Ocean Career: The Nature Conservancy Marine Spatial Planning Specialist

The mission of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is to conserve the lands and waters upon which all life depends. As a science-based organization, we develop innovative, on-the-ground solutions to the world’s toughest environmental challenges so that people and nature can thrive.

What we can achieve together

The Marine Spatial Planning Specialist provides technical, scientific, and process support to marine spatial planning (MSP) projects. The MSP Specialist is within TNC’s Protect Ocean, Lands, and Waters Global Strategy Business Unit (Global Protect Team), and sits within the Ocean Planning and Mapping Team, which serves as a global strategic and technical resource for countries and teams engaged in MSP, marine protections, ecosystem services, ocean management, and ocean science. They will be supporting MSP projects initiated under The Nature Conservancy’s significant and matrixed “One Conservancy’ strategy, Nature Bonds and other ocean priority strategies around the world. With the aim to secure durable conservation and climate outcomes by structuring and implementing sovereign debt solutions. These approaches generate new funding for conservation and nature-based climate action and enable governments to achieve ambitious conservation and climate policy commitments, such as in the 2021 Blue Bond in Belize. The strategy is an evolution and expansion of TNC’s proven Blue Bonds for Ocean Conservation program.

Reporting to the MSP Science Manager, they will be responsible for supporting country programs and government agencies with initiating and carrying out MSP processes to reach ocean protection goals under the Nature Bonds program and other TNC ocean priority strategies. Responsibilities include supporting MSP capacity building in-country; developing, presenting, and implementing training materials, templates, tools, and best practices; organize scientific and technical experts to inform MSP processes; develop and implement frameworks for stakeholder engagement, monitoring and evaluation; assist with validation of conservation milestones and reporting. They will attend remote and in-person meetings and workshops as necessary during MSP processes. This position requires the willingness and ability to travel up to 40%, both domestically and internationally.


By joining our Global Protect Oceans, Lands, and Waters team, you will become part of a group that is a force to be reckoned with; a force for nature, a force for people, and a force for our planet. Our team consists of a dedicated group who are leading the conservation effort on multiple fronts and who expertly bring strategy and action together.

The location for this position is flexible within countries where The Nature Conservancy has an established office, ideally within a time zone compatible with North, Central, and South America. This position is not eligible for relocation or immigration assistance.


  • Master’s degree in planning, political science, public policy, international relations, international development, social science, natural science, ecology or related field and at least 2 years related experience, or equivalent combination.
  • Experience synthesizing, interpreting and communicating scientific information.
  • Experience preparing reports of findings.
  • Record of peer reviewed publications in scientific journals.
  • Experience leading or participating on cross functional teams.
  • Experience working and communicating with a wide range of people.


  • On-the-ground experience with advancing ocean conservation and participatory processes such as marine spatial planning, marine protected area networks and/or sector-based management plans.
  • Critical analytical thinking and excellent English writing skills are essential.
  • Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.
  • Ability to work well in a highly matrixed, decentralized and collaborative organization. Possesses strong interpersonal skills and political savvy. Must be a team player.
  • Ability to write and speak in a language other than English, such as Spanish, Portuguese, French or Chinese, highly desirable.
  • Familiarity with ocean topics such as fisheries, offshore energy, aquaculture, climate change and/or other anthropogenic ocean impacts.
  • Experience managing complex projects coordinating the work of peers and partners.
  • Familiarity with spatial analysis tools.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment and meet time sensitive deadlines.

We’re proud to offer a flexible work environment that supports the health and well-being of the people we employ.


For US based applicants only, the starting pay range for a candidate selected for this position is generally within the range of $65,280-$97,750 for annual base salary and is based on location, qualifications, specific skills and experience.

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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