Conservation and GIS Coordinator

POSITION TITLE: RAY Conservation/Clean Energy Fellow / Conservation and GIS Coordinator


REPORTS TO: Erin McCreless, Director of Conservation Science & Monitoring  

STATUS: Regular, Full-Time, Exempt




In an effort to make the conservation and clean energy fields more equitable and accessible, the Roger Arliner Young (RAY) Fellowship Program aims to increase and facilitate environmentally-related career pathways for emerging leaders of color. The RAY Fellowship Program is a paid fellowship designed to equip recent college graduates with the tools, experiences, support, and community they need to become leaders in the conservation and clean energy sectors—one that, in our visions of the future, fully represents, includes, and is led by the diverse communities, perspectives, and experiences of the United States.



Since 1988, Rainforest Trust has been safeguarding imperiled tropical habitats and saving endangered species by establishing protected areas in partnership with local organizations and communities. With our partners, we have protected more than 38 million acres of vital habitat across Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Pacific. Rainforest Trust is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that relies upon the generous support of the public to successfully implement our important conservation action.

Rainforest Trust’s core values include:  Nature & People; Efficiency; Transparency; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Partnerships & Collaboration; Science & Innovation. Please click HERE to learn more about our 5-year Strategic Plan.


The Conservation and GIS Coordinator is a member of the Conservation team and reports to the Director of Conservation Science and Monitoring.




The Conservation and GIS Coordinator performs a variety of administrative and GIS tasks to organize and implement Conservation department programs/projects, initiatives, and can potentially manage a small portfolio of projects depending on departmental needs. Provide operational and administrative support to the Conservation department including helping to maintain the conservation data, geodatabase, project records, production of reports; and completion of other activities aimed to build Conservation department projects/programs; or the role may involve the support of project management and development at the direction of the Conservation Science and Monitoring Specialist. 



The Conservation and GIS Coordinator is responsible for the following primary job responsibilities and essential functions:


  • Provide support to conservation officers in the production and management of project agreements and all associated aspects.
  • Work with the Director of Conservation Programs to ensure that information in the conservation database is accurate and up to date.
  • Work with the Conservation Science and Monitoring Specialist to ensure that information in the geodatabase is accurate and up to date.
  • Assist with the development of departmental SOPs to standardize and streamline processes and procedures.
  • Provide support to the conservation team on various aspects related to the operations of the department and internal communications needs. 
  • Maintain Rainforest Trust's protected area geodatabases and spatial information.
  • Produce static and dynamic maps for a variety of appeals and conservation initiatives.
  • Communicate results in a variety of formats, including interactive online maps, infographics, written narratives, and other creative media.
  • Assist with monitoring of our historical protected area projects, including the evaluation of rates of deforestation, land use and habitat changes, and forest cover in project sites.
  • Other duties related to organizational operations as assigned.



In addition to the responsibilities at the host institution outlined above, RAY Fellows will spend, on average, 2-4 hours per week (5-10% of work time) on the following:

  • Actively communicating and building community with their RAY Fellow cohort and previous RAY Fellows. 
  • Meeting regularly with mentors both inside and outside the host institution. 
  • Attending monthly professional development webinars, trainings, and other opportunities to build knowledge and skills as scheduled.
  • Developing a Personal Leadership Plan (PLP) in their 2nd year with the support of supervisor(s), mentors, RAY program staff, and their RAY Fellow cohort. The PLP will serve as a tool for self-reflection, planning, and assessing progress towards professional, personal, and leadership goals.
  • Preparing and leading an hour-long end-of-fellowship webinar highlighting their Fellowship experience.


RAY Fellows will also attend:

  • A 3-day Orientation Retreat in late Summer/Fall 2023.
  • A 3-day Mid-Fellowship Leadership Retreat in Fall 2024.



Eligible RAY Fellow applicants will:

  • Come from a racial/ethnic background underrepresented in conservation and clean energy and demonstrate a commitment to the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Be no more than 1 year out of college and have a Bachelor's Degree by July 2023 (we are not considering individuals with graduate degrees at this time).
  • Have not had a full-time job in conservation or clean energy.
  • Have the ability to work in the United States and commit to the entire fellowship.



  • A college degree by the time of employment in conservation and/or environmental sciences or another comparable discipline. 
  • An interest in the field of conservation.
  • Demonstrated  capacity to work well and collaborate with others..
  • Effective written and verbal communication skills.
  • Superior attention to detail.
  • An eagerness to learn.
  • Prior experience with non-profit organizations desired and a personal passion for conservation is essential.
  • GIS experience, ideally with ArcGIS, Google Earth, and Google Earth Engine.
  • Relevant experience working with conservation data, especially in the tropics. 
  • Experience with creating, updating, and maintaining geodatabases, ArcGIS files, and Google Earth files.
  • Familiarity with land use change or deforestation/reforestation analysis.


  • Specialized knowledge/comprehensive understanding of conservation program projects and partnerships.
  • Experience coordinating multiple projects, setting realistic deadlines, and managing timelines.
  • Ability to synthesize complex information.
  • Positive solution-oriented outlook.
  • Ability to react to time-sensitive matters as well as manage complex, longer-term initiatives.
  • Strong interpersonal and creative skills.
  • Commitment and enthusiasm for Rainforest Trust’s mission and respect for our core values: Nature & People; Efficiency; Transparency; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Partnerships & Collaboration; Science & Innovation.


This is a two-year, full-time fellowship (one year with a one year renewal) starting on or after June 15, 2023.



The Fellowship is compensated and sponsored by Rainforest Trust, who offers a competitive benefits package as well as training and professional development opportunities. The salary range for this position is $48,000-$52,000  commensurate with experience. This base compensation range represents the anticipated low and high range of wages for this position. The offer salary will vary and will be based on various factors, such as the candidate's qualifications, skills, competencies, and proficiency for the role. Information on other benefits may be found on our Careers Page.



To apply for the RAY Fellowship Program, applicants must:


  1. Complete the online application survey on the RAY Fellowship Program website: 


  1. Follow the instructions on the linked application webpage to submit one essay response, one visioning response and one short answer response per interested position.


Applications must be submitted to the RAY Fellowship Program no later than March 27, 2023. Transcripts and additional writing samples are not required. 


If you have questions please see our FAQ page, and any further questions about the application process can be submitted to



Rainforest Trust is committed to the principles of equal opportunity. Rainforest Trust’s organizational policies, practices, and decisions regarding employment, hiring, assignment, promotion, compensation, volunteerism, internships and other terms and conditions of employment or voluntary service shall not be based on a person’s race, color, sex, age, religion, national origin, mental or physical disability, ancestry, military discharge status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, source of income, parental status, housing status, or other protected status, in accordance with applicable law. 


Rainforest Trust  is continually seeking to diversify its staff, particularly to broaden opportunities for individuals from demographic groups that are historically excluded in the sciences and in environmental advocacy.