Environmental Social Scientist

Chicago, IL
Full Time


The Field Museum is a not-for-profit museum located on Chicago’s Museum Campus. In the Field's 125+ year history, which started in 1893 at the World’s Columbian Exposition in the “White City,” we have engaged in research on all seven continents, cultivated a collection of over 40 million specimens and objects, engaged with hundreds of thousands of students from Chicago and the surrounding areas, and welcomed millions of visitors to the Museum each year.  We accomplish this through the efforts of our dynamic and diverse staff of not only scientists and educators, but also front line staff in Visitor Services and Membership, Protection Services, Facility Planning and Operations, as well as behind the scenes support staff. 


The Field Museum is in search of an Environmental Social Scientist to join our team!


The Field Museum’s Keller Science Action Center translates museum science and expertise into results for conservation and quality of life. The Environmental Social Scientist (ESS) works with the Chicago Region team to build and sustain community partnerships, using social scientific methods and findings that contribute to a Chicago region where all neighborhoods are connected to thriving, healthy nature. The ESS works with interdisciplinary Action Center colleagues to advance project goals for the Chicago Region program, and reports to the Environmental Social Science Manager. This position is responsible for project management, participatory action research, and communications to support Action Center collaborations that expand care for urban nature and well-being. The ESS designs and carries out qualitative research and evaluation, supports programs and events, and participates in strategic decision-making on project teams.


Duties and Responsibilities

  • Co-lead the Action Center’s Monarchs & Pollinators initiative, with a focus on social science inquiry, strategy development, and aligned community engagement work
  • Conduct participatory social science research with Center colleagues and partners using qualitative methods and data analysis to advance strategies for conservation and wellbeing
  • Develop and edit written communications and other products relevant to the Chicago Region’s programmatic work, including scientific results and stories of impact from collaborative projects
  • Contribute other applied social science competencies to project teams including literature review and exchange, working with geospatial analysts to map social and ecological data, and leveraging the museum’s collections when appropriate
  • Co-design and facilitate nature-based programming informed by partner interests and center goals to increase community capacity to achieve quality of life improvements
  • Build and sustain key community partnerships to advance shared visions for people and nature
  • Contribute to program assessment and evaluation design, implementation, and tracking in project teams
  • Support other partnerships, events, and programs for the Chicago Region team upon request
  • Participate in center-wide working groups, including science communications, and museum committees, as appropriate



  • Master’s Degree in Social Science specifically Anthropology, Sociology, or Cultural Geography preferred, or relevant professional experience
  • At least 2 years’ work experience that includes interdisciplinary project management, planning, organization, and writing responsibilities required 
  • Qualitative methods experience, specifically designing and conducting surveys, interviews and focus groups, and asset mapping, with diverse participants required 
  • Demonstrated experience facilitating collaborative work across organizations, including engagement and coordination among partners identifying as Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC)
  • Excellent writing, editing, and verbal communication skills, Spanish language competency preferred
  • Strong meeting preparation and facilitation skills
  • Ability to multitask, think critically and creatively, and work both independently and in a team
  • Strong time management skills
  • Willingness and ability to travel within the Chicago region frequently, including some evenings and weekends
  • Awareness of conservation and social issues in the Chicago Region
  • Commitment to continued learning in justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion competencies


Important Note: In order to protect the health and safety of our employees, guests and their families, the Field Museum is requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Requests for exemptions from the vaccine will not be considered as given the nature of this position, we are unable to provide an accommodation for anyone who has not been vaccinated. 


The Field Museum is an equal opportunity workplace and employer. We are committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, gender identity, Veteran status, or any other protected class. We strive to create a working environment that is free of all forms of discrimination and one that promotes human dignity and mutual respect among all staff. We believe every member of our organization enriches our diversity by exposing us to a broad range of ways to understand and engage with the world, to identify challenges, and to discover, design, and deliver solutions.

The Field Museum strives to ensure that our career website and recruiting process are accessible to all. If you are unable or limited in your ability to use or access our online application, or if you require reasonable accommodation in completing this application, interviewing, completing any pre-employment testing, or otherwise participating in the employee selection process, please direct your inquiries to accessibility@fieldmuseum.org.

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