Managing Science Editor

Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Center for Conservation Media (Ithaca, New York)

Posted 3 days ago

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Around the world, people – from the general public to government decisionmakers – are painfully aware of how significantly humans are threatening and destroying nature and biodiversity. But as publicized as these themes are, regional changes in attitude and behavior toward these crises remain sporadic and slow. Conservation organizations, environmental agencies, and scientific institutions strive to mobilize decisionmakers toward sustainability, but their communication initiatives are often under-supported.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Center for Conservation Media is a full-scale media production and communication strategy group, specializing in ‘broadcast quality’ science-based content. Our explanatory media, documentary films, data visualizations, educational materials, and social media are designed to support scientific institutions, conservation practitioners, local communities, and organizations around the world to impact priority environmental issues that are integral to sustaining species, ecosystems, and human livelihoods.

The Center is seeking a Managing Science Editor to collaborate with the Center director, project leaders, and staff story researcher to produce science-based storytelling and analysis media of the highest caliber.

The Managing Science Editor supervises the topical and scientific research associated with projects that are designed to bring science to stakeholders, through productions that explain complex ecological concepts to regional decision-makers; amplify voices, through films that showcase the grassroots efforts of local communities to protect wildlife and natural systems; protect wilderness, through short-form documentaries that reveal the essence of natural landscapes; and inspire the next generation, through pieces that connect with youth and the leaders of tomorrow.

Key Responsibilities

  • Serve as science editor on all department projects, holding responsibility for the factual accuracy and adherence to Standards & Practices.
  • Conduct story research and gather relevant information from institutions, organizations, and individuals leading projects or initiatives dedicated to biodiversity conservation or advanced scientific study.
  • Create story research briefs and grant proposals for individual projects and multi-year initiatives.
  • Cultivate potential (external) collaborators and partner organizations and serve as primary contact with select individuals and organizations, contributing to the network of relationships required for the department’s work. 
  • Establish and maintain a safe, productive and respectful working environment that fosters a culture of inclusivity and teamwork.

Core Qualifications

  • We are seeking a highly motivated person with a bachelor’s degree in the field of biological or conservation sciences, or science journalism/communication and a minimum of 5 years’ experience in a professional capacity in one of the aforementioned fields, or equivalent combination.
  • This person will have extensive experience in researching and synthesizing complex scientific information and communicating for a wide range of audiences.
  • The person will have first-hand experience with contemporary uses of scientific information in explanatory media and storytelling and be able to interact with project leaders to shape effective media productions.
  • The Managing Science Editor needs to be an agile, creative thinker who thrives off collaborative problem-solving while also serving as a supportive facilitator who can lead complex story research discussions into focused, actionable steps.

Preferred qualifications

  • An advanced degree or professional accomplishments in biological or conservation science. 
  • Over 10 years professional experience in science journalism, communications.
  • Extensive experience working in a science editor capacity or equivalent for a recognized national or international media platform.
  • Extensive knowledge of bird species and landscape-scale conservation issues. 
  • Written and verbal fluency in Spanish. 

Working at Cornell
Cornell provides great benefits that include professional development, access to a plethora of wellness programs, employee discounts with local and national retail brands, health care options to choose from, generous paid leave provisions:  3 weeks of vacation, 12 holidays (including end of year winter break) and superior retirement contributions.

Cornell has also been nationally recognized as an award-winning workplace for our health, wellbeing, sustainability, and diversity initiatives. View more information here.

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University Job Title: Communication Spec III
Level: F
Pay Rate Type: Salary
Company: Contract College
Contact Name: Denise Smith
Number of Openings1

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Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities. We also recognize a lawful preference in employment practices for Native Americans living on or near Indian reservations. Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League university and a great place to work. Our inclusive community of scholars, students, and staff impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose, and contribute creative ideas to further the university’s mission of teaching, discovery, and engagement.

Job Features

Job CategoryAcademic, Print