Job opening: GIS Manager / Programmer at Conservation International

There is an opening for a GIS Manager / Programmer at Conservation International (CI). We are looking for a person to manage GIS and remote sensing datasets for the Vital Signs project. The position is based at CI headquarters in Arlington, VA.

For more details and to apply, see:

We are reviewing applications on a rolling basis, and intend to hire quickly as the project is in need of immediate support.

Job description:

Vital Signs is a system to generate data and transform them into decision support tools for managers and planners to enable better decision-making in support of sustainable agricultural development. Currently Vital Signs operates in five countries in Africa (Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda), is rapidly scaling up to other African countries, and is poised for global expansion within the next four years.

The Vital Signs GIS Manager develops, analyzes, interprets, manages, and distributes high quality and detailed GIS, remote sensing, and technical data and information. S/he plays a lead role in ensuring GIS and remote sensing data serves as the foundation for the detailed studies, assessments, and data modeling that are needed to effectively manage, implement, and monitor conservation priorities.

The Vital Signs GIS Manager functions as a key GIS data technical resource for Vital Signs. S/he works closely with these key stakeholders to identify data analysis and assessment needs, conduct and compile GIS information, and summarize results in reports and other findings.

Responsibilities include:

  • Manage Vital Signs spatial data sets, develop and implement data quality standards for spatial data.
  • Ensure adequate documentation of spatial data and analytical processes.
  • Develop documentation, protocols, and online training materials that are easily understandable by non-technical staff and multi-cultural teams.
  • Conduct training workshops for Vital Signs staff and partners, including GPS training for Vital Signs staff and field teams.
  • Provide GIS and cartographic support for Vital Signs and partners, including mapping country and landscape sampling designs and preparing maps for use in presentations and publications.
  • Analyze large datasets using Python and/or R scripting, and interact with online databases and publicly available APIs to automate processing of spatial data..
  • Perform quality control checks of spatial datasets prior to public release.
  • Work closely with key partners to identify GIS data and information needs. Prepare and produce spatial data, information, maps and related information.
  • Summarize analysis and document findings in reports and other communication mediums. Provide technical input to conservation planning and project efforts.
  • Assess partner skill levels. Develop training plan to increase partner capacity. Prepare training modules and conduct training and workshops. Conduct follow-up evaluations to ensure partner capacity and skill levels are increasing. Implement additional strategies to increase capacity.
  • Direct contractors and vendors as needed.

Working Conditions

  • Position is based in Arlington, though some work may be performed in a remote location, including field conditions.
  • Flexibility to travel as needed, including internationally.



  • Bachelor’s degree or up to four years of college level work.
  • 4-6 years experience in the field of GIS and remote sensing.
  • Expert-level user of GIS software. Proficient with software systems, terminology and procedures. Skilled in learning and adapting new software applications.
  • Excellent analytical and mathematical skills.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills.
  • Experience in developing and delivering user training and end user support.
  • Team player and ability to effectively partner and collaborate with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Skilled in cartography, including ability to produce maps that are effective communication tools with appropriate design elements and color schemes .
  • Ability to work independently and as part of an interdisciplinary, multi-cultural team.
  • Thrives in a very dynamic work environment and excels at multi-tasking/juggling multiple priorities and meets deadlines.
  • Working knowledge of R scripting, must be able to understand and make modifications to existing R scripts.
  • Basic statistics.
  • Positive attitude.


  • Demonstrated ability to batch process spatial datasets using R and/or Python and open-source libraries such as GDAL.
  • Experience with Linux OS including ability to set up environments and run code on external servers or cloud environments.
  • Ability to visualize spatial data using R and/or Python plotting libraries (matplotlib, ggplot2, raster, sp, or other).

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