Department: Forest Restoration
Reports to: Director, Climate Science
FLSA Category: Exempt
Date: August 29th, 2023
American Forests is a national non-profit organization committed to creating healthy and resilient forests from cities to wilderness, that deliver essential benefits for climate, people, water and wildlife. We advance our mission through forestry innovation, place-based partnerships to plant and restore forests, and movement building. We envision a world in which the significant environmental, societal and economic benefits of forests are fully realized and equitably available to all people. Established in 1875, American Forests is the oldest national non-profit conservation organization in the U.S. working to restoring urban forests and forested landscapes for nearly 150 years.
American Forests is proud to be a diverse, equitable, inclusive and accessible workplace. These are our shared values. We welcome individuals who bring a variety of backgrounds and experiences to be a part of our team to help make a difference individually and collectively as we work toward achieving our mission. We are committed to fostering an environment that is welcoming and respectful and provides opportunities for advancement and professional growth for every team member.
America’s forests and forest products offer one of the best natural climate solutions we have, and research shows that our forest climate benefits can be doubled by scaling forest conservation and management. However, the strength of this forest climate benefit is also highly dependent on future climate conditions, and effective climate-smart management decisions must be made with this risk in mind. Likewise, land managers and stakeholders are grappling with how best to adapt to rapidly changing conditions in forest ecosystems and the environment at large. American Forests’ Innovation Lab works with stakeholders to understand these dynamics and deliver analysis, tools, and knowledge to enhance decision-making capabilities of land managers and governments that can boost forests’ climate benefits and adaptive capacity.
The Senior Manager, Climate Science will support this work by conducting new and ongoing research related to climate-smart forestry and future risks to forests imposed by climate change. The Senior Manager, Climate Science will compile forest carbon and climate data for analysis and database inclusion, support existing research partnerships, align and integrate stakeholder perspectives into the design of analyses and decision support tools, and synthesize key analysis takeaways to support the Policy and Communications teams. This position will collaborate with staff from American Forests’ GIS and Data Science Team and Resilient Forests program across a range of disciplines and projects.
Climate Risks and Adaptation Research and Partnerships (35%)
- Manage American Forests’ engagement in ongoing research partnerships and collaborative projects related to future climate risks and climate adaptation practices.
- Assist in the development and management of public-private partnerships creating tools, such as the USDA Forest Service (USFS) Climate Risk Viewer, capable of delivering datasets and frameworks for risk assessment related to climate change and ecological disturbance on federal public lands.
- Integrate stakeholder insights and perspectives into product design, testing, and delivery—consulting land managers and stakeholders in use case identification.
- Assist in the facilitation of stakeholder consultations and collaborative discussions regarding the application of climate change risk data and spatial analysis tools in the development of land management strategies, plans, and other decision-making processes on public forest lands.
Climate-Smart Forestry Research and Analysis (35%)
- Work with American Forests’ Innovation Lab and partners at the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science (NIACS), Michigan State University (MSU), USFS, Canadian Forest Service (CFS), state agencies, and others to conduct new research on carbon impacts of forest management practices.
- Support data gathering and analysis from geospatial datasets, Forest Inventory and Analysis databases, USFS timber product reports, demonstration projects, and other sources. This work will include writing and editing code in R and Python.
- Support writing of project reports and peer-reviewed publications.
- Support policy outreach and communications efforts with partners at state natural resource agencies.
Forest Carbon and Climate Impacts Data Analysis (10%)
- Respond to data and analysis requests from American Forests’ teams related to forest carbon trends or projections. Examples may include compiling forest carbon and disturbance statistics to support our Policy Team’s efforts or helping design data visualizations, infographics, and content for communications assets and strategies.
- Collect and analyze necessary data to answer requests in a timely manner, thoroughly documenting process and data sources.
- Explore new uses of forest carbon data to promote forest conservation and management and the climate-smart forestry strategies and conservation approach of our Resilient Forests program.
External Communication and Outreach (10%)
- Support or conduct outreach and presentations to regional stakeholders and policymakers to promote research and results.
- Support or conduct public presentations at conferences and meetings as appropriate, either virtually or in person.
- Conduct site visits and field tours as appropriate to support the demonstration and deployment of climate-smart forestry practices.
Project and Data Management (10%)
- Participate in regular meetings for ongoing and new research partnerships.
- Build and maintain relationships on behalf of American Forests with key contacts within public agencies, as well as with other partners and stakeholders.
- Coordinate with American Forests’ GIS & Data Science team on mapping needs, data storage, etc.
- Coordinate with American Forests’ Communications team on promotion of new research, posting project updates and new publications on our website, and other tasks. Write blog posts or magazine articles as requested.
- Administrative duties as assigned.
This position will require technical work collecting, compiling, and utilizing forest ecosystem and wood products data, writing and maintaining data analysis scripts, and summarizing results for outreach and peer-reviewed publications. The Senior Manager, Climate Science will also support communications work translating science into policy-relevant forest management recommendations to maximize the climate mitigation potential of forests and prioritize adaptation and restoration activities. Preferred experience and background include:
- Master’s degree in Natural Resources, Forestry, Environmental Science or related field (or equivalent combination of education and work experience)
- A minimum of two years of forestry or climate research experience, including knowledge of forest management practices and forest carbon cycling, both in the forest ecosystem and in harvested wood products.
- Familiarity with forest climate adaptation frameworks, e.g., Climate Change Response Framework; the Resist Accept Direct (RAD) Framework, and their integration in forest management strategies and vulnerability assessments.
- Experience with forest carbon modeling and analysis and ability to learn a new modeling system; knowledge of CBM-CFS3, LANDIS, FVS or other model is a plus.
- Proficiency in Python, Jupyter notebooks, R, and ArcGIS.
- Experience with or enthusiasm for communicating science to decision-makers and forest managers.
- Ability to work collaboratively within a team and manage multiple project timelines and deliverables simultaneously.
- Passion for the mission and values of American Forests and enthusiasm for joining a growing organization on the forefront of issues relating to forests, climate change, and social equity.
Location & Working Conditions
American Forests’ headquarters is in downtown Washington, DC. This is a remote position.
Subject to applicable laws, American Forests requires all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment. We will consider requests for accommodation to this vaccination requirement during the recruiting process. Any requested accommodation(s) must be reviewed and approved (if applicable) in advance of your start date.
Up to 15% of travel is required to engage in key stakeholder meetings, events, and projects.
This position does not have any supervisory requirements.
To apply for this position, please send a cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
American Forests is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to diversity in the workplace. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or other characteristics protected by law.
If you are unable to submit your resume due to a disability, contact American Forests to request an accommodation or alternative application process.