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Subject: Graduate Funding to Study Human-Elephant Coexistence in Botswana Ecoexist

Graduate Funding to Study Human-Elephant Coexistence in Botswana Ecoexist is a five-year program aimed at reducing human-elephant conflicts and fostering coexistence in the Okavango Delta of Botswana. In areas of heightened competition for access to water, food, and space, we seek and facilitate solutions that work for both species. Moving from conflict to coexistence requires a portfolio of management tools and strategies. The Ecoexist project focuses on applied research, land use planning, community-based conflict management, agricultural experiment and innovation, and tourism development (http://www.ecoexistproject.org).

Goals are to:
1)    Conduct satellite collaring telemetry studies and population surveys of elephants to record elephant numbers and movements in northern Botswana, and inform national and regional elephant management strategies.
2)    Inform land use planning to consider elephant movement corridors and allow people and elephants to share resources and space.
3)    Improve short-term strategies for conflict management by working with and for the government and communities to develop a Community Based Conflict Mitigation approach that incorporates shared responsibility, human-human conflict resolution, and a set of holistic and innovative mitigation techniques.
4)    Improve farmer resilience to the effects of elephant crop raiding by improving agricultural techniques, including short cycle crops and conservation agriculture.
5)    Facilitate private sector support for community-based tourism and other opportunities for people to gain economic benefits from living in close proximity to elephants.

Posting Date: April 2, 2014, for IMMEDIATE screening of candidates

Position:  We are seeking a SOCIAL SCIENTIST, or ecologist with significant social science experience, to lead research on the cultural, economic, and political factors influencing resource use and the social drivers of human-elephant conflicts. This will be part of a larger, integrative study on long-term land use planning to enable human-elephant coexistence in the region. Experience in GIS preferred.
Funding is available through the Applied Biodiversity Science NSF-IGERT Program (http://biodiversity.tamu.edu), totaling $80,000, to cover tuition, fees, insurance, stipends, international travel, and research. Students will apply to the Texas A&M University and spend at least one year in Botswana.

Responsibilities: The successful applicant will work with Ecoexist project directors to develop a research protocol, apply for grant funding, conduct field research, analyze data, and prepare publications and presentations.

Qualifications: Must be U.S. Citizen (for eligibility of NSF-IGERT funding). Background in field research related to conservation, wildlife management, and/or sustainable development, with a demonstrated interest in human-elephant conflicts. Applicants should be highly motivated and organized, with strong writing and communications skills.
Ecoexist Fellows will be expected to conduct field research in Botswana and work collaboratively with project directors and other students, interns, and field staff. All research must be designed and carried out in a participatory manner, engaging actively with local communities, government officials, and other stakeholders in Botswana and the region.

To apply: Submit the following materials:
Letter of interest (two pages maximum), describing interests, experience, and career plans in the relevant topics associated with human-elephant conflicts;
Three letters of reference;
Unofficial transcripts, and GRE and TOEFL scores (or plans for taking the tests); Current CV

Deadline: April 10, 2014.
Applications will be reviewed IMMEDIATELY

Please send letters of interest and supporting materials to Project Directors: Dr. Amanda Stronza (astronza@tamu.edu), Dr. Anna Songhurst (anna.songhurst@hotmail.com), and Dr. Graham McCulloch (gpmcculloch1@gmail.com).
For questions, please contact Amanda Stronza: astronza@tamu.edu


Dr. Amanda Stronza <astronza@tamu.edu>
Thursday, April 03, 2014

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