Overview

Start Date: 12 November 2018 or earlier 

About Crees

Crees is a Peruvian-based not for profit organisation that runs education, research, and sustainable initiatives in the Manu Biosphere Reserve in the Peruvian Amazon. Crees is dedicated to supporting a sustainable Amazon through understanding the value of regenerating rainforest and by helping local people to access its resources in ways that balance nature and people. Our vision is that Manu Biosphere Reserve is valued and conserved by current and future generations who engage in its sustainable development.

Crees’ Community Programme supports local community members to develop sustainable initiatives (e.g. biogardens) and businesses models. Crees also facilitates environmental education, from nutritional education in local communities to environmental education training for high school teachers. Crees’ core Research Programme generates knowledge on the value of biodiversity in regenerating forest with different disturbance histories. Since 2011, Crees has carried out standardised long-term monitoring using a variety of methodologies at the Manu Learning Centre (MLC) for five indicator groups: birds, butterflies, amphibians, reptiles and mammals. These research activities feed into Crees’ experiential learning programmes, which range in length from two-week volunteering to a three-month multimedia internship and a six-month conservation internship. 

Location 

This position is based primarily at the Manu Learning Centre (MLC), Peru (71˚23’28’’W 12˚47’21’’S), the primary site for Crees’ work. It is located in the buffer zone of Manu National Park next to the Alto Madre de Dios River, a tributary to the Amazon River. The location is eight hours by bus from Cusco, in addition to a 30-minute jungle hike from the nearest town – Salvación – and a 10 min boat trip across the river.

Manu viewed from a drone. This could be your office!

About the role

You are the face of the research at the MLC. You lead the day-to-day coordination of Crees’ research projects, both in the office and in the field, safeguarding the link with Crees’ larger research objectives. With your positive leadership skills, you co-supervise a team of four to six (inter)national field staff, ensuring a balance between fieldwork and conceptual thinking. You create an inspiring environment for high-quality data collection and analysis, motivating staff and interns to communicate their findings in- and externally (e.g. presentations, weekly summaries, scientific articles, technical reports). You also help design small creative research projects for interns and enthuse Crees’ guests about Crees’ work. 

Relationships 

This position works closely with the Experiential Learning Coordinator, Community Coordinator, and MLC Lodge Administrator. You report to the Research Manager. 

Key responsibilities 

Research                                                                                                                                                           

  • Coordinate the delivery of Crees Foundation research projects at the MLC and other project sites.
  • Ensure that research weekly and monthly priorities are planned in the weekly schedule.
  • Jointly supervise a field staff team, create bi-monthly work and learning goals and weekly check-ins.
  • Ensure that all data collection and data management is secure, standardised and of high quality, including implementing evaluations of surveys. Includes a clear organisation of files and backup files, updating of protocol books.
  • Ensure that all research activities contribute to the Crees Foundation’s broader research goals and align with monthly priorities and annual plans.
  • Coordinate Crees’ scientific programme. This includes supporting resident research staff in addition to visiting scientists, collaborators and students in close collaboration with the Research Manager.
  • Produce timely internal monthly and annual research reports.
  • Liaise with other Crees staff and partners to coordinate the logistics and operations required for research activities.
  • Maintenance of research equipment and keep an up-to-date inventory of research resources, reporting promptly to the Research Manager when equipment needs replacing and inputting into annual budget needs.
  • Outreach – support the Research Manager in creating links to attract teachers, researchers and their students to the MLC and identifying new research opportunities.
  • Identify the internal problems that affect scientific production and propose initiatives to improve this production.
  • Supervise/advise interns and undergraduate, masters and PhD students conducting research in Manu Biosphere Reserve, where applicable ensuring that research is within Crees Foundation objectives through an approval process.
  • Support the recruitment of field staff.

Experimental Learning

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  • Lead groups of students, researchers, interns, volunteers and staff in field work and monitor their learning progress.
  • Jointly oversee the mentoring of interns.
  • Oversee the development and delivery of training sessions for Crees staff and guests of three days to six months in the areas of tropical ecology, conservation and field survey techniques.
  • Oversee the design and deliver workshops and presentations to interns, volunteers, tourists, funders, local communities, and other Crees guests to the MLC.
  • Jointly coordinate the logistics and delivery of the Experiential Learning Programme at Crees’ field locations.
  • Support the institutionalisation of Crees’ Experiential Learning programmes by ensuring that all programmes and activities are documented in guides/manuals for current and future staff members.
  • Jointly ensure collection of feedback from all Crees’ guests, including volunteers, interns.

Communication

  • Maintain communication with the Experiential Learning Coordinator, MLC Lodge Administrator, Research Manager and Experiential Learning Programme Manager to ensure research and educational activities are appropriately supported.
  • Effectively and enthusiastically communicate the value of Crees’ work to diverse audiences, conveying the connections between research, education, and

General

  • Jointly with the Experimental Learning Coordinator ensure that all working and communal spaces are organised and welcoming for all staff and visitors.
  • Jointly ensure a high standard of health and safety at the Manu Learning Centre, including evaluation of survey leaders in the field and producing timely health and safety incident reports.                                                

About you

You know what it’s like to live and work a small remote community for extended periods and actively contribute to a positive social environment with your sense of humour and positive outlook. You naturally communicate with people from different age groups and educational backgrounds, including (inter)national staff, volunteers, interns, tourists and their guides, and visiting scientists and media teams. Through your punctuality and high-level organisational skills, you are able to prioritise in a busy environment where rapid changes occur. Motivating others to be their best energises you. With your ‘can-do attitude’ you never run short of solutions for problems and challenges. On top of all of this, you get excited by the idea of walking 3-8 hours a day in wellies through muddy terrain!

Required education and experience

  • Master’s degree in conservation biology, tropical ecology, forest ecology or a related discipline, with one years’ experience in a coordinator position, or Bachelor with two years’ experience in a coordinator position.
  • Research experience in the Neotropics.
  • Experienced implementing research surveys and the creativity to design (pilot) surveys of varying scientific levels with limited resources (g., for interns).
  • Management of databases.
  • Working proficiency in both in English / Spanish (give ecological presentations, advice interns and volunteers, communicate with local staff and tourists in both languages).

Let us know if you have                                                                                                      

  • Existing publications on biodiversity, conservation, forest regeneration, social research.
  • Experience with GPS and ArcGIS.
  • Bird and plant identification skills.
  • Navigation skills in forest habitat.
  • Certification in Wilderness First Aid or First Aid Instructor.
  • Experience working with student expedition groups.
  • Experience in workshop planning, design, and
  • Courses followed in team role identification, leadership, self-knowledge or mental health.

What do we offer

  • 12-month contract subject to a 3-month probation period.
  • Salary based on experience.
  • 30 days holiday allowance

Your position attracts benefits such as accommodation in Manu and accommodation the staff apartment Cusco (shared room), transport between Cusco and Manu, and food expenses onsite in Manu. About every two months, you will travel out to Cusco for office-based work with the Cusco team and rest. Additionally, Crees will contribute to flight costs and travel insurance per annum, which will be paid in monthly instalments following the probation period.

Please send your CV and a one-page cover letter in a PDF file to Dr Stefanie M. Rog (Research Manager) [email protected], copying Kristi Foster (Experimental Learning Programme Manager) [email protected].

Applications are open until 14 September 2018. Regrettably, due to limited resources and the high number of applications we receive, we are only able to contact shortlisted candidates.   If you do not hear from us within four weeks of the closing date, please assume that you have not been successful on this occasion.

The first round of interviews will take place from 20-21 September 2018, with final interviews on the 28th of September 2018. A decision are made in the first week of October.