Conservation GIS Analyst

Location: Headquarters, Washington DC
Department: Endangered Species Conservation
Supervisor: Vice President of Endangered Species Conservation


The Conservation GIS Analyst is a key member of Defenders of Wildlife’s Center for Conservation Innovation and provides mapping and spatial analysis services for the organization.  He/she contributes to a variety of projects, from scientific analysis, to field conservation projects, to fundraising requests and membership outreach. The incumbent is the GIS point person for the organization and provides leadership, coordination, and support for other GIS users. The position will also work closely with our interdepartmental team of conservation data specialists and help develop new tools and ideas for strategically using data to improve biodiversity conservation policies and practices.


  • Develop a system to manage and prioritize GIS project requests from all departments, including policy programs, field conservation, government relations, litigation, development, communications, membership, and public outreach. Ensure projects are completed in a timely manner.

  • Support annual and long-term internal strategic and program planning through spatial analysis. Participate in interdisciplinary program teams to provide guidance and support on the strategic use of spatial information in achieving program goals.

  • Work with IT staff and other staff with GIS duties to develop systems for obtaining and creating new data, updating existing data, ensuring data compatibility where possible, and storing, organizing, sharing, and displaying data.

  • Develop static and interactive communications materials based on core GIS products (e.g. interactive web-maps).

  • Work with other conservation data staff to develop new tools to analyze and/or interact with and display conservation data and provide technical support and training in support of conservation staff.

  • Perform all other related duties as assigned. 


  • Education:  Advanced degree in Geographic Information Systems, landscape ecology, conservation biology, conservation planning, natural resources management, or related discipline. Advanced training and/or expertise in GIS is required.

  • Experience:  3+ years of progressively responsible experience is required in at least one of the following areas: developing and implementing programs to conserve biodiversity, conservation or land management planning, working with land or resource management agencies, or developing planning or policy programs for non-profit organizations. Experience with managing GIS in natural resource agencies and /or environmental non-profits is essential for this position.

  • Other:

  • Excellent interpersonal skills, with demonstrated ability to collaborate with technical experts and non-experts and ability to be forceful but tactful when necessary.  

  • Background in biodiversity conservation issues, including landscape ecology, federal environmental policies, restoration, endangered species, and climate change

  • Knowledge and familiarity with landscape ecology and conservation-related spatial models (e.g. conservation target selection and conservation optimization algorithms, habitat connectivity analysis, etc.)

  • Expertise with ArcGIS (desktop and Online), including Spatial Analyst and Model Builder

  • Experience managing, processing, analyzing and editing large volumes of geospatial data (both vector and raster, often at landscape-scales) and sharing it via ArcGIS Server (or similar)

  • Skill in production cartography

  • Knowledge of where to find conservation science-related spatial data

  • Knowledge of and experience using Google Geo products (Google Maps Platform, Google Earth Engine, Fusion Tables, Google Crisis Maps, Google Earth Pro, etc.)

  • Knowledge of remote sensing and land cover change methods, technologies and data

  • Experience/ability to establish organizational protocols and systems for the acquisition, use, and sharing of geospatial data, and the production of GIS products

  • Familiarity with web-based map production and GIS skills, and relevant programming languages such as Javascript, HTML, KML, CSS/Carto-CSS, and familiarity with using Google Maps API, Mapbox, CartoDB, and/or others

  • Interest and drive to pursue and develop new conservation ideas and tools. An enthusiastic promoter of the use of data to catalyze and improve biodiversity conservation

  • Self-starter with a flexible nature and the ability to seek direction when needed

  • Experience in project management


While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to use a computer and communicate with others while doing so.


General office working conditions, the noise level in the work environment is usually quiet.


This position may require occasional domestic travel.

How To Apply

Interested applicants please reference Conservation GIS Analyst position in your subject line and submit a letter of interest along with your resume, salary history, and any representative GIS work products to us via e-mail at:

It is the policy of Defenders of Wildlife to provide equal employment opportunity to all qualified individuals without regard to their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law, in all personnel actions.

Defenders of Wildlife is a national, non-profit membership organization dedicated to the protection of all native wild animals and plants in their natural communities. Our employees work in an environment that is inclusive and honors each of our