Lead Geospatial Data Scientist

The Institute for Integrative Conservation (IIC) at William & Mary is seeking a Lead Geospatial Data Scientist to lead and direct, in collaboration with external conservation partner organizations, applied conservation research projects that employ quantitative geospatial approaches and to teach geospatial and quantitative skills courses. This is a 12-month professional faculty appointment. Salary is up to $75,000 commensurate with experience.


The successful candidate will have a PhD in a suitable field that demonstrates their applications of geospatial data science to conservation and will have 3-5 years of experience working on applied conservation projects. The candidate will also be expected to apply for external research funding to support projects and to contribute to the strategic leadership of the IIC. We are looking for a highly collaborative person who has experience working across disciplines and with a diverse set of stakeholders in conservation projects. Candidates should clearly articulate how their work complements other conservation-related activities at William & Mary.


Responsibilities include but are not necessarily limited to the following:

  • Teach two courses per semester (fall and spring). The courses will include undergraduate courses in Introduction to Conservation GIS, Quantitative Methods in Conservation, and other relevant geospatial, data science, remote sensing, or natural science courses as fits curricula needs and the expertise of the successful candidate.
  • Contribute to teaching and training in a summer conservation leadership program. Starting in summer 2023 or 2024, the IIC intends to offer a summer program in conservation leadership that will include training in geospatial techniques and applications. The successful candidate will contribute to the development and teaching of relevant elements of that summer program.
  • Lead applied conservation research projects in areas of geospatial data science. The successful candidate will collaborate with external conservation partner organizations in applied research projects. In many of those projects, the candidate will mentor students (undergraduate and graduate) who are playing key roles in the project. In some projects, the students will be the lead and the candidate will be in an advisory role.
  • Collaborate with internal W&M and external conservation partners to increase geospatial data science capacities and implementation on projects. In some situations, the successful candidate will help to train partners so that they can become suitably proficient for their own geospatial needs.
  • Apply for external research funds to support the geospatial-related research programs of the IIC
  • Contribute to the strategic leadership of the IIC and to lead and/or collaborate with partners in emerging applied conservation projects


All applications must be submitted through the W&M online portal at: https://jobs.wm.edu/postings/44520. Applicants should submit a CV and a cover letter that addresses how they meet the required and preferred qualifications listed below and enter the contact information for three professional references. Each candidate must also submit a 1-2 page document that addresses how they would express the values of the IIC while in this position (https://www.wm.edu/offices/iic/about/index.php).


Required qualifications:

  • PhD in suitable field to demonstrate proficiency in geospatial data science (e.g. geography, landscape ecology, conservation biology)
  • Several years of experience with applied conservation research
  • Demonstrated ability to teach an undergraduate introductory conservation GIS course
  • Demonstrated ability to teach an undergraduate quantitative methods in conservation course
  • Demonstrated commitment to and achievements in justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI)
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and leadership qualities
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English, including the ability to present complex issues to non-specialist audiences


Preferred qualifications:

  • Track record of grant writing and attaining external funding
  • Demonstrated success in collaborations with conservation organizations (e.g. NGOs, state or federal agencies, private companies)
  • Demonstrated experience with participatory GIS or collaborations involving Indigenous Peoples and local communities as conservation partners
  • Demonstrated experience in mentoring and supervising students or staff in research projects
  • Ability to offer an undergraduate conservation course in a natural sciences topic (e.g. biodiversity, conservation biology)
  • Experience with travel abroad, to non-English speaking countries
  • Previous knowledge of or desire to learn languages other than English


We will hold an information session about this position on Zoom at 11am-12pm (Eastern US) on Monday November 22, 2021: https://cwm.zoom.us/j/92496954865


Through this session, we hope to answer questions about the position and the IIC and help to demystify the academic job application process. We recommend that attendees anonymize their Zoom ID before logging on and keep their videos turned off so as not to reveal their identities to other attendees. We will receive questions through the chat function.


William & Mary values diversity and invites applications from underrepresented groups who will enrich the research, teaching and service missions of the university. The university is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and encourages applications from women, minorities, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities.


Contact info for questions: 

Robert Rose

Executive Director

Institute for Integrative Conservation

William & Mary