Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment LogoTNC logoWWF logoInstitute on the Environment at University of Minnesota

Open Positions

We are a partnership among Stanford University's Woods Institute for the Environment, University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment, The Nature Conservancy, and World Wildlife Fund, developing approaches and tools to model and map the distribution of biodiversity and the flow of multiple ecosystem services across land- and seascapes.

There are currently several open positions at The Natural Capital Project:

GIS Programmer Analyst

NatCap seeks a creative and talented geographer or ecologist for a GIS programmer analyst position to advance the development, testing and application of terrestrial and freshwater ecosystem service models.

The successful candidate will contribute to NatCap's ongoing efforts to provide process-based ecosystem service modeling in support of decision making around the world. To date, these efforts have resulted in InVEST, a tool that tracks the production and valuation of ecosystem services, and RIOS, a landscape optimization support tool for watershed services. The programmer analyst will develop, program, improve and apply spatially-explicit ecosystem services models written in Python. In addition, they will gather, create and prepare digital data needed for GIS analysis. The programmer analyst will work in close collaboration with NatCap's interdisciplinary team, which includes scientists, economists and software engineers, to produce simple, scientifically robust models that have outputs that resonate with stakeholders and decision makers.

Our core team is located in Seattle, Washington, DC, University of Minnesota and Stanford, and we have active partners around the globe. This position will be based at Stanford. It will require extensive interaction with interdisciplinary teams and some travel.

Required Qualifications

  • B.S. and/or M.S. in geography, ecology, agricultural or natural resource sciences, mathematics, or a related field
  • Expertise in GIS and geospatial analysis
  • Strong quantitative skills and proficiency in the Python programming language
  • Ability to work effectively on multiple concurrent projects
  • Excellent communication skills

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience working with large datasets, including raster, vector and tabular
  • Experience applying or developing social and/or ecological models in the context of natural resource and/or land-use management
  • Experience with both ArcGIS and QGIS
  • Experience working with collaborators from diverse backgrounds and capacity to engage with interdisciplinary teams
  • Proficiency in Spanish a plus

Term: One year fixed term with possible extension, contingent upon funding and programmatic needs.

To apply, visit Stanford University's Career Page and search for Job Number 61879.

Post-Doctoral Opportunity In Boreal Forest Ecosystem Services

We are seeking applications for a post-doctoral associate in ecosystem services and/or environmental economics to work with Dr. Peter Reich (Department of Forest Resources) and NatCap Director Dr. Steve Polasky (Departments of Applied Economics and Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior) at University of Minnesota. Both Reich and Polasky are also Fellows of the Institute on the Environment at UMN, our partner, which is a major supporter of this project. This research will be part of, and extend, both a long-running boreal forest ecosystem science project (led by Reich) and environmental economics/ecosystem services work (led by Polasky). Additionally, the project will interface with ongoing biodiversity-ecosystem services synthesis projects Reich is involved in. The appointment is for one year with potential for renewal depending on performance, to begin as soon as possible. The specific research project to be conducted will depend on the interests of the successful applicant, however its focus will be on ecosystem services, the factors contributing to their quantity and quality, their value to society, and how these may evolve under multiple global change drivers.

Desired Qualifications

Ph.D. in ecosystem ecology, natural resources ecology, economics, or other relevant field. Interest in bridging ecological and economic sciences.

Prefered Qualifications

Experience in bridging ecological and economic sciences.

Questions should be addressed to Dr. Peter Reich (

How to Apply: send electronically a statement of research interests, a CV, and three letters of recommendation to Cindy Buschena ( with the subject line: Boreal Forest Ecosystem Services Post-Doc Search. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

Stanford University is committed to equal opportunity through affirmative action in employment and we are especially eager to identify minority persons and women with appropriate qualifications.


Junior Scientist

The Institute on the Environment seeks a Junior Scientist to work with the Natural Capital Project on the modeling and assessment of ecosystem services. The Junior Scientist will assist with spatial modeling and ecosystem service analyses in agricultural and urban landscapes in Minnesota and abroad. Projects include mapping and valuing the costs and benefits of urban parks and green spaces and planning agricultural landscapes for multiple benefits (habitat, agricultural production, water quality, flood mitigation, etc). Primary duties will include spatial analysis using a GIS, running the open-source software suite InVEST on alternative land-use scenarios, completing data collection, processing, and analysis tasks, working with stakeholder communities, and assisting with research and writing of results.

Applications will be reviewed immediately and position will be open until filled.  Please apply for this position online.

Stanford University is committed to equal opportunity through affirmative action in employment and we are especially eager to identify minority persons and women with appropriate qualifications.