Blue Carbon Specialist

The Nature Conservancy

Nassawadox, Virginia

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details Salaried
Required Experience 0 - 1 years

Founded in 1951, the Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. Our global priorities are to tackle climate change and protect biodiversity at an unprecedented scale. One of our core values is our commitment to diversity. Therefore, we strive for a globally diverse and culturally competent workforce. Working in 72 countries, including all 50 United States, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.

TNC’s Volgenau Virginia Coast Reserve is a 50-year old program launched to protect the globally significant barrier island, coastal bays, and mainland portion of Virginia’s Eastern Shore. With ownership of all or parts of 14 barrier islands and thousands of acres of mainland property, TNC’s programs focus on migratory bird conservation, marine habitat restoration, land protection, coastal resilience, research partnerships, and community engagement. In collaboration with academic, state, and federal partners, we have been successfully restoring eelgrass to Virginia’s coastal bays for the past 20 years, and the project’s success - the largest seagrass restoration on the planet – was instrumental in the development of a methodology to estimate the net greenhouse gas emission reductions and removals resulting from the restoration of seagrasses. Using the approved methodology, TNC and partners have developed and are in the process of having verified the first registered blue carbon seagrass project in the world. . While we have a relatively robust understanding of the greenhouse gas emission reductions associated with the restoration, the scale of the project provides numerous co-benefits to the Virginia Coastal Bays, such as increased fish biomass and water clarity, which we would like to further explore. The Blue Carbon Specialist will work to expand the understanding and evidence of co-benefits of eelgrass restoration through research, analysis, collaboration, and publication of a scientific paper.

The Blue Carbon Specialist will conduct data analysis and provide technical support in statistical analysis, modelling, environmental accounting, and GIS or other relational database technologies. The Blue Carbon Specialist provides technical and scientific support for conservation and carbon initiatives in Virginia to help fill critical capacity and knowledge gaps and contribute to larger-scale expansion of Natural Climate Solutions (NCS). NCS provide climate change mitigation via conservation, restoration, and sustainable management of forests, wetlands, grasslands, and agricultural lands. As part of a larger learning network at TNC, the NCS Prototyping Network, the Specialist will connect and regularly engage with the NCS Prototyping Team and similar projects in multiple global geographies to share information and support peer-to-peer learning.

The Blue Carbon Specialist position will be based at the VCR in rural Nassawadox, on Virginia’s Eastern Shore and be part of a dynamic, professional team. This is position is currently funded for two years with future opportunities to be considered.

The Blue Carbon Specialist will perform data analysis, designing and producing complex queries and processing spatial and other relational data sets. The Specialist may produce maps and other graphic products and reports. They may develop and maintain a GIS and/or other databases that could include environmental, biodiversity, and land management information from various sources. We anticipate that a scientific publication in a peer-reviewed journal will result from this project.

The Blue Carbon Specialist conducts scientific surveys and research, records data, writes reports, and conducts other tasks in order to coordinate NCS research including analysis; monitoring, evaluation and learning specific to subaquatic vegetation (SAV) co-benefits, conservation, and restoration in Virginia. This position will work in close collaboration with other TNC staff and partners in supporting the design and implementation of research, assessment of co-benefits and climate change mitigation potential for NCS (in particular seagrass blue carbon projects). The Blue Carbon Specialist provides scientific, technical, and project management support. They will help execute the ongoing VCR blue carbon project and verify progress, while also identifying or developing approaches and tools that can be used more broadly across TNC.


  • Develop and implement NCS research, especially in the context of seagrass, blue carbon, and restoration/conservation activities.
  • Work, in collaboration with other VCR staff and academic partners on co-benefit assessments and data analysis.
  • Develop, collect, and analyze data and maintain a library of data maps, analysis, reports, and publications as relates to eelgrass conservation and co-benefits.
  • Provide research and expertise in support of policy analysis, legislative, corporate and/or policy priorities.
  • Deliver spatial analysis, data and field services to teams and partners
  • Engage in fieldwork as necessary to ground-truth data and/or assist with data collection
  • Represent TNC at priority meetings and on committees where technical input is required.
  • Writes technical reports, including writing and submitting manuscripts to be published in scientific journals.
  • Prepare program materials including presentations and other communications.
  • Works as part of a team of TNC local and global staff, academic, state and federal partners.
  • May work flexible schedule and travel frequently throughout the region.
  • May work over the weekends, in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, in hazardous terrain and under physically demanding circumstances.


  • Master’s Degree in environmental or natural science, social science, environmental economics, or related field and 1 year of experience, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience collecting, manipulating, analyzing, and interpreting scientific data.
  • Experience preparing reports, presentations, and other communications.
  • Experience with statistical analysis, including use of software such as R, Python, Stata or similar.
  • Ability to work well within a close-knit, multidisciplinary team.


  • Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.
  • Commitment to incorporating dimensions of diversity, equity, and inclusion in interactions with others.
  • Experience in ecosystem or biological research, particularly in coastal systems or field work settings.
  • Familiarity with blue carbon analysis and accounting.
  • Experience with GIS and remote sensing data, as well as with using GIS software for mapping and analysis.
  • Experience and interest in building capacity and relationships with colleagues, partners, and stakeholders.
  • Excellent organization and coordination skills and attention to detail.
  • Ability to manage project deliverables and meet deadlines.
  • Experience in taking initiative and working independently or with minimal oversight.
  • Excellent communication skills via written, spoken, and graphical means, including the ability to communicate scientific results and practices to technical and non-technical audiences.


Builds Relationships
Builds productive relationships by interacting with others in ways that enhance mutual trust and commitment.

Collaboration & Teamwork
Works collaboratively with stakeholders across levels, geographies, backgrounds, and cultures to improve decisions, strengthen commitment, and be more effective.

Communicates Authentically
Communicates proactively and in a timely manner to share information, persuade, and influence with the appropriate level of detail, tone, and opportunities for feedback.

Develops Others
Takes ownership to help develop others’ skills, behaviors, and mindsets to help them maximize their workplace contributions.

Drives for Results
Sets challenging goals and objectives based on a strong sense of purpose and high-performance standards and steadfastly pushes self and others for tangible results, while ensuring work-life balance.

Leverages Difference
Demonstrates commitment to harnessing the power of differences strategically; consistently sees, learns from, and takes strategic action related to difference; and demonstrates the self-awareness and behaviors to work across differences of identity and power respectfully and effectively with all stakeholder. Actively seeks to build and retain a diverse workforce and fosters an equitable inclusive workplace by drawing upon diverse perspectives.

Systems Leadership
Thinks and acts from a broad perspective with a long-term view and an understanding of 1) the dynamic nature of large-scale challenges and 2) the need for integrating five key practices: skillfully engaging appropriate people; providing a clear process for change; taking a holistic view of situations; focusing on a small number of strategic actions, while learning from and adapting them over time; and being aware of how one’s own thinking or patterns of behavior may be limiting change.

This description is not designed to be a complete list of all duties and responsibilities required for this job.

The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Our commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our conservation mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of people of all genders with diverse backgrounds, beliefs and cultures. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects our global character is a priority and we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientations, gender identities, military or veteran status or other status protected by law.


Go to, click Search Careers and search by the position title and/or location, then click Apply Now to submit an online application.  It is necessary to complete the application in its entirety.  In addition, please submit resume and a letter of interest in separate documents.  For assistance with the online process, go to:

Interested TNC employees should apply through PeopleSoft:

Application deadline is 11:59 PM on July 13, 2022.

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

Category Ecology, General / Stewardship, Land Trust, Sustainability
Tags GIS, Climate Change