The Aspen Global Change Institute is a nonprofit organization with a mission to advance global change science and solutions. As described in our Strategic Plan, AGCI’s goals are to further understanding of human and Earth systems, catalyze solutions at speed and scale, and nurture diverse and inclusive community across research and practice. This expansive mandate includes work on community resilience, energy transformation, water in the US West, and inclusive and equitable science, as well as emerging topics within the domain of global change. In practice, AGCI convenes interdisciplinary workshops, conducts collaborative research, and technical assistance to those implementing solutions to global change. Running through the Institute’s DNA is a strong institutional commitment to excellence in science that is actionable and inclusive.
Founded in 1989, AGCI is a Colorado-based 501(c)(3) organization that supports staff and partners working to implement a mission that is international in scope yet grounded in local contexts and problem domains. As an “Institute Without Walls,” AGCI staff and consultants are based in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, North Carolina, Virginia, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia.
The Social Scientist is a newly formed position at AGCI that is charged with: helping cultivate AGCI as a place for interdisciplinary and actionable science; assisting in the design and execution of a scientific research agenda; developing resources and funding for continued research activities; and helping build and sustain research and practice partnerships.
In pursuing this work, the Social Scientist will assist in ongoing, mixed-methods social science research. They will help AGCI evaluate and strategize about the effectiveness of the Institute’s programming and build their own research portfolio that aligns with advancing global change science and solutions.
An ideal candidate will build the capacity of the research team by bringing complementary expertise to the Research Director, staff, and climate science fellows. The specific responsibilities of the position are expected to grow and evolve over time. At the outset, we anticipate the Social Scientist will:
- Bring additional social science capacity to existing AGCI projects including work to conclude a NASA-funded project to better understand the landscape of climate information decision support in the U.S.
- Conduct, support, and lead applied social science research by developing, acquiring funding for, and implementing projects that align with AGCI’s global change research agenda.
- Design efforts to better assess internal AGCI programming. This will inform conversations about the Institute’s strategic direction as well as advance an evaluation and learning agenda for actionable science more broadly.
- Assist in maintaining relationships and programing with AGCI’s partners and affiliates.
- PhD or equivalent experience in social science disciplines related to environment, environmental justice, sustainability, science policy, or global change
- Strong command of social science research methods, ideally a mix of quantitative and qualitative methods. Firm grasp of relevant data collection, management, and analysis technologies/techniques
- Strong working understanding of how to apply social science methods to design and advance monitoring, evaluation, and learning within organizational settings
- Experience in working across disciplines, especially with Earth sciences (e.g., climate, hydrology, ecology)
- Strong written and verbal communication skills, including ability to present to large audiences and convey complex concepts to various audiences (including the public, funders, colleagues from across disciplines).
- Demonstrated creative problem-solving abilities
- Commitment to collaboration and community building in all partnerships and programs (both internal and external)
- Demonstrated excellence in organizational, managerial, and interpersonal skills
- Desire to join and foster the growth of a dynamic nonprofit organization
Work Schedule & Compensation
Start date is flexible within May-June of 2023. AGCI will consider flexible FTEs and joint appointments (e.g., academic teaching and advising). AGCI operates an office in Basalt, Colorado, with staff in satellite locations as part of its “institute without walls” approach.
Compensation: Anticipated salary range is $80,000–$100,000. Benefits include generous PTO, healthcare, IRA contributions, flexible scheduling, wellness benefits, and professional development opportunities
Please submit a CV and cover letter describing your qualifications and interest in this position to firstname.lastname@example.org, and include “Social Scientist Application” in the email subject line.
Applications received before May 1, 2023, may receive priority consideration. Additional applications may be reviewed on a rolling basis thereafter until a candidate is appointed.
We will only consider candidates that are authorized to work in the United States without visa sponsorship.
The Aspen Global Change Institute is committed to providing an equal employment opportunity for all applicants and to ensuring an inclusive work environment free of discrimination and harassment. We welcome people of all identities, backgrounds, and experiences to apply.
If you feel you do not meet all the listed qualifications but can accomplish the aims of this position, we encourage you to apply. You will have the opportunity to share additional details about your work experience that are not reflected in a traditional resume. Our employment decisions are based on our organizational needs, job requirements, and individual qualifications, without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, family or parental status, disability, age, national origin, or any other protected status.
Summer 2023 Volunteer High School Intern
High school students interested in gaining research or field work experience are invited to apply to be an AGCI volunteer intern. This position is unpaid, 5 to 8 hours per week for a 10-week period over the summer. The High School Intern will complete a guided independent project, assist with field work, and be introduced to career opportunities in the sciences. The intern will additionally be invited to participate in a cohort of learners alongside the undergraduate interns hosted at AGCI.
Applications for summer internships close April 15.
Students interested in completing a volunteer project during the school year may apply between July 1 and Aug 1 for the fall semester or between Nov. 1 and Nov. 30 for the spring semester.
Inquiries should be directed to Elise at email@example.com or 970-925-7376.