Conservation Data Scientist Volunteer Trainee

The Training opportunity

We have an exciting opportunity to offer one 6 month (full-time) or 12 months (part-time) volunteer training programme for those interested in the data side of wildlife conservation. We are looking for people wanting to get some valuable conservation experience and training under their belt. You will work alongside an experienced GIS and Data Officer as part of our Conservation Evidence Team, where you will assist with the following:

  • Identifying and collating environmental variables in raster format for the species distribution model (SDM). This will include both lower resolution layers for Europe and higher resolution layers for the UK to support future modelling for a range of species.
  • Developing R code to fetch and clean species occurrence records from online sources such as GBIF.
  • Importing, resampling, aligning, cropping and masking environmental variable rasters.
  • Filtering species occurrence records, and applying spatial thinning using a variogram.
  • Parametrizing and running (pilot) species distribution models using ‘BIOMOD 2’ R package.
  • Building graphical models in QGIS to process and presenting resultant maps and data.

There will also be opportunities to ground truth the data you will be mapping, visiting sites in Kent. Valuable experience will be gained in QGIS, R statistical programme and the importance of evidence-based conservation.

This volunteer role would be ideal for someone seeking a career in conservation. The skills and experience gained during the programme will give you a good grounding to pursue such a career.  Please note that we cannot guarantee that a suitable paid role will be available at the end of your training programme.

What you can expect from the programme

As part of the programme, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Work with KWT and volunteers and engage with partners to improve the environment through wildlife conservation.
  • Integrate yourself into a team at our main office in Tyland Barn, with flexible working hours, as well as some days working from home.
  • Participate in training relevant for the role which could include leadership, camera trapping, social science training and ethics, and ecological survey techniques.
  • Support the protection and management of the habitats and native wildlife in Kent.
  • Contribute towards vital data mapping and management for species projects at KWT.

You may also have the opportunity to:

  • Assist staff in other project areas.
  • Assist with the development of a Wilder Kent.
  • Assist with other data science tasks and possible app development.
  • Help carry out scientific and conservation monitoring and recording of the reserves; e.g.  butterfly transects, bird & botanical etc.
  • Help promote levels of wildlife conservation understanding and awareness.
  • Monitor the use of the reserves by the public, such as visitor numbers & activities, through social science surveys.


This post is unsalaried.  However, the PTES internship funding offers £5,000 to successful interns to be used for training during their internship time as well as travel and accommodation expenses. All KWT trainees have the opportunity to having training in the following – first aid, health & safety and risk assessment, along with opportunities to participate in Trust Study Days, seminars, conferences and other educational activities. This internship is to support aspiring conservationists to get valuable work experience.

How to Apply

Applicants should read the Guidance Notes carefully before completing the Applicant Information Form supported by a Cover Letter and CV (2 pages max).

 Please apply through our website:  Conservation Data Scientist – Volunteer Trainee | Kent Wildlife Trust


If you wish to discuss the programme, please contact:

Amy Fitzmaurice (07702 557313

Lawrence Ball (07740182877

The closing date for applications is:  Friday 12th August

Interviews will be held on: Tuesday 23rd August

Please mention when applying for this job!

Key Information


Kent Wildlife Trust


Fixed Term


Full Time, Part Time


Entry Level


Biodiversity, Conservation, Environment


Kent, United Kingdom

Application Deadline:

12th August 2022 at 11:00pm

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