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Postdoctoral Research Associate, Anthropology (Location Negotiable) Posted Mar 30
The Nature Conservancy , Fort Collins, CO

Fort Collins, Colorado, USA. Preferred but office location is negotiable


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. One of our core values is our commitment to diversity. Therefore, we are committed to a globally diverse and culturally competent workforce. Working in 72 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit 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 Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) Global Land’s Program is recruiting a Postdoctoral Research Associate to work with an interdisciplinary team to synthesize and analyze the evidence of the effectiveness of socially-oriented conservation strategies implemented in partnership with indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLC). This project will focus on two IPLC strategies as pathways to social and ecological impact: 1) culturally aligned, environmentally sustainable economic development, and 2) leadership development and capacity building. The research will involve aggregating programmatic information to develop generalizable causal models as informed by existing TNC programs; assessing the evidence behind these causal links; analyzing the conditions and interventions that enhance the likelihood of successful outcomes for people and nature; elucidating knowledge gaps; and identifying opportunities to add to the evidence base through monitoring and evaluation. The results will inform a methodology and/or decision-support tool to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of TNC conservation initiatives involving indigenous and communal lands and focused on economic development and/or leadership development.


The Postdoctoral Research Associate will work directly with TNC scientists and field staff in collaboration with external partners to utilize and build upon existing efforts, such as the IFRI/CIFOR/RECOFTC database on community forestry case study outcomes, the ACES evaluation of community-based natural resource management, the SNAPP working group on Evidence for People and Nature, and others. He/she will identify data gaps within these efforts and conduct a follow-up systematic review of the academic and gray literature on causal links between economic development and/or leadership development and social and ecological impacts. He/she will develop generalizable causal models for these two strategies; assess the strength of existing evidence using identified principles (such as those developed through the Bridge Collaborative); analyze the enabling conditions for success; identify data or information gaps, and propose opportunities fill knowledge gaps through monitoring and evaluation. He/she will also work with TNC practitioners to cross-walk findings in the literature with those observed in the field by TNC staff and through backward-looking remote sensing data to build a synopsis of conservation evidence around these strategies ( This position offers a unique opportunity to publish in high impact journals and disseminate research to key decision-makers inside and outside the organization, while doing applied research that speaks to both theory and practice.

The Postdoctoral Research Associate will be a full-time employee of The Nature Conservancy for one year, with potential to extend to two years.


Aggregate programmatic information to develop generalizable causal models that are rooted in evidence and informed by existing TNC projects.
Create database on the evidence behind causal links that builds upon existing academic and gray literature, systematic reviews, and meta-studies.
Conduct a systematic synthesis of the empirical evidence that may include meta-analysis.
Conduct quality assessment and sensitivity analyses to assess susceptibility of biases.
Participates in workshop(s) with TNC staff in relevant field programs and external partners to refine and review the scientific evidence in conjunction with causal models developed by conservation practitioners.
Disseminate research by publishing in peer-reviewed journals, producing reports, presenting at national conferences, and communicating findings within conservation and IPLC communities.
Collaborate with multi-disciplinary scientists within TNC and across partner institutions.


Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology, Social Science, Environmental Science, Applied Economics, Development Economics, or related/cross-disciplinary fields and at least 1-year related work experience.
Experience in systematic syntheses that may include meta-analytic approaches, data mining (e.g., random forests) using statistical analysis software (e.g., R, WinBUGS, STATA), and design of socio-ecological monitoring and impact evaluations.
Knowledge with culturally aligned and environmentally sustainable economic development models.
Knowledge in literature on environmental and resource economics, development economics, socio-ecological systems, common-pool resources, sustainable development, community-based natural resource management, and conservation biology.
Experience with written and oral communication skills with a proven publication record in peer-reviewed journals and the ability to write technical reports.


Multi-language skills and multi-cultural or cross cultural experience appreciated.
Ph.D. in Anthropology, Social Science, Environmental Science, Applied Economics, Development Economics, or related/cross-disciplinary fields
Familiarity with Geographic Information Systems software (ArcGIS, QGIS) and R, or Python.
Demonstrated experience with spatial analysis.
Willingness to learn new statistical models and software as needed for research.
Ability to work effectively with an interdisciplinary team to meet deadlines. Highly motivated and capable of working independently to complete projects.
Strong organizational and communication skills (both oral and written).
Willingness to travel internationally and work in remote locales.
Experience in international conservation and international science efforts.


The Postdoctoral Research Associate will be a full-time employee of The Nature Conservancy for one year, with potential to extend to two years.


To apply to position number 46371, submit resume (required), cover letter separately using the upload buttons, and contact information for three references. All applications must be submitted in the system prior to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on April 30, 2018.

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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 men and women 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.

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