The SFS program on Conservation, Ethics, and Environmental Change, located in Cambodia seeks an enthusiastic, team-oriented individual to serve as part of a team of faculty and staff that delivers an interdisciplinary, hands-on learning experience to students spending a semester abroad. The SFS Center for Conservation and Development Studies offers a rich learning landscape for students where complex issues of conservation, environmental ethics, and sustaining rural livelihoods takes place within the context of a nation steeped with intriguing histories and pursuing aggressive economic development plans.
On a contract basis, teach the Ecosystems and Livelihoods course during the fall and spring semesters and teach one-third of the Directed Research course. Contribute to student learning in the areas of livelihood strategies, and community-based natural resource management. Lead designated components of the program’s research plan and, as part of this, oversee, mentor, and guide student directed research projects.
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.
This program seeks to understand both the conflicts and synergies of conservation and development. Students gain a sense of the richness of the greater Mekong region—biodiversity, social and cultural diversity, and ecosystem services—while exploring strategies for sustainable livelihoods within Cambodia, a highly productive and diverse country in Southeast Asia.
The interdisciplinary themes of socio-ecological resilience, environmental ethics and justice, and conservation guide our inquiry. Through coursework, field exercises, and Directed Research, students study people’s dependence on the environment, examine various threats to the environment and to livelihood resilience, and explore the tools and strategies for mitigating the threats and promoting well-being among rural communities.
Course Description: Ecosystems and Livelihoods along the Mekong
This course examines the natural ecosystems of Cambodia and the ways in which the human landscape interacts with the broad range of ecosystem types found within the country, from coastal zones to forested highlands. Students examine ecosystem characteristics and explore the intersection of socio-ecological, cultural, political and socio-economic attributes of Cambodian society and local communities as they learn the ways in which ecosystems are utilized, protected and developed. Through field studies across Cambodia, the course investigates the livelihood strategies employed by fishers, farmers, traders, and indigenous communities and highlights the high levels of natural resource dependence within rural communities. Students explore the critical challenges facing the conservation of natural resources and the primary drivers of change in local livelihood strategies. With an understanding of on-the-ground realities students analyze attempts by international and national actors to find a sustainable balance between human needs and preserving biodiversity.
Course Description: Directed Research
The aim of this course is to provide students with the opportunity to apply ecological, biological, and/or social-scientific methods to a field research project that addresses a local issue related to the environment. We also investigate the ways that various methods and theories distinguish (or don’t) fact from interpretation, cause from correlation, and advocacy from objectivity. The directed research topics are derived from the SFS Center’s Strategic Research Plan as defined by the Center staff and local stakeholders. Through the Directed Research project, students contribute to a growing body of scientific research that informs local conservation and resource management decisions. SFS program lecturers lead a small group of students in this research component of the program.
Applicants are encouraged to review proposed course syllabi and program descriptions on the SFS website: https://fieldstudies.org/centers/cambodia/
Duties and Responsibilities
Provide high quality experiential teaching in critical environmental issues in an interdisciplinary curriculum, and participate fully in the implementation of the program’s research plan that addresses these issues. The publication or presentation of research results is critical. Work closely with the other program lecturers 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 program’s research plan.
- As part of an interdisciplinary teaching team, teach a significant portion of the academic program (55-60 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 an organized course portfolio
- Help design the program’s research plan and conduct designated research according to it
- Identify components of the program’s 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 program 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
- Participate in the 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 or near by for the duration of each program period and take most 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
- Ph.D. and university-level teaching experience in areas related to Environmental Anthropology, Human Ecology / Geography, Political Ecology, or in a field in the Natural or Life sciences with significant experience working in human communities. Candidates with a Master’s degree and significant scholarship may be considered.
- Field research and/or project implementation experience
- Demonstrated ability to work as part of an interdisciplinary teaching and research team
- Track record of research publications
- Demonstrated commitment to environmental issues
- Experience working in SE Asia, particularly Cambodia
- Experience teaching field courses
- Residential student group management and risk management experience highly desirable
- Fluency or proficiency in Khmer language
- Obtain First Aid certification prior to first day of work (SFS reimbursement available)
- Willingness to work flexible hours and live on site at the field station with a small team of permanent staff, groups of undergraduate students (predominately US citizens)
- 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
This is an academic year contract position starting in mid-summer 2020 and ending in May 2021 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.
Siem Reap, Kingdom of Cambodia with significant travel throughout Cambodia
Center Director (in country) and the Office of Academic Affairs (in USA)
No later than August 1, 2020
To Apply: Submit a cover letter online outlining relevant experiences and addressing the qualifications and expectations stated above, and curriculum vitae. Recommendation letters will be required upon request. Equal Opportunity Employer.
Inquiries about the position may be directed to the Office of Academic Affairs: