Career Opportunity /  12 May 2023

Connectivity Data Scientist: climate corridors and biodiversity resilience in Central America

1 year position at Osa Conservation - Remote

Deadline: 12 May 2023 - the deadline has passed.
Remote - Costa Rica

Status: Fixed term/Contract

Project Summary

This one year position (with possible six month extension) will be employed under Osa Conservation’s climate corridor initiative. Broadly, the project aims to develop and use state-of-the-art remote sensing data and connectivity modeling tools to quantify the climate resilience of the existing protected area network in Central America, and compare the results to existing corridor initiatives.

Job Summary

Osa Conservation’s (OC) mission is to conserve the globally significant terrestrial and marine biological diversity of the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica by implementing ecosystem stewardship, enhancing scientific understanding, providing education, and training, and creating sustainable economic opportunities.

We believe in a holistic approach to conservation, one grounded in a systematic understanding of the ecological, social, and economic relationships that shape environmental problems. Our work (carried out by a team of ~80 staff) is founded in science and supported by strategic partnerships, well-informed decision-making processes, and a strong commitment to improving lives through protecting nature. We recognize that for conservation to succeed, it must be coupled with science, community engagement, and strong systems of support upon which to collaboratively build a more sustainable future.

Osa Conservation’s connectivity data scientist will have a key role integrating existing remote sensing datasets to perform connectivity analyses across central America. They will create and validate wildlife resistance surfaces, estimate the connectivity between low and high elevation habitats, compare the results to existing corridor initiatives and wildlife areas, integrate empirical information on wildlife movement/habitat selection, and publish the results in peer reviewed journals.

Roles and responsibilities

Lead the execution of:

  • Build on an existing framework estimating connectivity indices between lowland and highland protected areas
  • Writing scientific publications (lead author and co-author publications)
  • Creating a database of existing corridors and connectivity studies in central america
  • Validating derived resistances surfaces with existing literature and empirical datasets
  • Overlay and compare the climate corridors with existing corridor initiatives and important wildlife areas
  • Curating the code and datasets underpinning the analyses within organizations Google Drive and GitHub repositories.
  • Working with the senior scientist to implement analyses and improve existing workflows
  • Working with the Conservation Director to identify and compare potential climate corridors
  • Analyzing data and producing graphs and tables to communicate and represent results

 General Organization Activities: 

  • Write bi-weekly reports and share with the senior science team
  • Ensure the creation of good media for the movement ecology program for Osa Conservation’s social media accounts on a monthly basis
  • Collaborate with other OC programs and projects when necessary

Skill Requirements

  • Doctorate in connectivity science or another relevant topic [Essential]
  • Understanding of connectivity and species distributions models [Essential]
  • Experience publishing scientific manuscripts [Essential]
  • Experience managing, curating and manipulating large spatial data sets [Essential]
  • Experience using R statistical software and version control (e.g. GitHub) [Essential]
  • Experience using the Circuitscape platform in the Julia operating system [Preferred]
  • Understanding of Mesoamerican conservation issues [Preferred]
  • Understanding of spatial conservation planning and prioritization methodologies [Preferred]
  • Fluent in English (written and oral) [Essential]; basic conversational Spanish [Preferred]
  • Confident in use of google applications, gmail, google drive and google calendar  [Essential]
  • A strategic mind with the determination and ability to generate solutions to problems under pressure [Essential]
  • Experience meeting deadlines [Essential]

To apply
Please submit a copy of your resume and a cover letter to [email protected], with “Connectivity Data Scientist” as the subject line – by the end of day on 12th May, 2023 latest. Be sure to address in the cover letter how you meet the outlined requirements and how you feel that your previous experience makes you suitable for this demanding role. Applications who do not submit a CV and cover letter will not be considered. Only candidates selected for interviews will be contacted.