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.

Current open positions at The Natural Capital Project:



Post-doctoral Coastal Engineer/Geophysicist

The Natural Capital Project (NatCap) and the School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences at Stanford University seek a creative individual for a 1-2 year post-doc to develop and apply models quantifying the role that vegetation and reefs play in coastal hazard reduction.

The post-doc will work on models for quantifying the role that vegetation and reefs play in coastal hazard reduction. The post-doc will draw upon NatCap's existing models for coastal protection services provided by wetlands, segrasses, coral and oyster reefs, mangroves, and other coastal vegetation. Working with the SIGMA group (SImulations of Geophysical MultiphAse flows) led by Dr. Jenny Suckale, he/she will develop new computational approaches to modeling the interaction between the coastal ecosystem and the incoming flow. The position requires experience in wave, storm surge and/or nearshore circulation modeling, as well as knowledge of coastal erosion and sediment transport processes. Previous experience in developing numerical models for coupled systems of partial differential equations is highly desirable. The post-doc will also work with economists and social scientists to envision and specify novel connections with other disciplines to better value coastal ecosystems for hazard reduction and human well-being benefits. Finally, the post-doc will work closely with a team of software engineers to ensure the quantitative models are accessbile to users of NatCap's suite of ecosystem service models and contribute to the development of new web-based apps for environmental policy-makers. Thus, we seek candidates with broad interests and experience and curiosity for a diversity of fields of knowledge and types of projects.

The successful candidate will be a friendly, intelligent, self-directed individual who is excited about working on collaborative projects for the social good.NatCap models are intended to aid in the support of coastal and marine management and to be general and widely applicable, so applicants must be passionate about creating simple, elegant, scientifically robust models for decision-making purposes.The successful applicant will support a variety of NatCap engagements that involve coastal hazard modeling, including development planning in the Bahamas and prioritization of investments in restoration and conservation in the US.

The position is located at Stanford University in the School of School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences, Stanford University. The post-doc with have a shared appointment with the Natural Capital Project and with Dr. Jenny Suckale's lab in the School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences. Some national and international travel is required.


Preferred Qualifications

  • Ph.D. in civil engineering, coastal engineering, geology, geophysics, oceanography, or a similar field
  • Experience in wave, storm surge and/or nearshore circulation modeling, coastal erosion and sediment transport processes
  • Experience building and calibrating models, confronting them with limited data and expressing uncertainty
  • Excellent programming skills in C/C++, Matlab, or a suitable substitute
  • Experience working with collaborators from diverse backgrounds and interest in working with interdisciplinary teams
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills

How to Apply: For full consideration, please submit a cover letter, CV, and the names of three references to Dr. Katie Arkema (karkema@stanford.edu) and Dr. Jenny Suckale (jsuckale@stanford.edu) with "Coastal Engineer/Geophysicist Post-doc Application" listed in the subject line. We will begin reviewing applications August 1st, 2015 and the position will remain open until filled.

More information on the Natural Capital Project, a partnership among Stanford University, World Wildlife Fund, The Nature Conservancy and the University of Minnesota can be found at www.naturalcapitalproject.org. The webpage of the SIGMA lab led by Dr. Jenny Suckale is located at sigma.stanford.edu. Stanford University is an equal opportunity employer, and we are especially eager to identify minority persons and women with appropriate qualifications.



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.

To be considered for this position, apply to: https://stanfordcareers.stanford.edu/job-search?jobId=65537. Please submit a resume and a cover letter that describes relevant previous software projects. Review of applications will begin immediately and position will remain open until filled.

For more information contact Spencer Wood (woodsp@stanford.edu).


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.