Reports to: Country Director, WCS Peru Program/ Bolivia Program with “dotted line” to WCS Health Program Executive Director
Position Type: Full time (Fixed-Term) Expected travel: As required within the region and occasionally to US if/when needed
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is a US non-profit, tax-exempt, private organization established in 1895 that saves wildlife and wild places by understanding critical issues, crafting science-based solutions, and taking conservation actions that benefit nature and humanity. With more than a century of experience, long-term commitments in dozens of landscapes, presence in more than 60 nations, and experience helping to establish over 150 protected areas across the globe, WCS has amassed the biological knowledge, cultural understanding and partnerships to ensure that vibrant, wild places and wildlife thrive alongside local communities. Working with local communities and organizations, that knowledge is applied to address species, habitat and ecosystem management issues critical to improving the quality of life of poor rural people whose livelihoods depend on the direct utilization of natural resources.
The WCS Health Program is central to delivering on our mission to save wildlife and wild places around the globe. Wildlife, livestock, and human diseases will likely have a significant impact on the future development of sustainable land uses, protected areas, transboundary natural resource management, other biodiversity conservation approaches, and livelihood opportunities in many of the landscapes and seascapes where we work. Our work at the interface of wildlife, domestic animal, and human health has demonstrated that a One Health approach can build new constituencies for conservation and strengthen existing ones, while mitigating a key threat to conservation.
WCS has been working in Bolivia and Peru focusing on strengthening the commitment, capacity, and actions of the relevant authorities in charge of the management of the vicuña and sanitary aspects of the species. Since mid-nineties WCS has conducted analysis on the distribution of vicuñas inside protected areas, working with park rangers and communities. More recent, WCS also carried out sanitary studies of diseases in vicuñas and domestic animals in coordination with protected area, wildlife and other authorities, as well as with local communities that manage vicuñas.
WCS seeks a Full-time dynamic post-doctoral candidate with a strong background in data analysis, modeling, and communication of results. We require someone with excellent quantitative skills. The Postdoctoral Associate will compile data and knowledge reported on mange from wild/domestic camelids, other livestock, domestic animals and human health sectors. He /She will integrate data on management practices, pasture quality and climate for review by the SNAPP working group. The aggregated knowledge will feed into and inform current management practices, help improve pasture and population management, and reduce mange transmission and prevalence while addressing climate change concerns facing wild camelids in the High Andes and Patagonia.
A major emphasis of the project is to inform decision makers about resource allocation for mange control measures; connect indigenous communities and herders with government wildlife and livestock agencies and their respective administrators.
The Postdoctoral Associate will be preferably based in Lima, Peru or La Paz, Bolivia.
In consultation and coordination with the SNAPP working group the post-doc will:
1) Conduct a systematic collation, review, analysis and discussion of diverse data [peer-reviewed publications, grey literature, reports etc.] collected over the past 15 years attributed to Mange in Peru, Bolivia and Chile.
2) Support the publishing of two peer-reviewed articles that will be submitted to high-impact journals in English and Spanish accessed by the international and national health and wildlife practitioners increasing the likelihood that research findings are known and used for further research and informing policies and practices.
3) Serve as the communications liaison between NCEAS and the working group and produce informative notes regarding the challenges and findings to be released through WCS’ and other partners’ social media channels.
4) Oversee the development of a white paper on mange health issues summarizing all gathered data, research findings and specific recommendations for mange management in the region.
5) Manage the publishing of datasets gathered throughout the project and produced by the working group members will and make available to other researchers.
6) Support the working group in developing ttechnical guidelines for vicuña management in Peru, Bolivia, and work with the national authorities to translate the working group’s research findings into management recommendations.
7) Coordinate the policy recommendation briefs for each of the mange-affected countries.
8) Assist the WCS country teams to organize one public event in each mange country to present the SNAPP working group results to non-governmental organizations, governmental agencies and rural community leaders to engage them on actions to improve SAC management practices based on the working group recommendations.
REQUIREMENTS AND QUALIFICATIONS:
A postgraduate qualification (PhD) in disease ecology, ecology, biology, or related field.
Excellent interpersonal skills, team skills, and communication skills (oral and written), an ability to adapt to field challenges, while maintaining a high professional standard.
Experience conducting independent scientific research, including having a solid understanding of data collection and management.
Experience with R, QGIS or ArcGIS preferred.
Competence and comfort working in a team environment.
Experience working with government partners preferred but not essential.
Fluency in English and Spanish is required.