Location: Fully Remote

American Farmland Trust is the only national organization that takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land itself, the agricultural practices used on that land, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. Since our founding in 1980, AFT has helped permanently protect over 6.5 million acres of agricultural lands, advanced environmentally-sound farming practices on millions of additional acres, and helped thousands of farm families make a go of it (primarily through programs that increase farm viability and/or enhance farmland access). Long a pioneering leader, AFT is now riding a new wave of growth, driven by agriculture’s most pressing needs and opportunities.

We believe diversity drives innovation. We are inclusive. We embrace differences. We recognize and respect the fundamental value and dignity of all our employees. We celebrate the unique traditions, heritages, and experiences our employees bring to the workplace. We are committed to creating and sustaining an inclusive culture that promotes and values diversity, and where everyone feels empowered to bring their authentic selves to work every day.

We provide equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, expression or identity, national origin, age, disability, or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, American Farmland Trust complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which we have facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.


The Land Use Researcher supports AFT’s programming and policy advocacy to protect agricultural land from development, promote sound farming practices, and keep farmers on the land.

As an integral part of the AFT research program team, the Land Use Researcher (LUR) is responsible for carrying out quantitative research to understand the effects of land-use change on agricultural land, focusing primarily on AFT’s multi-year Farms Under Threat research initiative.

What You’ll Be Working On

  • Developing and executing quantitative methods for analyzing and projecting land-use change in peri-urban environments, with a focus on agricultural lands.
  • Contributing to other research efforts being undertaken by the AFT research team, including by advising on methods, reviewing drafts, and undertaking analyses.
  • Contributing to outreach and communication efforts designed to share results with policymakers, farmland protection professionals, scientists, and the general public.
  • Contributing to raising funds for ongoing and future research efforts.
  • Collaborating with AFT staff and partner organizations on innovative research efforts that advance the mission of AFT.
  • Contributing to research team administrative requirements as appropriate.

Required Qualifications

The ideal candidate is highly responsible with a strong sense of ethics; trustworthy, dependable, and excels in building trust and working productively with multiple collaborators, and possesses:

  • Excellent technical skills in quantitative land use analysis using geographic information systems and statistical methods;
  • Strong working knowledge of land use issues in the United States, with a focus on agriculture and peri-urban environments, as well as environmental issues related to agricultural production;
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including ability to effectively communicate scientific concepts with internal and external stakeholders; and
  • Excellent computer proficiency (MS Office – Word, Excel, MS SharePoint & Teams, and Outlook)

Education & Experience

  • Masters’ degree in geography, landscape ecology, geographic information systems, or a related field. PhD preferred due to the independent and self-directed nature of the position.
  • 5+ years’ experience in quantitative land use research, including grant writing, methods development, data collection, data analysis, and writing for both scientific and lay audiences.


Travel may be required for this position to present research results, meet with funders, or to facilitate collaboration. It is anticipated that travel will be required less than 10% of the time.

Why you should apply

  • Be a part of a purpose-driven, committed, knowledgeable, high-performing, experienced and fun team
  • A diverse and inclusive work environment
  • A cause and mission you can be proud of
  • Competitive compensation & benefits
  • Remote work opportunities
  • Flexible scheduling

Ready to apply? If this job sounds like a fit for you, then click here to apply.