Fellow (Freshwater)

Arlington, VA, United States 🇺🇸


Freshwater is the life blood of the planet.  No one can live without it.  We need a global transformation of the way the world manages fresh water. Conservation International is working to make that happen. We work to protect the places around the world that people rely on most for drinking water, agriculture and other uses. Our projects start with sound science and offer innovative solutions that can serve as models for conservation anywhere on Earth. Given the critical link between nature and human health, we work to break down the barriers that exist between conservation and health organizations, and we encourage leaders to consider the value of nature in the decisions they make, especially about dams and other large-scale development projects. By doing so, we’re promoting clean water for all.

The hired doctoral or post-doctoral level Freshwater Fellow will strengthen the Moore Center’s freshwater research, which may include freshwater ecosystem service modeling, eco-hydrology, and trade-off analysis, etc.  CI has numerous initiatives that would benefit from the Fellowship position, including work to: i) provide scientific evidence for conservation investments related to development of green hydropower; ii) assess the impacts of climate change, population growth and land use change, and hydropower development on the aquatic biodiversity and fisheries productivity in CI landscapes; iii) map essential natural capital and assessing value of natural capital for natural capital accounting; and iv) understand the role of water and freshwater systems in ensuring sustainability of cities.

The ideal candidate will be proficient in areas of hydrology, hydro-engineering and ecosystem services modeling with good understanding of the tradeoffs inherent in the consumptive usage of fresh water by biodiversity and humans. Specific areas of research may include hydrological impacts of climate change on human and natural systems, analysis of freshwater flows and freshwater biodiversity; valuation of freshwater services under different scenarios of land use and threats from development at different scales from local to global.

The Freshwater Fellow will serve to complement CI’s existing capacity in freshwater research as well as support the effort to organize CI’s freshwater work around strategic priorities. 

Desired skill set includes:

  • Competence in hydrological modeling related to water quality and quantity, mapping and modeling of freshwater service flows, and water resource planning and modeling in human dominated landscapes.
  • Familiarity with climate change models and their down-scaling for predicting future water supply dynamics within selected watersheds.
  • Master of Science or PhD with 2 years of experience.
  • Proven track record of publication in professional literature.
  • Proven track record of professional service to the community. 
  • Experience working in multicultural settings.
  • Ability to work with diverse stakeholders.
  • Strong presentation skills, media experience, and  interdisciplinary skills.
  • Fluency in English.
  • Working knowledge of additional foreign language such as Spanish or French.

Travel associated with the position:

  • Field visits as needed as part of a specific research project or field work required, as well as to institutional meetings and conferences.
  • Fellowship cohort events, including CI training events and CI Board meetings.

At the successful completion of the 2-year Fellowship, the Fellow will have:

  • Developed a research project.
  • Implemented the research project.
  • Worked both independently and as part of a team.
  • Interacted and collaborated with MCS colleagues, the Climate Strategy Team, as well as colleagues from throughout CI.
  • Collaborated in the transfer of science to policy, via collaboration with the Center for Environment and Peace.
  • Contributed to funding proposals as needed.
  • Generated research report documents including peer-reviewed paper.
  • Presented research progress and findings to both internal and external audiences ( at least 2 peer-reviewed research papers).