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Environmental Social Scientist, Putumayo-I Corridor

Field Museum
The Loop, Illinois
Closing date
Feb 17, 2023

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Position Type
Full Time
Environmental Anthropology, Museum Studies
Organization Type
The Field Museum is a not-for-profit organization located on the Museum Campus of Chicago. Since the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, we have conducted research across all seven continents and accumulated a collection of over 40 million specimens and artifacts.

We are running concurrent searches for two Environmental Social Scientists to join our Andes-Amazon team: one for Guyana/ Guiana Shield and one for the Putumayo-Içá watershed. Please apply to each position individually, i.e., if you are interested in both positions, please apply to each one with a separate cover letter explaining your qualifications for the position in that geography.

The Field Museum's Keller Science Action Center translates museum science and expertise into action for conservation and quality of life. We are seeking an Environmental Social Scientist with a focus on the four-country Putumayo-Içá watershed, where the Andes-Amazon program is working to co-develop a biocultural corridor. Our goal is to bring together diverse actors and scales, integrate management across protected areas and Indigenous territories, strengthen cultural connections, and ensure a coordinated and consistent response in the face of threats. In the last five years, we have held three binational encounters with local and Indigenous people, NGOs, and government agencies to create a plan for building and strengthening the corridor.

We seek a social scientist with demonstrated experience in building coalitions and coordinating landscape-scale projects. The successful candidate will co-lead the construction and implementation of an action plan for the Putumayo-Içá biocultural corridor based on previous achievements, continue to build coordination among an increasing number of actors, and contribute to our concepts, methods, strategy, and future directions. The role will also involve participating in an upcoming rapid biological and social inventory in the Brazilian portion of the watershed as part of efforts to expand coordination in the corridor to include Brazil and taking part in the follow-up of recommendations from previous rapid inventories carried out in the watershed.

The successful candidate has significant knowledge of the Putumayo-Içá watershed's conservation, wider institutional context, and local and Indigenous communities, a passion for collaborative interdisciplinary research and fieldwork in remote areas, and a dedication to tangible, real-time results.This position is hired on a 3-year term with potential for renewal. It is based at the Field Museum in Chicago and reports to the Senior Environmental Social Scientist for the Andes-Amazon program. The work involves frequent travel to South America, with approximately 30-40% of the year in the field.

Duties and Responsibilities:
  • Co-lead the development and implementation of an action plan for the Putumayo-Içá biocultural corridor, building on previous efforts by collaborating actors at different scales. This implies, among other duties
  • Maintain communications, coordination and relationships with 20 core partners and more than 100 people in local and Indigenous organizations, non-governmental organizations, government agencies, academic institutions, and others, and help establish new relevant partnerships
  • Conceptualize, in collaboration with partners and the Andes Amazon team, a governance structure for the corridor and an action plan for its implementation in the short-, medium- and long-term
  • Support follow-up and reporting activities
  • Provide consistent support to the Andes Amazon program in planning and executing multinational encounters and on follow-up work
  • Collaborate and coordinate with other initiatives related to the Putumayo-Içá basin
  • Maintain a website about the Putumayo-Içá corridor
  • With other social scientists and partners, participate in rapid social inventories
  • Work closely with Action Center staff and partners to synthesize insights and outcomes of our work
  • Support the monitoring, evaluation, and iterative improvement of the program
  • Contribute to grant proposals, technical reports, and other materials for dissemination, including peer-reviewed publications

  • Master's degree in anthropology or anthropological sciences, human ecology, sustainable development, environmental sciences or cultural geography
  • Experience building coalitions between diverse stakeholders around environmental initiatives
  • Three years of experience in participatory conservation or sustainable natural resource use initiatives with rural and/or Indigenous communities in the Amazon basin
  • Excellent writer, communicator, and synthesizer, with experience communicating research results to diverse stakeholders from policy makers to local and Indigenous communities
  • Demonstrated facilitation skills
  • Native Spanish or Portuguese speaker or strong written and spoken Spanish and Portuguese. Excellent communication, synthesis, and writing in English
  • Willingness to travel frequently and work in a fast-paced environment

Important Note: In order to protect the health and safety of our employees, guests and their families, the Field Museum is requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Requests for exemptions from the vaccine will not be considered as given the nature of this position, we are unable to provide an accommodation for anyone who has not been vaccinated.

The Field Museum is an equal opportunity workplace and employer. We are committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, gender identity, Veteran status, or any other protected class. We strive to create a working environment that is free of all forms of discrimination and one that promotes human dignity and mutual respect among all staff. We believe every member of our organization enriches our diversity by exposing us to a broad range of ways to understand and engage with the world, to identify challenges, and to discover, design, and deliver solutions.

The Field Museum strives to ensure that our career website and recruiting process are accessible to all. If you are unable or limited in your ability to use or access our online application, or if you require reasonable accommodation in completing this application, interviewing, completing any pre-employment testing, or otherwise participating in the employee selection process, please direct your inquiries to

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