Fire Management 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 Fire Management Specialist for the Reserva de la Biosfera los Petenes (RBLP) in Campeche state, Mexico. Los Petenes Biosphere Reserve has the particularity of having ecosystems that depend on fire like marsh areas locally known as tulares y popales, as well as sensitive ecosystems like mangroves, seasonally evergreen forests and hammocks locally known as “petenes”. One of the threats in this landscape is the alteration of fire regimes, in other words, an alteration in the frequency, intensity, timing, severity of fire in ecosystems. These changes result from direct anthropogenic activities as well as public policies focused on the exclusion of fire. In fire-dependent ecosystems there is exclusion of fire, while in the sensitive ones there are recurrent fires associated with agriculture and hunting activities. The capacity of ecosystems to maintain their functions (i.e. regulation of hydrological flows) is compromised as a result of the alteration of the fire regime. These changes in fire regimes and ecosystems service provision affects the human communities within the protected natural area and the distant human communities that benefit indirectly from these ecosystem services.

A Fire Management Specialist, with at least a degree in natural sciences, biology, natural resources management, or a related field and at least 7 years of wild land fire planning and ecological monitoring experience, is needed to collaborate with the Reserve’s team providing oversight, guidance and training in the implementation of an ecologically based fire management program that reduces risks to communities and creates Climate-Change resilient ecosystems. The work will be done through field assessments, GIS and development of a Fire Ecology program through a comprehensive vegetation monitoring plan. The PCRV will perform training on implementation of a fire management program, develop the skills and techniques of the local staff, and make recommendations for enhancements or modifications as needed. The goal of this assignment is to build the capacity of the staff at Los Petenes Biosphere Reserve to implement a fire management plan.

Please note these are approximate departure dates and might change. The position length is flexible 6-12 months.

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

Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas (CONANP)

Required Skills

• Degree in Natural Sciences, biology, natural resources management, or a related field
• 7+ years of wild land fire planning and ecological monitoring experience.
• Basic Spanish language or the willingness and ability to quickly self-learn Spanish language communication 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 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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