Senior Conservation Scientist

Closing date: 2022-06-01
Position: Senior Conservation Scientist
Organization: Defenders of Wildlife
Country: United States
State: District of Columbia
Contact: Lindsay Rosa
Contact Email:

The Senior Conservation Scientist plays a lead role in providing support, building capacity, and advancing research on conservation science issues.  As a senior team member of the Center for Conservation Innovation (CCI), the Senior Conservation Scientist leads a team which enhances the work of the organization to improve imperiled species and habitat conservation by integrating quality science into Defenders’ programs and by ensuring that Defenders’ science is informed by emerging policy and technology.

Reporting to the director of CCI, the Senior Conservation Scientist is the science point-person at Defenders. A significant part of this role is managing junior technical and scientific staff and interns to achieve effective integration of science in Defenders programs and partnerships. S/he oversees a variety of projects, including analysis of large and complex spatial and non-spatial datasets, outreach through visuals and web apps, and distribution of best available science. The Senior Conservation Scientist is responsible for understanding, developing, and integrating foundational and cutting-edge scientific principles and approaches to Defenders’ work.  S/he applies expertise to ensure the accurate interpretation and strategic use of science to progress Defenders’ priorities, encouraging innovative approaches to benefit wildlife conservation on the ground and through policy. The Senior Conservation Scientist serves as an advocate and spokesperson for science-based conservation and works to cultivate partnerships internally and with other organizations to advocate for conservation strategies. The position will work with our team of scientists and help develop new tools and ideas for strategically using data to improve biodiversity conservation policies and practices.

The Senior Conservation Scientist will manage a team of conservation scientists and GIS analysts to 1) provide in-house science support for Defenders, 2) build science capacity and infrastructure internally and externally, and 3) lead/advise Defenders in advancing best available science for wildlife conservation. These areas of responsibility will generally represent 60%, 20%, and 20% of the team’s time, respectively. Providing leadership and team management may represent up to 60% of the Senior Conservation Scientist’s time.

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About Organization
Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities.

Founded in 1947, Defenders of Wildlife is the premier U.S.-based national conservation organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of imperiled species and their habitats in North America. Defenders’ approach is direct and straightforward – We protect and restore imperiled species throughout North America by transforming policies and institutions and by promoting innovative solutions. We speak with one voice informed by scientific, legal and policy expertise, hands-on wildlife management experience and effective advocacy.

Our team has the experience and knowledge to engage in any arena to protect wildlife—Congress, the courts, federal and state agencies, academia and public debate—and does so tirelessly and effectively. Our field offices give us a grounding in the ecosystems and communities where we work, allowing us to engage the public, build support for conservation and develop practical solutions that will stand the test of time. Fueled by the commitment of our members, partners and supporters, we are building a powerful, enduring voice for wildlife conservation.