Database Development and Programming Specialist

Before You Apply

Peace Corps Response positions are open to returned Volunteers or U.S. citizens with significant professional and technical experience.

Project Description

A Peace Corps Response Volunteer (PCRV) is needed to serve as a Database Development and Programming Specialist for Ministry of Environment & Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) in Puebla state, Mexico. Mexico’s environmental sector has developed a complex system (SARMOD for its initials in Spanish) to monitor the country’s biodiversity. The purpose of this system is to improve what we know about the territory through the generation of information that will allow CONAFOR Puebla to estimate an ecosystem integrity index of the locations under study. Although this is a national effort without precedent, it is still necessary to generate inputs of information that help us respond to much more local needs. After the adoption of the SARMOD in the state of Puebla and the implementation of this protocol as a source of data for the construction of indicators that would lead to better decision making, today we have 60 trained forest technicians, more than 15 locations being monitored, and a team of specialists in various taxonomic groups supporting the process. Now it is necessary to articulate the information that is being generated in a local platform, complementary to the one of the national monitoring system; determine the specific information inputs that are most useful for the stakeholders involved, such as CONAFOR, forestry technicians and farm managers; and structure a mechanism that makes all this available to the decision makers involved in the initiative (SEMARNAT, CONAFOR).

A Database Development and Programming Specialist, with a degree in environmental sciences and at least three years’ professional experience working with GIS, plus experience in biodiversity monitoring and database structuring, is needed to be part of a team whose objective is to guide the implementation of the environmental policies in the state contained in the national plans and programs. He/she will propose mechanisms for the structuring of local databases that are compatible with the High Resolution System for the Monitoring of Diversity, collaborate in determining indicators and indices to be used in decision making, and generate prototypes of maps and information inputs that will allow a better understanding of the current state of the biodiversity in Puebla. The PCRV will also design and facilitate a training course to train local staff on the use of the database and the generation of information inputs developed for this project, and support in the construction of a mechanism (Web platform) that will disseminate the results of this initiative. The goal of this assignment is to build the capacity of the SEMARNAT Puebla Delegation in making their data accessible.

Please note these are approximate departure dates and might change. Final invitation decisions will be made by early June.

Volunteer safety is of paramount importance, and the protections of U.S. citizenship promote volunteer safety. Under Mexican law, anyone born in Mexico who became a U.S. citizen after 1998 or anyone holding dual U.S. and Mexican citizenship is considered a citizen of Mexico, and not of the United States. If such an individual faced a legal, safety or other emergency situation in Mexico, the Peace Corps' ability to intervene could be limited. Therefore, the PC will not place in Mexico individuals who are either dual citizens of Mexico and the U.S. or who were born in Mexico and became U.S. citizens after 1998. If you fit either of these categories, we encourage you to look at other opportunities with PC Response.

Partner Information

Secretaría del Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT)

Required Skills

• A degree in environmental sciences
• Three years of professional experience in GIS
• Biodiversity monitoring techniques experience
• Knowledge of biodiversity statistics and indicators
• Database structuring and website programming experience
• Intermediate Spanish language skills
• Flexibility, adaptability, and professionalism given a new work environment in a new culture and within the context of the rules, regulations, and core expectations of the Peace Corps.
• Initiative, resourcefulness, and the ability to work on a team with potentially limited resources and limited supervision.
• Willingness to learn about and integrate/adapt into the Mexican culture.

The Peace Corps embraces and leverages the diversity of its volunteers as a reflection of America's diversity. Peace Corps Response is committed to reflecting the diversity of the United States in the professionals we send into the field to support the mission of world peace and friendship. Applicants with diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Medical Considerations in Mexico

  • Mexico may not be able to support Volunteers with the following medical conditions: ongoing counseling.
  • The following medication(s) are not permitted for legal or cultural reasons: Adderall.
  • Volunteers who should avoid the following food(s) may not be able to serve: none identified.
  • After arrival in Mexico, Peace Corps provides and applicants are required to have an annual flu shot and to receive mandatory immunizations.

Before you apply, please also review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the clearance process and other health conditions that are difficult to accommodate in Peace Corps service.

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