Osa Conservation Job Description Form

Position Resilient Oceans Manager
Team Conservation Programs
Name and position of supervisor Carolina Soto-Navarro – Director of Conservation
Full-time or part-time? Full-time
Salary Competitive salary package


Job Summary

Osa Conservation’s (OC) mission is to conserve the globally significant terrestrial and marine biological diversity of the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica by implementing ecosystem stewardship, enhancing scientific understanding, providing education, and training, and creating sustainable economic opportunities.

We believe in a holistic approach to conservation, one grounded in a systematic understanding of the ecological, social, and economic relationships that shape environmental problems. Our work (carried out by a team of ~60 staff) is founded in science and supported by strategic partnerships, well-informed decision-making processes, and a strong commitment to improving lives through protecting nature. We recognize that for conservation to succeed, it must be coupled with science, community engagement, and strong systems of support upon which to collaboratively build a more sustainable future.

OC’ marine conservation efforts largely focus on six strategies across the Costa Rica Pacific Southwest: the expansion and management of the marine protected area of Corcovado National Park; Mangrove restoration; Marine Biodiversity Monitoring of pelagic fish populations and community assemblages; Sustainable Fisheries; Sea Turtles Conservation and Environmental Education.

Supporting these strategies, OC maintains a strong commitment to applied marine scientific research and is building its capacity to leverage our impact through innovative partnerships. To deliver on these objectives at scale, this position will oversee all OC´s marine conservation efforts, including the implementation of marine conservation actions by a directorate of five staff in Osa Conservation and volunteers and interns assisting the different teams seasonally. This is a highly exciting position for an experienced marine scientist or marine conservation practitioner aiming to build up a cohesive and impactful Marine Conservation Program. This role will be fundamental to spearhead the expansion of the marine protected area of Corcovado National Park, and the development of a new research centre in the South Pacific region of Costa Rica.

This is a one-year fixed term position with possibility of extension based on programmatic needs and funding. The full-time position is based in the Osa Conservation main office in the Osa Peninsula (Puerto Jiménez, Costa Rica), with considerable time for fieldwork and travelling for meetings, events locally, regionally and/or internationally. The Manager will live in Puerto Jimenez with a minimum of one day per week on site in the OC Campus living in basic conditions and facilities when required with a multicultural team. It will require a passionate and hard-working individual to work alongside OC Program teams, interacting with donors, school groups, and researchers to increase the impact, innovative approach and success of the program and organisation´s mission.

Roles and responsibilities

  • Report and coordinate their actions directly with the OC Director of Conservation.
  • Based on the Resilient Oceans strategic plan as articulated in OC 2023, provide guidance and technical oversight to project development and implementation; facilitate communication and coordination among and between programs and OC, and between OC programs and other institutions.
  • Supervise the work, directly line manage five primary marine staff in Osa Conservation: Marine Coordinators (2), Mangrove Restoration Coordinators (2), Sea Turtle Coordinator (1), and oversee OC´s engagement with community focal areas and relevant stakeholders and collaborators.
  • Spearhead OC’s efforts on supporting the national, regional and local process of the expansion of the Corcovado Marine Protected Area, and creating active engagement among key stakeholders. Assess program priorities, strategy, and approaches to achieve this.
  • Oversight the development of a new Osa Marine Science Center with research facilities and a Fellowship Programme aiming at building capacity for marine research and biodiversity monitoring.
  • Lead the establishment of a long-term strategy for marine research and monitoring to inform conservation in the Pacific Southwest of Costa Rica.
  • Contribute to secure funding to meet program goals.
  • Identify conservation needs in the marine realm and evaluate direction and success of projects, and personnel.
  • Ensure that all projects; mangrove, marine and sea turtles meet their annual targets, and produce high quality content for excellent donor reports, communications, and social media on a regular basis.
  • Support the larger OC 2023 Conservation Strategic Plan implementation and other organisational priorities beyond marine conservation.
  • Represent OC marine conservation and science at high level scientific-conservation meetings, and with government and private sector institutions.
  • Build partnerships with research institutions and other conservation entities; meet potential donors; speak at fundraising events and other development engagements; and maintain contact and reporting with funding sources.
  • Act as a senior management staff member and coordinate with other OC senior management staff.
  • Provide institution-wide support on ocean conservation issues, national and local ocean policy, and the other cross-cutting marine themes, and leverage within-program assets to promote marine conservation with national governments, international agencies, and other non-governmental organisations.
  • Write and publish technical reports, and research Be active in professional societies, attending meetings, workshops, strategy sessions, action plans and so on.
  • Execute general activities to support other OC programs, OC properties, including Osa Conservation Campus to achieve the organisation

What skills are needed to do this job?

  • PhD in marine conservation with at least minimum experience of 3 years in marine conservation related field work and implementation, preferably the Americas – and significant amounts of time working within a field station.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English and Spanish.
  • Ability to coordinate with multiple actors, for teamwork and the development of activities in culturally diverse environments.
  • At least 3 publications in peer-reviewed and indexed scientific journals.
  • Demonstrate strong initiative, team worker, positive attitude, innovative, hardworking, able to work under pressure, results oriented, problem solver, good communication and presentation skills, and comfortable/capable to travel around Costa Rica independently.As a team member, the candidate must be highly motivated, committed to realising OC’s goals.
  • Advanced level of Spanish and English (written and oral).
  • Valid drivers’ licence (manual vehicles) and experience driving on dirt roads in remote locations.
  • Willingness to live in a remote region of southern Costa Rica – Osa Peninsula.
  • Good physical condition for work in adverse conditions in the field.
  • Availability to travel for meetings and regular fundraising efforts, and a strong desire to be in the field.

Main job responsibilities and estimated percentage of time for each

  • Monitor execution and outputs of the Ocean Recovery, Coastal Resilience and Species Conservation Focal Initiatives of the OC´s Resilient Oceans Program both outputs via log-frames and budgets.
  • Oversight OC’s engagement at the technical and political level on the expansion of the Corcovado Marine Protected Area.
  • Oversight the construction of the Osa Marine Science Center in OC and establish the Fellowship Programme on marine research and conservation in OC.
  • Work with the development team to ensure that all donor and grant reports are executed to a high level and on time.
  • Review with the scientific field staff any proposed marine research at OC field sites and ensure all permits for conservation and science projects are up to date- and reports are delivered for the permit requirements.
  • Work with the teams to build a 2024 logframe and fundraising strategy for the marine projects.
  • Support the communications team to disseminate the OC´s Resilient Oceans Program’s findings nationally and internationally, generating connections with researchers and teachers from national and foreign universities to attract research in the Osa Marine Science Center and the Osa Campus.
  • Support proposals for the financing of field and marine conservation projects
  • Organise training courses where necessary for team members.
  • Support and coordinate other activities as required with the different OC Conservation programs and Campus in the different OC properties to achieve the organisation’s mission.
  • Other tasks and duties ongoing and as assigned.

To apply

Please submit a copy of your resume and a cover letter to hr@osaconservation.org, with “Resilient Oceans Manager” as the subject line. Be sure to address in the cover letter how you meet the outlined requirements and how you feel that your previous experience makes you suitable for this demanding role.

Position to remain open until filled.

Applications who do not submit a CV and cover letter will not be considered.

Only candidates selected for interviews will be contacted.