shrug-l: GIS manager position in Great Lakes

Mike McManus mmcmanus at TNC.ORG
Mon Apr 21 16:21:43 EDT 2008

GIS Manager - Great Lakes Program



JOB TITLE:                 Conservation Information Manager III

JOB NUMBER:           200003


FLSA STATUS:          Exempt

The GIS Manager provides innovative and high quality technical and
analytical expertise and services to staff within the Great Lakes
Program, state chapters of The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and programs of
Nature Conservancy of Canada. This position requires technical expertise
in GIS analysis; data management and maintenance; and acquisition,
conversion, integration, and graphical representation of spatial data
sets derived from cartographic, tabular, and other source material.  The
GIS Manager will focus initially on analyses related to freshwater
ecosystems, islands and migratory species in the Great Lakes region and
threats to these species, natural communities, and ecosystems. The GIS
manager should have demonstrated experience in applying GIS tools to
ecological questions and will work closely with staff to effectively
integrate GIS into conservation science and planning, communications,
and other program needs.  S/he will be responsible for integrating data
developed in US and Canada to produce compatible results across multiple
political jurisdictions. S/he produces and oversees map and figure
production for proposals, presentations, and other office needs, and is
responsible for database and workflow management, field staff support
and training, and maintaining and enhancing technical capacity.  S/he
may occasionally supervise interns and volunteers. This position is
supervised by the Great Lakes Program's Aquatic Ecologist/Director of


* Research, acquire, develop, spatially enable, analyze, manage and map
data within a GIS (in both vector and raster format) to support various
Great Lakes conservation planning efforts on local and regional
projects. Participate in conservation planning at various levels.
* Maintain and develop current GIS information for conservation targets,
threats, and other information. Manage a comprehensive database and
share data within the Great Lakes Program and Great Lakes states and
provinces.  Develop and maintain metadata and oversee distribution of
spatial data.
* Act as principle liaison to partner organizations, government agencies
and universities on GIS related matters. Oversee and track GIS data
distribution to partner organizations. Manage GIS-based projects within
TNC and with external collaborators.  
* Provide technical, mapping and analytical support to science staff on
a range of conservation projects and opportunities. Work with a variety
of staff to produce high-quality maps for proposals, presentations, and
communications/fundraising needs.
* Design and coordinate GIS projects. Diagnose complex problems and
identify creative solutions. Develop customized tools for application in
GIS as appropriate.
* Provide supervision and/or advisory support for contracts that include
GIS-based planning. Create intern/volunteer opportunities and supervise
interns and/or volunteers as needed.

*Other duties, as assigned.  


* Minimum of a Bachelor's degree in geography, landscape ecology,
natural resources or related discipline, and at least two years of
professional GIS experience or an equivalent combination of education
and experience.  Advanced degree preferred. 

* Demonstrated experience designing, performing, interpreting, and
communicating spatial analyses addressing conservation or natural
resource questions.
* Expert knowledge of ESRI GIS software (especially ArcGIS/ArcInfo and
Spatial Analyst), geographic information, analytical techniques, data
standards, application of remotely sensed data  and knowledge of public
and private data sources. 
* Experience in the spatial and cartographic representation of
ecological data sets.  Demonstrated skill in the development of
hardcopy, digital and online map products. 
* Experience managing a geographic database, developing metadata, and
data distribution.
* Ability to translate scientific concepts into appropriate GIS
analyses, and to effectively communicate GIS results to both lay and
scientific audiences, through written material, verbally and
* Excellent creative/technical problem-solving skills with an ability to
learn new skills and procedures independently. Ability to make decisions
and resolve issues independently based on analysis, experience, and
* Strong organizational skills and attention to detail. Ability to set
priorities and organize time efficiently. Demonstrated project
management skills and abilities.  Ability to work effectively in a lead
or support position within a team. Successful experience in developing,
directing and managing multiple projects and implementing strategic
program goals.
* Working knowledge of common software applications (Word, Access,
Excel, Web browsers). 
* Ability to utilize programming languages (e.g. Python, VBA) to
facilitate data analyses and conversion, automate processes, or for
application development preferred.
* Capacity to remain current with GIS and spatial data management
methods, tools, and innovations; inform chapter staff of research and
application of new spatial technologies, methods and tools.

*  May be required to periodically provide GIS training to Conservancy
* Commitment to the mission of The Nature Conservancy. 

* Experiment and cultivate the creative ideas of others to identify
solutions to complex and less-defined problems.  
* Interprets guidelines, evaluates information and modifies processes to
adapt to changing circumstances.
* Resolves complex issues, evaluates alternatives, and implements
solutions within program area independently.
* Sets goals and objectives for project completion dates for numerous
ongoing projects.  Manages projects across large geographic scales.
* Designs, implements and directs complex and diverse projects,
encompassing multiple programs and coordinating the work of other
professionals inside and outside the organization.  Incorporates
cross-disciplinary knowledge to support program objectives.
* Compiles and organizes scientific data with attention to detail.


* Makes sound, independent decisions in conservation science and
planning based on analysis, experience and judgment.
* Manages and prioritizes tasks from multiple sources with minimal
*Demonstrated ability to act independently within broad program goals.

* Plans, organizes, and directs assigned project programs.  May
occasionally supervise interns, volunteers or other project staff.
* Responsible for operating within budget guidelines to ensure sound
financial performance.  Develop and administer departmental budget and
has authority to modify budget based on changing circumstances.
* Establish and maintain optimal standards of performance for the
department or program while controlling costs and administering budgets.
* May negotiate and contract with vendors.

* Ability to serve as technical liaison to individuals within and
outside TNC. Able to provide leadership and to work independently
regarding technical matters pertaining to his/her field.
* Ability to establish excellent working relationships with outside
partners, state/local/federal agencies, land managers, private
landowners and the academic community.
* Leverages constructive and effective relationships inside and outside
* May speak with and in front of varied audiences on scientific topics
and the Conservancy's mission.

* Collaborates with a wide range of people to develop, negotiate, and
implement programs and projects Demonstrated experience establishing and
maintaining productive, and professional relationships.

* Function productively as a member of a work team.

* Demonstrates strong written, oral, and cartographic communication

* Willingness to travel and work flexible hours.
* Work requires only minor physical exertion and/or strain.  Work
environment involves only infrequent exposure to disagreeable elements.

Submit letter of interest and resume to pshannon at  Please
include job title in subject line of email.  Or, mail to:  Peggy
Shannon, The Nature Conservancy, Great Lakes Program, 8 S. Michigan
Avenue, Suite 2301, Chicago, IL  60603.

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