Project Manager at the Chesapeake Conservancy

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The Chesapeake Conservancy’s Conservation Innovation Center is seeking a Project Manager with demonstrated experience executing the full project management life cycle and GIS in a professional setting.About the Chesapeake ConservancyChesapeake 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. Position DescriptionThe Project Manager, working within the CIC, will be responsible for project management and outreach efforts to support high-resolution land cover and land use mapping in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. This position will help lead a six-year project funded by the Chesapeake Bay Program to update land cover/use data every two years. High-resolution land cover updates will continue a project led by the CIC to produce land cover for the Chesapeake Bay watershed and intersecting counties at a 1-meter resolution for the 2013/14 year. Updates to these datasets will help track development and change in the Chesapeake and help local governments achieve goals in the comprehensive “pollution diet” of the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). Main responsibilities for this position include interfacing with local governments to procure data and obtain feedback on preliminary results, overseeing internal data quality and production processes, and managing relationships with our core partners (the University of Vermont’s Spatial Analysis Lab and the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Land Use Workgroup.)Essential Functions

  1. Interfacing with local governments, municipalities, project partners, and stakeholder organizations. The Project Manager will be the primary point of contact for obtaining input from local (county) governments in the Chesapeake Bay watershed to facilitate the land cover generation process, as well as for project partners including the EPA, USGS, and the Chesapeake Bay Program.
  2. Overseeing and collaborating with team members as well as other project managers. Candidates must be able to lead and navigate team dynamics gracefully and tactfully. This includes setting team morale and culture, engaging peers and supervisors in problem solving, and providing constructive feedback on ideas and problems. Additionally, the CIC team is a highly collaborative and innovative group. Ideal candidates will participate in brainstorming and discussions.
  3. Managing client relationships and expectations. The Project Manager will negotiate and oversee high-level components of client contracts, such as evaluating needs, setting project expectations, making team assignments, and establishing deliverable schedules.
  4. Obtaining, organizing, and processing component datasets. The Project Manager, with his/her team, will be working with a variety of spatial data, including satellite and aerial imagery; LiDAR; national, state, and local vector data; and ecological models. Organization and attention to detail are key skills in working across projects with high volumes of complex data.
  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. Working independently to solve problems and errors. Much of the Conservancy’s work involves finding unique, customized solutions to partners’ challenges. Errors and unknowns will be encountered. The Project Manager will be required to handle a range of technical challenges, to devise solutions based on available web resources, and to assist team members in the same process. Furthermore, Conservancy projects have pushed the boundaries of several purpose-built software packages. When such issues are encountered, the Project Manager must be able to identify them, navigate issues with software support specialists, and disseminate solutions to team members.
  7. Providing training and technical assistance to non-GIS Conservancy staff. On a continuing basis, Conservancy staff members require technical and mapping assistance. The Project Manager will be expected to maintain flexibility for addressing urgent, unplanned needs, providing troubleshooting assistance, and teaching others.
  8. Compiling deliverables and writing grant reports. Projects may be delivered as maps, memos, short or long reports, slide decks, datasets, or grant reports. Applicants should be able to write concisely and effectively, design impactful maps, and communicate progress to funders.


The Project Manager should be an 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. A Bachelor’s degree is required (Master’s preferred), ideally with a concentration in Environmental Science or Geography. Candidates must have authorization to work in the United States. Candidates must demonstrate GIS and remote sensing experience. Other essential skills include adaptability, independence in problem solving, strong oral and written communication, and an ability to teach others technical material. Candidates must be proficient in 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.LocationAnnapolis, MarylandChesapeake 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.  Applications will be reviewed as their materials arrive, with an expected start date in early August 2018.