Coastal Science Program Manager; The Nature Conservancy

Job Title: 
Coastal Science Program Manager
Job Location: 
Application Deadline: 
Sunday, April 7, 2019

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. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable.  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.

The Nature Conservancy offers competitive compensation, 401k or savings-plan matching for eligible employees, excellent benefits, flexible work policies and a collaborative work environment. We also provide professional development opportunities and promote from within. As a result, you will find a culture that supports and inspires conservation achievement and personal development, both within the workplace and beyond.




The Conservancy’s Virginia Coast Reserve (VCR; is one of the last expanses of coastal wilderness on the U.S. East Coast and one of the most important regions for migratory birds in North America. VCR manages and protects 45,000 acres of natural landscape that includes 14 barrier and marsh islands, multiple mainland holdings, and a seascape that is being successfully restored with eelgrass, oysters and bay scallops. The work we do at VCR serves as a global model for how conservation and natural solutions can help a landscape adapt and become more resilient in the face of a changing climate.  We are seeking a proven leader, motivator, communicator and collaborator who is passionate about our mission and about our work on Virginia’s Eastern Shore and beyond. The Coastal Science Program Manager will lead the development, implementation, advancement and integration of The Conservancy’s coastal science strategies, programs and vision at VCR and contribute to world-class conservation projects that have relevance across Virginia, the Mid-Atlantic, and around the globe. Success of this position depends on building and maintaining relationships and credibility with multiple partners including state and federal agencies, academic/research partners from UVA’s LTER program, VIMS and others, and on providing leadership and expertise on coastal resilience and coastal policy issues. 




The Coastal Science Program Manager serves as the leader of the Conservancy’s coastal science work within the Virginia Coast Reserve.  The Program Manager is the lead for TNC’s Coastal Resilience program on the Virginia Eastern Shore and guides decision support tool development (, demonstration of nature-based solutions, and builds and maintains community relationships.  S/he will guide, inspire and manage longstanding migratory bird and marine habitat restoration programs at VCR. S/he defines and facilitates emerging and existing long-term conservation plans, and builds and integrates the strategic, scientific and technical capacity of coastal Virginia programs throughout the Conservancy.  S/he maintains and develops key partnerships and collaborations in applied science and policy with academia/research, government agencies, other conservation organizations, and the local community.  S/he works closely with Philanthropy and other staff to raise project funding support by identifying and developing proposals and grant applications. 




  • Manages the science program at VCR, contributes to Virginia Chapter coastal conservation programs, integrates with the Mid Atlantic Division and beyond, and establishes and maintains cross-boundary work and relationships with internal and external professional and community partners.                   
  • Supervises, inspires and manages VCR science program, including staff, with the responsibility of establishing accountable overall program goals, as well as staff performance management, training and career development.
  • Leads and manages VCR coastal resilience program to include web-based tool development, demonstration of nature-based solutions, and building/maintaining community relationships
  • Responsible for ensuring that public and private funds are raised to meet the needs of the coastal science program.  This includes writing grants, meeting with donors, managing grants/contracts and administering budgets
  • Facilitates and builds cooperation and collaboration with research and other partners to establish, maintain and expand the VCR coastal science program
  • Frequently makes independent decisions based on analysis, experience and judgement
  • Frequent travel domestically, evening and weekend hours.  Valid driver’s license is required           
  • May work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain, and under physically demanding circumstances.




  • BA/BS degree and 7 years’ experience in coastal conservation practice, policy or related field, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience in collaborative partnership development with academia, non-profit partners, community groups and/or government agencies.                                       
  • Experience with communication skills with a diverse audience- technical and non-technical
  • Fundraising experience, including developing proposals and grant applications
  • Experience managing complex or multiple projects, including managing finances and coordinating the work of other professionals and partners.  
  • Supervisory experience, including motivating, leading, setting objectives and managing performance of a small team.


  • Advanced degree in conservation or policy, or related experience considered
  • Demonstrated experience in initiating and maintaining partnerships with diverse groups
  • Knowledge of coastal and marine ecosystems, including nature-based solutions and climate change impacts in coastal communities
  • Demonstrated experience influencing, developing and implementing conservation policy and plans.
Please note that all jobs are automatically removed once the application deadline passes. Jobs without a deadline are automatically removed after 30 days.