Ecologist, Nsumbu-Tanganyika Conservation Programme

Website FRANKFURT ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY ZAMBIA

Ecologist, Nsumbu-Tanganyika Conservation Programme

Frankfurt Zoological Society conserves wildlife and ecosystems

As part of Nsumbu National Park’s (NNP) recovery, FZS developed a strategic plan for wildlife population recovery and restoration, with the goal of Nsumbu serving as the core source population for wildlife recovery in the wider ecosystem.

An opportunity exists within Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS), Zambia through the Nsumbu Tanganyika Conservation Programme (NTCP) for a highly motivated, and capable person to join the team in Nsumbu as an Ecologist. NTCP has been in existence in the Nsumbu area since 2017, working closely with Government partners and the community to improve the management of wildlife and other Natural Resources.

Location: Nsumbu, Nsama District, Zambia

Reports to: Project Leader, NTCP

Works closely with: NTCP Project Team, DNPW partners, local communities and international partners.

Purpose of the Job
Implement a high-quality applied ecological research and monitoring programme across the terrestrial and aquatic landscapes within the Nsumbu-Mweru ecosystem to support both landscape-scale adaptive management, and the restoration of several keystone mammal species (including African lions) into the Nsumbu Mweru ecosystem. The monitoring programme should deliver meaningful results based on cutting-edge science to enable adaptive management and improved understanding of ecosystem functions and changes on a landscapescale. This includes aquatic and land areas under different management regimes as well as different stages of recovery.

This will be achieved through 1. The improvement of the quality and scope of both terrestrial and aquatic applied research and monitoring programmes by the Ecological Management Unit, Community Scouts and community members; 2. Species (re)introduction and post translocation monitoring; 3. Field-based data management, analysis and communication; 4. Enhancing local capacity for sustainable ecological monitoring including post-translocation monitoring and 5. Other activities, as needed.

Key Responsibilities

The Ecologist will work closely with the Project Leader, Programme Coordinator, DNPW and communities to support enhanced ecological monitoring that supports adaptive management, science-based decision-making, and evaluation of management success in ecosystem restoration.

Key responsibilities include:

  • The implementation and oversight for the improvement and expansion of applied research and monitoring programmes for terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in the NsumbuTanganyika Ecosystem
  • Species (re)introduction and post-translocation monitoring
  • Field-based data management, analysis and communication
  • Coordination and capacity development of partners and stakeholders

Capabilities, Competencies and Experience needed for the job

The Ecologist should be a goal-oriented, highly motivated qualified individual with relevant work experience. S/He should be self-directed in their work, work hard with minimum supervision and comfortable in conducting strenuous field work in remote and rugged environments. The ecologist should be willing to work with different individuals from community level and government partners to international experts, cultivating and maintaining relationships for the success of the programme. The Ecologist is expected to improve upon current systems and explore new ideas and ways of working.

Note that the successful candidate will be expected to accompany scouts on periodic data collection and monitoring visits, requiring physical exertion on rugged terrain both in Nsumbu National Park and surrounding GMAs as well as on boat patrols on Lake Tanganyika to ensure that they are continuously aware of field conditions.

The following criteria will be used in shortlisting candidates:

Minimum qualifications

  • A University degree in Ecology, Wildlife Management, Natural Resources Management or any related subject;
  • Minimum 3 years work experience in a relevant field. Experience working in a rural setup will be an added advantage;
  • A sound understanding of ecological principles, research and monitoring methodology, restoration work and relevant tools;
  • Experience in ecological survey techniques (e.g. camera trap surveys, distance sampling surveys, aquatic monitoring techniques etc.);
  • Ability to effectively lead teams and work independently with minimal supervision
  • Comfortable and capable conducting strenuous work in remote and rugged field environments;
  • Good written and spoken communication skills;
  • Ability to prepare compelling and accurate data presentations (charts, diagrams, etc); •       Proficiency in at least one data analysis software (e.g. R, SPSS etc);
  • Proficiency in MS Office (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, etc.).

Preferred knowledge, skills & experience

  • Knowledge and experience in using SMART and EarthRanger;
  • Proficiency in GIS;
  • Experience driving a motorbike and manual vehicle;
  • Able to communicate in Bemba or Tabwa;
  • At least one year working on remote field projects.

Working Conditions/Physical Effort

  • Willingness to travel and work flexible hours;
  • Willingness to work in a rural set up with local communities and government partners;
  • Ability to work under stress during peak workload periods;
  • Willingness to spend occasional nights in rural villages to foster community partnership;
  • Willingness to camp in the bush;
  • Willingness to ride a motorbike in rural areas.

Terms & benefits

A competitive salary with benefits on an annual contract basis will be negotiated.

Application:

Only candidates who meet the minimum requirements will be considered for the position.  Due to the number of applications only finalists will be contacted. Please send a cover letter (maximum 2 pages) including your earliest possible starting date and a chronological CV in PDF format to [email protected] Ensure the subject line in your email application states “Ecologist Application”.   Applications close on 19th September, 2022 at midnight, Central African Time. Applications received after this date will not be considered.

Please address applications to:

Frankfurt Zoological Society, Zambia

P. O. B0X 450189 Mpika

Nsumbu Tanganyika Conservation Programme

The cover letter will be used to judge the quality of your application and should answer the following questions:

1.  What interests you most about the position?

2.  Why are you a good fit for the role?

3.  Describe how you envision being able to improve the ecological monitoring of the programme.

4.  Describe your experience conducting field work in a bush environment.

5.  What is your most important personal characteristic that you will bring to FZS Zambia in this role?

6.  How do you see applied research and ecological monitoring complementing restoration efforts?

6. At least 3 traceable references with a short description of your working relationship, and their contact details.


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