Resident Lecturer in Conservation Science

  • The School for Field Studies
  • Siem Reap, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia
  • Nov 06, 2016
Contractor Biology/Ecology Training Faculty/Instructor

Job Description

The SFS program located in Cambodia (with an excursion to Vietnam) seeks an enthusiastic, team-oriented individual to serve as part of a residential team of faculty and staff that delivers an interdisciplinary, hands-on learning experience to students spending a semester abroad.  SFS Mekong will present a rich learning landscape for students where the complex issues of conservation science, environmental ethics, and sustaining rural livelihoods takes place within a region of aggressive growth.

On a contract basis, this faculty position will teach the Conservation Science and Practice course during the spring semester and teach one-third of the Directed Research course. Contribute to student learning in the areas of conservation planning, natural resource use, and biodiversity assessment. Lead designated components of the programs research plan and, as part of this, oversee, mentor, and grade the student directed research projects.
Institutional Mission:
SFS creates transformative study abroad experiences through field-based learning and research. Our educational programs explore the human and ecological dimensions of the complex environmental problems faced by our local partners, contributing to sustainable solutions in the places where we live and work. The SFS community is part of a growing network of individuals and institutions committed to environmental stewardship.

Program Focus:
This program seeks to understand both the conflicts and synergies of conservation and development. Students will gain a sense of the richness of the greater Mekong region—biodiversity, social and cultural diversity, and ecosystem services—while exploring strategies for sustainable livelihoods in this highly productive and diverse region of Southeast Asia.
The interdisciplinary themes of socio-ecological resilience, environmental ethics and justice, and conservation will guide our inquiry. Through coursework, field exercises, and Directed Research, students will study people’s dependence on the environment, examine the threats to the environment and to social networks, and explore the tools and strategies for mitigating the threats and promoting well-being among rural communities. A strong component of the program will be examining the ecological patterns and processes that underpin the high diversity of the region.
Course Description: Conservation Science and Practice
The overarching goal of this course is to make students aware of the enormous responsibility humans have as stewards of the natural environment, and to provide them with the concepts, tools, and incentives to affect conservation of the natural environment.  The field of conservation is focused on protecting biological diversity, including ecosystems, species, and genetic diversity, through promoting processes, both ecological and social, that support biodiversity. The course will provide students with a background to engage in the ‘conservation conversation’. While it will expose students to broad issues that face the entire planet, we will focus practical aspects on local case studies, considering the array of conservation strategies in the region. The region of study – the Mekong region of Cambodia and Vietnam, and its associated ecosystems, will provide the local lens to evaluate global concerns on a local level.  
Course Description: Directed Research
The aim of this course is to provide students with the opportunity to apply ecological, biological, and/or social-scientific methods to a field research project that addresses a local issue related to the environment. We will also investigate the ways that various methods and theories distinguish (or don’t) fact from interpretation, cause from correlation, and advocacy from objectivity. The directed research topics are derived from the SFS Center’s Strategic Research Plan (currently in development) as defined by the Center staff and local stakeholders. Through the Directed Research project, students will contribute to a growing body of scientific research that informs local conservation and resource management decisions. SFS program lecturers lead a small group of students in this research component of the  program.
Applicants are encouraged to review proposed course syllabi and programs descriptions on the SFS website:
Duties and Responsibilities
Provide high quality, modern and experiential teaching in critical environmental issues in an interdisciplinary curriculum, and participate fully in the implementation of the program’s research plan that addresses these issues. The publication of research results is critical. Work closely with the other program lecturers to deliver an interdisciplinary program through education and research in a field setting. Each lecturer is expected to provide high quality, inquiry-based teaching and will lead students in Directed Research projects defined in the program’s research plan.
As part of an interdisciplinary teaching team, teach a significant portion of the academic program (minimum 55-60 lecture hours)
Plan, revise, and effectively deliver a challenging, problem-based interdisciplinary curriculum
Organize lectures and prepare course materials in a timely and professional manner
Adhere to the daily academic schedule
Prepare, administer, and grade assignments, quizzes, mid-term and final examinations
Supervise and mentor a student research group in Directed Research projects
Actively support and counsel students on academic issues
Maintain an organized course portfolio
Help design the program’s research plan and conduct designated research according to it
Identify appropriate components of the program’s research plan suitable for student Directed Research projects
Prepare research results for clients and partners and for publication and conference presentations
Assist in the creation and implementation of program research policies, priorities, budgets as required
Follow data management, record keeping, and reporting systems
Present research findings at local and international conferences (budget dependent)      
Participate in planning activities prior to the program start and in review/analysis following students' departure
Participate in training activities for new program staff prior to and during the program, particularly interns
Participate in and lead parts of the orientation and re-entry components of the program presented to students at the beginning and end of each program period
In cooperation with other program staff, provide day-to-day coordination of interns as delegated by the center director
Participate in resolving group management issues and student discipline problems
Participate in preparation of the final reports, academic handbook revisions and other required reports
As requested by the center director, assist with other logistical, group management, and administrative tasks
Safety & Risk Management           
Take responsibility, as an individual and as a member of the program faculty/staff team, for the safety of all program participants
Participate in the review and revision of program risk assessment and management plans
Know the emergency procedures plan for the field station, including evacuation plan
Participate in the safety portions of the on-site orientation and conduct safety briefings for students and/or staff
Complete incident reports when appropriate and contribute to safety audits
Comply with, actively model, and enforce all SFS and program policies and procedures
Ensure that first-aid certifications are kept up to date
Daily Center Life
Live on-site (or off-site if appropriate and approved) for the duration of each program period and take many meals with the students
On a rotating basis, take responsibility for "staff of the day" duties
Take part in, and occasionally lead community outreach, site upkeep projects, social and field activities
Drive standard transmission vehicles and boats as needed
Adhere to, actively model and enforce all SFS and program policies and procedures

Minimum qualifications
Ph.D. and university-level teaching experience in areas related to biodiversity conservation, ecology, or natural resource management. Candidates with a Master’s degree and significant scholarship may be considered.
Field research and/or project implementation experience
Demonstrated ability to work as part of an interdisciplinary teaching and research team
Track record of research publications
Demonstrated commitment to environmental issues

Preferred Qualifications
Experience working in SE Asia, particularly Cambodia or Vietnam
Experience teaching field courses
Residential student group management and risk management experience highly desirable
Fluency or proficiency in Khmer language

Other Expectations
Obtain First Aid certification prior to first day of work (SFS reimbursable available)
Willingness to work flexible hours and live on site at the field station, or near-site with a small team of permanent staff, groups of US undergraduate students
Participation in program activities
Represent SFS at local and international meetings and conferences
At all times, work to ensure good relations between the SFS and the local community

This is an academic year contract position starting in early January 2017 and ending in mid-May 2017 with the likely continuance in the fall semester of 2017 depending on successful completion of duties and sufficient student enrollment. Salary is dependent on experience and qualifications.  Comprehensive benefits package and on-site room and board included.
Siem Reap, Kingdom of Cambodia with significant travel throughout Cambodia and Vietnam
Reports to:
Center Director and the Office of Academic Affairs, Beverly, Massachusetts, USA

To Apply:
Submit a cover letter online (outlining relevant experiences and addressing the qualifications and expectations stated above) and curriculum vitae.  Recommendation letters will be required upon request.
Inquiries about the position may be directed to SFS Dean of Academic Programs, Dr. Mark Seifert (

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