Oceans Project Director

The Nature Conservancy

Remote, California

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details Competitive


California, USA

Location negotiable within California. 


The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Grounded in science, we develop innovative solutions to the world’s toughest environmental challenges so that people and nature can thrive. Our work is guided by our values, which include a commitment to diversity; respect for people, communities, and cultures; and a collaborative, nonpartisan approach. Thanks to more than 1 million members, over 400 scientists, and the dedicated efforts of our staff and partners, we impact conservation around the world. 

The California Chapter is TNC’s largest state program and one of the largest, most dynamic conservation organizations in the country. With approximately 275 employees, from financial analysts and fundraisers to ecologists and economists, we are currently invested in 14 strategies to address the biggest challenges facing California and the world, including numerous community-based projects designed to increase the pace, scale, and effectiveness of conservation. Over the past six decades, we have protected 1.4 million acres, 5,000 miles of streams, and 3.8 million acres of ocean habitat in California and off the coast. 

The California Chapter believes that we are most effective when we are embedded in our state’s communities, politics, media, and environmental issues. For this reason, and to reduce our carbon footprint when meeting in person, all staff live in California, including those in a home office.

Finally, we are passionate about the middle ground in American politics and life. The hallmark of The Nature Conservancy is its “big tent” approach, engaging people across the political and ideological spectrum to find solutions that last. We ask all employees to embrace this critical strategic position of our organization.


Fisheries provide critical resources for billions of people, yet they also present threats to ocean health, causing overfishing, bycatch, and habitat degradation. Improving how fisheries are managed can not only help increase fish populations and ecosystem resilience, but also increase sustainable protein sources and revenues. TNC works at this intersection to improve fisheries sustainability by closing data and capacity gaps that prevent effective management. To ensure fisheries not only provide food and livelihoods but also protect biodiversity, TNC works across California and the Pacific to improve fisheries sustainability through collaborative approaches that harness science and technology to reduce time and costs, and boost capacity for achieving effective management. The Oceans Project Director leads and manages projects aimed at building and scaling solutions for improved fisheries management. This position presents an opportunity to work with staff and partners from multiple geographies to advance solutions to some of the most important conservation challenges facing oceans and fishing communities today.

The Oceans Project Director provides technical and programmatic support to establish the California Oceans Program as a leader in ocean conservation in California and beyond. They independently identify key ocean conservation issues and develop innovative approaches to address those challenges. They lead multi-disciplinary teams, establish partnerships with public and private organizations, write proposals, manage grants and contracts, and communicate ocean conservation to broad audiences. The Oceans Project Director leads fisheries conservation work in partnership with TNC’s North America region community of practice, and business units within TNC’s California/Hawai’i/Micronesia division. They support California Oceans Program conservation strategies by providing technical, analytical, and managerial expertise to deliver conservation outcomes at scale. This role will develops and leads fishery projects in California to support program objectives and achieve conservation and fisheries goals. The Project Director will also support fisheries conservation projects and program strategies within the California/Hawai’i/Micronesia division and North America region. This role will lead projects for our bycatch reduction and disentanglement initiatives. 


Are you looking for a career to help people and nature? Guided by science, TNC creates innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that people and nature can thrive together.

If you want to ensure fisheries provide food for livelihoods and biodiversity, apply today!


  • BA/BS degree and 7 years’ experience in conservation practice or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience managing complex or multiple projects, including managing finances and coordinating the work of other professionals and partners.
  • Experience in partnership development with non-profit partners, community groups and/or government agencies.
  • Experience negotiating.


  • Multi-lingual and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.
  • MS/MESM/MBA and equivalent 7-10 years’ experience in conservation practice or related field or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Demonstrated experience influencing, developing and implementing conservation policy and plans.
  • Knowledge of current trends and practices in relevant discipline(s) and regions.
  • Ability to develop practical applications of scientific concepts and technical innovations for conservation purposes.
  • Communicating clearly via written, spoken, and graphical means in English and other relevant languages.
  • Demonstrated experience in fundraising.
  • Politically savvy.


Each person who works at TNC contributes to our goal of protecting nature for future generations. Another one of TNC’s primary goals is to cultivate an inclusive work environment so that employees around the globe feel that their unique contributions are valued. To quote a popular saying at TNC, “You’ll join for the mission, and you’ll stay for the people.” To learn more, head to YouTube to hear stories from staff or visit Glassdoor.  

We’re proud to support the health and wellbeing of the people we employ. We offer a competitive, comprehensive benefits package that includes healthcare coverage, flexible spending accounts, 401(k) plan with an 8% employer match, parental leave, accrued paid time off, life insurance, disability coverage, employee assistance program, and other benefits that support work-life balance. 

If you’re interested in working with us, please apply—we’d love to hear from you.


The starting pay range for a candidate selected for this position is generally within the range of $93,500 – $120,000 for annual base salary. Where a successful candidate’s actual pay will fall within this range will be based on a variety of factors, including, for example, the candidate's location, qualifications, specific skills, and experience. Your geographic location will be confirmed during the recruitment.


To apply for job ID 55211, submit your materials (resume and cover letter) online by using the Apply Now button at https://careers.nature.org/ by 8:59 PM PST on June 19, 2024. Need help applying? Visit our recruitment page or contact applyhelp@tnc.org

Do you have military experience? Visit our U.S. Military Skills Translator to match your military experience with our current job openings!

TNC is committed to offering accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans in our job application process. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, please send a note to applyhelp@tnc.org with Request for Accommodation in the subject line.

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 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. 

The successful applicant must meet the requirements of The Nature Conservancy's background screening process.

Category Admin & Leadership, Land Trust, Marine Biology, Policy And Law