Director of Geospatial Science


National Audubon Society


Thursday, February 1, 2018

Start Date

Thursday, February 1, 2018


Now in its second century, Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Audubon’s mission is engaging people in bird conservation on a hemispheric scale through science, policy, education and on-the-ground conservation action.  By mobilizing and aligning its network of Chapters, Centers, State and Important Bird Area programs in the four major migratory flyways in the Americas, the organization will bring the full power of Audubon to bear on protecting common and threatened bird species and the critical habitat they need to survive.  And as part of BirdLife International, Audubon will join people in over 100 in-country organizations all working to protect a network of Important Bird Areas around the world, leveraging the impact of actions they take at a local level.  What defines Audubon’s unique value is a powerful grassroots network of nearly 500 local chapters, 23 state offices, 41 Audubon Centers, Important Bird Area Programs in 50 states, and 700 staff across the country.  Audubon is a federal contractor and an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).

Position Summary

Earth observation and geographic information systems (GIS) are fast growing and important components of Audubon’s technical capacity to accomplish conservation. Reporting to the Chief Scientist, the Director of Geospatial Science will: (1) provide expertise on the application of geospatial technologies, especially remote sensing, to conservation issues; (2) lead an interdisciplinary team that builds new mapping approaches and guides the strategic use of spatial information to inform policy and conservation practices, and (3) support Audubon leadership with management and fundraising efforts.

The successful candidate will be experienced in:

  • Assembling and processing conservation science data sets from a variety of sources
  • Analyzing multispectral satellite imagery to estimate vegetation status and trends, and other land-water surface states and fluxes
  • Addressing research questions through computer programming, environmental modeling and assessment

Candidates should also include a cover letter when applying to this position.

Essential Functions

  • Apply GIS and remote sensing techniques to key ecological and conservation questions.
  • Coordinate GIS assets in support of Audubon’s strategic plan and initiatives.
  • Acquire multi-sensor satellite imagery (e.g. Landsat, Sentinel-2, MODIS, VIIRS) for land cover change mapping.
  • Manage, process, analyze and edit large volumes of geospatial data using high performance or cloud computing, such as ArcGIS Server/Enterprise or Google Earth Engine.
  • Establish relationships with partners at federal, state and local levels, academia, private industry and NGOs.
  • Develop return-on-investment analyses to guide future investments in geospatial data and systems.
  • Provide leadership in collaboration and sustainability of geospatial data.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Ph.D. with 3-5 years experience in remote sensing and GIS; experience with artificial intelligence is strongly preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage teams with both science and information technology professionals.
  • Demonstrated success in establishing new partnerships with government, for profit and non-profit groups.
  • Strong fundraising and grant management skills.
  • Clear track record of success in operational roles – taking ideas from concept to design to execution, and linking objectives and outcomes to strategic goals.
  • Working knowledge of image processing software such as ArcGIS 10.x/Pro, extensions (Spatial Analyst/3D Analyst) and others (e.g. ERDAS Imagine, ENVI/IDL, eCognition, or open source alternatives).
  • Experience in developing geospatial models (including dynamic modeling) and script writing (e.g. Python, R, etc.).
  • Proficiency with MS Office applications and web-based budgeting/database systems required; experience with Salesforce a plus.
  • Interest in producing impactful and decision-relevant work at scale, working with an interdisciplinary team.
  • Strong public speaking and writing skills.
  • Willingness to travel out of state and work occasional nights and weekends, as needed.
  • Genuine passion for conservation and the mission of the National Audubon Society.