NC Climate-Ready Mapping: A Tool for Scaled Conservation - Spring 2022 student position

NC Climate-Ready Mapping: A Tool for Scaled Conservation - Spring 2022 student position with Conservation Trust for North Carolina (CTNC) and the Nicholas Institute/Energy Initiative at Duke University.

Position Summary

Conservation Trust for North Carolina and the Nicholas Institute/Energy Initiative at Duke University are looking for a student to contribute to development of a conservation planning tool (a suitability modeler and benefits calculator) for use by state and private conservation organizations in North Carolina to improve conservation planning for biodiversity, habitat resilience and adaptation, human resilience and adaptation, and carbon mitigation. The planning tool will identify the potential lands have to support carbon mitigation, climate adaptation and resilience, and other benefits to communities such as access to open space and preserving drinking water quality, allowing the state and conservation organizations to target their conservation efforts to those places that best meet these goals. Additionally, the tool will make conservation planning more efficient and provide a common starting point for public and private conservation organizations assessing the potential benefits of new land conservation. This tool will build on previous work to develop spatial datasets about the benefits from natural and working lands and opportunities for improving management of those lands that informed the North Carolina Natural & Working Lands Action Plan and NC natural & working lands dashboards.

This student will be reporting to Nicholas Institute/Energy Initiative policy associate Katie Warnell and under the guidance of CTNC Executive Director Chris Canfield and Nicholas Institute/Energy Initiative program director Lydia Olander. The student will also work with additional collaborators at CTNC, Duke University, and externally. This is a part-time (10 hours/week) paid position for the spring 2022 semester, with the possibility of extending to a full-time position for summer 2022. Work will be conducted remotely with regular meetings via Zoom and ongoing communication using email and messaging platforms. There may be opportunities for occasional in-person meetings. This position is open to students enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program who are authorized to work in the United States.

Tasks may include:

  • Initial research and planning for development of a conservation planning tool, including investigating specific geoprocessing tools, models, apps, and widgets in ArcGIS Pro and ArcGIS Online and creating prototype tools to test workflows.
  • Developing materials for workshops to gather input from stakeholders about input datasets and features of the conservation planning tool.
  • Compiling spatial datasets from various sources, completing initial data exploration and clean-up, and preparing datasets for use in the conservation planning tool
  • Using ArcGIS Pro and ArcGIS Online to develop an initial version of the conservation planning tool (suitability modeler and benefits calculator).
  • Refining the conservation planning tool based on stakeholder feedback.
  • Keeping detailed documentation of data preparation, spatial analysis methods, tool development, and stakeholder meetings.

Required skills

  • Spatial analysis (ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Online)
  • Data management
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Strong organizational and interpersonal skills
  • Familiarity with the concepts of ecosystem services and conservation planning

To apply, please send your resume or CV and a cover letter to Katie Warnell ( Interviews will occur on a rolling basis starting November 29, 2021.


The intent of this job description is to provide a representation of the types and level of duties and responsibilities that will be required of positions given this title. It shall not be construed as a declaration of all specific duties and responsibilities of the particular position, as employees may be directed to perform job-related tasks other than those specifically presented in this description.

Duke University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status. Duke also makes good faith efforts to recruit, hire, and promote qualified women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans.