Research Data Analyst, Natural Capital Project

California, United States
12 Nov 2018
End of advertisement period
12 Jan 2019
Contract Type
Full Time

Job Family: Information Analytics
Job Series: Research Data Analyst
Job Code: 4752
Grade: I
Exemption: Exempt

The Natural Capital Project (NatCap) is a partnership among Stanford University’s Woods Institute for the Environment, University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment, The Nature Conservancy, the World Wildlife Fund, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. We develop tools to model and map the distribution of biodiversity and the flow of multiple ecosystem services (ES) across land- and seascapes. We seek a creative and talented individual to support a new project in the southwestern Amazon to model impacts of landscape changes on ecosystem services and to produce a roadmap for development – in collaboration with local researchers, government agencies, and NGOs – to demonstrate how natural capital can increase communities’ resilience to flooding and drought. 

The Research Data Analyst will coordinate data collection, assist with stakeholder engagement, and identify data and capacity building needs in close collaboration with our local partners. S/he will ensure that the project team is well-connected to local partners, stakeholders, and resources by initiating and maintaining local contacts with relevant technical and agency staff and researchers. S/he will identify and compile the best-available data from a variety of sources and ensure that documents and other products developed by the technical team are relevant to local policy and planning processes. The position will require travel to study regions 3-4 times per year to interface with local partners, stakeholders, researchers, and students. Please note this position is fixed-term for 12 months with a possibility of reappointment based on programmatic and funding needs. A strong internal candidate is being considered for this position.


Manage and analyze large amounts of information, typically technical or scientific in nature, independently with minimal supervision.


  • Prioritize and extract data from a variety of sources such as notes, survey results, medical reports, and laboratory data, and maintain its accuracy and completeness.
    • Locate and compile spatial and non-spatial data from study region(s) as required by the project, and provide a link between local data, data providers in the study region and researchers at Stanford.
  • Determine additional data collection and reporting requirements.
    • Ensure that project team(s) are well-connected to local partners, stakeholders, and resources in the study regions, and ensure that documents and other products developed by the technical team are relevant to local policy and planning processes.
  • Design and customize reports based upon data in the database. Oversee and monitor regulatory compliance for utilization of the data.
    • In collaboration with local partners and stakeholders, identify decision-relevant outputs and information needs that can be met from the scientific analyses, to ensure that project outcomes are in the most useful and decision-relevant format/metrics/etc.
    • Refine the set response metrics required from models (e.g., location and magnitude of high- and low-water flows, communities vulnerable to floods or drought) to be most relevant to priority water-related issues identified by stakeholders in the pilot region(s).
    • Develop and customize reports and information products that meet end-user needs, based on project analyses. 
    • Support development of communications materials, both capacity-building and communicating outcomes, defining audiences and communication needs, providing a link between project outcomes and how we communicate these.
  • Use system reports and analyses to identify potentially problematic data, make corrections, and eliminate root cause for data problems or justify solutions to be implemented by others.
    • Keep databases up to date and ensure that sources and metadata are documented accurately; make corrections as needed.
  • Create complex charts and databases, perform statistical analyses, and develop graphs and tables for publication and presentation.
    • Contribute charts, analyses, graphs, tables, and figures using data collected and processed by project team, as required for reporting and communications.
  • Serve as a resource for non-routine inquiries such as requests for statistics or surveys.
    • Serve as a resource for inquiries on relevant remote-sensing data and spatial data processing techniques.
  • Test prototype software and participate in approval and release process for new software.
    • Act as primary liaison between software development team and local project partners, ensuring that any software tools are developed with end-user needs in mind.
  • Provide documentation based on audit and reporting criteria to investigators and research staff.
    • Maintain metadata and information on data collection and processing, as required to comply with standards set by research staff and individual project needs.

Other duties include:

  • Assess the key players in project region(s) involved in natural resource management, conservation, development planning, water resources, and other areas relevant to project goals, current decision-making processes for risk management and development planning, information needs for bringing integrated watershed management into local planning, local capacity and capacity needs.
  • Maintain communications with local project partners to ensure that the outcomes and recommendations link well to relevant policy processes, stakeholder needs, etc.
  • Assist with planning stakeholder workshops, identifying workshop outcomes, engaging key stakeholders.
  • In collaboration with local partners, help to identify pathways for the project to continue building awareness and capacity to incorporate the watershed service and evaluation approaches into practice, identifying capacity and resource needs for these tools to be incorporated into future decision-making.

* - Other duties may also be assigned


Education & Experience:

Bachelor’s degree and three years of relevant experience or a combination of education and relevant experience. Preference is for an MS degree in Geography or Environmental Science with focus on Geographic Information Systems (GIS), conservation, or development.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Substantial experience with MS Office and analytical programs.
  • Excellent writing and analytical skills.
  • Ability to prioritize workload.
  • Knowledge of policy, government actors, other stakeholders in Latin America.
  • At least five years of experience working in conservation issues in the Latin America region. 
  • Fluency in Spanish and English; fluency in Portuguese a plus

Certifications and Licenses:



  • Frequently perform desk-based computer tasks, stand/walk, sit, grasp lightly/fine manipulation.
  • Occasionally twist/bend/stoop/squat, grasp use a telephone, lift/carry/push/pull objects that weigh up to 20 pounds.
  • Rarely kneel/crawl, climb (ladders, scaffolds, or other), grasp forcefully; reach/work above shoulders, sort/file paperwork or parts, lift/carry/push/pull objects that weigh 21-40 pounds.
  • Ability to obtain and maintain a California Non-commercial Class Driver's license. (Not applicable)

* - Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of the job.


  • May include work outdoors: work at heights ≥ ten feet: field work may include working on uneven work surfaces, and/or around construction sites.
  • Frequent local and international travel.
  • Occasional business related overnight travel.


  • When conducting university business, must comply with the California Vehicle Code and Stanford University driving requirements.
  • Interpersonal Skills: Demonstrates the ability to work well with Stanford colleagues and clients and with external organizations.
  • Promote Culture of Safety: Demonstrates commitment to personal responsibility and value for safety; communicates safety concerns; uses and promotes safe behaviors based on training and lessons learned.

Subject to and expected to comply with all applicable University policies and procedures, including but not limited to the personnel policies and other policies found in the University’s Administrative Guide,

The Natural Capital Project is operationally housed in the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and is based at Stanford University. 

We offer a competitive salary and benefits package, depending on experience and qualifications. To be considered, applicants will provide a cover letter and resume. 

Stanford is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. Stanford welcomes applications from all who would bring additional dimensions to the University’s research, teaching and clinical missions.