Biodiversity Monitoring Project Manager/Vertebrate Ecologist ~

17 de febrero de 2005

Biodiversity Monitoring Project Manager/Vertebrate Ecologist

La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica
Job Title: Project Manager, Barva Transect TEAM project
Overview: The Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring program (TEAM) of the Center for Applied Biodiversity Science at Conservation International has funded a 5-10 year comprehensive landscape research program for monitoring selected taxa and ecosystem processes at the La Selva Biological Station and adjacent Braulio Carrillo National Park in Costa Rica. The Project Manager will direct field operations of this effort, and will also conduct independent research on birds and/or mammals using data developed during this project.
Research Project Description: The La Selva TEAM project is monitoring physical and biological variables in a range of old-growth, protected forests ranging from 100 – 2800 masl. The altitudinal transect, on the slopes of Volcán Barva ("the Barva Transect"), is entirely within the limits of the La Selva Biological Station of the Organization for Tropical Studies and the adjacent Braulio Carrillo National Park (see <> for more details on OTS and La Selva). The study design calls for six, 1 km2 Integrated Monitoring Arrays (IMAs), within which focal taxa and ecosystem processes will be studied. Two of these areas are currently functioning, 2 more will be installed by Oct. 2005, and the remaining 2 by October 2006. The focal taxa include trees, birds, primates, medium and large terrestrial mammals, fruit-feeding butterflies, and litter ants. Additional data on plant diversity and soil characteristics will be taken at each IMA, and weather and litterfall will be intensively monitored. The Barva Transect TEAM project will become one site in the global TEAM network, which may eventually expand to up to 50 sites. Given the steep elevational transect and known rates of global changes in temperature and atmospheric composition, we expect to see significant changes in biodiversity and ecosystem structure and function within several years to decades.
Job Description: The Barva Transect TEAM Project Manager will be in direct supervisory charge of all aspects of normal operations of the project, including site development, field work, and the entry and quality control of data. Several parabiologist staff will work directly under her/his supervision, and several others will be coordinated through her/him. The Project Manager will be responsible for training the local parabiologists in the TEAM project protocols, which are already defined and quite detailed. In addition, the Project Manager will be expected to develop some aspect of the vertebrate work (preferably the avian ecology
subproject) as her/his own research, and to publish regularly on this work in peer-reviewed journals.
The Project Manager will work under the direct supervision of Dr. David B. Clark, the Principal Investigator of the Barva Transect TEAM project (Co-P.I.s are Dr. John T. Longino and Dr. Robert Colwell). Dr. Clark resides on-site, and will be responsible for integration with the overall TEAM project, management of the vegetation and soils subprojects in coordination with the Project Manager, and will also share responsibilities for the extensive education, outreach, and public awareness activities of the Barva Transect TEAM project. The Project Manager works in collaboration with Ministry of Environment and Costa Rican universities in the development of management plans, workshops and research in the study area.
Requisite qualifications:
Ph.D. preferred, Master’s minimum in vertebrate field biology/ecology. Preference will be given to tropical avian ecologists.
Fluency in spoken and written Spanish. The project manager will immediately begin to hire, train, and supervise local staff who speak only Spanish. Spanish fluency is an absolute requirement. If the applicant is not from a Spanish-speaking country, evidence of fluency will be necessary for an application to be considered.
Substantial competence in written English, as well as basic competence in spoken English. The lingua franca of the overall TEAM project is English, so the Project Manager needs to be reasonably fluent in that language. If the applicant’s conversational English is weak, a commitment to improve during the project will be required, and training opportunities will be offered.
Ability to train, motivate, and supervise rural parabiologists with high-school educational backgrounds. There are currently 7 such parabiologists in the project, and the Project Manager will recruit and train several more during the coming years.
Ability to work in a team and to work productively with employees and colleagues from a broad variety of educational, social and national backgrounds.
Willingness to work under tropical forest field conditions, which include rain, heat, ever present mud and biting/stinging insects, as well as long hikes to field sites. The Project Manager will have to be in good physical condition and capable of long walks over steep and slippery terrain.
Administrative skills to efficiently organize and manage a substantial field operation.
Experience in tropical field ecology.
Salary and benefits: Salary and benefits will be competitive based on professional preparation and work experience. The initial contract, administered through the Organization for Tropical Studies, will be for 1 year. Subject to mutual satisfaction, the contract may be renewed for a total of at least 3 years.
Living and working conditions: Daily working schedules will vary according to the field activities in progress, and flexibility in adjusting daily schedules will be required. All field work will take place in old growth tropical rain forest sites requiring substantial hiking for access. Various options exist for housing and board, including living at La Selva or renting quarters in the nearby town of Puerto Viejo
How to apply: To apply, send the follow materials to David B. Clark, either by email (<>
or regular mail.
· A complete curriculum vitae
· Reprints (.pdf or scanned files preferred) of two of the
applicant’s publications that she/he considers most relevant to this project
· Letters of recommendation from two scientists familiar with the
applicant’s professional qualifications and experience
· A letter from the applicant explaining the applicant’s interest
in this position as well as any special experience or training that she/he offers to the project
If in Costa Rica, the mail address is Organización para Estudios Tropicales (OET), Apartado 676-2050 San Pedro, Costa Rica. For non-Costa Rican applicants, the mail address is: David B. Clark, OTS, Interlink 341, P.O. Box 025635, Miami, FL 33102, USA.
Start date: July 2005 (an earlier date would be considered)
Note: The Barva Transect TEAM project is firmly committed to hiring practices that do not discriminate among applicants based on their race, gender, religion, or sexual and/or political orientation.

David B. Clark
Research Professor
Department of Biology
University of Missouri-St. Louis
Permanent Residence: La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica
Telephone: voice (506) 766-6565, Ext. 146 fax (506) 766-6535
Mailing address (not for express mail):
INTERLINK-341, P.O. Box 02-5635, Miami FL 33102 Express Mail (FedEx,UPS,DHL) address:
"Organizacion para Estudios Tropicales: de la UNED, carretera a Sabanilla, 50 Este,
100 Sur, Ciudad de la Investigación UCR, último edificio
(tel.(506) 524-0607)"

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