Opportunities at the Natural Capital Project

Join the NatCap team

Open Positions

Natural Capital Project
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.

Natural Capital Project
Postdoctoral Associate
Advancing hydrologic modeling for ecosystem services

The Natural Capital Project at Stanford seeks a creative and application-oriented hydrologist to support the assessment of hydrologic ecosystem services and targeting of land management and development choices. The focal hydrological services are water regulation (flood mitigation, baseflow regulation) and sedimentation. The postdoc will support development of a parsimonious flood risk model and application of existing watershed hydrology models in innovative ways to support two studies on the valuation and prioritization of land management activities to support ecosystem services. The position will be based with The Natural Capital Project at Stanford University, in the lab of Dr Gretchen Daily (Natural Capital Project founder and faculty mentor), and will be co-supervised by project leads Dr Adrian Vogl and Dr Perrine Hamel, and Prof David Freyberg (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering).

The Natural Capital Project (NatCap) aims to mainstream natural capital approaches by developing practical tools and approaches to account for nature’s contributions to society, so that leaders of countries, companies, communities, and organizations worldwide can create a more sustainable future. NatCap is a partnership among Stanford University, the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment, The Nature Conservancy, and World Wildlife Fund.

The postdoc will: (i) develop or refine models to link land use change with flood risk and inundation change in selected case study areas, (ii) develop or refine models to link land management with sedimentation and seasonal water regulation in the Himalayas (Nepal and Pakistan), (iii) simulate different watershed management and green infrastructure solutions to estimate their likely impacts on hydrologic services, and inform optimization/prioritization of watershed investments.

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:
Ph.D. in hydrology, geography, water resources engineering or related field.
Interest in applied conservation science and producing impactful and decision-relevant work.
Experience with hydrologic models (SWAT and InVEST preferred).
Experience with ArcGIS or other GIS software.
Interest in and affinity for working in interdisciplinary research teams.
Effective and responsive team member with track record of successful collaborative engagements.
Demonstrated excellence in written and oral communications skills.

Preferred Qualifications:
Experience working internationally and with diverse non-academic audiences.
Experience developing and adapting hydrologic models to support decisions in data-limited contexts.
Experience with open-source software and programming languages or applications (MatLab, R, python).
Experience supervising interns or undergraduate research assistants.
International travel experience and foreign language skills.

Start date: Sep 15, 2017
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 avogl@stanford.edu with HYDRO POSTDOC in the subject. Applications will be reviewed as they are received, and we expect to make a decision by Aug 31.

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.

NatCap is hiring a postdoc with remote sensing expertise at the University of Minnesota. This postdoc will support a series of three workshops that will bring together the earth observation and ecosystem services communities. The postdoc will provide critical intellectual input to identify linkages between Earth observation (EO) products and ecosystem service models, develop proof-of-concept products for more easily attainable integration, and facilitate collaboration and grant development for cutting-edge projects. This is a one-year position. There is the possibility for an extension of the position to execute a related project focused on grassland productivity in Mongolia.

The ideal candidate has extensive experience using EO data and is well-versed in the extent of data products as well as about their limitations. The candidate must be interested in developing users for EO data and in the theoretical as well as practical challenges that non-experts face in integrating EO for applications. Interest in ecosystem services is critical; experience with specific ecosystem service assessment is beneficial not but required.

The primary role of this position will be to produce two peer-reviewed papers. One will focus on concrete examples of how EO products could be used in existing ES valuation tools, providing examples and demonstrating varying levels of difficulty of this integration. A second will be more theoretical, laying out the different ways that EO could be used in ES valuation and providing a framework for development of novel ES valuation approaches designed with EO as an integral part. Both of these papers will provide guidelines to the wider community on how best to go about integrating EO into ES valuation.

This postdoc will also provide meeting support, including working directly with potential participants in both the remote sensing community and the ecosystem services community. This provides an excellent opportunity to expand your network, but it does require talking to people and organizational skills.

More information and application instructions online at UMN: http://environment.umn.edu/contact/employment/

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!