The Nature Conservancy: ORISE Fellowship

Posted on February 7, 2024
The Nature Conservancy: ORISE Fellowship
fellowship description:

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is seeking candidates for one Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) Fellow stationed in Southern Pines, North Carolina.  This appointment will assist TNC and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to accomplish the mission of the North Carolina Sandhills Conservation Partnership (Partnership).  The Partnership is dedicated to the restoration and enhancement of the longleaf pine ecosystem in the NC Sandhills and supporting the missions of the partners.  Eligible candidates must have graduated with a college degree (either undergraduate or graduate degree) within three years of the hiring date.  The one-year appointment may be renewed for up to five years and we are seeking candidates interested in staying for at least three years. Information on the ORISE program can be found at:

essential functions:

The NC Sandhills ORISE Fellow will help to advance the wildlife and habitat conservation mission of TNC and USFWS through conservation planning and research, project management, and data analysis. The Fellow will:

  • Lead the implementation of field surveys for a variety of wildlife and plant species, and habitats including upland depressional wetlands, blackwater streams, Sandhills seeps, and longleaf pine forests. 
  • Complete data entry, analysis, reporting, and presentation of results.
  • Compile, synthesize, and communicate scientific or other information via oral and written presentations.
  • Help to plan and facilitate Partnership meetings.
  • Conduct site visits with private landowners for the USFWS Safe Harbor program. Enroll new landowners in program and monitor existing agreements. Promote habitat management.
  • Provide technical GIS support for the TNC, USFWS, and the Partnership.  Conduct GIS analyses to support conservation projects and update and distribute data.
  • Support TNC Stewardship staff in land management activities, including prescribed burning, easement monitoring, assisting with volunteer workdays, and other activities as needed. 
  • Attend TNC and USFWS staff meetings and retreats.   
desired knowledge, skills, and abilities:
  • Bachelor’s degree required. Master of Science preferred in ecology, conservation biology, wildlife management, or other relevant subject. Candidate must have graduated within the last 3 years.
  • Excellent communication skills required.  Demonstrated ability to work effectively and positively with a diverse group of people.
  • Experience with vegetation and wildlife surveys and adhering to standardized data collection protocols. 
  • Familiarity with advanced principles of GIS and experience using ArcGIS (ArcPro preferred) and field data collection applications desired.
  • Familiarity with the longleaf pine habitats and species, and/or ability to learn quickly desired. Experience studying or managing stream flows desired.
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft applications (Word, Excel, Access, and Outlook). 
  • Experience with data analysis preferred.
  • Strong problem-solving and organizational skills required. Ability to set priorities and work productively without close supervision.
  • Highly motivated candidate who desires to be an effective part of a team that is on the leading edge of longleaf pine conservation.
  • Certification in Wildland Firefighting and Prescribed Burning (S130/190, L180, I100) and/or willingness to become certified within 6 months and pass the pack test (carrying 45 pounds for 3 miles in 45 min) desired.
  • Able to pass federal security background check (includes fingerprinting) in order to access a government issued computer.
  • Possess valid driver’s license and good driving record.
how to apply:

For further information, please contact Jeff Marcus at, (910) 585-0521.  To apply, please email a resume, cover letter and references by 5pm on March 4, 2024.

Other information:

The ORISE Fellow will not be an employee of The Nature Conservancy.  The Fellow will receive a monthly stipend of $3,700 - $4,400 depending on skills and experience. The position does not include benefits and the Fellow will be responsible for their own taxes and health insurance.


The Nature Conservancy’s commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our conservation mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of men and women of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and culture. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects our global character is a priority and we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military, protected veteran status or other status protected by law.