Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.

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Staff Scientist - Data Analyst, Mapping and Data Visualization Expert

Staff Scientist - Data Analyst, Mapping and Data Visualization Expert

Job ID 
# of Openings 
Job Locations 
US-CA-San Francisco
Posted Date 
Science Center [313000]

More information about this job


The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is one of the nation's most effective environmental action organizations, combining the grassroots power of more than two million members and online activists with the courtroom clout and technical and policy expertise of nearly 500 lawyers, scientists and other professionals to fight for the planet and its people in the halls of Congress, communities across the country, and nations around the globe. NRDC was founded in 1970 and our staff helped write some of America's bedrock environmental laws, including the Clean Air Act, and many of the implementing regulations; our air pollution cases played a major role shaping current clean air policy throughout the country. Employing a simultaneously bold and deeply pragmatic approach, NRDC’s environmental priorities are: curbing global warming and creating the clean energy future, reviving the world’s oceans, defending endangered wildlife and wild places, protecting our health by preventing pollution, ensuring safe and sufficient water, and fostering sustainable communities. NRDC is headquartered in New York City, with offices in the Washington DC, Chicago, Bozeman, San Francisco, Santa Monica, and Beijing.


NRDC is seeking a full-time Staff Scientist with advanced expertise in data mining, geospatial analysis, data analytics and data visualization to work with NRDC’s Science Center, which supports and advances the use and application of science in all of NRDC’s programmatic areas. Reporting to the Director of the Science Center, the Staff Scientist will bring scientific expertise in their own disciplinary field to NRDC, serve as our in-house expert and resource specialist on GIS (Geographic Information System) and other data analysis and visualization tools and techniques, and work with the Science Center and NRDC programs on a range of environmental, energy, urban development and public health issues. We are particularly interested in scientists with additional experience and/or training in economics, social science and epidemiology, but all relevant scientific disciplines will be considered. The position would be based in our San Francisco, CA office (preferred) or in our Washington DC or New York offices.


Work with the Science Center and NRDC programs to access, analyze, interpret, translate and apply scientific, engineering, demographic and economic data and information to inform, support and advance our advocacy on a range of environmental and public health issues. Serve as in-house resource specialist for NRDC’s use of mapping, geospatial analysis, data visualization, data analytics and indicators to analyze, illustrate and communicate our programmatic work, ensuring consistency, accuracy and quality for this work and its application to our advocacy. Activities would include:

  • Finding, accessing, acquiring and organizing data and scientific information from a variety of sources;
  • Conducting research, analysis and review of scientific data, information and studies;
  • Consulting and providing guidance on analytical design, presentation and interpretation of results;
  • Supporting and advising NRDC staff on their use of GIS and other data analysis and visualization tools, and assisting with the curation of NRDC-authored GIS data sets;
  • Working with NRDC programs and web and communications teams to develop geospatial and/or data analytics projects;
  • Designing, creating and delivering static and interactive maps and other data visualizations, geospatial analyses, and analytics and indicators using desktop and ArcGIS Online software platforms;
  • Managing NRDC’s ArcGIS Online organizational content, and developing and providing staff training for GIS and other data analysis and visualization tools;
  • Keeping current on GIS and related software, new and existing datasets, and other analytical and visualization tools and resources; and
  • Managing and serving as liaison for NRDC’s contract and relationship with ESRI.


  • Bachelors, Masters or doctoral degree in relevant scientific field;
  • Interest and aptitude for extending and applying scientific and analytical training and skills to subject matter areas outside the applicant’s disciplinary expertise;
  • Strong skills and demonstrated experience in data mining, analytical design, data analysis, data visualization and creative problem-solving;
  • Strong knowledge of current GIS analysis practices and techniques, demonstrated experience and ability to efficiently use GIS and graphics software, including ArcGIS Desktop 10x Suite (including Spatial Analyst, Model Builder, and Data Driven Pages, online and mobile GIS applications, including ArcGIS Online and Collector for ArcGIS);
  • Ability to work both independently and in collaboration with other advocates, scientists and analysts; and
  • Excellent writing, verbal communication and presentation skills.

Furthermore, the following qualifications are desirable:


  • Familiarity with the theory and practice of visual and information design;
  • Experience with other data visualization techniques, tools and software;
  • Experience with modeling and working with large scientific and geographic datasets;
  • Knowledge of R, python, javascript, gdal and other coding languages and tools;
  • Comfort with basic economic and financial analysis;
  • Experience working with industry, academia, NGOs, and state and federal government officials; and
  • Experience with advocacy and policy analysis.

To apply, please visit and upload your application materials through our online portal. Your application materials should include a cover letter, resume, writing sample and at least one example of your data visualization and/or analytics work. Please no phone calls, emails, faxes or in-person resume drop-offs. Please reference where you saw this posting. Consideration of applications will begin on June 5, 2017 and the position will remain open until filled.


NRDC is an Equal Opportunity Employer and we are committed to workplace diversity and inclusion. We do not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. We offer competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and a pleasant working environment. Salary is based on a nonprofit scale and commensurate with experience.


If you are having technical difficulty while applying, please reach out to Customer Care by dialing 1-866-803-9663.


For further information about NRDC, please visit