Opportunities at the Natural Capital Project

Join the NatCap team

Symposium Assistant

The Natural Capital Project at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, which operates as a partnership between Stanford University and the University of Minnesota, The Nature Conservancy, and the World Wildlife Fund, is currently seeking to hire a temporary administrative associate for 10-20 hours per week effective November 6, 2017 until April 27, 2018, excluding the winter break of  December 22, 2017 – January 6, 2018. (There is some flexibility on the exact number of hours; we will guarantee 10 hours a week, but above that hours will vary from week to week, generally increasing as the event dates (March 19-22, 2018) approach. The week of March 19-23 will be at least 40 hours (with potential for pre-approved overtime), working on-site at an annual symposium held at The Munger Conference Center at Stanford). We are a team of academics, software engineers, and real-world professionals with the optimism, commitment, and humility to work together. Our common quest is to shine a light on the intimate connections between people and nature, and to reveal, test, and scale ways of securing the wellbeing of both. It is a small office and the schedule can be quite flexible for this person, who will report to the Lead for Outreach & Training.

Under direct supervision, event planning and general office support including but not limited to:

  • Assisting with event/seminar planning/room reservations/catering/organization
  • Monitoring, coordinating, and reporting event registration, and producing event badges
  • Responding to email and phone inquiries about the event
  • Document design with Microsoft Word and/or Adobe Acrobat, including design and printing of event schedule, session abstracts, and speaker information documents
  • Arranging travel for visitors and scholarship recipients
  • During the event, volunteer coordination and registration table management
  • Coordinating visitor reimbursement process and collating/preparing reimbursement documents for processing
  • Potentially verifying P-card transactions

  • Extreme attention to detail
  • Working knowledge of Google Docs, Word, and Excel


  • Trained to use Stanford University administrative systems (Oracle)
  • Experience processing travel reimbursements in the Stanford system
  • Experience using Constant Contact for event management


  • Constantly perform desk-based computer tasks.
  • Frequently sitting.
  • Occasionally stand/walk, reach/work above shoulders, grasp lightly/fine manipulation, grasp forcefully, use a telephone, sort/file paperwork or parts, lift/carry/push/pull objects that weigh up to 20 pounds.
  • Rarely twist/bend/stoop/squat, kneel/crawl.

* – Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of his or her job.


  • Interpersonal Skills: Demonstrates the ability to work well with Stanford colleagues and clients and with external organizations.
  • Promote Culture of Safety: Demonstrates commitment to personal responsibility and value for safety; communicates safety concerns; uses and promotes safe behaviors based on training and lessons learned.
  • Subject to and expected to comply with all applicable University policies and procedures, including but not limited to the personnel policies and other policies found in the University’s Administrative Guide,http://adminguide.stanford.edu.

The Natural Capital Project is committed to including a diversity of people and organizations in our work to develop robust solutions to environmental challenges. We aim to make our projects inclusive, to engage diverse perspectives and to equitably represent those whom our solutions affect. We strive to nurture diversity in the workplace because we understand that diversity is critical for achieving our organization’s mission and vision. Stanford is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

If interested in applying, please send resume and cover letter to borrebach@stanford.edu. Review of applications will begin 10/2/2017.

Postdoctoral Associate

Understanding and modeling urban ecosystem services

The Natural Capital Project at Stanford seeks a creative and independent researcher to support the development of models, tools, and approaches to assess urban ecosystem services. The postdoc will lead the technical development of the models and their application in case studies in the U.S. and internationally.

The position will be based with The Natural Capital Project at Stanford University, in the lab of Prof. Gretchen Daily (Biology; Natural Capital Project founder and faculty mentor), and will be co- supervised by project lead Dr. Perrine Hamel and Prof. David Freyberg (Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering and project advisor).

The Natural Capital Project (NatCap) is developing practical tools and approaches to account for nature’s contributions to society, and mainstreaming these into policy, finance, and management. NatCap is a partnership among Stanford University, the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment, The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. We are a team of academics, software engineers, and practitioners with the optimism, commitment, and humility to work together. Our common quest is to shine a light on the intimate connections between people and nature, and to reveal, test, and scale ways of securing the well-being of both.

The postdoc will be responsible for: i) improving existing ecosystem services models and developing new models to expand the InVEST (Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs) software suite for applicability in urban environments, working closely with software engineers; ii) leading the application of these tools to conduct ecosystem services assessments in pilot cities in China, the U.S., and elsewhere; and iii) maintaining and expanding our academic network to collaborate with leading groups in the field of urban ecosystem services, particularly through a working group of experts we are convening to develop and test these models. The initial focus of model development will be on stormwater retention, urban heat mitigation, and urban recreation services.

The position is funded for 12 months, with potential to extend the appointment depending on funding and performance. The post-doctoral researcher will be encouraged to collaborate on grants and pursue additional partnerships and funding opportunities through the Natural Capital Project and its partners.

Required Qualifications:
Required Qualifications:
PhD in urban ecology or hydrology, microclimate science, environmental engineering, or related field Experience with environmental modeling in the urban environment
Interest in producing impactful and decision-relevant work Demonstrated excellence in written and oral communications skills

Preferred Qualifications:
Experience working internationally and with diverse non-academic audiences
Experience with ArcGIS or other GIS software and/or processing remotely sensed products Experience developing models in engineering, hydrology, or climate science
Experience with programming languages or applications (MatLab, R, python) Experience supervising interns or undergraduate research assistants International travel experience and foreign language skills

Start date: December 2017, negotiable
Duration: 12 months, with possibility of extension
Compensation: Stanford offers a competitive postdoc salary and benefits package, commensurate with experience

How to apply:
Email your CV and a cover letter describing your experience and interest to perrine.hamel@stanford.edu with URBAN POSTDOC in the subject. Applications will be reviewed as they are received, and we expect to make a decision by Nov 20.

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. More information on the project can be found at www.naturalcapitalproject.org.

Communications Manager

The Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment seeks an experienced communications professional to assume primary responsibility for promoting the research, initiatives and expertise of scholars working with the Natural Capital Project (NatCap), a joint venture of Stanford, the University of Minnesota, World Wildlife Fund, and The Nature Conservancy. The partnership melds world-class academic research with influential conservation practice. NatCap’s Integrated Valuation of Environmental Services and Tradeoffs (InVEST) software suite enables decisionmakers to quantify nature’s values, assess tradeoffs associated with alternative land-use choices, and integrate conservation and human development into land- and water-use and investment decisions.

As the primary communications officer for the Natural Capital Project, the Communications Manager will coordinate and drive the efforts and contributions of NatCap’s partnercommunicators as they support NatCap’s mission of developing practical tools and approaches to account for nature’s contributions to society, so that leaders of countries, companies, communities, and organizations worldwide can make smarter decisions for a more sustainable future.

Core responsibilities of the role include raising the profile of the Natural Capital Project and its findings, tools, experts, and events, as well as facilitating communications internally across the initiative’s partner organizations. The manager will develop and implement communications plans that advance the NatCap’s goals for linking research to action; conceive of and produce editorial content and audio/visual collateral such as news releases, research briefs, social media posts and video/animation scripts; curate NatCap’s monthly newsletter for internal staff; produce a quarterly e-newsletter for external constituents; manage NatCap’s social media channels and website content; staff and promote the Initiative’s annual symposium and other events; and provide essential day-to-day project management and coordination to ensure the project is effectively leveraging the communications resources of its four partners. The Communications Manager reports to the Natural Capital Project’s Chief Strategy Officer, and coordinates closely with the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment’s Associate Director, Communications.

LOCATION: This role is based in Palo Alto at the Stanford Campus, with opportunities to telecommute from locations within the greater San Francisco Bay Area – Monterey Peninsula area.

Under minimal supervision of senior management, provide support in planning, coordinating, and implementing communication programs. Develop internal and external written communications, and design and coordinate media relations programs and efforts. The Communications Manager drives all communications initiatives in support of the goals outlined in NatCap’s Strategic Plan.

Develop, execute and oversee written communications of moderate complexity, including presentations, speeches, news stories, web content, talking points, and correspondence and social media posts.

  • In coordination with NatCap leadership and partner communications directors, develop and drive implementation of short- and long-term comprehensive, dynamic communications plans with key components including objectives, strategies, target audiences, messaging, tactics, and
    program metrics/measurement.
  • Produce content of moderate complexity, including, news stories, social media posts, web content, video scripts, talking points, speeches and correspondence.
    • Conceive, write, and edit editorial content for print and digital formats and provide editing and message development support for communications as well as research staff.
    • Develop initial drafts and edit materials for use by internal and external audiences. Material development may include website content, social media, newsletters, backgrounders, “how to” guides, Q&As, and brochure copy.
    • Provide editing and proofreading support when requested by NatCap directors, faculty, researchers and staff.
    • Ensure all written materials developed by the communications team are of the highest quality and adhere to established writing standards.
  • Assist in developing strategies for brand managements, reputation management, and issues management of moderate complexity.

Participate in regular meetings of key researchers with media relations needs to develop strategies and tactics for facilitating effective communications.

  • Coordinate communications activities across the NatCap partnership (e.g., Stanford, TNC, WWF, University of Minnesota) by building a functioning collaboration with communications professionals at each partner institution. Leverage these resources to build strong a communications function that performs at its full potential, across all partnerships.
  • Develop and implement proactive strategies and tactics for all traditional and social media channels. Develop and oversee a tiered media strategy for proactive outreach across print, web, broadcast and social media.
    • Develop segmented media lists of reporters and bloggers using Cision
    • Act as primary contact for top-tier news media.
    • Coordinate media opportunities including partnering with research program leads and partner institutions.
    • Track and report on earned media hits as well as social media metrics
  • Working with NatCap and Woods leadership, develop and implement an internal communications plan to keep scientists, policy experts, collaborators, staff, and University leadership current on major milestones and ongoing progress across multiple programs.
  • Work with NatCap team members to hone oral and written communications messages and skills.
  • Work with Stanford Woods Central resources to provide presentation and media skill development/coaching to ensure the NatCap team has the communications skills needed to promote their work and expertise to decision makers and the media.

Assist in identifying and maintaining professional relationships with key press and community leaders.

Assist in preparing content for internal or external newsletters. Understand email and digital content distribution.

Identify individuals/groups to attend and/or speak at public meetings or other events. Coordinate media, community or government relations, and ensure logistics and preparations are handled.

  • Draw on Stanford resources to coordinate media, community or government relations and ensure logistics and preparations are handled.

Additional Duties include:

  • Maintain NatCap’s website content and oversee work of web development/maintenance contractors; ensure ease-of-use, updated, relevant and organized content and site analytics.
  • Additional responsibility includes coordinating the NatCap’s promotional activities with Woods Central communications and other key partners, in addition to serving as a meeting facilitator and communications project manager.
    • Participate in regular meetings with NatCap leadership and Woods communications staff.
    • Serve as a project manager responsible for meeting deadlines and milestones related to NatCap communications deliverables
  • Serve as a project leader for miscellaneous public relations activities of small to moderate complexity.

* – Other duties may also be assigned

Education & Experience:
Bachelor’s degree and three years of relevant experience or combination of education and relevant experience.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Excellent written communication skills, reporting skills, and skills in conceptual editing, copy editing, and proof reading.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with internal communications groups across campus.
  • Demonstrated interpersonal skills in working with a variety of people.
  • Capacity to write and synthesize materials and communicate information in a manner easily understood.

Additional desired qualifications include:

  • A solid working knowledge of science communications with an emphasis on conservation and ecosystem services, and related policy challenges and issues.
  • Possess a strong media relations background with experience cultivating media contacts, building targeted media lists, and conceiving, writing, and editing news releases as well as short-form pitches.
  • Ability to work with an external graphic designer to produce websites, factsheets, and other collateral.
  • Comfortable and experience with technology, specifically the Microsoft Office and Adobe software suites, blast email services such as Mailchi

Apply at the Stanford careers page, job number 76437.

Software Engineer

We are a small software engineering team embedded in a cross-disciplinary academic, science, and policy making partnership. Our team develops and supports our open source ecosystem service modeling software, InVEST, as well as PyGeoprocessing, our open source geoprocessing pipeline, and several other tools. We also provide support for data processing, numerical computation, server maintenance, and whatever tasks ease a scientist’s workload. Our daily workflow includes design documents, source control, code review, and test suites. While our software toolkit includes Python, BitBucket, Jenkins, and a bit of Google Cloud. We are fans of “Soul of a New Machine”, “The Pragmatic Programmer”, and “JavaScript: the good parts”.

Our software team has been working at the Natural Capital Project for over 6 years. And we are hiring new engineers to help us develop our next generation platform. This includes the integration of cloud data services into InVEST, reasonable optimization methods, and an end-user workbench. We are seeking engineers that have experience in scientific software development, numerical programming, user interface implementation, and cloud development. We are very open to engineers who have a good track record of developing and deploying any kind of significant software project.

To apply, submit a traditional CV with work and school experience and a cover letter describing why you would be a good fit for this position. If possible, please include examples of a code portfolio or links to any software you have developed. We’re also interested in other things you’ve created, books, art, design, even back to childhood. Anything that shows a standing dedication to long term projects.

Our main office is located on the beautiful Stanford campus. Though many days we meet at local coffee shops and libraries in the area. We offer a relaxed and flexible work environment.

Feel free to check out our work on BitBucket: bitbucket.org/natcap


  • BS, MS, or Ph.D. in Computer science or equivalent required.
  • Experience developing and deploying a significant software project.


  • Experience in open source software development or software for scientific applications.
  • Experience scripting or programming in GIS especially the GDAL and OGR libraries.
  • Experience with distributed computing or cloud development.
  • Experience in user interface design and implementation especially with the Qt5 library.

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. More information on the project can be found at www.naturalcapitalproject.org.

Apply at the Stanford careers page, job number 76177.

Fellows Program

Scientists interested in pursuing research that aligns with the mission and programs of the Natural Capital Project can engage with us as a NatCap Fellow. This mechanism provides mid- to late-career researchers and professionals with the opportunity to work with NatCap for a short time. It is intended for researchers who have defined a specific project to work on in collaboration with NatCap, and a position to which they will return following this Fellowship (e.g., an academic sabbatical). The Fellowship is designed to provide a self-directed and mutually beneficial learning environment, we hope to learn as much from you and your research as you do from us. Fellows are initiated only after mutual agreement and identification of a primary liaison from NatCap, who will foster mutual learning with other researchers and the broader NatCap team.

If you are interested in engaging with NatCap as a Fellow, discuss first with one of our Lead Scientists or co-founders, and we can take the discussions from there!