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Research Associate – Tropical Land Use Systems and Low-Emission Development


Earth Innovation Institute catalyzes innovative, large-scale transitions to low-emissions rural development in tropical regions. Through regional interventions, we seek globally significant increases in farm production, forest cover, fisheries yields, and rural household wellbeing while decreasing emissions of heat-trapping gas.

We are now working with local partners to implement regional strategies for low-emission rural development in Brazil (Mato Grosso, Pará, Acre, national), Indonesia (Central Kalimantan, West Papua), Colombia (national), Peru (the Peruvian Amazon), and Mexico (Chiapas State).


Reporting directly to the Executive Director, the Research Associate and will coordinate and support research, program management, writing and editing of reports and manuscripts, and grant proposal development, while providing some administrative support. Research will focus on land use, greenhouse gas emission accounting, agriculture systems, and strategies for promoting sustainable development. The successful candidate will serve a key role in the program staff and work directly with external government, private sector and civil society partners, especially in Latin America.


  • Support land use/cover change and sustainable agriculture systems research, including proposal development, literature reviews, quantitative and spatial analysis, field visits and research-related meetings;
  • Coordinate policy, outreach, and capacity building projects and activities, including coordinating with partners and external consultants, managing program schedules and deliverables, and presenting in international forum to technical and non-technical audiences,
  • Coordinate and support the preparation, writing, editing and publication of research results/reports and manuscripts;
  • Contribute to fundraising, proposal development and donor reporting;
  • Provide updates and communications on program-related work, e.g., for website, social media;
  • Provide administrative support to the Executive Director;
  • Other duties as needed


  • A./B.S. or M.S. in Environmental Science, Geography, or other relevant subject
  • Requires minimum three to five years of work experience in scientific research or other relevant work experience, preferably in an international environment and on issues in rural development, agriculture, climate change and conservation in Latin America.
  • Experience leading and managing projects
  • Knowledge of and proven ability to perform quantitative analysis highly desired.
  • Demonstrated experience with GIS, spatial analysis and/or remote sensing/image processing.
  • Excellent writing and editing skills, including ability to communicate complex concepts and information to a range of different audiences;
  • Strong motivation, personal initiative and commitment to excellence and results, as well as enthusiasm for science;
  • Demonstrated capability dealing with confidential matters and using sound judgment;
  • Highly organized, flexible, and detail-oriented, with ability to balance multiple tasks, meet deadlines and anticipate needs; professional demeanor.
  • Must demonstrate high degree of initiative and ability to perform under pressure;
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with individuals from a variety of disciplines, cultures, and backgrounds and experience living or working in a developing country desired;
  • Excellent written and spoken English a must; writing and speaking ability in Portuguese and/or Spanish highly desired
  • Experience in grant-writing desired;
  • Experience with Microsoft Office suite, GIS and image processing software (ESRI ArcGIS, ENVI, and/or open source alternatives); Adobe Photoshop and InDesign a plus.
  • Requires ability to travel and flexible work schedule.

Location: San Francisco, CA

Application deadline: March 8, 2017

Desired start date: ASAP

Compensation: Full-time exempt position. Compensation based on qualifications and experience with competitive benefit package.

Application Instructions: Please send cover letter referencing Job#035056DCN217, resume, two writing samples, and contact information for 3 references to Please reference Job#035056DCN217in the subject line of the email.

Organizational Summary:

The Earth Innovation Institute is a not-for-profit, independent research institute with headquarters in San Francisco and offices in Brazil, Indonesia and Colombia. We pursue our goals of slowing climate change, conserving tropical forests and fisheries, and improving rural livelihoods by promoting sustainable rural development through a blend of research, consensus-building, policy analysis and reform, and private sector engagement.

Earth Innovation Institute is an equal opportunity employer. All candidates receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.