Bocas del Toro Panama
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Resident Lecturer in Natural Resource Management, Panama

The School for Field Studies

Job Title: Resident Lecturer in Natural Resource Management, Panama
Job Location: Bocas del Toro
Status: Full-Time
Job Category: Sciences and technology: other
Biology/biotechnology/life sciences
Application Closing Date: Open Until Filled
Date Posted: 2019-04-10
Industry: Academic/Education

Job Description

Resident Lecturer in Natural Resource Management, Panama
The School for Field Studies

Position: Resident Lecturer in Natural Resource Management Ė with emphasis in forest ecology / management

The SFS program on Tropical Island Biodiversity Studies (TIBS), located in Bocas del Toro, Panama, seeks an enthusiastic, team-oriented individual to serve as part of a residential team of faculty and staff that delivers an interdisciplinary, hands-on learning experience to students spending a semester abroad. TIBS has a thematic focus on the tropical island ecosystems, including the coastal and terrestrial ecosystems and the economic and sociocultural systems unique to the Bocas del Toro archipelago in the Panamanian Caribbean.

On a contract basis, teach the Principles of Resource Management course during the fall and spring semesters in Tropical Island Biodiversity Studies. Contribute significant content to the Coastal Ecology course on terrestrial ecology. Contribute to student learning in the area of natural resource management, including coastal and forest resources and agricultural systems. Lead designated components of the programs research plan and, as part of this, oversee, mentor, and grade the student directed research projects.

Institutional Mission:

SFS creates transformative study abroad experiences through field-based learning and research. Our educational programs explore the human and ecological dimensions of the complex environmental problems faced by our local partners, contributing to sustainable solutions in the places where we live and work. The SFS community is part of a growing network of individuals and institutions committed to environmental stewardship.

Program Focus:

SFS is working with various agencies and organizations in Bocas del Toro to develop management strategies to help conserve coastal / marine and on-shore terrestrial biodiversity that may provide economic opportunities for island residents. Student field research is helping to provide the local government, community, and tourism developers with data and recommendations that will help sustain the economic, social, and ecological stability of the Bocas del Toro archipelago.

The programís objective is to quantify social and ecological baselines, conduct on-going ecosystem and resource monitoring, help to mitigate change to the marine and terrestrial environment, and prepare the local community for the continued evolution of eco- and adventure-tourism through research and education.

Course Description: Principles of Resource Management EE (NS) 374: The Principles of Resource Management course provides students with the concepts and tools for natural resource management and resource-based productive activities such as agroforestry systems and forest management in the Bocas del Toro archipelago.

This course establishes the link between the complementary courses offered in the program, Environmental Policy and Socioeconomics and Coastal Ecology. Topical areas may include: ecosystem services, forest management, anthropogenic impacts, regulation and enforcement, conservation practices, coastal zone management, parks and protected areas, natural areas and development, and tourism development and planning. The goal of the course is for students to gain concepts and tools helpful to manage island resources for long-term sustainability.

Applicants are encouraged to review proposed course syllabi and programs descriptions on the SFS website:

Duties and Responsibilities

Provide high quality, modern and experiential teaching in critical environmental issues in an interdisciplinary curriculum, and participate fully in the implementation of the programís research plan that addresses these issues. The publication of research results is critical. Work closely with the lecturers in Coastal Ecology and Environmental Policy and Socioeconomics to deliver an interdisciplinary program through education and research in a field setting. Each lecturer is expected to provide high quality, inquiry-based teaching and will lead students in Directed Research projects defined in the programís research plan.


As part of an interdisciplinary teaching team, teach a significant portion of the academic program (minimum 50-60 lecture hours)

Plan, revise, and effectively deliver a challenging, problem-based interdisciplinary curriculum

Organize lectures and prepare course materials in a timely and professional manner

Adhere to the daily academic schedule

Prepare, administer, and grade assignments, quizzes, mid-term and final examinations

Supervise and mentor a student research group in Directed Research projects

Actively support and counsel students on academic issues

Maintain records of lectures, exams, quizzes, readings, field experiences and homework assignments


Help design the programís research plan and conduct designated research according to it

Identify appropriate components of the programís research plan suitable for student Directed Research projects

Prepare research results for clients and partners and for publication and conference presentations

Assist in the creation and implementation of program research policies, priorities, budgets as required

Follow data management, record keeping, and reporting systems

Present research findings at local and international conferences (budget dependent)


Participate in planning activities prior to the program start and in review/analysis following students' departure

Participate in training activities for new program staff prior to and during the program, particularly interns

Participate in and lead parts of the orientation and re-entry components of the program presented to students at the beginning and end of each program period

In cooperation with other program staff, provide day-to-day coordination of interns as delegated by the program director

Participate in resolving group management issues and student discipline problems

Participate in preparation of the final reports, academic handbook revisions and other required reports

As requested by the Center Director, assist with other logistical, group management, and administrative tasks

Safety & Risk Management

Take responsibility, as an individual and as a member of the program faculty/staff team, for the safety of all program participants (including physical health, mental health and overall well-being)

Participate in the timely review and revision of program risk assessment and management plans

Know the emergency procedures plan for the field station, including evacuation plan

Participate in the safety portions of the on-site orientation and conduct safety briefings for students and/or staff

Complete incident reports when appropriate and contribute to safety audits

Comply with, actively model, and enforce all SFS and program policies and procedures

Ensure that first-aid certifications are kept up to date

Daily Center Life

Live on-site for the duration of each program period and take meals with the students

On a rotating basis, take responsibility for "staff of the day" duties

Take part in, and occasionally lead community outreach, site upkeep projects, social and field activities

Drive standard transmission vehicles and boats as needed

Adhere to, actively model and enforce all SFS and program policies and procedures


This is an academic year contract position starting in mid-August, 2019 and ending in mid-May, 2020 with the likely continuance in the fall semester of 2020 depending on successful completion of duties and sufficient student enrollment. Salary is dependent on experience and qualifications. Comprehensive benefits package and on-site room and board included.


The SFS Center for Tropical Island Biodiversity Studies, Bocas del Toro, Isla Colůn, Republic of Panama

Reports to:

Center Director and the Office of Academic Affairs

Start Date:

No later than August 12, 2019

Job Requirements

Minimum qualifications

Ph.D. and university-level teaching experience in Forest and Agroforest Management or related field. Field research experience, preferably in the fields of Forestry, Agriculture systems

Demonstrated ability to work as part of an interdisciplinary teaching and research team

Track record of research publications

Small boat handling experience (for marine focused faculty)

Experience leading water related excursions Ė snorkeling (for marine focused faculty)

Demonstrated commitment to environmental issues

Preferred Qualifications

Demonstrated experience working in collaboration with small island governments

Experience in cross-teaching or collaboration in environmental policy, socioeconomics or other related social science field; climate change, and sustainable living and development

Residential student group management and risk management experience highly desirable

Experience working with students that may require support for stress/anxiety related issues or other mental health support and experience supporting students with documented learning differences

Track record of grant writing success

Good command of Spanish language

Other Expectations

Obtain First Aid certification prior to first day of work (SFS reimbursable available)

Willingness to work flexible hours and live on site at the field station with a small team of permanent staff, groups of US undergraduate students

Participation in all program activities

Represent SFS at local and international meetings and conferences

At all times, work to ensure good relations between the SFS and the local community

Information and Application Process Instructions

To Apply: Submit a cover letter outlining relevant experiences and addressing the qualifications and expectations stated above and curriculum vitae online at Recommendation letters will be required upon request.

Inquiries about the position may be directed to

Equal Opportunity Employer.

When inquiring or applying for this job opening, please also reference

Applicants with dual-career considerations can find university jobs such as professor jobs, dean jobs, chair / department head jobs, and other faculty jobs and employment opportunities at The School for Field Studies and at other institutions of higher education in the region on

To obtain more information or to submit your resume you can contact Human Resources Department as shown below. If you apply for this position, please say you saw it first on Thank you.

Human Resources Department
Please Apply as Included Above

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