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Subject: Research Scientist - Urban Forest

Research Scientist
Urban Forest Citizen Science Program
Boston, Massachusetts

Earthwatch is seeking a year-long research consultancy (post-doctoral or PhD student) to develop and implement a research program utilizing citizen scientists to study urban forest health.  Funding is available for a part time consultant for one year, with a desired goal to develop a longer term funded commitment.

Earthwatch has developed an urban forest research program using citizen science collected data to engage the general public in hands-on field research as well as collect and analyze relevant information concerning urban trees useful to local managers and the scientific community. The program is currently focused in Cambridge, Massachusetts where we are partnering with the City of Cambridge to collect data on the growth and survivorship of urban trees.  The program has tested pilots of a similar approach in other cities and is looking to develop a replicable model of deploying citizen scientists out to help collect data on research questions pertaining to urban forest growth and dynamics. While data collected to date has relied on teams of citizen scientists targeting previously sampled trees, a web interface and mobile app is being developed to assist participants in data collection and visualization, among other features.

The program is looking for research leadership to develop the primary research thrust for the citizen science program with a principle focus on questions about growth and survivorship of tree species in urban settings. Scientific advances expected from this project will come from a comparison between past and current data collected, addressing possible sources for diminished tree condition, quantifying carbon storage and sequestration benefits, and determining the effects of proximate features.  The scope of this position will include:

  • development and articulation of research questions to leverage citizen science collected data, to include experimental design
  • analysis of data, reporting, presentation and publication of science outcomes
  • supporting implementation of the field research program, to include leading occasional field teams of citizen scientists
  • scientific input to the continued development of the My Tree Tracker website and app

The research scientist will partner with a larger team including a project manager who is responsible for managing teams of citizen scientists, local land management partners, and website/app developers. See the following links for additional information about the program:
Urban Forest Program:
My Tree Tracker:

Earthwatch Institute is an international environmental nonprofit with the mission to engage people worldwide in scientific field research and education to promote the understanding and action necessary for a sustainable environment.

- A PhD or current PhD student in ecology, urban ecology, forestry, or a related discipline
- Expertise in forestry research including phenology, physiology and carbon cycling
- Knowledge of and interest in the value of urban forest environments
- Numerical, analytical, and GIS skills for data analysis
- Strong oral and written communication skills
- A person who values or is interested in citizen science

Applications will start to be reviewed as they are submitted, but must be received by Monday, January 6, 2014. Interviews will follow in early January and a start date to be late – January. 

The application should include but not necessarily be limited to the following:

  • Letter of interest
  • Copy of the applicant’s CV
  • Project approach including an affirmation of project schedule
  • Consultancy rate

Applications must be received by Monday, January 6, 2014. 

Any questions and submissions concerning this application should be directed to:

Gitte Venicx
Earthwatch Institute
114 Western Avenue
Boston, MA 02134
Tel: 978-450-1234


Earthwatch Institute <>
Friday, December 06, 2013

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