Research Assistant - Nyika National Park

Carnivore Research Malawi

Lilongwe , Africa

We are conducting field research to assess the ecology and distribution of carnivores in Nyika National Park Malawi to inform conservation management. (www.carnivoreresearchmalawi.org). We are currently recruiting for a Field Assistant to assist in all aspects of our research in Nyika National Park. 

Duties:

Responsible for day to day running of the research programme including:

  • Manging teams of volunteers in the field including training
  • Conducting camera trap surveys
  • Collecting and mapping scats and conducting fecal diet analysis
  • Creating and maintaining a photographic database of carnivores (hyaena & leopard) using MS Access and CameraBase
  • Creating and updating QGIS habitat and sightings maps
  • Vegetation surveys
  • Condutcing otter surveys
  • Large mammal prey transect surveys
  • Conducting behavioural observations and habituation of hyaena at dens and in the field
  • Assist with carnivore trapping and collaring when necessary
  • Training of volunteers and creating volunteer schedules
  • Attend and contribute to project meetings
  • Be flexible in the hours worked to fluctuating demand
  • Work closely and co-operatively with other team members, and network internationally representing the project with organisations.
  • Maintain accurate records of work activities and data entry
  • Management and maintenence of project budget
  • Produce weekly and monthly project reports, newsletters, bulletins etc as required

We are looking for someone with:

  • Maturity: We are looking for someone with a mature mental attitude to be the representative of CRM in the field, and lead by example.
  • Inspirational Leadership skills: You will need to be a great leader, able to inspire and motivate the team.
  • Organisational skills: We are looking for someone who is highly organised and practical, with an eye for detail.
  • Management skills: you must have excellent interpersonal and management skills.
  • Maturity is a must, as well as the ability to work maintain the motivation and research output despite the many daily challenges of working in Malawi.

The position is field based and will require field work at night and in the day. Therefore you will need to be willing to be based in remote environments at rustic field camps. The post offers an excellent opportunity for career development for a researcher with research skills who is interested in applied conservation biology, carnivores and human-wildlife conflict.

Essential:

  • Minimum of BSc, in ecology, conservation or similar field
  • Eye for detail
  • Experience of working and living in remote environments, preferably in Africa
  • Excellent team-work skills, written and oral communication skills
  • Clean driving license
  • Proven experience of working in a team and working with volunteers/students from diverse backgrounds 
  • A confident communicator who is able to relate well to people from diverse backgrounds
  • Passion for conservation and wildlife
  • Computer literacy: MS Office, including Access; Photoshop, ArcGIS
  • Positive mental attitude, resilient, ability to muck in and get on with it
  • Hard work ethic, flexible and conscientious approach
  • Be willing to track and observe carnivores at night
  • 4×4 off road driving experience
  • Ability to work independently under minimal supervision
  • Experience of data collection and analysis under minimal supervision

Desirable

  • Experience of field research with carnivores preferably in Africa
  • A good understanding of current concepts in African conservation as well as issues in environmental science, policy and management
  • Experience of ArcGIS mapping, digitising and home range analysis
  • MSc or PhD in ecology, zoology, biology
  • FAGASA equivalent qualifications

Timing: This is an 8 month position commencing asap with a possibility of extension to 1 year.

Location: You will be based in our research camp in the remote Nyika National Park (www.carnivoreresearchmalawi.org/nyika.hml). The CRM research camp is located nearby Chelinda Camp a Central African Wilderness Safaris Lodge overlooking dam 1 in the park (http://cawsmw.com/index.php/lodges/chelinda-camp/​). 

The park harbours an abundant wildlife population including eland, roan, reedbuck, buffalo, zebra, blue monkey, leopard, hyaena and elephant. Living in camp you will be on permanent safari, located in the heart of the national park. 

Your accommodation will consist of a shared room in our log cabin (with a bed and mattress). The log cabin has a flushing toilet and hot shower. There is limited generator power, cell network and wifi.

Conditions: CRM will provide accommodation and bills, work related travel, airport transfers and limited personal use of a project vehicle. You will be required to cover your own flights, food, visas, insurance and vaccinations.

HOW TO APPLY

To apply please send a completed application form (www.carnivoreresearchmalawi.org/vacancies.html) and covering letter (outlining why you think you would be suitable for the post) and a CV is you wish to Emma Stone emma@conservationresearchafrica.org