GIS Analyst, Forests Program

Data Analysis & Technical Research Washington, DC, United States


Job Summary

In this role, you will join the GFW research team, under WRI’s Food, Forests, Water and Ocean Program. As part of the GFW research team, the you will prepare spatial data and provide technical support for the GFW platform and other GFW web applications. You will assist in the delivery of GIS-related research outputs, as well as handle incoming analysis requests from media partners and other research organizations. Being an independent problem solver with excellent attention to detail is a must. The projects you will support vary but will initially include analysis to support the Forest team’s living report, the Global Forest Review, as well as analyses related to mapping drivers of deforestation and synthesizing data related to carbon fluxes in forest and non-forest ecosystems. Your role will expand to other projects based on available opportunities and the analyst’s skills and interests.

This position is remote due to Covid-19, but you will be based at WRI’s office in Washington, DC once restrictions have lifted.

Job Responsibilities

Research and Analysis (50% of time required):

  • Analyze spatial data, including deriving spatial statistics and time series trends, using geoprocessing tools
  • Collaborate with others on GFW and other WRI research teams to develop and implement workflows and new analysis methods to answer research questions related to deforestation, forest management, carbon fluxes, land use, restoration, and environmental degradation
  • Collaborate with external partners to assess potential research opportunities involving GFW and non-GFW data Provide guidance and leadership to other GIS staff with respect to technical analysis
  • Provide feedback on the development of geospatial web tools for GFW based on user research/outreach
  • Collect training points in support of artificial intelligence model development related to mapping drivers of forest loss
  • Collaborate with others on the GFW team to update the Global Forest Review and incorporate the latest research findings
Data Management and GIS Technical Support (40% of time required):
  • Process, format, and manage GIS datasets for input into GFW platform and associated web tools Conduct necessary geospatial analyses for QA/QC of the GFW platform, API, and associated web tools based on collaboration with the GFW engineering team
  • Provide data analysis for incoming requests and other unique analyses not offered on GFW platform/API Identify new datasets relevant to GFW, in the context of identified thematic and geographic research priorities
  • Write scripts to automate GIS tasks that are performed on a regular basis
Outreach and Communication (10% of time required):
  • Become an expert in GFW’s geospatial data and associated platforms Communicate with internal and external partners on status of collaborative projects
  • Field and appropriately respond to GIS technical inquiries from GFW users and the media (usually through email or video calls)
  • Write technical publications to document geospatial analysis methods
  • Prepare online and/or printed maps for GFW partners and communications materials
  • Represent GFW at relevant conferences/meetings and give webinars/presentations when requested
  • Communicate about GFW data and analytical content to non-technical audiences
Job Qualifications

Required Qualifications:  
  • Bachelor's degree in GIS, Environmental Science, Geography, Forest Ecology, or another related field
  • Minimum of 2 years of relevant full-time work experience
  • Expertise in GIS software, including ArcGIS Desktop 10.x, ArcGIS Pro, and/or QGIS Expertise in Google Earth Engine Programming experience using Python, R, SQL, and/or other analysis tools
  • Experience independently designing GIS methodologies to answer spatial questions
  • Experience working with and analyzing large tabular datasets
  • Experience with both raster and vector-based GIS analysis, including running spatial statistics on large and complex datasets
  • Strong communication skills, including presentation experience, and working within teams
  • Willingness to take initiative and ability to work independently and manage own time
  • Ability to work on a variety of projects while meeting tight deadlines
  • Obsessive attention to detail
  • Creative problem-solver who likes to be challenged
  • US work authorization required. WRI is unable to sponsor work authorization
Preferred Qualifications:
  • Experience with cloud computing, including Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform
  • Knowledge of current state of forests and political climates in forested countries
  • Experience with using geostatistics and/or artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms
  • Experience working with diverse audiences, including international staff and non-native English speakers
How to Apply: Please submit a resume with cover letter. Applicants must apply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered. 

Potential Salary: $63,000 - $82,000. Salary is commensurate with experience and other compensable factors.

Program Overview

Global Forest Watch (GFW) is a cutting edge, interactive online forest monitoring and alert system designed to help increase global access to environmental information, to reduce deforestation, and to conserve forest landscapes. As part of the broader GFW initiative, Global Forest Watch’s research team of GIS Analysts and researchers collaborates with partners to collect and analyze data and produce meaningful insights for day-to-day users, local governments, and other stakeholders, while also providing near real time forest monitoring platforms for local NGOs and forest monitoring organizations.

WRI Overview 

World Resources Institute (WRI) is an independent, nonprofit global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and human well-being. We are working to address seven critical challenges that the world must overcome this decade in order to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet: climate change, energy, food, forests, watersustainable cities, and the ocean. 

We are passionate. We value our diversity of interests, skills and backgrounds. We have a flexible work environment. And we share a common goal to catalyze change that will improve the lives of people. Our shared ideals are at the core of our approach. They include: integrity, innovation, urgency, independence and respect. 

The foundation of our work is delivering high-quality research, data, maps and analysis to solve the world’s greatest environment and international development challenges, and improve people’s lives. We work with leaders in government, business and civil society to drive ambitious action and create change on the ground. Equally important, we bring together partners to develop breakthrough ideas and scale-up solutions for far-reaching, enduring impact.  

We have been growing rapidly: our staff has doubled in size over the past 5 years and our operating budget is now $150 million. Founded in 1982, WRI has a global staff of 1,000+ people with work spanning 60 countries. We have offices inAfrica, Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Mexicoand theUnited States as well as a growing presence in other countries and regions.   

WRI is committed to advancing gender and social equity for human well-being in our mission and applies this principle to our organizational and programmatic practices.