Research Assistant

Ecosystem Marketplace, a Forest Trends Initiative

Research Assistant: Spring/Summer 2016

Ecosystem Marketplace is seeking a full-time research assistant for March through August 2016.

About Ecosystem Marketplace 

Ecosystem Marketplace is a leading source of information and analysis on environmental markets and payments for ecosystem services, publishing newsletters, breaking news, original feature articles and major reports about market-based approaches to conserving ecosystem services. Our market analyses are based on annual global surveys of market actors, beginning in 2007, with our first-ever “State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets” report. Since then, we expanded our survey-based coverage to include forest carbon, watershed investments and biodiversity.

The world’s population depends on ecosystem services, but in economic terms, these services are typically “free” and increasingly overexploited. One promising approach to sustaining vital ecosystem services is to enable market-based mechanisms to mediate supply and demand, putting a price on these services. Market-based mechanisms can then generate financing for sustainable management and long-term conservation of ecosystem services. These markets are emerging but currently small and limited in impact.

EM believes that transparency is a hallmark of robust markets and that by providing freely-accessible information, we can catalyze new thinking and spur the development of new markets and the infrastructure that supports them. Eventually these markets may grow and become a fundamental part of our economic system, resulting in sustainable supplies of ecosystem services.

Ecosystem Marketplace Research Assistant Position Description
The Ecosystem Marketplace research assistant will be able to commit to 35-40 hours per week for six months to support a range of activities based in our Washington, DC office.

Responsibilities may include

  • Engaging in survey outreach (by phone and email) to respondents to our annual surveys;
  • Supporting development of upcoming “State of” reports, including State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets, State of Forest Carbon Finance, State of Watershed Investment, Impact Investing in Conservation, and Taking Stock of Corporate Demand for Carbon Offsets. Tasks may include desk research on policy and markets, analysis, and drafting content;
  • Organizing report launch and other events, with support from other staff;
  • Identifying stories in the media and writing news blurbs for monthly newsletters reaching >10,000 readers;
  • Writing articles for publication on Ecosystem Marketplace website, depending on experience and interest;
  • Contributing to updates of Ecosystem Marketplace’s Forest Carbon Portal; and
  • Other tasks that arise.



  • Undergraduate degree in relevant field;
  • Knowledge of and interest in market-based mechanisms for conservation finance;
  • Attention to detail, organizational skills, team player, positive attitude;
  • Excellent verbal communication skills; comfortable with phone survey outreach;
  • Good working knowledge of Microsoft Office; and
  • Ability to commute to Washington, DC office.



  • Advanced data management and analysis skills in Excel;
  • Excellent writing skills; journalism experience a plus;
  • Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese language skills (comfortable making outreach calls);
  • Basic knowledge of html or familiarity with Content Management Systems a plus; and
  • Graduate degree in relevant field a plus.


Hourly, negotiable rate based on level of education and experience. Employer benefits are not provided.


Washington, DC


Submit your resume and a cover letter by February 24, 2016. Early submissions encouraged, as the position will (ideally) commence in early to mid-March. Please send your materials to:

Cynthia Jensen, Program Manager,

Ecosystem Marketplace is an initiative of Forest Trends, a Washington DC-based international non-profit organization that works to promote the conservation of forested ecosystems and the lives of those who depend on them through markets and payments for ecosystem services.