SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL PARKS VACANCY: SCIENTIST (VEGETATION ECOLOGIST) PATERSON GRADING D3

SCIENTIFIC SERVICES, SKUKUZA, KRUGER NATIONAL PARK CLOSING DATE: 8 April 2014

SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL PARKS VACANCY: SCIENTIST (VEGETATION ECOLOGIST) PATERSON GRADING D3

SCIENTIFIC SERVICES, SKUKUZA, KRUGER NATIONAL PARK CLOSING DATE: 8 April 2014

A challenging vacancy exists in the Conservation Services Division in the Savanna & Arid Scientific Services Unit, based in Kruger National Park, for a Vegetation Ecologist. The successful candidate will be expected to operate across the suite of savanna and arid national parks. S/he will be expected to liaise regularly and intensively with the other SANParks scientists and park managers to share knowledge to best achieve SANParks science objectives. The ability to communicate well with both scientists and managers, confidence to work in unpredictable, dynamic environments and the challenge of proposing decisions in the face of uncertainty are essential competencies. A good publishing track record in an associated field is highly advantageous.

Key responsibilities include the following:

• Coordinate (conduct, facilitate and solicit) an effective research programme by conceptualising, developing and implementing a vegetation dynamics research strategy through innovative initiatives, projects and programmes aimed at supporting management needs of national parks.
• Coordinate ongoing appropriate monitoring programs in savanna and arid national parks to track the achievement of stated objectives. This would include design and execution of appropriate vegetation surveys, determining thresholds of concern and data evaluation against these to test underlying assumptions and track management outcomes.
• Interpret research and monitoring findings, evaluate the practical implications thereof and communicate this to the relevant scientific and management stakeholders, while broadening access to information through focused dissemination strategies
• Facilitate the implementation of adaptive management principles in the realms of vegetation change and plant dynamics
• Embark on networking and collaboration initiatives with other researchers, research foundations, tertiary institutions and relevant stakeholders
• Work closely with other SANParks researchers and park management to advise, in support of park management plans, on conservation and management decisions.
• Keep abreast of current scientific thinking and the peer-reviewed literature and pursue appropriate academic development and growth to maintain scientific credibility and recognition.
• Work planning and scheduling, budget control, general administration, etc.

Requirements:

A minimum of an appropriate MSc degree or equivalent in relevant biological sciences, but preferably an appropriate PhD qualification. A minimum of three years’ experience in the fields of vegetation dynamics, monitoring and research and/or restoration ecology. Excellent written (including scientific publications), as well as oral communication and networking skills required. Knowledge of conservation practices and principles and the adaptive management framework is essential, as is working knowledge of relevant legislation. A valid Category B driver’s license. Computer literacy with a good working knowledge of Microsoft Office and relevant statistical packages. Experience with Arc View will be an added advantage. Able and willing to travel extensively to national parks and regularly conduct fieldwork, also on weekends

The remuneration package includes a basic salary, based on the salary scale of a position with a Paterson D3 job grade, and allowances and benefits as specified in the HR Tariff document and Conditions of Service of SANParks.

Enquiries: Dr Stefanie Freitag-Ronaldson or Mr Danie Pienaar (013 –735-4000). To apply, e-mail your application accompanied by a CV and certified copies of your qualifications to daniel.dewinnaar@sanparks.org

Candidates who have not been contacted within 14 days of the closing date may consider their applications as unsuccessful.

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