Program Description

Forest Trends, a not-for-profit organization based in Washington, DC, works to conserve forests and other ecosystems through the creation and wide adoption of a range of environmental finance, market, and other payment and incentive mechanisms.

Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace publishes newsletters, breaking news, original feature articles and major reports about market-based approaches to conserving ecosystem services. EM believes that transparency is a hallmark of robust markets and that by providing freely-accessible information, we can facilitate transactions (thereby lowering transaction costs), but also catalyze new thinking and spur the development of new markets and the infrastructure that supports them. Our work is freely and publicly available online, through webinars, speaking engagements, consultations, and partnerships with other organizations.

Job Summary

Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace Initiative is seeking a Senior Associate to lead a project to develop a master dataset of water management organizations that supply irrigation water in the United States. The dataset will include geographic and contact information, as well as other traits about each organization. S/he will oversee and assist with data collection, which will involve desk research and reaching out directly to water management organizations or other relevant contacts; manage the dataset primarily using MS Excel and Esri GIS applications; and collaborate with the client and others at Ecosystem Marketplace to make sure that high-quality deliverables are produced on schedule.

In addition, the Senior Associate will contribute to Ecosystem Marketplace’s other ongoing work tracking payments for ecosystem service contracts, voluntary carbon offset markets, and others. Depending on his/her interests and the team’s needs, s/he may contribute to other reports as needed.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • 30% – managing data collection, organization and cleaning. Managing presentation of the data, including creating a geodatabase and accompanying metadata, and finding creative ways to use and display the resulting information.
  • 30% – data collection. Conducting desk research and reaching out to relevant stakeholders to obtain information about water management districts, payments for ecosystem services contracts, and voluntary carbon offset transactions.
  • 25% – analyzing, writing, and editing reports.
  • 15% – project management and client engagement. Collaborating with partner organizations and internal Forest Trends staff to manage production of deliverables, project planning and reporting, and other needs as they arise.

Required Experience and Skills:

Location: Ability to commute daily to Washington, DC office (non-negotiable)

Experience and Education:

  • Master’s degree in environmental management, geography, environmental science, or other related field. Candidates with a bachelor’s degree with additional professional experience may also be considered.
  • 3+ years of experience in government, private, and/or nonprofit organization, preferably with working on issues related to: water irrigation, water engineering, data collection and evaluation, and/or GIS mapping. Candidates should also have professional and/or academic experience creating and managing large datasets.


  • Applications: Demonstrated extensive experience and strong skill level using MS Excel and ArcGIS skills.
  • Data: Demonstrated experience working with large data sets, quantitative, qualitative and spatial data.
  • Communication: Strong communication skills, with demonstrated experience communicating complex and technical concepts in a clear and effective way.
  • Subject Matter Expertise: Experience working with water issues, preferably with experience in one or more of the following areas: water management practices in the US, agricultural irrigation, groundwater and drainage activities, water markets. Preferable experience with payments for ecosystem services around water, biodiversity or carbon markets, or around conservation finance.
  • Committed to the mission of Forest Trends.


This is a temporary appointment based on the duration of the project (beginning on February 15 through September 31, 2019).

Total compensation:

Salary is to be determined and will be commensurate with experience. This position includes a generous benefit package.


Forest Trends’ Washington DC office
1203 19th Street, NW 4th Floor Washington, DC 20036


Please send a cover letter (no more than 1 page) and resume (no more than 2 pages) to Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis through March 1, 2019.