmental Defense Fund is an Equal Opportunity Employer