Join the team
Posted 21st January, 2024
Technical Field Officer
- Location | Cameroon, Gabon, United Kingdom
- Reports to | Alasdair Davies, Director
- Summary | Working together with Arribada’s technical development team, you’ll help to deploy, configure and test conservation technologies in Cameroon and Gabon to support Operation Pangolin, a bold initiative to save the world’s most trafficked wild mammal — the pangolin.
- Contract type | 2 years, full time, fixed term contract
- Remittance | £24,362 per year, with 2 international flights & free
in-country accommodation per year included.
- Start date | Immediate
Arribada is seeking a motivated Technical Research Officer to manage and co-ordinate the regular deployment, configuration and testing of conservation technologies developed for Operation Pangolin in Cameroon and Gabon.
Working together with Operation Pangolin’s local field partners in the field, you will be instrumental in supporting Arribada’s technical development team to deploy, configure and test a range of new conservation technologies, as well as training field researchers to use and optimise them to specifically support Operation Pangolin’s research objectives. Technologies we are both utilising and developing include telemetry devices, camera traps, passive acoustic recorders and thermal camera traps that will be deployed arboreally.
The position will primarily be based in Cameroon, with free accommodation provided in Yaoundé for the duration of your contract. You will spend 4 – 6 months working in country supporting field staff and researchers in the field, with 2 international flights per year provided to join Arribada’s team in the United Kingdom so we can work together in person for several weeks, or to return home and take your holidays if you are not a resident of Cameroon.
- Provide weekly reports on the performance of prototype technologies being trialled, data collected and the operational status / configuration of devices as we improve or modify them over time.
- Record and log any issues, or troubleshoot devices with remote support from Arribada’s technical team if and when required.
- Act as a key liaison for local partner’s, communicating questions regarding user interface design, data quality, suggested changes / features, or modifications to the design of the technologies we are deploying and trialling.
- Work with computer equipment (networking hardware, software packages) provided by Arribada to debug and test devices in the field.
- Store and organise data recovered from devices for inspection by Arribada’s engineers.
- Support Arribada’s team of hardware / software developers remotely via online meetings.
- Must be able to speak basic French.
- Experience working with conservation technologies such as camera traps, passive acoustic recorders or other similar devices.
- Able to live and work in Cameroon for up to 6 months at a time.
- Able to work in the field (fit and healthy), which will primarily include walking for long periods of time and camping in Cameroon / Gabon’s rainforests.
- A keen interest in the use or development of conservation technologies or a relevant background in computing / IT.
- Able to work independently, self-motivated and adept at problem solving to help plan and deliver successful field work.
Of further benefit:
- Open to the opportunity to be trained to access the canopy (tree climbing) by Arribada’s in-house tree climbing instructor.
- Have travelled to West / Central Africa before, or have experience working in West / Central Africa.
- Experience processing data (i.e. using R) and / or organising and presenting data for review and analysis.
- Experience working with software / hardware or a background in IT or computing in general.O
- Experience deploying and configuring camera traps.
- Experience deploying and configuring passive acoustic recorders, specifically the AudioMoth.
- Must be able to adapt and be open to changing plans based on the availability of local field researchers.
- Experience working with conservation technology software (i.e SMART / QGIS).
- Experience teaching or training field researchers to use, config and deploy conservation technologies.
This position is full-time, based on working 5 days per week, 8 hours per day. The initial contract is for a 2 year period, starting immediately. Remittance is £24,362 annually (£2,030.16 monthly), with 2 international flights per year provided and free in-country accommodation in Cameroon for the duration of the contract. You will be expected to travel to Gabon when necessary to complete field research work there too, train local researchers, and will be provided with temporary accomodation when in-country in Gabon.
How to Apply
Applicants will need to send in a CV and covering letter detailing relevant experience and skills, stating why they are interested in the position and including details of availability. Please send this to firstname.lastname@example.org stating the Job ID code in the email subject “OP-TFO”.
Further questions? Free free to email us at the same address, email@example.com.
Arribada is a not-for-profit, UK-based conservation technology research and development organisation that specialises in open-source solutions. We co-develop open, customisable and impact-driven conservation technologies for conservation organisations across the globe, driving down costs and scaling up access to the tools and solutions we need to solve conservation challenges.
As a Community Interest Company, we also re-invest proceeds from the development of tools and technologies to fund local conservation technology education clubs, providing free after-school digital literacy workshops and STEM activities to <13 year olds, that we call Club Arribada!
Arribada is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
About Operation Pangolin
With core funding and support from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Operation Pangolin has launched in Cameroon and Gabon with plans to expand into Nigeria in the future. Among the least studied animals in the world, little is known about the natural history or ecology of the world’s eight pangolin species.
Even less is known of their role in a significant criminal economy where trafficked pangolins and the illegal sale of their scales and meat often go undetected. Operation Pangolin will generate much-needed data to inform conservation strategies in Central Africa, with global implications for the illicit wildlife trade. The team will then help implement the identified strategies with a plan to eventually expand their efforts into Asia, the only other continent with native pangolin populations.
“Without urgent conservation action at a global scale, all eight species of pangolins face extinction,” said project lead Matthew H. Shirley, a conservation ecologist at Florida International University’s Global Forensic and Justice Center and co-chair of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Pangolin Specialist Group. “Operation Pangolin is a chance to alter the conservation landscape for pangolins and other wildlife threatened by illicit human behavior.”
In addition to Shirley, who will focus on ecological monitoring, the collaborative research team includes:
- Alasdair Davies from the Arribada Initiative, focusing on technological innovation;
- Dan Challender from the University of Oxford, focusing on trade and policy;
- Meredith Gore from the University of Maryland, focusing on conservation criminology;
- Bistra Dilkina from the University of Southern California, focusing on data coalescence and artificial intelligence
The researchers are joining forces with Carla Louise Mousset Moumbolou and her team from the Agence Nationale des Parcs Nationaux (Gabon’s national parks agency) to lead implementation efforts in Gabon and Andrew Fowler and his team from ZSL (Zoological Society of London) to lead implementation in Cameroon. The project is supported by the IUCN Pangolin Specialist Group, a global network of 189 pangolin technical specialists.
The team is developing toolkits for pangolin monitoring and data collection, a critical first step to prevent extinction of these evolutionarily distinct and imperiled mammals. The toolkits will incorporate the latest advancements in hardware and software, while using locally accessible and low-cost technological components. The researchers will work with local conservation stakeholders, including indigenous peoples, local communities and government agencies to deploy monitoring programs, implement conservation interventions and develop predictive tools for addressing wildlife crime.
“Accurate, actionable data is the foundation of effective conservation efforts,” said Gabe Miller, director of technology on behalf of the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. “Operation Pangolin will provide a blueprint for how conservationists can turn data into solutions that address important issues like wildlife trafficking and the biodiversity crisis head on.”