The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) seeks a Marine Scientific Advisor to contribute to the effective implementation of its field-based marine conservation efforts in Madagascar. WCS is a leading actor in marine research and conservation in Madagascar. WCS develops and leads science-based, community-driven field conservation and capacity building programs in three priority seascapes: Toliara in the southwest, Antongil Bay in the northeast and Nosy Be in the northwest, and is seeking to establish new MPAs in other parts of the country. Through its on-the-ground, long-term investments WCS builds trust and empowers local communities in these priority areas, thus laying a strong foundation for long-term success.
The marine conservation program primarily focuses on: i) working closely with local communities and the government to restore local fisheries and protect coastal and marine systems ii) managing marine protected areas recently created in the northwest, southwest and northeast and supporting establishment of new marine protected areas, iii) supporting a global effort to conserve threatened populations of globally important marine species, including cetaceans and sharks and rays iv) training and capacity building in marine conservation within and external to WCS, and participation in overall marine conservation planning and prioritization in Madagascar.
The position is based in the capital city of Antananarivo, and will require extensive travel to field sites in Madagascar. The WCS Madagascar Marine Advisor position is a full-time position with benefits.
The Marine Scientific Advisor provides scientific advice to the WCS Marine team in the development, implementation and management of the field level activities for WCS Madagascar marine conservation program. Under the supervision of the Marine Conservation Director, he/she will work closely with the Country Program Director and the WCS NY Marine Associate Director, in overall strategic development, program planning, scientific data collection and analyses, and project development and implementation. He /she is the lead scientific advisor for marine conservation in the WCS Madagascar program and is responsible for integrating scientific research and monitoring activities into program implementation with the ultimate aim of improving the conservation impact of WCS’s field-based conservation work. He/she and will be responsible for advising of technical orientations, building staff capacity in marine conservation science methodologies and applications, providing specific input for on-site decisions, and developing communications materials that contribute to awareness raising and the visibility of WCS’s conservation achievements.
Contribution to Marine Conservation Strategic and Programmatic Planning (10 percent )
• Contribute to WCS’s marine conservation vision and strategic plan for Madagascar. Ensure that program priorities, strategy and approaches are based on up to date science and WCS Global Conservation Program (GCP) marine conservation goals and objectives including WCS’s globally important marine species.
• In collaboration with the WCS Madagascar Country Program Director and Marine Conservation Director, represent WCS marine conservation work in Madagascar to technical and financial partners, government partners, and other NGOs, and establish and maintain strong working relationships with these partners.
• Provide guidance and oversight to the WCS marine team in the preparation of fundraising proposals that are based on sound marine conservation science and that respond to WCS’s marine conservation priorities at the global and national levels.
Capacity Building for Marine Team Staff (25 percent )
• In collaboration with the Marine Conservation Director, analyses capacity building needs and provides regular training and technical support to staff in relation to project implementation, data collection and analysis and field level implementation.
• Advise Marine Conservation Director on personnel and technical needs to ensure implementation of an efficient, effective, and technically capable marine conservation field program.
Lead integration of data collection, analyses and integration of results into field based activities of marine program (40 percent )
• Oversee establishment and implementation of a program wide monitoring and evaluation system including a set of core indicators to measures WCS’s field based conservation impacts. Ensure appropriate and efficient collection, analysis and dissemination of data, including training of national staff in these skills.
• Lead development of adaptive management frameworks for WCS-managed marine protected areas and Locally Managed Marine Areas (LMMAs) supported by WCS that ensure use of analyzed data in field based conservation decisions by communities and WCS field staff.
• Develop and implement an action plan to valorize existing and historic datasets collected by WCS Madagascar on marine conservation issues in order to inform future conservation actions.
• Publicize WCS Madagascar marine program achievements through popular and scientific media, and as possible, publish project results in scientific journals and through presentation at national and international forums. Ensure capacity building of national staff in undertaking research and participating in the preparation of scientific publications.
• Liaise with national and international research institutes to attract researchers and students to develop research activities based on WCS marine conservation priorities. In accordance with priorities and available resources, oversee the implementation of marine research activities, including training of national students and staff research.
• Liaise with conservation support teams in WCS Madagascar to provide technical and scientific input to marine priority setting and spatial planning processes at the national and regional levels
WCS Marine Conservation Program Administrative and Management Support (25 percent )
• Act as project Principal Investigator (PI) on projects related primarily to scientific data collection and analyses including responsibility for project technical and financial management.
• Contribute to fundraising efforts targeting science and research based activities as stand-alone projects or as part of broader conservation projects.
• Contribute to the preparation of annual work plans and periodic technical project reports as required by WCS and financial partners.
• MSc./ Ph.D. or equivalent experience in marine conservation science, marine ecology or biology, including conservation and project management experience. A specialization in coral reef ecology or shark and ray ecology would be an advantage.
• Proven ability to achieve successful on-the-ground conservation outcomes in tropical developing countries.
• Experience in community-based conservation initiatives, coastal fisheries sustainable management, coral reef habitat and fisheries monitoring and/or marine species conservation.
• Experience in capacity building with national professional counterparts and partners.
• SCUBA certification level equivalent at least to PADI Advanced Open Water
• Demonstrated success in publishing scientific articles in peer reviewed journals
• Ability to work sensitively and effectively with people of diverse cultures, value systems, perspectives and levels of education, and to manage staff in these contexts.
• Professional proficiency in French and English. Working knowledge of Malagasy will be an advantage.
• Willingness to travel extensively within Madagascar.
• Previous working experience in developing countries is essential.
Applications for the position, including a CV and a covering letter, should be made online via wcs.org or sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with copy to email@example.com before 7 April 2017.