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GIS & Remote Sensing Specialist (for Real-Time Monitoring)

Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Nature Conservation, Ecology, GIS
Town/City Washington DC
Salary (Minimum)
Salary (Maximum)
Type Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status Full Time
Level Mid Level
Company Name Amazon Conservation Association
Contact Name
Website Further Details / Applications
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Directory Entry : Our focus on protecting wild places, empowering local people and putting science and technology to work has been shaped by the people and land where we began. For Ecology and Conservation Jobs in South America with...Amazon Conservation Association visit their website. Or check out the Sustainability section here.
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Our innovative Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project (MAAP) initiative has emerged as a global leader in real-time deforestation and fire monitoring across the Amazon. In 2015, we launched MAAP in Peru with support from Norad and other donors. By 2017, we had expanded MAAP to Ecuador and Colombia, working with local partners to share our peer-reviewed methodology published in Science. By 2019, we incorporated our sister organization Amazon Conservation-Bolivia into MAAP monitoring to address forest fires and also began monitoring in Brazil that same year–just in time to cover the intense fire season that made global headlines.

MAAP monitoring work yields both high-impact public reports to an international audience, as well as confidential reports to select government agencies, relying heavily on daily satellite imagery. To date, Amazon Conservation has published more than 130 public MAAP reports and has been cited more than 800 times in local and global publications, including La República and El Comercio, two of Peru’s most respected newspapers, and international platforms such as The Washington Post, Reuters, and the BBC, and is frequently a source for Mongabay reporting on deforestation across the Amazon.

MAAP has proven a cost-effective, fast-acting, and responsive tool that has submitted more than one hundred confidential reports directly to government officials on critical topics including illegal gold mining, illegal logging, expansion of the agricultural frontier, new roads, and fires. MAAP has documented numerous illegal gold mining invasions, including within protected areas, sharing these reports with government officials within days of their discovery. By notifying government officials quickly, the government is able to take quick retaliatory action to avoid more serious damage to the environment.

Position Overview

Amazon Conservation seeks an advanced GIS & Remote Sensing Specialist to support our MAAP satellite-based real-time monitoring program. This position will be based in our Washington, DC office under the supervision of the Senior Research Specialist and in close collaboration with the other GIS & Remote Sensing Specialist, and will coordinate with colleagues in Peru, Bolivia, and other organizations throughout the Amazon as part of our Alliance-wide team.

The GIS & Remote Sensing Specialist will focus on systematic and real-time deforestation and fire monitoring across the Amazon, in support of MAAP (Monitoring of the Amazon Program). Specifically, they will:

  1. Support deforestation monitoring based on the MAAP published methodology to analyze automated forest loss alerts, such as those produced or presented by the University of Maryland (GLAD and GLAD plus alerts), Global Forest Watch (radar-based alerts), and the Peruvian government, respectively.
  2. Help the Alliance MAAP team reach and maintain 100% real-time monitoring coverage of the Amazon biome and carry out analysis of daily and monthly high-resolution imagery (from the satellite company Planet) for select areas already known to be a deforestation threat.
  3. Support fire monitoring that is based on aerosol emissions generated by the Sentinel-5 satellite and displayed on our unique fire monitoring app, and analyze areas with elevated emissions with daily high-resolution imagery from Planet.
  4. Enter key findings from both types of monitoring into our custom data dashboards, to prepare them for use in our public MAAP reports or confidential policy briefs that contribute to the Alliance’s Governance Program that supports government agencies to stop forest crimes.


Real-time Monitoring (80%)

  • Real-time deforestation and fire monitoring based on analysis of automated alerts and subsequent manual analysis of high-resolution imagery (see details above).
  • Assist in related data analysis and preparation of materials (maps, graphics) for public MAAP reports and confidential government reports.
  • Help develop and improve protocols for data analysis, processing, visualization, publication, and storage.

Special projects (10%)

  • GIS and remote sensing support related to special projects focused on analyzing the most critical big-picture issues of the day, such as climate change and deforestation patterns.

Other General GIS-related Tasks (10%)

  • Support ACA in general organizational needs, such as maps and analyses related to grant proposals.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree and 3-5 years of experience and proven record of remote sensing experience
  • Applicants should have previous remote sensing experience with demonstrated advanced skills in analyzing satellite imagery. Ideally, this experience is related to tropical forest monitoring. While GIS experience is useful, we prefer candidates who have more established remote sensing skills beyond GIS experience alone.
  • Advanced knowledge in remote sensors and Geographic Information Systems (ArcGIS Desktop, QGIS).
  • Knowledge in analysis and processing of satellite imagery (especially Planet and Sentinel).
  • Experience with creating graphics and mapmaking.
  • Strong interest in conservation, and ideally, tropical forest conservation.
  • Ability to perform well in a fast-paced, cross-cultural team environment
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Proficiency in written and spoken Spanish

Salary commensurate with experience.

Amazon Conservation offers a competitive benefits package that includes employer-paid medical, dental, vision, short- and long-term disability, as well as a matching pension plan, and 25 vacation days. In addition to salary and benefits, the Specialist’s work contributions will be recognized via co-authorship of regular reports published on our MAAP portal.

Please note that due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, Amazon Conservation staff are working remotely. This position will start as a remote position, but the candidate must still be located or willing to relocate to the DMV area (Washington, DC – Maryland – Virginia) with access to our DC office. When pandemic restrictions are over, the organization will resume its in-person operations.

Application Guidelines

Email your resume, cover letter, and list of three references to applications@amazonconservation.org with the subject line “GIS & Remote Sensing Specialist Application.” Applications without all required materials will not be reviewed. Due to the high volume of applications, the organization will only reply to finalist candidates. No phone calls, please. EOE.

Candidates are reviewed on a rolling basis. Position open until filled and is available immediately.

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