Founded in 1951, the Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable.  One of our core values is our commitment to diversity. Therefore, we strive for a globally diverse and culturally competent workforce. Working in 79 countries and territories, including all 50 United States, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.

The Nature Conservancy offers competitive compensation, 401k or savings-plan matching for eligible employees, excellent benefits, flexible work policies and a collaborative work environment. We also provide professional development opportunities and promote from within. As a result, you will find a culture that supports and inspires conservation achievement and personal development, both within the workplace and beyond.


The Island Scientist provides leadership and support in conservation biology and ecology for The Nature Conservancy’s Santa Cruz Island Preserve as a member of the California Islands Science Team.  The Island Scientist identifies key problems and knowledge gaps; designs, oversees, and facilitates monitoring and research programs; and plans and oversees conservation management, restoration and climate change resilience projects. The Island Scientist works as a member of multidisciplinary project teams which include other scientists and is an island conservation thought leader in the wider conservation and research community.


The Island Scientist provides technical and scientific leadership and support for conservation projects of The Nature Conservancy on Santa Cruz Island and in partnership with managers of the other islands of the Californias (the Pacific Islands of the states of California and Baja California [Mexico]), with a focus on the terrestrial biota. The Island Scientist leads and supports conservation planning, applied research projects, and implementation of conservation management strategies on Santa Cruz Island and across the islands of the Californias archipelago. The Island Scientist coordinates and advances the Santa Cruz Island Project’s applied research agenda and facilitates field work and logistical support for research, monitoring and conservation management. The Island Scientist works as a member of multidisciplinary teams including other scientists, and with partners from the University of California Santa Cruz Island Field Station, Channel Islands National Park, U.S. Navy and other organizations, agencies, and academic institutions. The Island Scientist has an up-to-date understanding of projected effects of climate change and of strategies to address those effects on conservation targets. The Island Scientist independently identifies conservation challenges and applies the scientific approach to help address them. The Island Scientist strategically and effectively communicates – through publication and oral presentation – the science to inform conservation in islands and island habitats in California and to export select, high priority conservation strategies and practices to islands elsewhere.


  • Develop adaptive management plans, conceptual models and design ecosystem conservation strategies.
  • Identify knowledge gaps and research needs in terrestrial ecology;
  • Work with the Island Science Team to identify applied research priorities
  • Develop, manage and oversee programs within a conservation area or program.
  • Facilitate applied research and the development of collaborative applied research enterprises that address those priorities.
  • Build and leverage a network of external scientific collaborators in academia, government, for-profit and non-profit sectors to deliver the science needed to advance the Conservancy’s conservation strategies.
  • Coordinate field and logistical support for applied research conducted by research partners, contractors, and grantees.
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of cutting-edge conservation strategies.
  • Ensure that the Conservancy’s decision-support tools and conceptual models are built on strong scientific foundations.
  • Deliver tools, biodiversity data, field services and training to staff and partners.
  • Write and manage grants, contracts, and requests for proposals (RFPs).
  • Design and conduct field surveys, assessments and experiments, manage data, write project reports and proposals,
  • Supervise staff on a project basis and coordinate fieldwork and logistical support for research, project development and monitoring.
  • Must work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations on Santa Cruz Island and elsewhere in hazardous terrain and under physically demanding circumstances.


  • Master’s Degree in science related field and 2 years of experience or equivalent combination of education and experience. Experience managing staff, project, workloads and finances under deadlines.
  • Experience synthesizing, interpreting and communicating scientific information.
  • Experience preparing reports of findings.
  • Record of peer reviewed publications in scientific journals.
  • Experience working and communicating with a wide range of people.


  • Multi-language skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.
  • Strong knowledge of common software applications.
  • Proven negotiation skills.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Training experience.
  • Ability to meet deadlines.


To apply to position number 49144, submit resume and cover letter separately using the upload buttons. Applications will be reviewed in the order they’re received and the position will be closed to any new application by December 9th at 8:59 PM PST. 

Click “submit” to apply for the position or “save for later” to create a draft application for future submission. Once submitted, applications cannot be revised or edited. Failure to complete required fields may result in your application being disqualified from consideration.

If you experience technical issues, please refer to our applicant user guide or contact applyhelp@tnc.org.

The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Our commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our conservation mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of people of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and culture. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects our global character is a priority and we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military, protected veteran status or other status protected by law.

The successful applicant must meet the requirements of The Nature Conservancy’s background screening process.