The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is a private, nonprofit U.S. organization founded in 1895. Its mission is to preserve wildlife and wild places by understanding critical issues, developing science-based solutions, and taking conservation action that benefits nature and humanity. With more than a century of experience, long-term commitments in dozens of landscapes, a presence in more than 60 countries, and experience in creating more than 150 protected areas around the world, WCS has accumulated the biological knowledge, cultural understanding, and partnerships necessary to ensure that wild places and wildlife thrive alongside local communities. Working with local communities and organizations, this knowledge is applied to address species, habitat, and ecosystem management issues that are critical to improving the quality of life for poor rural people whose livelihoods depend on the direct use of natural resources.
Okapi Wildlife Reserve (OWR) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to globally significant wildlife populations, such as those of okapi, elephants, and chimpanzees, and as a Reserve, it provides Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples with opportunities for sustainable natural resource use. The Reserve, however, is faced with threats relating to illicit natural resource exploitation, unsustainable economic development, and in-migration. WCS is currently working in partnership with the Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN) to implement a multi-pronged strategy to protect OWR that covers protected area governance and management systems, community conservation, security and law enforcement, buffer zone land-use management, and building external public support.
About the role
The Wildlife Conservation Society is seeking an experienced and motivated professional to fill the position of Conservation Technology Specialist. The Conservation Technology Specialist will be responsible for providing cross-departmental IT, radio/satellite communications, networking, geospatial, and information management support to all departments of OWR. They will work proactively with colleagues in WCS and ICCN to introduce and develop technological solutions that ensure effective conservation communications and decision-making. In 2 years, success in this role will be defined by: Reserve’s operations center’s technological functions, including radio/satellite communications, internet, EarthRanger and SMART in consistently functional condition; OWR staff demonstrate a higher level of Technology and GIS ability through training activities; geospatial products such as maps and analyses produced to support conservation planning; and a set of IT and communications Standard Operating Procedures developed and implemented.
Technology hardware management
- Manage and develop the WiFi network (including offices, accommodation, and substations).
- Support the installation and management of radio and satellite communications equipment (including VHF system, and Garmin, InReach, Thuraya and PTT Iridium devices, etc).
- Conduct training of staff in the usage of communication and GPS devices.
- Support with the management of VSAT hardware and user internet access.
- Work with the logistics department to support the management, inventory, and maintenance of IT equipment.
- Develop local area networks and secure server systems for efficient transfer and storage of data and information.
- Ensure the reliable and safe management of electronic equipment (including camera traps, tablets, smartphones, GPS’s, etc).
- Identify new technological opportunities and outline proposals for their introduction.
Software and network management
- Support the integration and management of EarthRanger in the Reserve’s operations center.
- Support with the introduction of SMART connect.
- Support staff with software management, including Microsoft, GIS, and anti-virus applications.
- Outline procedures and train staff to adopt robust cyber and data security practices.
- Manage network management software.
- Collaborate with existing GIS staff to provide cross-departmental high quality cartographic and spatial data/analysis support.
- Conduct training of staff in GIS and remote sensing, including ArcMap Pro and QGIS.
- Acquire remotely sensed imagery and conduct land-use change analyses to support conservation decision-making.
Procedures and information management
- Develop and ensure implementation of IT and Technology Standard Operating Procedures.
- Oversee the development of the Reserve’s SharePoint system to ensure that all information and data is stored securely in the cloud, with relevant access permissions.
- Train staff in the use of SharePoint and information/data management best-practices.
- Master’s degree in computer science, GIS, or remote sensing.
- Minimum of 3 years’ experience in the provision of technological and geospatial analytical support to conservation, military, or humanitarian field operations.
- Capability in developing and managing IT systems and networks.
- Capability in developing and managing radio and satellite communications networks.
- Capability in the use of Microsoft, GPS, SMART, EarthRanger, GIS and remote sensing software.
- Proven ability to train and communicate clearly and confidently in multi-cultural contexts.
- Proven ability at working both individually and in a team to successfully coordinate activities in complex contexts.
- High levels of attention to detail, organized, proactive, positive, and accountable approach to work delivery.
- Willingness to live in a remote field site with basic amenities.
- Fluent communication skills in French and English, Swahili an advantage.
How to apply
Interested candidates, who meet the above qualifications, skills and experience, should apply through the application tab on the job posting site by September 6 , 2023.