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 two open positions at The Natural Capital Project:

Postdoctoral position at the Univ of Minnesota Duluth to work with the Large Lakes Observatory and the Natural Capital Project

The Large Lakes Observatory at the University of Minnesota Duluth seeks a postdoctoral researcher for investigations into the ecosystem services of lakes. The researcher will support a 12-month project cataloging the ecosystem services provided by Earth's twenty largest lakes. These lakes include the five North American Great Lakes (Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, Ontario), as well as lakes in Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America. This individual will be based at the University of Minnesota Duluth but will maintain close cooperation with Dr. Bonnie Keeler, Dr. Stephen Polasky, and researchers at the Institute on the Environment, the Natural Capital Project, and the Department of Applied Economics, located on the Twin Cities campus. Opportunities for development of continuing project related to human values and large lakes. We seek applicants with a PhD in ecology, natural resources, economics, or similar field and experience with writing research results for peer-reviewed publication.

Preferred qualifications include experience in assessing and valuing ecosystem services and natural science knowledge of aquatic ecosystems, including their hydrologic and nutrient cycles.

To apply go to (search for Job Req. 197466) or at and complete the application form and provide attachments as follows:

  • Resume/CV
  • Cover letter describing your experience in the subject of ecosystem services and your familiarity level with the natural science of lake ecosystems
  • Copy of graduate transcript showing coursework completed (additional document 1)
  • Contact information for at least two references

Send other correspondence to: Robert Sterner, Large Lakes Observatory, 2205 E 5th Street, Duluth, MN 55812 or email

Screening of applicants will begin on April 21 and will continue until the position is filled.

NatCap Software Engineer - Seattle, WA

The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund, the University of Minnesota, and Stanford University's Woods Institute together seek a Software Engineer to join the Natural Capital Project's "Marine Team" in Seattle, Washington. NatCap's ultimate objective is to improve ecosystems and human well-being by motivating greater and more cost-effective investments in both. At NatCap, Software Engineers develop a variety of custom open-source applications related to mapping the benefits that natural ecosystems provide to people on land and in the ocean. These include the InVEST toolkit of social and ecological production functions, the RIOS land and coastal planning software suite, and several new web-based apps for environmental policy-makers. The candidate will be expected to implement new spatial models and online mapping tools in support of ongoing projects in British Columbia, New England, Belize, Mozambique, and other locations around the world. This may include training end-users such as government employees, NGO staff, or other decision-makers.

The successful candidate will be a friendly, intelligent, self-directed individual who is passionate about working on collaborative software projects for the social good. NatCap software is based on state-of-the-art research from a variety of fields, from oceanography to engineering and economics. So we seek candidates with broad interests and curiosity for a diversity of fields of knowledge and types of projects. NatCap develops use-driven approaches by working closely with decision makers; prospective Engineers should be eager to work "on-the-ground" with partners, developing software that has positive impacts on society. There will be international travel opportunities to work with collaborators.

Required qualifications include a BS in computer science or related discipline, experience working with and/or maintaining open source software projects, understanding of core computer science algorithms and computational complexity, and enjoyment working in a highly collaborative environment on multiple concurrent projects.

We prefer candidates with a MSc in computer science or related discipline, experience with scientific computing and programming languages (R, Python, C, Cython), experience developing web-mapping applications and core technologies (PHP, Javascript, OpenLayers, PostGIS, Leaflet), competency using linux and doing system administration, experience with GIS and geospatial analysis using modern open source tools (QGIS, GDAL, OGR), and strong cartography and data visualization skills.

Review of applications will begin immediately and position will remain open until filled. To be consider for this position, apply to: Please submit a resume and a cover letter that describes relevant previous software projects.

For more information contact Spencer Wood (

NatCap Software Engineer - University of Minnesota

The Natural Capital Project seeks a software engineer to join our University of Minnesota-based team. The candidate will support research and model development for open source software used to assist policy makers in making science-based decisions about the environment. This includes the InVEST (Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs) toolkit, and a host of new online software components under development. Day to day development involves implementing mathematical models of environmental services with a focus on correctness, usability, and performance. Other traditional engineer job functions include developing test suites, implementing new features on existing models, and user support.

We seek applicants with a background in numerical science and previous experience working on open source software. Desired qualifications include experience releasing and supporting software, experience in web design, user interface design, and familiarity with GIS. The successful candidate will be a friendly, intelligent, self-directed individual who is passionate about working on collaborative software projects for the social good. The University of Minnesota NatCap team consists of economists, ecologists, and other fun interdisciplinary types working as part of the vibrant research community at the Institute on the Environment.

Review of applications will begin immediately and position will remain open until filled. For more information, or to apply, visit:

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.