Resident Lecturer in Human Dimensions of Conservation, Kenya

Kenya (KE)
Aug 28, 2018
Oct 27, 2018
Employment Type
Salary Type

The SFS program on Water, Wildlife, and Community (CWWS), located in Amboseli area, Kenya 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.  SFS Kenya has a thematic focus on wildlife and natural resource management and on community livelihoods and well-being in the rift-valley of rural Kenya.
On a contract basis, participate in course and program development of the Human Dimensions of Conservation course during a few months in the fall 2018 semester and deliver the course full time   from spring semester 2019 on, and teach one-third of the Directed Research course. Contribute to student learning in the areas that complement the Human Dimensions course including wildlife conservation planning, natural resource use, and rural development. 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:
Africa is like no other landscape on Earth. Kenya’s spectacular wildlife, diverse ecosystems, and tribal communities face environmental threats such as climate change and decreased availability of important natural resources. Our research here focuses on understanding these threats and their impacts, with a primary focus on one of Earth’s most essential natural resources – water. In the Maasai Steppe of southern Kenya, this finite resource is stretched in many directions. With continued human expansion and fragmentation of wildlife habitats, the immense pressure on this resource will only continue to grow.
Through coursework, field exercises, and Directed Research, students will study people’s dependence on the environment and its natural resources (particularly water, wildlife and plants), examine the threats to the environment and to social networks, and explore the tools and strategies for mitigating the threats and promoting well-being among communities. A strong component of the program will be examining the ecological patterns, threats and processes that underpin the high diversity of wildlife in the region

Course Description: Human Dimensions of Conservation
This course exposes students to the methods and strategies within the social sciences to understand the complex nexus between people and the environment and sets the context to understand what factors influence people to conserve natural resources or not. Stakeholders in Kenya’s conservation effort are varied. We will identify the key players in the effort to compare and contrast their multifarious objectives. The Maasai people’s relationship with the environment will be a particular focus of discovery as we examine their belief systems and perspectives on the world and understand how their traditional livelihoods are threatened due to ever-changing natural conditions and the continuous march of modernity.
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 relationship between local people and its environment. We will also investigate the ways that various methods and theories distinguish fact from interpretation, cause from correlation, and advocacy from objectivity. The directed research topics are derived from Center’s Research Plan as defined by the Center staff and local stakeholders. Through the Directed Research project, students will 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.

Duties and Responsibilities
Provide high quality, modern and field – centered 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 of research results is critical. Work closely with the Centre Director and 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 (minimum 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 Contribute to resource conservation and networks in Amboseli under leadership of Centre Director


  • Help design the program’s research plan and conduct designated research according to it Identify appropriate 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)  Work with Centre Director and other faculty to seek funding where possible to supplement SFS teaching and research agenda as appropriate.     


  • 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 Centre Director, assist with other logistical, group management, and administrative tasks as appropriate

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 safety 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 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 Be fully accessible to students for academics and other purposes as much as possible during program time Drive standard transmission vehicles and boats as needed Adhere to, actively model and enforce all SFS and program policies and procedures

Minimum qualifications

  • Ph.D. or Masters with vast experience and university-level teaching experience in areas related to political ecology, cultural anthropology, human geography, or related field.   Advanced students (ABD) may be considered based on qualifications. Field research and/or project implementation experience essential Demonstrated ability to work as part of an interdisciplinary teaching and research team Track record of research publications Demonstrated commitment to environmental issues Fluency in English language

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience working in East Africa (Kenya is highly preferred) Experience teaching field courses Residential student group management and risk management experience highly desirable Fluency in a  language of the region

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


This is a contract position starting in mid to late fall 2018  (part-time for program / course development); full-time would start no later than 7 January 2019 and ending in mid-May 2019 with the likely continuance in the fall semester of 2019 and beyond, 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.
Kilimanjaro Bush Camp, Kimana near Oloitoktok, Kenya
Reports to:
The SFS-Kenya Center Director and the Office of Academic Affairs

Start Date:
Part-time in mid-Fall 2018; fulltime in January of 2019

To Apply: Submit a cover letter outlining relevant experiences and addressing the qualifications and expectations stated above and curriculum vitae online.  Recommendation letters will be required upon request. Equal Opportunity Employer.
For additional information, please send an email to the Office of Academic Affairs at