Environmental Leadership Development Specialist

Before You Apply

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

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Project Description

A Peace Corps Response Volunteer (PCRV) with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Sciences (Ecology, Forestry, Biology, etc.) or equivalent field experience, experience developing and conducting field-based training with farmers, and advanced Spanish, is needed to serve as a Environmental Leadership Development Specialist with the Environmental Leadership & Training Initiative (ELTI) in Panama. In 2013, ELTI established their Training Landscapes in the Azuero Peninsula in order to offer courses which provide participants with experiential, place-based learning opportunities designed to facilitate engagement and exchange and support the retention and application of knowledge. Field courses at the ELTI Training Landscapes are facilitated by experts and communicate restoration science and best practices in an accessible and culturally sensitive manner by offering hands-on training as well as integrating local landowners (ELTI Alumni) from the Association of Livestock and Agrosilvopastoral Producers of Pedasi (APASPE). They serve as co-facilitators of the course and facilitate farmer to farmer learning when visiting their model farms, a culturally sensitive method of disseminating information. ELTI plans to strengthen leadership skills, develop demonstration areas and associated training materials on the model farms of ELTI Alumni from the Save a Tree Live Better (SAVIM) Ecological Producers Association. To implement this model, the assistance of a PCRV has been requested to develop silvopastoral demonstration areas and train landowners in simple forest restoration monitoring protocols to evaluate their forest restoration efforts, so that they can conduct further experiments on-farm and participate as co-researchers, and those activities will be used to develop communication and training materials to facilitate farm visits and training courses.

The PCRV will work with ELTI staff to enrich and expand field-based training activities by strengthening leadership and training abilities of SAVIM members so that they are effective trainers; establishing restoration demonstration areas on model farms and training SAVIM members how to experiment, monitor and evaluate their restoration efforts and communicate those results with others; and developing educational materials (presentations, maps, field guides, case studies, pamphlets, posters, etc.) which will illustrate SAVIM’s efforts and be utilized to create awareness and educate a wide audience of decision makers. The overall goal is to develop local capacity for ELTI’s training efforts so that community environmental leaders can disseminate forest restoration best practices to diverse audiences in an effective and culturally sensitive manner to other farmers.

Please note that departure dates and other details of this project could change because of the uncertainties as Peace Corps and local partners resume volunteer operations. Candidates selected for this position will be arriving in Panama together as a group, so while the departure dates for the whole group could change, dates cannot be changed for individual candidates.

Partner Information

Environmental Leadership & Training Initiative (ELTI)

Required Skills

• High tolerance for ambiguity and high level of flexibility – some details of this project could change because of the uncertainties as Peace Corps and local partners resume volunteer operations
• Bachelor's degree (B.A. or B.S.) in Environmental Sciences (Ecology, Forestry, Biology, etc.) or equivalent field experience
• Advanced/fluent in both written and spoken Spanish
• 2 years of experience in at least one of the following: Conducting environmental education and leadership development; Conducting farm planning and soil conservation in watersheds; Developing and monitoring agroforestry systems and forest restoration strategies; Working with farmers and an understanding of agrarian culture
• Experience developing and conducting field-based training with farmers
• Knowledge of tropical ecology, agriculture, livestock production and forest restoration strategies
• Ability to physically work outdoors in extreme heat, humidity and rain

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

Before you apply, please 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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