Based in the coastal town of Fort Dauphin in the southeast of Madagascar, this post will provide specialist knowledge and experience within a team of National and International staff working within a traditional reed weaving livelihoods project. The specialist will lead on the development, implementation and analysis of baseline habitat assessments, provide specialist skills in determining, through field investigation, how human and natural activities have influenced the wetland's physical conditions while examining and developing procedures for supplementing and conserving wild reed populations.
This exciting post would suit someone with a Master’s degree in a relevant field and experience in implementation of similar initiatives and conservation projects, preferably in a developing country context. Although a scientific role, it will involve significant work and involvement with the local community.
Title: Wetland and Reed Bed Specialist
Location: Fort Dauphin, Anosy Region, Madagascar
Timeframe: 6 months
Probationary period: 3 months
Remuneration: Contribution towards flights, insurance, and local stipend (covering accommodation and basic living expenses)
Reporting to: Head of Project Development (Conservation and Sustainable Livelihoods)
Duties and Responsibilities:
• Deliver robust activity planning of the baseline assessment, including extensive desk-based research into international best practice of reed bed conservation activities in the context of Madagascar specifically – involving lessons learnt from previous projects and organisations
• Mapping bio-physical extent of wetland and reedbeds in consultation with SEED’s Conservation Research Team (SCRP) and community members
• Collect soil samples, track aquatic wildlife, monitor chemical composition of wetlands, and assess the impact of a variety of threats including human exploitation and fire
• Provide technical expertise and develop the on-going activity plan for wetland and reed bed assessments and restoration activities
• Develop an innovative methodology for developing an anecdotal baseline of reed bed abundance and distribution and community usage patterns through focus groups and key informant interviews
• Using compiled biophysical and social data, develop detailed visuals for spatial comparisons between habitat, community usage and physical data
• Provide training for SCRP and community members in developing initial conservation research and strategies for protecting threatened reed beds in the face of climate change and high levels of exploitation
• Initiate the development of a community-led, long-term and sustainable reed bed management strategy in collaboration with a diverse range of stakeholders
• Data analysis and report writing
• Collaborate with and support national staff to ensure project delivery marries international best practice into the local context, whilst predicting challenges and barriers to success
• Identify needs and develop content for on site evaluation and learning opportunities for project staff.
• Support the Project Development Team in writing and editing technical information informing reports for donors and stakeholders
• Any other tasks that the Head of Project Development or Head of Department deems necessary within the broad remit of the role.
Skills and Experience:
• Minimum MSc (preferably PhD) in Wetland Biology, Conservation Ecology, Natural Resource Management, Environmental Science, or another relevant subject.
• A developed capability in working statistically with large, multi-level and complex data sets.
• Experience with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and/or other computer modelling programs.
• Experience in similar wetland assessment and conservation projects, preferably in Madagascar or another developing country.
• Have the capacity to write high-quality scientific reports.
• Have the ability and desire to work with teams from different economic and cultural backgrounds and across multiple language barriers.
• Experience of or capability to work with translators.
• Be able to work both independently and as part of a multicultural and multilingual team.
• Have passion and motivation for the work and to enthuse staff and volunteers.
• Demonstrate an understanding of and commitment to SEED’s ethos and approach and be a good ambassador for SEED at all times.
• Have passion, curiosity and motivation for the job and the ability to enthuse others.
• Demonstrate proven ability to recognise and appropriately deal with challenging situations and possess excellent problem-solving skills.
• Demonstrate an awareness of and comfort with increased social and professional responsibility, working at all times with cultural sensitivity and respect.
• Demonstrate the ability, social skills and confidence to give clear guidance and support to other members of the team in respect of the philosophy and procedures of SEED in order to protect both their safety and the reputation of the NGO.
• 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.
• Willingness to complete a First Aid course before arrival in Madagascar (if not already obtained).
• Successful candidate will need to bring their own laptop computer (non-tablet) and tent.
Interested applicants should send a CV and covering letter outlining how their skills and experience match the requirements in the role description criteria to Lisa Bass by email at firstname.lastname@example.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 if it’s possible to attend. More information on the work of SEED Madagascar can be found at www.madagascar.co.uk.