Associate Conservation Scientist, Rocky Mountain West

  • Wildlife Conservation Society
  • Fort Collins, CO, USA
  • Mar 21, 2018
Full time Biology - Ecology Conservation/ Natural Resources

Job Description

The Rocky Mountain West (RMW) Region is one of 16 Global Priority Regions that represent the “last of the wild” – the globally important, high biodiversity places on earth where WCS’s conservation efforts are focused. The RMW Region encompasses the Southern Rockies near the US-Mexico border through the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks in British Columbia, and is home to iconic American wildlife including wolves, grizzly bears, elk, caribou, bison, and wolverine. WCS’s mission for the RMW Region is: to establish, expand, and strengthen an efficientand effective network of permanent protected areas embedded in a matrix of well-managed public, private, and tribal lands that together secure the long-term needs of wildlife facing a growing human footprint and threats from climate change and water scarcity.

Position Objectives:

•Work with RMW Director, Science Director, and RMW team to facilitate development of a shared vision establishing conservation priorities across the RMW region.
•Lead innovative applications of social sciences and working with communities to achieve RMW program objectives and improve conservation outcomes.
•Engage diverse constituencies in the RMW region, including rural and urban communities, as well as traditional stakeholders, such as public, private and
indigenous partners, to understand their perspectives, promote collaboration, and advance shared conservation priorities.

Principal Responsibilities (*Indicates high priority responsibilities in first 18 months):

•Work with state and federal land and wildlife management agencies, community leaders, and other partners in three mountain resort communities (Durango, Aspen, Telluride) to increase the effectiveness of private land development and stewardship ordinances to reduce negative interactions between people and wildlife.
•Develop and test the effectiveness of new communication approaches, such as social network theory, to increase voluntary compliance with best practices for private land stewardship and ensure human-wildlife coexistence in mountain resort communities.
•Identify opportunities to contribute WCS expertise to community planning processes and influence private land development and stewardship decisions to increase protection of habitat connectivity across public and private lands.
•Engage with land and wildlife managers to elicit their needs for conservation planning assistance with wildlife and wild places that have high potential for conflict between recreation and conservation goals in the Southern Rockies.
•Contribute to development of an online engagement platform to inspire local, seasonal, and urban residents to connect with nature and contribute to a vision for wildlife conservation in the Southern Rockies.
•Participate in the design and implementation of conservation social science relating to WCS research projects for wildlife conservation.
•Publish and disseminate scientific and management information on the use and effectiveness of conservation social science as applied to projects focused on priority RMW species.
•Ensure the RMW team can gather, analyze and apply conservation social science data on wildlife to conservation planning, monitoring, and action across county and state lines and governmental sectors.
•Fundraise in collaboration with RMW team for high-priority conservation and research projects and provide technical expertise to implement grants that involve conducting applied social science research and working with communities; support grant reporting where relevant.
•Engage in research partnerships that connect WCS’s regional and cross-cutting programs to further conservation in the Americas.
•Promote conservation of priority wildlife in the RMW through publications, coordination with government partners and other stakeholders, and other forums.
•Promote wildlife conservation in in the RMW with national and local governments, NGOs, donors and other stakeholders through meetings, speaking engagements, media interviews, writing, and general communications.

Qualification Requirements

•Demonstrated commitment to conservation and the mission of the Wildlife Conservation Society.
•PhD degree in a field related to conservation social sciences, conservation biology or wildlife ecology preferred.
•Experience translating science research into practical and applied guidance for conservation and management, preferably on the topic of human-wildlife coexistence. 
•Demonstrated experience effectively engaging with local communities, private landowners, conservation NGO's, county planners and state and federal land and wildlife management agencies.
•Demonstrated ability to organize and facilitate workshops and working group meetings.
•Demonstrated strong writing and oral communications skills to effectively communicate project findings to a broad constituency, including both scientific and lay audiences 
(e.g., scientists, policy staff, managers, donors, and the general public).
•Record of successful fundraising, grant writing, and research proposals.
•Ability to work in a range of cultural contexts.
•A strong publication record in wildlife/social science preferred.
•Thorough understanding of wildlife conservation social science issues in North America.
•Strengths in working both independently and as a member of a team.
•Willingness to travel extensively in the RMW region and beyond.

Equal Opportunity Employer

Remember to say you found this opportunity at


Nonprofit- NGO