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Guest Researcher- Urban Forestry

Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) is seeking a Guest Researcher with expertise in Urban Forestry to provide independent research that will support the initiatives and projects of our Research and Partnerships team for up to 20 hours a week until March 31, 2023. We invite researchers and scholars with applied research experience to submit qualifications for this contract opportunity.

The Guest Researcher will work collaboratively with CLF’s researchers and advocates to assess tree canopy and cover in multiple cities across the six New England states and to provide scientific analyses for informing tree planting and preservation plans and strategies.

The Guest Researcher will be based in CLF’s Boston office and may also perform services remotely. The position will also involve some travel to other CLF offices across New England.

CLF is dedicated to ensuring that New England’s people and places thrive by being equitable, accessible, and safe from climate change risks. The Guest Researcher will be a key player in helping us achieve our mission.

What you will do under the mentorship of CLF staff
• Conduct independent research on topics relevant to CLF’s Urban Forestry initiative, with a focus on topics related to impacts of climate conditions and changes on the health of natural systems and humans related to urban trees and forests.
• Provide independent analysis and research support for other Research and Partnerships initiatives with forestry-related components and work effectively with CLF staff and collaborators to identify research required to develop, inform, and support the organization’s advocacy activities related to forestry.
• Advise on and help coordinate research projects in collaboration with CLF’s partner organizations, such as academic and research institutions and community-based organizations.
• Review and summarize urban forestry research and climate science literature for CLF’s internal and external audiences. Such reviews and summaries may include op-eds, white papers, subject matter guides, research memos, legal briefs, podcasts, and blog posts.
• Provide independent scientific analysis and scans to the CLF Healthy and Resilient Communities (HRC) team’s review of laws and regulations to assess their grounding in scientific merit and best practices related to Urban Forestry.
• Participate in research and analyses that may inform CLF’s public positions and statements.
• Author and co-author articles and chapters in peer-reviewed publications.
• Participate in advancing CLF’s values and DEI goals through inclusive, anti-racist scientific practices so that people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected, informed, and empowered to address climate change and environmental challenges.

What you will need
• Advanced degree and at least three years of professional experience conducting research in urban forestry, climate science or a related field and be customarily engaged in research of the same nature, such as would be involved in performing research as an academic researcher, a scientist at a research institute, a post-doctoral researcher, or a doctoral candidate with an approved research proposal related to urban forestry. Doctoral degree with at least two years of professional experience preferred.
• Proven ability to conduct rigorous scientific research using quantitative or mixed methods approaches.
• Demonstrated ability to coordinate the details of a research project from inception through to dissemination.
• Self-directed with proven ability to work independently.
• Excellent written and verbal communications and time management skills.
• Ability to deploy a diversity of analytical approaches, from theoretical and empirical studies to back-of-the envelope analyses.
• Ability to critically analyze data sets and analytical tools such as Indexes, screening tools, geographic information systems, and predictive models.
• Familiarity with a variety of empirical and theoretical literature on climate science.
• Mastery of Microsoft Excel and proficiency with quantitative analysis tools such R, STATA, SPSS, or SAS.
• Interest in relating scientific research to real-world law and policy and in bridging the worlds of advocacy and institutional research and the gap between community and institutional knowledge sources and audiences.
• Demonstrated self-awareness, cultural competence, and ability to work with CLF staff, partners, and stakeholders across diverse cultures, communities, and backgrounds.
• A strong scientific community of practice in urban forestry-related disciplines.
• Ability to use complex systems frameworks to assess the implications of research findings on real-world applications.
• Passion for environmental protection and justice.

What we would also prefer
• Familiarity of carbon markets and economic co-benefits of trees and urban forests.
• Experience evaluating qualitative and experiential studies for reliability and trustworthiness.
• Proficiency with GIS and a programming language such as Python.
• Familiarity with political systems that govern human interactions and development with climate.
• General knowledge of the geography and ecological areas in New England.

About CLF
CLF protects New England’s environment for the benefit of all people. A non-profit, member supported organization, CLF uses the law, science, and the market to solve the region’s most challenging environmental problems, from climate change to ocean conservation to transportation. Every day, CLF advocates stand up for New Englanders—in statehouses, courthouses, boardrooms, regulatory hearings, and community gatherings—to forge innovative paths to environmental progress and economic prosperity for all in our region. To that end, CLF
frequently works with communities of color, communities with limited English language proficiency, those who are economically marginalized, and others who often suffer disproportionately from the impacts of environmental degradation. CLF is committed to representing New England’s diversity in our staff, volunteers, boards, and membership and creating a positive, inclusive workplace culture where all can thrive. Diverse and nontraditional
candidates are encouraged to apply.

CLF will pay the Guest Researcher a stipend in the amount of $26,000 in installments to be outlined in the Guest Researcher Agreement. The Guest Researcher will also receive training and professional development opportunities including mentorship on research methods from our staff and partners, access to CLF data and tools, and the chance to work in a collaborative environment comprising of researchers, analysts, and advocates dedicated to protecting people’s health and the environment in New England.

The Guest Researcher will determine how the stipend will be used to support their successful completion of the activities required for this research visit: expenditures might include living expenses, tuition, or travel. The stipend will be paid based on a schedule that will be outlined in a Guest Researcher Agreement, with the first installment disbursed soon after signing the agreement.

This position is neither a staff position nor an offer of employment; the Guest Researcher will be an outside, independent consultant and not a CLF employee or staff member, and as such, the Guest Researcher will not be eligible for benefits that CLF provides or offers to its employees and staff.

To respond to this request for qualifications, please send a CV and cover letter summarizing your current and past Urban Forestry or related research experience to Dr. Tracy Corley, Director of Research and Partnerships, at

CLF considers the health and safety of its staff members and their families, its guests, visitors, and the community at large to be a top priority. All offers to work, intern, volunteer, or engage with CLF are conditioned on the individual complying with CLF’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy.

To apply for this job email your details to