Natural Resource Data Scientist

Job description

Position Title: Natural Resource Data Scientist, P2

Reports to: Director of Forestry Technology & Analytics

Location: This position may work from our Portland office or work remotely within our region (must be based in Oregon, Washington, California, or Alaska)

Salary Range: $86,000 - $106,000

Posting Date: January 10, 2022

Application Deadline: February 4, 2022

Anticipated Start Date: March 15, 2022


Who we are

Ecotrust creates and accelerates triple-bottom-line innovations to benefit our region and inspire the world. On the farm, at the coast, in the forest, and across our cities, we work in partnership towards an equitable, prosperous, climate-smart future. Since 1991, we have created durable change and sparked ideas across the globe. Ecotrust holds a deep commitment to equity and diversity as core principles integral to the work we do. As we add new members across all levels of the organization, we seek diverse perspectives and lived experiences that we believe foster learning, creativity, innovation, and equity. Learn more at

Job Summary

The Natural Resource Data Scientist (NRDS) is responsible for leading applied, collaborative, and reproducible research related to monitoring, predicting, and communicating the conditions of natural resources and the potential environmental, economic, and equity impacts of management and conservation activities. They will oversee and contribute to partnership building and fundraising for complex, multi-year, collaborative efforts drawing heavily on emerging best practices in co-production and research justice, combining analytical expertise and fluency in communicating technical work to diverse audiences. The NRDS will work closely with the Forests & Ecosystem Services and Knowledge Systems teams at Ecotrust.

Who you are

You bring a love of data, coding, predictive modeling, and ecosystem science along with a commitment to drive radical, practical change, to collaborate with humility, to enable others, and to put equity at the center of your work. You weave together expertise in Python programming, geospatial and/or image analysis, and computing to deliver actionable research. You can flex expertise in data science, developing rigorous analytical workflows to acquire, clean, and interpret data using open-source tools and techniques, tempered with humility, appreciation, and interest in learning from and honoring multiple ways of knowing. You are eager to learn from others and collaborate, and are motivated to ensure your work contributes to broader efforts at Ecotrust and with our partners to advance Indigenous sovereignty and self-determination, to identify and address racial disparities, and to make a meaningful impact in terms of land, water, and climate justice.

Primary Responsibilities
The activities listed below represent the core functions of this position. A candidate will be assessed on their ability to successfully fulfill or quickly learn these functions.

The Natural Resource Data Scientist (NRDS) will lead and collaborate closely with internal and external partners on a multi-year project incorporating satellite imagery, forest measurements, and economic activity data to integrate observable changes in managed forests into actionable information and data products characterizing the climate, community, and biodiversity impacts of timber production.

The NRDS will also contribute to natural resource mapping and assessments, scenario modeling, and tradeoff analyses with forest owners and managers (particularly American Indian Tribes, but also including private industrial, non-industrial, and public forest owners) to support learning, capacity-building, and adaptive management efforts led by these partners. This work will include: data acquisition and cleaning; model building, evaluation, and interpretation; and the integration of data visualization into concise and compelling written materials and presentations to diverse audiences.

The NRDS will help manage project timelines, budgets, and contribute to grant writing and reporting. As the NRDS grows into their role as a Director-Level staff member at Ecotrust, they can expect to develop and manage large, complex, multi-year projects and partnership efforts with budgets of $250K+. Directors at Ecotrust have a greater responsibility for actively engaging in justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) work and modeling principles of JEDI in their everyday actions and interactions. Therefore, the NRDS will also be expected to build up and strengthen their existing JEDI competencies and demonstrate leadership for racial equity through their work.

(Responsibilities and tasks outlined in this document are not exhaustive and may change as determined by the needs of the organization or employee.)

Key Qualifications and Transferable Skills

Transferable skills may be gained through education, work experience (including the military) or life experience that are relevant for this position. Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply for positions where they do not meet 100% of the listed skills and qualifications. Even if you do not meet all of the requirements described, if you believe you are a good fit for the position, we encourage you to apply.

  • Authentic commitment to Ecotrust’s core values and mission to create economic opportunity, social equity, and environmental well-being. Commitment to advancing racial equity and addressing climate change.
  • Expertise, with 8+ years in quantitative analysis, with at least 5 years experience quantifying and modeling natural resource conditions and/or processes (e.g., ecosystem services).
  • Fluency in data science fundamentals, including common data types and pre-processing, approaches to exploratory data analysis, common predictive tasks, model fitting and scoring, model comparison and critique, and addressing uncertainties and errors.
  • Experience developing collaborative research projects. Ability to communicate and interact effectively with people from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, including experience working with Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities and/or collaborators.
  • Fluency in cultural constructions including race, acculturation, and privilege and awareness and/or lived experience of social inequality and communities of color that intersect with your work.
  • Expertise, with 8+ years experience in quantitative analysis, with at least 5 years involving geospatial data acquisition, processing, and analysis involving large raster and vector datasets.
  • Strong Python programming skills and proficiency with the Python scientific computing stack (e.g., Numpy, Scipy, Scikit-Learn, (Geo)Pandas).
  • 3+ years of experience with tools, techniques, and best practices in data science, including version control and collaboration tools (Git, GitHub), development environments (e.g., conda or virtual environments), the Linux operating system, relational databases, and common data science tools such as Jupyter Notebooks. Examples of code contributions to open-source projects are strongly encouraged.
  • Familiarity with grant writing and reporting.
  • At least 3 years experience managing and providing professional development coaching to direct reports; Demonstrable track record supervising diverse, small-to-medium sized teams.
  • Ability to deliver compelling writing and oral presentations for technical and non-technical audiences and for racially and culturally diverse audiences.

Other Useful Qualifications
The items listed below represent qualifications that are desirable in a candidate, but are not required. Some of these may be gained through professional development and coaching once on board.

  • Familiarity or expertise in tools and techniques for image processing, machine learning, deep learning, Bayesian data analysis, time series analysis, and/or application of optimization and heuristic algorithms.
  • Relationships or experience developing and maintaining relationships with tribal communities, including familiarity with and/or lived experience in advancing Indigenous sovereignty and self-determination.
  • Experience employing principles of user centered design and engineering and supporting the completion of user needs assessments. Awareness of research approaches founded in knowledge co-production, research justice, and/or involving traditional knowledge.
  • Experience or familiarity with forest growth-and-yield modeling, particularly using the Forest Vegetation Simulator.
  • Knowledge and experience with land or water stewardship practices and connections with markets, including common conservation and/or management activities in forestry, farming, and/or fisheries.
  • Experience or familiarity with principles and practices of attributional Life Cycle Assessment.

Additional Information

We believe great benefits make work better: Ecotrust offers equity-centered benefits that strive to recognize employees as whole people and prioritize their overall wellbeing. Benefits include medical, dental, and vision insurance with employee contributions scaled to income, tax-deferred and Roth retirement plans with employer base contributions, term life insurance, and disability coverage. Ecotrust invests in employees' professional development and personal growth. We offer other fun perks like plentiful paid time off, summer Fridays, a week off over the winter holiday season, retreats, and summer fun days.

Working conditions: The NRDS will be expected to travel regionally (California, Oregon, Washington) to participate in meetings with partner organizations once every 1-2 months. These meetings and other regional events we participate in commonly involve field trips into forests. The vast majority of the NRDS’s day-to-day work will be at a computer. The NRDS may travel to present our work at regional and national conferences and events about 4-6 times per year.

COVID-19 Response: Ecotrust recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately negative impacts on Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, immigrants, parents, caregivers, frontline workers, and others. While this is a full time position, Ecotrust offers the flexibility necessary to manage COVID-19 constraints including flexible schedules, working remotely, and use of paid sick leave for caregivers and those directly affected by COVID-19. Ecotrust recognizes these are unprecedented times and wants to remove any barriers that would prevent anyone disproportionately affected by the pandemic from applying.

Ecotrust is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We believe that a diverse staff of qualified, highly-skilled, and creative individuals is necessary to achieve the vision and mission of the organization. We welcome and encourage applications from candidates who can contribute to the diversity of our workforce across a range of dimensions. Individuals who identify as Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, Pacific Islander, or other People of Color, people who are queer, trans, non-binary, people with disabilities, people who are immigrants, people from poor and working class backgrounds, and people who are/have been system-impacted are strongly encouraged to apply.

Click here to learn more about equity at Ecotrust, including our official equity statement and annual racial equity action plans and reports. We expect all our employees to share a commitment to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion, and always seek ways to improve how well we live these values. If we can make the application process easier through accommodation in the recruitment process, please let us know. Once you have applied, we welcome your feedback on how you have experienced our values around diversity, equity, and inclusion in the recruitment process.

Veterans' Preference: Under Oregon Law, qualifying veterans may apply for veterans' preference for this recruitment. Please send all required documentation to by the closing date of the recruitment.

Accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act: We gladly provide reasonable accommodation to anyone whose specific disability prevents them from completing an application or participating in this recruitment process. Please reach out to in advance to request assistance.

How to Apply: Apply using the links to the right. No cover letter is required. Instead, please answer four brief narrative questions provided in the application.

The Selection Process: In an effort to be as transparent as possible in our selection process as well as to help expedite bringing new staff on board, below is a timeline of key events:

  • Review of Resumes: Feb 4-8
  • Initial Screening Interviews (via Zoom): Feb 10-11
  • Face-to-face Interviews (via Zoom): Feb 17-18
  • Reference checks: Feb 21-22
  • Extend offer: Feb 23

While we will proactively communicate these dates and any changes to you throughout the process, please consider placing tentative holds on your calendars for the initial screening and face-to-face interviews.


Learn more about this position by attending an Information Session: Ecotrust is hosting an informational webinar about this position. You can call in via conference line to listen and ask questions.

  • Date: January 26, 2022 @ 12:00 PM PST
  • Click this link to join the webinar:
  • Dial this number to join by phone and enter the meeting ID:

We will record the session and post the recording to the job posting shortly afterwards. Note that the webinar above will be focused solely on this position. To listen to a webinar that shares about Ecotrust’s culture, benefits, and more, check out the first half of the June 2021 webinar posted to our jobs page.


Please let the company know that you found this position on this Job Board as a way to support us, so we can keep posting cool jobs.