Conservation Research Coordinator

SEED Madagascar

Sainte Luce, Madagascar

Volunteer • Full Time

www.madagascar.co.uk lisa@seedmadagascar.org Lisa Bass

Sectors: conservation & wildlife

Closing date: Thursday, 1st March 2018  


An exciting in-country post for a passionate conservationist to co-ordinate a research team in south east Madagascar.

Conservation Research Co-ordinator, Madagascar

Role description

Position Overview:

The role of the Conservation Project Coordinator is, in conjunction with the Team Leader and Research Assistants, to ensure the development and smooth functioning of the conservation research programme. Working with local staff and international volunteers the Coordinator will conduct research on endemic and endangered flora and fauna, mainly in the coastal littoral forest fragments in Sainte Luce. The Coordinator is responsible for all aspects of the programme; co-ordinating field research including developing and expanding the current research projects, new project design and methodology, writing of publishable papers and, in conjunction with the Team Leader, volunteer co-ordinator and Research Assistants, the management and care of the short term conservation volunteers.

The Conservation Project Coordinator is also responsible for building the capacity of the programme guides and providing the Project Development team with pertinent research and results to aid future funding proposals.

Short term volunteers provide much needed support to the conservation effort in St Luce both through their participation in the research activities and through the financial donation that they make to the NGO. For this reason it is imperative that volunteers both participate fully in the research activities and have a positive experience so they go on to promote SEED and Madagascar in general. The Coordinator, with the Team Leader, Research Assistants and volunteer co-ordinator will work towards this end through management, intervention and support as well as promoting the wider work of SEED.

The Coordinator will split their time between the field and the office as workloads and priorities allow, although it is expected the Coordinator will spend a minimum of 50% of their time in office. Example tasks for field and office include- developing current projects, designing new, appropriate research projects, training volunteers and local staff in accurate methodology, and problem solving regarding volunteer issues. For specific responsibilities, see the section below.

Duties and responsibilities:

The Conservation Research Coordinator will:

  1. Design novel environmental research project(s) that are specific and applicable to the area and provide protocols and training on methodology
  2. In collaboration with the Research Assistants, organise work schedules for volunteers and staff to ensure the standard of data collection for effective applied conservation outputs
  3. Continue with on-going research, ensuring that this follows protocols and is of international standard
  4. Manage, supervise and appraise the team of research assistants
  5. Ensure support and care are provided to maintain the physical and mental welfare of research assistants and volunteers
  6. Ensure successful communication of SEED’s current work across all departments to the volunteers
  7. Provide management, advice and intervention to ensure the research camp is effective and supported
  8. Ensure risk assessments are in place for each activity and these are communicated with the team and volunteers
  9. Interact with volunteers, stakeholders and other researchers in a professional and friendly manner
  10. Work closely with the Head of Volunteering in ensuring the smooth running of the programme
  11. Facilitate, write and secure publication in peer reviewed journals of research
  12. In consultation with the Head of Volunteering and UK staff to manage field and equipment budgets
  13. Work alongside the Project Development Department to secure funding for current and future research projects
  14. Provide quarterly internal and external reports for SEED and any collaborating partners
  15. Work alongside Media volunteers and SEED volunteering staff in producing information for the website and social media
  16. Work closely with the Head of Conservation and Environment in developing a holistic research programme covering both conservation and community projects
  17. Advise on strategic development of the programme
  18. Maintain and develop respectful relationships in the community where the team is based and ensuring that all staff and volunteers respect the customs and taboos of the area
  19. Any other tasks that the Director of Programmes and Operations see fit within the broad scope of this job description

Contract type: Minimum 18 months, extendable

Location: Anosy Region, Madagascar

Reporting to: Director of Programmes and Operations

Salary: The chosen candidate will receive a local stipend and up to £1,000 for the costs associated with an annual flight per year, in country visa extensions and insurance.

Requirements:

The successful applicant will:

  • Have a Masters degree in an environment subject
  • Have at least 12 months successful experience of tropical field research
  • Have proven organisational, time-management and communication skills
  • Have experience of designing and implementing research projects
  • Have had experience with publishing research
  • Have experience of leading research teams of both international and national staff
  • Have experience of either coordinating a volunteer programme or having taken part in a similar extended volunteering scheme
  • Have experience using GPS’s and a working knowledge of GIS
  • Be fluent in English; ability to speak French or Malagasy is desirable
  • Have a good level of fitness for working in difficult terrain under tropical conditions
  • Have passion, curiosity and motivation for the job and the ability to enthuse others.
  • Have the ability and desire to work with teams from different economic and cultural backgrounds and across multiple language barriers.
  • Have the ability and desire to build capacity and share skills across cultures.
  • Demonstrate proven ability to recognise and appropriately deal with challenging situations.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of and comfort with increased social and professional responsibility, working at all times with cultural sensitivity and respect.
  • Be punctual and be able to work to tight deadlines in an organised manner and to a high standard
  • Have a flexible and patient attitude.
  • Have excellent problem-solving skills.
  • Be able to work both independently and as part of a team.

Practicalities:

The successful candidate will be equipped with a laptop computer (non-tablet) and field camping equipment. They must also hold a current First Aid certificate.

Application procedure:

Interested applicants should send a CV and covering letter outlining how their skills and experience match the requirements in the role description criteria and detailing why they wish to be considered for this post to Lisa Bass by email on Lisa@seedmadagascar.org. Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until the position is filled. Long-listed applicants will have an initial informal chat with Madagascar-based staff and short listed applicants will then be offered a face-to-face interview with the London team in person. More information on the work of SEED can be found at www.madagascar.co.uk

Background of the Post in the SEED Madagascar Conservation Programme:

The SEED Madagascar Conservation Programme (SCP) accepts international volunteers to help conduct research on the unique flora and fauna of Madagascar’s last remaining fragments of littoral forest. Our research programme focuses on the endemic/endangered communities of Sainte Luce, with a particular focus on lemur research, herpetological study and the monitoring of endangered palm species. Current projects include compiling a comprehensive inventory of herpetological species, amassing ecological evidence whenever information is lacking, compiling lemur population densities and spatial/temporal distribution maps. A lemur behavioural study designed to build on current understanding is ongoing, with the long term aim of assessing their adaptive capacity, ecology and prospects for long-term survival. We are currently developing a variety of new projects, including a bird monitoring programme, butterfly surveying and the creation of an insect database.

Habitat sampling and assessment is also a regular activity, alongside the collation of species inventories for each of the nearby forest fragments, with a particular emphasis on the reptile and amphibian, bird and small mammal communities. The SCP team works very closely with the local community to implement lasting community conservation initiatives, such as environmental education in village schools, conservation through English lessons and through the training of local eco tourism guides.


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