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10 Nov 2020

Full-Time Aquatic Science Officer

The Pew Charitable Trusts – Posted by Human Resources Washington, District of Columbia, United States

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Job Description


The Pew Charitable Trusts uses data to make a difference. For more than 70 years, we have focused on serving the public, invigorating civic life, conducting nonpartisan research, advancing effective public policies and practices, and achieving tangible results. Through rigorous inquiry and knowledge sharing, we inform and engage public-spirited citizens and organizations, linking diverse interests to pursue common cause. We are a dedicated team of researchers, communicators, advocates, subject matter experts, and professionals working on some of today’s big challenges – and we know we are more effective and creative collectively than we are individually. With Philadelphia as our hometown and the majority of our staff located in Washington, D.C., our U.S. and international staff find working at Pew personally and professionally rewarding.

Wise stewardship of resources allows Pew employees to pursue work that strategically furthers our mission in significant and measurable ways. We collaborate with a diverse range of philanthropic partners, public and private organizations, and concerned citizens who share our interest in fact-based solutions and goal-driven initiatives to improve society. Pew attracts top talent, people of integrity who are service-oriented and willing to take on challenging assignments. We provide competitive pay and benefits, a healthy work-life balance, and a respectful and inclusive workplace. Pew employees are proud of their colleagues, proud of where they work, and proud of the institution’s reputation.

The Research and Science Portfolio in Program

The research and science portfolio includes programmatic, functional, and outreach elements. It spans all of Pew’s programmatic work with a focus on advancing quality research and science and deploying research expertise to further the goals of ongoing projects. The portfolio reviews the design of new research projects across the institution to ensure they are high-quality, unbiased, and methodologically sound. The programmatic elements of the portfolio include specific projects related to biomedical science, environmental science, and fiscal federalism. In addition, research and science has a role in communicating timely, accurate information on state issues to the general public as the Pew daily news publication, Stateline, is part of our organization.

Conservation Science
The conservation science (CS) program, part of the Environmental Research and Science unit, works to generate and synthesize scientific research that informs conservation policy and frames solutions to global environment challenges. The CS team enhances the scientific foundation of Pew’s environmental work by providing centralized technical expertise, developing research projects, and identifying new scientific results relevant to Pew’s existing and emerging conservation interests. Integrating the results of peer-reviewed research into public policy and campaign strategy development are significant components of the program’s work.

Position Overview
The officer serves as the principal liaison to campaign staff and Pew’s strategy team on issues relating to marine and freshwater ecosystems and is responsible for encouraging the development of scientific initiatives that inform new and existing campaign strategies. The position will provide critical research and strategic support to Pew’s strategy and environment teams across a wide range of topic areas. The officer will help ensure that the institution’s new and existing conservation objectives are informed about existing evidence and knowledge gaps in the environmental sciences. The officer also plays a lead role in developing a broad array of research projects in collaboration with Pew’s policy staff to inform Pew’s environmental program areas. To achieve key tasks, the officer must develop close working relationships and become a trusted advisor to strategy and environment colleagues and senior leadership.

The position, based in Pew’s Washington, D.C., office, reports to the project director, conservation science. The position has a set time frame that could be extended based on the success of the program, funding sources, and board decisions on continued support.


  • Provide technical expertise in the environmental sciences relevant to aquatic ecosystems, with a focus on identifying research that informs potential or current policy objectives.
  • Maintain wide-ranging knowledge of pertinent research in environmental science and in-depth understanding of conservation policy to provide strategic research advice and place results in appropriate policy contexts.
  • Collaborate with leadership to inform strategic thinking for Pew’s environmental science efforts and to shape Pew’s conservation objectives and outcomes.
  • Maintain familiarity with campaign objectives and research relevant to Pew’s policy work. Coordinate cross-cutting research initiatives among environmental programs working in aquatic habitats.
  • Coordinate scientific learning across Pew policy teams, strategy staff, and conservation science staff through internal training sessions and other activities to help inform and leverage Pew’s research investments.
  • Partner with Pew environmental campaign and strategy staff to identify needs and priorities for scientific research within environmental initiatives. Lead structured research planning exercises to ensure proposed research is useful for target end users or audiences, tailored to address appropriate research questions, communicated accurately, and is rigorous and objective.
  • Lead the development of effective research proposals and work plans in coordination with external scientists that address relevant policy and/or strategic needs within suitable timeframes and budgets. Develop internal research plans, grants, and contracts to ensure proposed research projects are accurately translated into project agreements. Identify emerging scientific outreach opportunities as applicable.
  • Serve as a primary liaison between external researchers and Pew, including by recruiting outside experts to conduct research projects, serve as reviewers, and provide other technical assistance as necessary.
  • Serve as lead investigator, as necessary, for desk-based research projects on topics relevant to aquatic habitats, including reviews and meta-analyses; supervise the contributions of other Pew staff in these efforts.
  • Review the communication of scientific analysis and conservation implications of CS-supported environmental research.
  • Participate in and contribute to CS and Environmental Research and Science meetings, workshops, and other events. Assist with other tasks as requested.


  • Bachelor’s degree is required, advanced degree in environmental sciences, conservation biology, or a related field, is strongly preferred. Extensive knowledge of ecological modeling tools and approaches, fisheries management, and marine protected areas is a plus.
  • At least eight years of relevant professional experience in environmental science and environmental policy issues is required. Specific knowledge of and experience with aquatic resource management and/or conservation policy is strongly preferred.
  • Superior interpersonal skills, including the ability to develop and manage productive relationships with Pew staff, consultants, partners, grantees, and others. Operates as both a team leader and player in a highly collaborative environment.
  • Experience working in a technical role within a research or policy institution is highly desirable, as is experience developing, managing, and contributing to a portfolio of environmental research projects.
  • Demonstrated strategic and analytical skills. Political awareness, with a non-partisan perspective and approach. Experience with state, national and/or intergovernmental institutions preferred.
  • Demonstrated problem-solving skills. Strong ability to think strategically and creatively, adjust to changing circumstances, organize time, and remain attentive to detail.
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills, including ease in communicating complex concepts in a clear, effective manner.
  • Recognized ability to meet multiple deadlines by maintaining a high level of organization and attention to detail. Ability to make decisions and operate effectively in uncertain or changing situations.


The position requires occasional domestic and international travel.

Total Rewards

We offer a competitive salary and benefit program, including: comprehensive, affordable health care through medical, dental, and vision coverage; financial security with life and disability insurance; opportunities to save using health savings and flexible spending accounts; retirement benefits to help prepare for the future; and work/life benefits to maintain a good balance.

The Pew Charitable Trusts is an equal opportunity employer, committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace. Pew considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to age, sex, ethnicity, religion, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity, military/veteran status, or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

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Job Categories: Ecology. Job Types: Full-Time.

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