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Lecturer in Marine Conservation Governance

South Caicos, Turks & Caicos Islands · Education

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. 

Position Title:
Lecturer in Marine Conservation Governance 

The SFS Center for Marine Resource Studies, South Caicos, Turks & Caicos Islands 

Reports to: 
Center Director 

Start Date: August 2024

Salary is dependent on experience and qualifications. 

  • Covered travel from home of record at the beginning of program and covered travel to home of record at the end of program. After one year of employment, one additional round-trip to home of record during non-program time.
  • On-site room and board (all meals also provided while programs are in session)
  •  Auto-enrollment in an Emergency Medical Evacuation and Repatriation Insurance plan provided by AIG Insurance effective from the first day of employment
  • International health insurance reimbursement up to 80%, increasing with each year of employment, up to 100%
  • Long-term Disability, Life Insurance and Accidental Death and Dismemberment coverage provided by SFS
  • Other benefits as outlined in the Benefits Summary for Field Staff

Position Summary:
On an annual basis, act as instructor of record for the Marine Conservation Governance course and co-teach the Directed Research course during two semester sessions, and teach one-third of the two summer courses. Lead designated components of the Center's Strategic Research Plan and, as part of this, oversee, mentor, and grade the student Directed Research projects related to these research lines. 

SFS Lecturer positions are different than many other university teaching positions. Lecturers are integral members of the Center’s communal living model. The faculty team works closely and collaboratively to deliver a field-based interdisciplinary program, where programming days can be long and active. The program does not follow a nine to five model. In addition to providing high quality, inquiry-based teaching, faculty also participate fully in student life and in the implementation of the Center’s research plan. The publication of both student-assisted and independent research results is encouraged and supported.   

Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Educate students about the complexity of local development, management, and conservation issues through field-based teaching, scientific research and training 

  • Create a rich mosaic of research questions centered on supporting functional ecosystems while balancing the needs of human communities 

  • Empower local communities and decision makers to address their sustainable development challenges through applied research that informs local decision making 

  • Contribute to the scientific community through the dissemination of research, including peer-reviewed publications or presentations at professional meetings 


  • As part of an interdisciplinary teaching team, teach one third of the academic program (minimum 60 instructional  hours per semester) 

  • Plan, revise and effectively deliver a challenging, problem-based interdisciplinary curriculum to learners from diverse disciplinary and cultural backgrounds.  

  • 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 in a timely manner 

  • Supervise and mentor 8 to 12 students in their directed research projects each semester 

  • Actively support and counsel students on academic issues 

  • Maintain records of: lectures, exams, quizzes, readings, field experiences and homework assignments 


  • Conduct designated research according to the center's current strategic research plan  

  • Identify appropriate components of the program’s research plan suitable for student DR projects that prioritize community needs and build on local knowledge networks  

  • Prepare research results for community stakeholders and broader scientific and non-scientific audiences using accessible communication methods   

  • Assist in the creation and implementation of center research policies, priorities, budgets as required 

  • Implement appropriate data management and record keeping 

  • 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 center 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 center staff, provide day-to-day coordination of Interns as delegated by the Center 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 center director, assist with other logistical, group management and administrative tasks 

Health and Wellbeing  

  • Take responsibility, as an individual and as a member of the center faculty/staff team, for the safety of all program participants 

  • Comply with, actively model, and enforce all SFS and program policies and procedures including the creation of an inclusive living-learning environment for all Center community members  

  • Participate in the review and revision of center risk assessment and management plans 

  • Recommend and review policies and procedures needed to manage risks 

  • Know the emergency procedures plan for the center, 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 center policies and procedures 

  • Ensure that first aid certifications are kept up to date via periodic courses offered by SFS between program sessions 

 Daily Center Life 

  • Live on-site for the duration of each program period and take some meals with the students 

  • Actively model skills in competence, awareness, and knowledge necessary for meaningfully working with, living with and learning from others who may differ from oneself in identity and/or lived experience  

  • Contribute to the creation of a living-learning community that is inclusive of diverse perspectives, experiences and backgrounds, in which all learners have the opportunity to thrive  

  • On a rotating basis, take responsibility for center-specific "staff of the day" duties 

  • Take part in, and occasionally lead community outreach, center upkeep projects, social and field activities 

  • At the request of the center Director, occasionally serve as caretaker for center during program breaks and center rentals 

  • Drive standard transmission vehicles and boats as needed 

  • Adhere to, actively model and enforce all SFS and center policies and procedure 

Minimum qualifications: 

  • Ability to obtain Turks & Caicos work permit 

  • M.S. (or ABD status) and university-level teaching experience in Environmental Policy, Governance, Socioeconomics, Anthropology, Human Geography, Environmental/Ecological Economics, or similar field 

  • Field research experience in any of the above disciplines 

  • Demonstrated ability to work as part of an interdisciplinary teaching and research team 

  • Good track record of research publications or scholarly products commensurate with experience 

  • Demonstrated commitment to environmental issues 

 Preferred Qualifications: 

  • Ph.D. (or ABD status) and university-level teaching experience in Environmental Policy, Governance, Socioeconomics, Anthropology, Human Geography, Environmental/Ecological Economics, or similar field 

  • Demonstrated experience working in collaboration with small island governments 

  • Residential student group management and risk management experience highly desirable 

  • Proven track record of grant writing success 

  • SCUBA certification and high comfort level in water-based activities (snorkeling and swimming) 

  • Current first aid certification 

 Other Expectations: 

  • 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 and visiting researchers or programs 

  • Represent SFS at local and international meetings and conferences 

  • At all times, work to ensure good relations between the SFS and the local community 

Marine Conservation Governance Course Overview: 

The Marine Conservation Governance course is designed to assist students in understanding the political, legal, economic, ethical and social pressures that influence the environment and the community’s attitudes toward development, and the social outcomes of marine governance. 

Issues to be addressed will likely include: social and political systems (TCI and Caribbean); economic status of South Caicos (within context of TCI and Caribbean); Environmental policy (marine and terrestrial); Political Ecology; Artisanal fisheries in the TCI and Caribbean; Anthropological and sociological aspects of community development; Politics and processes of environmental regulation including protected areas management; Environmental/ecological economics (marine emphasis);  Social survey techniques; Globalization  on the local and regional community; Tourism, Pollution impacts (terrestrial and marine); Marine protected areas. 

In addition, the empowerment of local people in the creation of sustainable development projects will be examined within the context of the current development plans for South Caicos. This course is based on a comprehensive approach that encompasses management, economics, policy, legal and social issues. The Marine Conservation Governance faculty will work closely with our Tropical Marine Ecology, and Marine Resource Management faculty to deliver an inter-disciplinary program. The successful candidate will provide high quality, experiential teaching and participate fully in the implementation of the center's multi-year research plan that addresses these issues. 

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 will 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 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. 

Applicants are encouraged to review the course syllabi and programs descriptions on the SFS website: 

Expectations for Faculty Conduct:  

The School for Field Studies strives to create and maintain a work environment in which people are treated with dignity, decency, and respect. The SFS environment is characterized by mutual trust and the absence of intimidation, oppression, and exploitation. SFS will not tolerate unlawful discrimination or harassment, including sexual harassment, of any kind. Through enforcement of this policy and by education of employees, SFS seeks to prevent, correct, and discipline behavior that violates this policy. 

All offers of employment at The School for Field Studies are contingent upon clear results of a thorough background check. Background checks will be conducted on all final candidates and on all employees as deemed necessary. 

Institutional Position on Diversity and Inclusion:  

SFS was founded with the belief that stewardship of our planet is the responsibility of people all around the world. Addressing complex global issues requires the active inclusion of stakeholders with varying perspectives and identities. We recognize that to successfully address threats to our natural world, we must look beyond social constructs designed to divide us. Just as we value biodiversity in all of its forms, we value and engage with a multitude of diverse perspectives and people in the countries where we work and the students and staff we serve.  

To Apply: Submit a cover letter and resume outlining relevant experiences via the online application on the SFS Careers page at https://fieldstudies.catsone.com/careers/  

Applicants have rights under Federal Employment Laws: Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA)   

Equal Opportunity Employer:   

SFS is committed to providing equal employment opportunities for all persons regardless of race, color, religion, creed, caste, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetics, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, national origin or ancestry, ethnic origin, or veteran status. 


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