Geospatial Program Manager at the Chesapeake Conservancy

Chesapeake Conservancy is seeking an immediate hire of a Program Manager with at least two years of professional GIS and program management experience.


Chesapeake Conservancy is a non-profit organization based in Annapolis, Maryland, dedicated to ensuring a healthier Chesapeake Bay watershed where fish and wildlife thrive, with healthy waters and abundant forests, wetlands, shorelines, and open spaces. With the human population in the Chesapeake watershed approaching 18 million and growing and tens of thousands of acres of open space vanishing each year, the Conservancy works to connect people with the Chesapeake’s wildlife and history; conserve landscapes and rivers; and restore the region’s natural resources. The Conservancy works in close partnership with the National Park Service Chesapeake Bay Office, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as other federal, state and local agencies, private foundations, and corporations to advance conservation.

Within the Conservancy, the Conservation Innovation Center (CIC) group has become a globally recognized leader in producing data, analyses, and web applications to advance precision conservation and restoration. We have partnered with industry-leading organizations like Microsoft and Esri to help define the next generation of environmental data.



The Program Manager will report to the Director of Conservation Technology, and be responsible for overseeing the full life cycle of a range of projects within the Chesapeake Conservancy’s Conservation Innovation Center. This involves working with project managers and geospatial analysts to scope projects based on overall grant or project timeline, available staff, and available budget. With minimal guidance, the Program Manager will be responsible for timelines and deadlines; coordinating project staff and client expectations and standards; workflow development, training, and execution; troubleshooting; deliverable quality; and client communication. Types of projects include mapping high resolution land cover and flow paths, researching best technical and scientific practices in academic and professional literature, prioritizing restoration efforts of stakeholder groups, producing compelling visuals such as maps and tables for under-resourced partners, and building desktop as well as web tools to facilitate GIS access. Several software packages will be used in producing deliverables, including ArcGIS, ENVI, R, and eCognition as well as Python-based methodologies; training will be provided where necessary, but experience with these is preferred.

Essential functions include:

1. Pipeline management. The candidate must have demonstrated success with managing the full life cycles of multiple complex, cross-functional, client-oriented geospatial analysis projects, from scoping to delivery.

2. Line management. The Program Manager will serve as the direct supervisor to a team of highly skilled analysts and/or project managers. S/he will provide guidance, instruction, troubleshooting support, professional development opportunities, feedback, and evaluation.

3. Project management. Candidates will balance multiple projects and analyst teams. Applicants should have demonstrated experience establishing and monitoring team workflows across several projects and identifying as well as addressing risks to his/her projected timelines. Candidate should be adept at motivating staff to deliver project outcomes.

4. Program administration. The Program Manager will negotiate and oversee high-level components of client contracts, such as evaluating needs, setting project expectations, creating and monitoring budgets, making team assignments, and establishing deliverable schedules. Candidate should have demonstrated experience in front-line client communications.

5. Communicating Conservancy projects to the public. Candidates should be comfortable articulating highly technical projects to the public in presentations (large and small), press releases, and at networking events.

6. Providing training and technical assistance to non-GIS Conservancy staff. On a continuing basis, Conservancy staff members require technical and mapping assistance. The Program Manager will be expected to maintain flexibility for addressing urgent, unplanned needs, providing troubleshooting assistance, and teaching others.



The Program Manager should be an exceptionally organized, dependable, and goal-driven leader with a passion for the mission of the Chesapeake Conservancy – public access, conservation, and education and stewardship of the Bay and its resources. Candidates must be able to challenge conventions, to thrive independently as well as on a team in a relaxed, dynamic office culture, and to think creatively. The Conservancy’s GIS team is a highly collaborative and innovative group, candidates must be able to work and thrive in an entrepreneurial environment. Ideal candidates will participate in brainstorming and planning discussions. A Master’s degree is required, ideally with a concentration in Environmental Science or Geography. Candidates must have authorization to work in the United States. Since the position will be focused almost entirely on geospatial analysis, candidates must demonstrate strong GIS and remote sensing experience. Other essential skills include project management, adaptability, independence in problem solving, strong oral and written communication, and an ability to teach others technical material. Candidates must be adept with geospatial analysis programs (ArcGIS Desktop 10.x). Ideally applicants will have experience with ArcGIS Pro, remote sensing software (ENVI, eCognition), and web and/or Python scripting, although all training necessary to work on the project will be provided.

Chesapeake Conservancy is an equal opportunity employer. Salary and benefits are commensurate with the candidate’s relevant professional experience and/or education. The Conservancy offers a competitive employee benefits package that includes health and dental insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, paid vacation and sick leave, and participation in a retirement savings plan. Opportunities for advancement and professional development are available.  This position will not support relocation assistance.


Interested candidates should reply with a resume and cover letter that explain how your skills and background fit this position. Applicants will be evaluated on a rolling basis, with the goal of hiring as soon as an appropriate candidate is identified. The Chesapeake Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer.