As a Social Scientist within the Center for Economic and Social Science in the Chesapeake and Coastal Service Unit, this position will take a lead role in developing and coordinating frameworks and processes for building effective scientific research projects that support the Department in understanding and addressing how people benefit from the natural environment and are impacted by climate change and other environmental issues.

The incumbent will develop frameworks and guidance to support the Department in effectively engaging local communities, building new partnerships, and developing collaborative social networks to successfully implement community-driven, nature-based conservation, restoration, and climate resiliency initiatives. This includes 1)understanding the social dynamics that drive natural resource decision making at the community level, 2)understanding the unique vulnerabilities and risks communities face, and how those shape local priorities, 3)developing outreach, engagement, and stewardship guidance and processes that inform both Department staff and community members on the best practices to effectively influence positive change in those communities, and4) developing frameworks for building and maintaining strong relationships and social networks.
Additionally, the incumbent will develop, coordinate, or participate in projects to create or analyze a combination of social, economic, and ecological data to advance the Department’s understanding of 1) how people and communities across Maryland benefit from the state’s existing natural resources, 2) where social vulnerability and risk exists, 3) where inequities exist, and how to effectively increase communities’ equitable access to natural infrastructure and its benefits, and 4) how communities may be impacted by climate change in the future, and solutions to mitigate those risks. Employee will use data to inform and guide Department activities, and to assist in development of initiatives for advancing conservation, restoration, and resiliency work across the state at local and regional levels that support the diverse needs of Maryland communities.