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Bailey Conservation Fellow

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Jun 24, 2023

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The Nature Conservancy’s mission is to protect the lands and waters upon which all life depends. As a science-based organization, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that we can create a world in which people and nature thrive. We’re rooted in our Mission and guided by our Values, which includes a Commitment to Diversity and Respect for People, Communities, and Cultures. Whether it’s career development, flexible schedules, or a rewarding mission, there’s lots of reasons to love life #insideTNC. Want a better insight to TNC? Check out our TNC Talent playlist on YouTube or on Glassdoor.

Our goal is to cultivate an inclusive work environment so that all our colleagues around the globe feel a sense of belonging, and that their unique contributions to our mission are valued. We know we’ll only achieve our Mission by hiring and engaging a diverse workforce that reflects the communities in which we work. In addition to the requirements in our postings, we recognize that people come with talent and experiences outside of a job. Diversity of experience and skills combined with passion is a key to innovation and a culture of inclusion! Please apply – we’d love to hear from you. To quote myriad TNC staff members, “you’ll join for our mission, and you’ll stay for our people.”


The Essel and Menakka Bailey Conservation Fellowship Program is designed to help develop the conservation leaders of tomorrow. Initiated in 2018, the program provides recent graduates and early career conservation professionals with the opportunity to work in a collaborative environment that combines a deep dive into a specific project with a broad introduction to major conservation issues and the operations of TNC. The Fellow will have the opportunity to collaborate with TNC staff across multiple dimensions of the conservation discipline, including science, restoration, policy, land protection, and communications. Furthermore, the Fellowship is flexibly designed to emphasize experiences that will best prepare the Fellow for their conservation career.

For the 2023 Bailey Fellowship, we are soliciting applicants with interest in one of the two following projects:

  1. Informing Michigan’s Approach to America the Beautiful: We are seeking candidates with social science expertise to advance the America the Beautiful initiative in Michigan. Specifically, we are seeking candidates with expertise in utilizing spatial analysis to inform conservation actions -  such as land and water protection, restoration, and improved management on both conserved and working lands and waters – that will be utilized by various conservation entities, including TNC, public agencies, and other conservation and management entities as the state of Michigan progresses towards conserving 30% of the lands and waters, including our Great Lakes, by the year 2030. that contribute to America the Beautiful goals.
  2. Promoting Local Community-based Support for Conservation: We are seeking candidates with experience in conservation law or policy who will investigate the community-based, “conservation-adjacent” issues (e.g., affordable housing, economic development, infrastructure, etc.) that are necessary to ensure broad-based support for conservation projects. This fellowship would focus on TNCs Keweenaw Heartlands project area, but also provide guidance applicable to conservation projects more broadly.


For our “America the Beautiful” project, we are seeking a Fellow to create, collect and integrate spatial data – with an emphasis on socioeconomic values – to direct conservation actions across Michigan that multiple ecological, economic, and social outcomes. The Fellow will produce spatially explicit data and contribute to the development of an online story map and interactive tool for mapping conservation opportunities to address the biodiversity and climate change crises (such as TNC’s Resilient Land Mapping Tool) designed to meet the needs of conservation organizations, public land managers, and other anticipated users, in addition to scientific reports and publications.


For our “Community-based Conservation” project, we are seeking a Fellow to assist our Keweenaw Heartlands project team in assessing real and potential challenges and opportunities related to their natural resource-based economy that is experiencing increasing nature-based, recreational tourism. The Fellow will work with local communities to cultivate sustainable legal and policy knowledge that enables communities to identify and create opportunities that promote resilience and sustainability.

For either option, the successful candidate will possess strong analytical and interpersonal skills, and, most importantly, creativity and curiosity. As such, the Fellow must be skilled at interacting with an interdisciplinary team of researchers and practitioners, both within TNC and among diverse partners.


The Fellow will be co-advised by senior conservation staff at TNC, and administratively based at our Michigan Field Office in Lansing, MI which is centrally located in the “Great Lakes Research Corridor” with numerous top-ranked universities and conservation science programs within a 150-mile radius. Location of residence should be within Michigan.


Our intent is to find win-win scenarios for the Fellow and TNC. The Fellow will be awarded 18 months of support at an annual salary of $55,000, intended to start as soon as possible.



  • Recently completed PhD or MS (within 2 years) in conservation science, preferably related to social science and resource management, or a JD with experience in environmental law and policy.
  • Experience compiling, manipulating, analyzing and interpreting scientific data.
  • Demonstrated experience in modeling and spatial analysis.
  • Experience with inclusive partner engagement.
  • Experience managing projects.
  • Experience preparing reports of findings.
  • Success in publishing and presenting scientific findings.
  • Multi-language skills and multi-cultural or cross- cultural experience appreciated.

See full job description and apply with cover letter and resume at
Search for Job ID 53582. Deadline to apply is 11:59PM EST, July 7th, 2023.

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