Opportunities at the Natural Capital Project

Join the NatCap team

Stanford Program Manager

We are looking for a skilled and collaborative leader to help take NatCap operations to the next level. The NatCap Program Manager will join a small team of senior NatCappers responsible for translating the vision to reality. The individual filling this role will work closely with the Faculty Director and the leads for Science & Network and Research Bridging. The Program Manager will lead the Natural Capital Data & Software Platform; the Early Career Fellows Program and Research Collaboration Program; operations & finance, and IT. This hands-on position offers the unique opportunity to shape the organization on the cusp of exciting growth.


  • Direct staff and provide leadership to achieve goals and vision of the organization and the day-to-day
    operations. Responsible for hiring and retaining staff, career coaching, personal development for direct
    reports and accountable for the performance of employees.
    • Make key hires to support the ramp-up of operations, while maintaining a strong culture
  • May independently or in collaboration with human resources managers, guide faculty supervisors in the
    interpretation and implementation of human resources policies, procedures and programs.
    • Build strong relationships across the university to assure efficient operations and support for the
      full range of NatCap activities.
  • Develop business plans and infrastructure to support research and teaching. Provide analysis and review
    of multi-year plans, including providing alternative methods for achieving goals when necessary. Influence
    faculty leadership on specific recommendations for current operation and for future development of the
    organization and lead process improvement.
    • Work with the Faculty Director, Advisory Council, and leadership team to refine and manage:
      • a sophisticated operations environment, supporting finance, communications,
        programs, training, and software development
      • a comprehensive scaling pathway that addresses the operational and administrative
        needs of the university, partner organizations, and stakeholders
      • a fundraising strategy that sustains and diversifies funding sources
    • Strengthen and implement the backend infrastructure, systems and processes in finance,
      operations, business development and software development
  • Interpret, implement and ensure compliance with university academic and administrative policies and
    procedures within an operating unit. Recommend new internal policies, guidelines and procedures.
  • Oversee and/or manage the finances across all sources for the annual budget cycle, including developing,
    monitoring, analyzing forecasting and reporting.
  • Manage and coordinate grants and contracts for the department. Ensure compliance with institutional
    and external requirements.
  • Represent the unit’s business and academic operations within the organization. May represent the
    organization to external constituencies.

* – Other duties may also be assigned

Education & Experience:
Bachelor’s degree and five years of relevant experience in administrative and financial management, or
combination of education and relevant experience. A background in environmental work preferred

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Demonstrated leadership and supervisory skills including conflict resolution.
  • Excellent planning and organizational skills.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Strong financial expertise in accounting, budget planning and financial forecasting.
  • Strong expertise in grants and contract administration.
  • Strong negotiation and interpersonal skills.
  • Attention to detail and accuracy.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Strong expertise in business and management computer applications and databases.
  • Strong knowledge of industry standards and/or regulatory requirements.
  • Subject matter expertise for area(s) of responsibility.
  • Ability to multi-task and manage deadlines.
  • Track record of making key hires, retaining and developing talent, and building a strong team culture
  • Proven comfort in a dynamic team that spans research, operations, software development,
    communications, and stakeholder interactions
  • Demonstrated ability to build strong relationships and implement projects that involve a wide range of
    partners and stakeholders
  • Ability to collaborate and encourage consensus

Certifications and Licenses: None

The Program Manager reports to Faculty Director Gretchen Daily. NatCap is operationally housed in the Stanford
Woods Institute for the Environment and is based at Stanford University. Travel for coordination with network
partners and donors is expected to average approximately 25%.

Get more information and apply at the Stanford Careers page.

Post-doctoral Researcher

Environmental justice and urban ecosystem services

The CREATE Initiative (z.umn.edu/createchange), funded by the University of Minnesota’s Grand Challenge program, seeks a post-doctoral researcher to work on community-engaged, anti-racist research on urban environmental change. The position will be based at the University of Minnesota’s Department of Geography, Environment and Society and supervised by Dr. Kate Derickson and Dr. Bonnie Keeler. The position is funded for two years.

CREATE is co-directed by Dr. Bonnie Keeler (Institute on the Environment, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Natural Capital Project) and Dr. Kate Derickson (Dept. of Geography, Environment and Society) in partnership with faculty across the University of Minnesota and a network of community leaders in the U.S. and internationally. CREATE supports research at the intersections of water and equity, particularly with communities whose priorities have historically been underrepresented in academic research. The CREATE Initiative aims to pilot new models of engaged-scholarship, grounded in historical context, that address geographies of racial inequality, infrastructure investments, and the delivery of environmental services. The Initiative also offers training to graduate students from a range of disciplines interested in designing collaborative co-developed research on environmental justice and water issues.

CREATE will build on ongoing collaborations with the Mapping Prejudice Project – a comprehensive spatial visualization of historical racial covenants that have shaped the development of Minneapolis neighborhoods, the West Atlanta Watershed Alliance, and the Natural Capital Project’s Livable Cities program. Working with community-based partners in Atlanta and Minneapolis, the Initiative is conducting research to identify how past urban infrastructure investments continue to shape outcomes with implications for racial equity and future park and water infrastructure planning.

As part of CREATE, the post-doctoral researcher would conduct research to identify how past urban infrastructure investments continue to shape environmental outcomes with implications for racial equity, water quality, and future policy and planning. We seek a motivated and resourceful scholar interested in playing a leadership role in this new initiative, including developing collaborative relationships with external partners, identifying and exploring research questions at the intersection of water, equity, and urban transformations (past and future), and mentoring students in actionable, community-oriented research. The post-doctoral researcher will also assist with designing and teaching a 1-credit course and participate in supervising and facilitating graduate summer research with community-based collaborators. They will also take a leadership role in planning and writing scholarly papers on the basis of the work of the Initiative.
For more information and to apply see: z.umn.edu/praxislab_CREATEpostdoc

Postdoctoral Associate

Quantifying and mapping 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 (e.g. habitat quality for biodiversity, noise attenuation, physical and mental health services) 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) 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 (e.g. in China and the U.S.); 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 physical and mental health services, habitat quality for biodiversity, and noise attenuation.

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:
PhD in urban ecology, environmental science or 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 environmental engineering or 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: June 2018, 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 mid May.

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.

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.

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!