Fantastic Opportunity for an Ecologist to work In the Turks & Caicos Islands

Project Officer: Wetlands Ecologist

MINISTRY: Ministry of Tourism, Environment, Fisheries, Maritime Affairs, Culture & Heritage, Agriculture, Religious Affairs and Gaming.
DEPARTMENT: Department of Environment and Coastal Resources (DECR)
LOCATION: DECR Field Office, Corner Wall House, Kew Settlement, North Caicos
PROJECT: DPLUS129: Understanding Ramsar wetland dynamics for marine conservation and environmental resilience

Job Description

The Wetlands Ecologist is responsible for the coordination and implementation of the on-island wetland components of project DPLUS129, with the support from the DECR. They will coordinate with staff, stakeholders and partners working within the project, and other programmes in TCI. This position will develop the scientific and monitoring activities of the Department related to the management of the North, Middle, and East Caicos Wetlands Nature Reserve (NR17), a Ramsar Convention Wetland of International Importance and the Turks & Caicos Islands’ largest Protected Area. The job holder will carry out fieldwork for data collection and provide habitat analysis and ground-truthing for Earth Observation imagery, provide science-based advice on the development of a long-term monitoring plan for the Ramsar site, and carry out interdepartmental, stakeholder, and public-relations activities in relation to the Ramsar site.

Under the supervision of the Acting Assistant Director of Research & Development for the DECR, the position’s main responsibilities are to:

  1. Lead the collection and management of ground truth data of the wetlands
  2. Aid the development and overall strategy for achieving the wetland component objectives
  3. Assist in the production of the wetland monitoring plan, to ensure it meets all the Department’s and Government’s needs, and those of stakeholders
  4. Help raise awareness on-island, including promoting and monitoring the web interface, as well as interacting with the local community
  5. Understand the data and techniques so that others can be trained and develop on-island capability
  6. Establishing new work practices to use the information from the new data
  7. Liaise with key stakeholders of the DPLUS129 project as needed, and represent DECR at regional, national, and international levels, as needed
  8. Maintain an inventory of all project-related equipment, supplies, and materials
  9. Writing and compilation of draft and final reports as needed
  10. Assistance in the preparation of workshops associated with the project
  11. Support DECR in implementing existing wetland-related projects
  12. Support DECR in designing and developing new wetland-related project proposals, with a particular focus on securing additional funding for TCI Ramsar sites
  13. Assist the Project Manager and Acting Assistant Director as necessary
  14. Adhere to all Turks and Caicos Islands Government Public Service Codes, rules, and regulations
  15. Perform other activities as directed by competent authorities

Requirements

Essential

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience in a relevant discipline (e.g., Biology, Ecology, Bio-geography, Natural Resource Management, or other related fields)
  • Knowledge of Climate Change vulnerabilities and adaption principles in Caribbean coastal wetlands
  • Proficient in using office applications (MS Word/Excel/PowerPoint) and other web-based management systems
  • Proficient in using GIS applications (e.g., QGIS/ArcGIS) and other GI systems
  • Proven experience managing your own work and delivering output to time and budget
  • Proven experience of stakeholder liaison, or demonstrable equivalent transferrable skills
  • Ability to work in remote wetland areas, on rough ground, in wet and muddy conditions, in hot weather (30-35°C often without shade), and in areas frequented by mosquitoes
  • Good written and oral communication skills
  • Proven track record of independent working
  • Full, valid driving license
  • Willing to travel internationally, and possibly at short notice.

Desirable

  • Comprehensive knowledge of the Ramsar Convention and Ramsar Secretariat processes
  • Previous experience of collaborating with Ramsar authorities in the Caribbean would be an advantage
  • In-depth understanding of water and wetland management issues in the Caribbean
  • Kayak and/or small motor marine vessel handling and operation
  • Experience in working with government institutions on policy frameworks
  • Strong writing skills and a capacity to draft reports independently and to disseminate project outputs to a wide audience in the region.

This is a full-time post until 30th June 2023, based in North Caicos, Turks and Caicos.

SALARY: Grade 6: USD $33,415.00 — $37,617.50 per annum (commensurate with experience)

APPLICATION PROCEDURE:
CV with current contact information must be accompanied by:

  • Cover Letter
  • Two letters of reference (one preferably from a former employer)
  • Copies of educational certificates
  • Copy of the Passport photo page

Short-listed applicants will be required to supply a Police Record.

Applications should be addressed to the Office of the Assistant Director of Research and Development sent by email to [email protected] with the subject line being “Project Officer: Wetlands Ecologist.” Successful applicants will work in accordance with the Public Service Ordinance. Applications without all supporting documents will not be processed. We thank all applicants for their interest, however, only persons selected for an interview will be contacted.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: 14 December 2021

Project Summary

The project aims to provide evidence of the wetland dynamics of the Caicos Islands. It will demonstrate how the wetlands support biodiversity, coastal protection, and provide natural capital. The project will evaluate historic change, show how future climate could impact the wetlands, and provide evidence to review the Ramsar extent. It will develop a monitoring framework and dashboard to view project and ongoing monitoring data, build technical and scientific capacity in local staff, in order to help sustain wetland management in the long term.

This project focuses on the important multiple values of, and potential changes to, the wetland Ramsar site in North, Middle, and East Caicos, including considering the impact of climate change issues affecting TCI.

The project directly contributes to the Ramsar Convention in that the project seeks to provide robust scientific evidence for the management of the TCI site and establishing the evidence base for potentially extending the Ramsar site into East Caicos.

It will help TCI further meet commitments set out in the three pillars of the Ramsar Convention:

  • Work towards the wise use of all their wetlands
  • Designate suitable wetlands for the list of Wetlands of International Importance (the “Ramsar List”) and ensure their effective management
  • Cooperate internationally on transboundary wetlands, shared wetland systems and shared species

In terms of local initiatives, the project will help TCI further the objectives of its Environment Strategy and contribute to meeting the Convention’s mission.

This project will help the Turks and Caicos Islands Government meet Guiding Principles and Commitments of the 2001 TCI Environment Charter. This includes a commitment to ensure the protection and restoration of key habitats, species and landscape features through legislation and appropriate management structures and mechanisms, including a protected areas policy and abide by the principles set out in the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and work towards meeting International Development Targets on the environment.

DECR is mandated to promote protection and sustainable utilization of natural resources throughout the TCI. DECR have put together a team, across the islands, consisting of Assistant Directors, Scientific Officers, Environmental Officers and Conservation Officers; leading the field work and being the key project beneficiary. The project will be overseen by the Director.