Public Lab Research note

Public Lab nonprofit job posting: Data Ambassador

by Shannon | October 21, 2014 18:47 21 Oct 18:47 | #11289 | #11289

Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science: Data Ambassador

Start Date: Late November 2014
Location: Boston area, New York City, New Orleans, with consideration for remote employment
Terms: 2 years with potential for renewal

The Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science (Public Lab) is a community--supported by a 501(c)(3) non-profit--which develops and applies open-source tools to environmental exploration and investigation. By democratizing inexpensive and accessible Do-It-Yourself techniques, Public Lab creates a collaborative network of practitioners who actively re-imagine the human relationship with the environment.

This position will be responsible for launching the Data Advocacy initiative at Public Lab. The Data Ambassador will focus on working with community members to identify the most useful advocacy pathways, including data standardization and interpretation, impactful messaging and storytelling, and mapping power relationships. This position will provide critical support for the Public Lab community, educating participants on how to interpret data they’ve collected, present it in impactful ways, and prepare data for inclusion in larger, standardized datasets. The Data Advocacy initiative will align closely with the goals of Public Lab research and community development, working across geographies to help build issue specific networks and help develop and support the outcome related goals of community members.

This position will work with the Director of Research and the Executive Director. As a core component of the position, the Data Ambassador will also be required to frequently work and communicate with the Community Development team.

Major Position Responsibilities

  • Balance time spent directly on specific cases with the creation of broader programs and supporting materials to enable community members to pursue data-based outcomes on their own;
  • Thoroughly and rigorously convey abilities of Public Lab tools and monitoring strategies, and the challenges they face, to science and policy audiences as well as to journalists;
  • Identify and act upon “low hanging fruit” scenarios where locally collected environmental data has leverage to affect planning, remediation, policy, legal, and health outcomes for specific communities and community partners;
  • Formulate and improve strategies of members of the Public Lab network and the Public Lab non-profit in collecting impactful and persuasive data and in shaping public and government perception of pollution events;
  • Document and advocate for “design patterns” in constructing data collection strategies for optimizing outcomes on Public Lab web and print materials and at Public Lab events;
  • Develop relationships with community, government, and industry audiences and build a credible reputation for rigorous data collection and analysis;
  • Guide the Data Advocacy initiative objectives: 1) Identify and create training materials around advocacy pathways, 2) Create and support relationships with government agencies, 3) Capacity building to support the use of community collected data, 4) Develop methodological replicability around data advocacy, 5) Assess current data advocacy practices.


Demonstrated three to five years of experience working on campaign strategy, policy or other related initiatives. Preference will be given to people with a background in one of the following fields: sociology, public health, data science, environmental law and policy, communications or environmental science. Although past experience is desirable, at minimum a strong interest in learning about working with data to build strong environmental campaigns is required. A college degree is strongly preferred.

Skills, Knowledge and Abilities Required

  • Knowledge and appreciation of Public Lab (community & nonprofit), its mission, its programs and services, and the ability to communicate them effectively;
  • Ability to write and web-publish regularly and compellingly, in combination with photos and other media;
  • Excellent communication skills–in online, written, and verbal formats;
  • Work with Public Lab community members on complex data sets;
  • Facilitation skills;
  • Ability to work collaboratively, both in-person and with remote co-workers, to envision and promote positive change, and to be supportive of others;
  • Ability to facilitate activities amongst a highly diverse community of people from many different fields and experience sets;
  • Technical proficiency (with full support from co-workers)--ability to learn, disseminate and teach about technology in the context of advocacy;
  • Comprehension and confidence to challenge or defend technical claims related to Public Lab tools, to scientific or policy audiences;
  • Excellent self-organizational and administrative skills;
  • Ability to identify and solve problems as a team member, and to make decisions and involve others in the decision-making process where appropriate;
  • Ability to create a work environment that fosters shared goals and objectives, and to be part of a cohesive online and offline community;
  • Ability to travel for meetings.

Compensation based on experience and qualifications. Please send your resume, one writing sample (format of your preference) and a letter explaining 1) why the Data Ambassador role is of interest to you and 2) what you hope to accomplish by working with the Public Lab community, to by November 7th. No phone calls please.

Public Lab is an equal opportunity employer committed to a diverse, multicultural work environment. We encourage people with different ability sets, people of color, and people of diverse sexual orientations, gender expressions and identities to apply.


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