Jobs Available at ITEC - Information for Prospective Faculty, Staff and Volunteers
Concept of ITEC Field Courses
All ITEC field courses follow the same general format. Our courses are designed to provide an intense learning experience to students interested in receiving direct field experience in a tropical setting. Summer Session field courses are four weeks in duration; the Winter Session is three weeks. The first part of each course is spent conducting group projects or exercises designed to teach field techniques. During this period students develop proposals for their own independent projects. During the second part of each course, students gain valuable hands-on experience carrying out an individual research project of their choosing. The course culminates in a symposium at the end of the session where students orally present their research. ITEC field courses are usually limited to a maximum of 10 students.
Type, Place and Period of Employment
ITEC instructors are contract-based, short-term, full-time positions. All courses are presented at the Bocas del Toro Biological Station in Panama with occasional field trips away from the station. Summer Sessions are set for the following periods: Session A, 15 May through 9 June; Session B, 15 June through 10 July, and Session C, 15 July through 9 August. Winter Session runs from 20 December through 9 January. Some flexibility exists to meet needs of instructors as to when any particular course is presented. Prospective faculty interested in presenting a course should contact ITEC for details.
Bocas del Toro Biological Station
Our field facility is located near Ground Creek on the north end of Isla Colon (Boca del Drago), Bocas del Toro Province, Republic of Panama (coordinates are: 9º 24’ 24” N, 82º 18’ 49 W; UTM coordinates: Zone 17P, Easting, 355780mE, Northing 1040093 mN). The location of the field station is ideal with lowland rain forest surrounding the station and varied marine habitats accessible from our dock. Infrastructure at present includes a dormitory housing for 36, kitchen and dining room seating 50, a temporary laboratory and a dive equipment storage building next to our dock and boathouse on Ground Creek. Other amenities include extensive field and lab equipment, projectors and other lecture-related equipment, and a 2000+ volume library. ITEC also maintains a fleet of vehicles and boats for use in field courses.
Qualifications for Instructors
Instructors must either have the Ph.D. in hand or in the final stages of completing their doctorate degree, an academic appointment, demonstrated teaching experience, and expertise in the specific area of study for which an application is made. Preference will be given to those with previous experience teaching field courses in tropical settings.
ITEC pays all international and national airfares, all meals and lodging while traveling, all meals and lodging while at the Bocas del Toro Biological Station, and all course-related costs associated with local transportation while at the field station. Senior Faculty and Teaching Assistants also receive remuneration commensurate with position and enrollment levels. ITEC will provide a TA for full course of 10 students. Please contact ITEC for specifics.
Instructors are Needed for the Following Courses:
Tropical Rainforest Ecology. An instructor is sought for this three-week Winter Session field course. The instructor will be responsible for designing and executing a college-level field course in plant ecology that emphasizes field research techniques as applied to a tropical lowland rain forest environment. Several distinct ecosystems are available at the field station including lowland rain forest, swamp forest, Raphia-Symphonia swamps, mangrove forests, marshes and beaches. Students will also have the opportunity to briefly compare these ecosystems to Pacific-versant seasonal forest and high elevation cloud forest. Competitive candidates for this position should have ecological research interests, but individuals with a focus in plant physiology, systematics or plant-animal interactions are also encouraged to apply. Course to be offered during Winter Session (Dec. 20-Jan. 9) each year.
Primate Ecology. Instructors are needed for a three-week Winter Session and a four-week Summer Session field course. The instructor will be responsible for designing and executing a college-level field course in primate ecology (primatology) that emphasizes field research techniques as applied to a tropical lowland rain forest environment. The Bocas del Toro biological station represents an ideal site for primate study and education. Three species of non-human primates are common at the field station, including white-faced capuchins, howling monkeys and night monkeys. Capuchins and howlers are particularly abundant. Howling monkeys are habituated to observers and easily followed along our trail system. Competitive candidates for these positions will have an ecological research background, but individuals with a focus on behavior, evolution or conservation are also encouraged to apply. Course to be offered during Session A (May 15-June 9), Session C (July 15-Aug. 9) and during the Winter Session (Dec. 20-Jan. 9) each year.
Conservation Ecology An instructor is needed for a four-week Summer Session field course in conservation ecology. The instructor will be responsible for designing and executing a college-level field course that examines the problems and needs of a developing tropical country at both national and local levels. Specific problems that could be addressed in the Bocas del Toro region include uncontrolled development, burgeoning tourism, population growth, deforestation, pollution and the over-utilization of marine resources, among many others. The course should work with local schools and develop interactive conservation education programs for school children. The tradeoff between tourism employment and conservation could be examined within the local indigenous Ngöbe community. Competitive candidates for this position will have a background in conservation ecology, field experience in Latin America and fluency in Spanish. Course to be offered during Session C (July 15-Aug. 9) and during the Winter Session (Dec. 20-Jan. 9) each year.
Coral Reef Ecology. Instructors are needed for a three-week Winter Session and a four-week Summer Session field course. The instructor will be responsible for designing and executing a college-level field course in coral reef ecology that emphasizes field research techniques as applied to tropical marine environments. The Bocas del Toro biological station represents an ideal site for marine study and education. Both hard and soft coral reefs abound in the waters of the archipelago and there are sea-grass beds and a hard reef adjacent to ITEC property. A dive boat and some dive equipment are available to the course; students are expected to bring their own dive and snorkeling equipment. Competitive candidates for these positions should have a background in some aspect of coral reef ecology, but individuals with a focus on broader aspects of marine biology, animal behavior, or conservation are also encouraged to apply. Course to be offered during Session A (May 15-June 9), Session C (July 15-Aug. 9) and during the Winter Session (Dec. 20-Jan. 9) each year.
Alternative Field Courses. ITEC also invites all interested parties who may wish to present a course with ITEC on another ecological, anthropological or related life science topic. Possibilities include mammology (with a concentration on bats), entomology, plant ecology, cultural anthropology and ornithology. All applicants should provide the following materials:
-Letter of Intent describing your interest in applying for one of the teaching position or in developing your own course.
-Letter of Recommendation
Send application to: Dr. Peter N. Lahanas, Executive Director Institute for Tropical Ecology and Conservation 2911 NW 40th Place Gainesville, Florida, 32605 USA Ph: 352-367-9128, fax: 352-367-0610 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
General Volunteering at ITEC. Volunteers are occasionally accepted to work at the ITEC field station. Activities vary greatly and may include cooking, picking up supplies, building maintenance, gardening, construction, or any other activity required to operate and maintain the field station. General volunteers are also expected to contribute $70 per week to offset costs for food, lodging and transportation.
Visiting Faculty and Researchers
University faculty and researchers are welcome to visit ITEC facilities in Bocas del Toro Field Station. Our facilities and geographic location offer a wealth of educational and research opportunities. Room and Board at the station are very inexpensive; $25/day for student researchers, $35/day for appointed faculty). Please see Bocas del Toro Biological Station or contact ITEC@itec-edu.org for more details.
ITEC is extending an invitation to colleges and universities to become ITEC-member institutions. ITEC wishes to develop ties with other institutions of higher learning for the purpose of advancing education opportunities in tropical ecology and conservation. ITEC is an independent, not-for-profit (501c3) academic institution. Our home offices are in Gainesville, Florida and we operate the Bocas del Toro Biological Station in Panama. ITEC is governed by an elected board of directors made up of professors, educators and conservationists from various colleges and universities in the United States, Canada and Latin America. Our students and instructors come from all over world. ITEC can offer opportunities for students who wish to gain experience in field ecology, geology and anthropology, and for faculty who may wish to present their own field courses at our facility. ITEC courses and teaching opportunities may be most attractive to smaller liberal arts colleges and universities where such programs may be lacking. Students and faculty from ITEC-member institutions will have priority in attending and presenting courses at the Bocas del Toro Biological Station in Panama. There is no fee for becoming an ITEC-member institution. Please contact ITEC's Executive Director at ITEC@itec-edu.org for more information.
25 March, 2013