mindSCOPE Staffing Software - Placement Details
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Monitoring And Research Advisor - Marine Ecosystems

Bogota Colombia

12 Months | Start Date between Apr - Jun 2019

Location Cartagena, Colombia

Start Date Apr - Jun 2019 (flexible)

Length of Placement 12 Months

Language Requirements English, Spanish

English Reading: Level 4, Writing: Level 4, Speaking: Level 4

Spanish Reading: Level 3, Writing: Level 3, Speaking: Level 3

Language Scale: http://www.cusointernational.org/languageratingscale

Please submit a Spanish Resume and Statement of Interest

Open to Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents of Canada only

The Volunteer’s Role


El Parque Nacional Natural Corales del Rosario y San Bernardo   (PNNCRSB) is a marine-coastal protected area, located on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, 23 km south of the city of Cartagena de Indias and 35 km northwest of the city. locality of Santiago de Tolú. The park is one of the 59 protected areas that make up the National Natural Parks System of Colombia. This protected area includes a large marine area off the coast of the departments of Bolívar and Sucre, occupying an approximate area of 120,000 hectares in the jurisdiction of the Tourism and Cultural District (DT and C.) of Cartagena de Indias.

The Corales Park has the largest coverage of coral reefs on the Colombian continental shelf, as well as representative samples of other marine-coastal ecosystems such as seagrass beds and mangrove forests, not to mention the rocky and sandy coasts that have conferred on this Park a great tourist importance due to its white sand beaches; It is equally important to mention the presence of sedimentary funds, mainly those present in the area opposite the mouth of the numerous pipes that flow from the Canal del Dique, which have been little studied and some of their main ecological aspects are still unknown. This wide ecosystem coverage, and the interconnection between them, gives the Corales Park a unique ecological importance, which is reflected in a high biodiversity, a great abundance of resources and a unique offer of natural attractions.

The management plan of this protected area establishes its vocation oriented to the restoration, research, monitoring and control of invasive species. In this context, technical support is required to carry out the implementation of the programs and portfolios associated with monitoring and research. Since 2014, information has been generated that requires processing and analysis for the development of the baseline of the park. Additionally, for the case of mangrove restoration, a continuous follow-up is carried out each year, in order to guarantee the survival of seedlings in each of the restored areas and the simultaneous elaboration of new proposals for new restoration processes. Similarly for the control of invasive species there is a particular emphasis required with the lionfish.

The deepening of the implementation of these programs contributes to the generation of knowledge of the conservation values of the protected area, the reduction of pressures on their ecosystems and, ultimately, ensures greater effectiveness in the implementation of new management measures.

In this context, the objective this placement is to support the implementation of the monitoring program, the invasive species control program, and the portfolio of research projects at the PNN Corales del Rosario and San Bernardo, with the purpose of contributing to the effective management of the protected area.

Finally, due to the nature of its function, it is possible that the volunteer may enter into relationships with other relevant actors at the local level, such as universities, research institutes, diving schools and fishing communities. Within the program areas of Cuso International, this volunteer position is inserted in the area of Livelihoods, specifically in the priority of sustainable management of natural resources and adaptation to climate change.

As a volunteer, you will:

- Follow up on the research and monitoring activities in the framework of mangrove restoration projects in partnership with strategic actors within the PNNCRSB.

- Contribute to the development of ongoing research, by supporting field trips, organizing required materials in field trips, sample processing and data.

- Prepare a research proposal on a priority issue defined in the research portfolio of the protected area.

- Support the preparation and accompaniment in days of extraction of lionfish, and processing of extracted individuals.

- Support the preparation and accompaniment of field trips, events, meetings and workshops in the framework of monitoring and research of the PNNCRSB.

Essential Academic Qualifications:

- Professional training in marine biology, or in biology with experience in marine sciences, and with knowledge in one of the following subjects: mangroves; seagrasses; coastal lagoons; sandy and rocky coastlines and fishes; lion fish; sea turtles; corals, algae, sponges; coastal ecosystems; or preparation of research projects.

Essential Professional Background:

- Work experience in one of the following topics: mangroves; seagrasses; coastal lagoons; sandy and rocky coastlines; fishes; lion fish; sea turtles; corals, algae, sponges; coastal ecosystems; or preparation of research projects.

- Communication: Ability to listen, ask questions, express concepts and ideas effectively, understand group dynamics and effective meeting design.

- Flexibility: Ability to adapt and work in different and varied situations, and with people or groups from different social and cultural contexts.

- Autonomy: Ability to propose and apply solutions to individual difficulties in a proactive and independent way.


About Our Partner


Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia

The mission of the Parques Nacionales Naturales (PNN) is to administer the System of National Natural Parks (SPNN) and to coordinate the National System of Protected Areas (SINAP) within an environmental legislation framework for these territories, with the aim conserving biological diversity and ecosystems found in the country, to provide and maintain environmental goods and services, to protect cultural heritage and natural habitats in which traditional cultures develop as part of the national heritage and promotion of sustainable human development, all under principles of transparency, solidarity, equity, participation and respect for cultural diversity.

Their vision is to be a public body positioned in the national arena, with international recognition and social legitimacy, with technical capacity, an effective organizational structure, political influence and financial soundness, that exercises environmental authority in the National Natural Parks System, leading processes of conservation, administration and coordination of protected areas, contributing to the environmental zoning of the country.


Terms and Conditions


Cuso International terms and conditions allow you to lead a modest and healthy lifestyle while being effective in your placement. This support package will cover basic living expenses for one volunteer and is not intended to cover home-based expenses (ex. loans, support payments, etc.) or luxury items such as imported items in placement or international personal travel.


Support Package

- Modest monthly living allowance (varies depending country)

- Accommodation while in placement

- Return airfare and visa/work permit costs

- Cost of required vaccinations, antimalarial medication and health insurance

- Pre-departure training and in-country orientation

- Travel and accommodation for reintegration debriefing weekend

- Modest support for accompanying partners and dependents going on placement with you for 12 months or longer (Return flight, emergency medical insurance, vaccinations)

- Access to Employee Assistance Program while in placement and upon return

- Cuso International assessment day (Candidates must cover the first $200 of the most cost-effective travel expenses and all accommodation costs).

- Travel and accommodation for the five-day pre-departure training course and for in-country orientation

- Bonus: Additional return flight home or cash in lieu after 12 months of service for volunteers who extend for another 6 months



We ask each volunteer, regardless of placement length, to raise $2,000. All volunteers receive support from Cuso International to help achieve the goal through fundraising. If the volunteer chooses not to fundraise or is unable to achieve the fundraising goal, he/she can make a one-time donation or become a monthly donor to support our work.



Depending on the nature of the placement, volunteers are encouraged to provide e-volunteering support to the local partner or Cuso International before or after the field placement. Volunteers also have the option of requesting support from an e-volunteer to help them with their work while they are in placement.


Residency and Citizenship  



The majority of Cuso International volunteer applicants are residing in Canada at the time of application and during the pre-departure process. Occasionally we received applications from volunteer applicants who are residing outside of Canada at the time of application. In both instances, between your application date and placement start date, we must be able to contact you and you must be able to contact us easily and promptly throughout the process.

We may require your passport and would need to be aware of your current place of residence and any travel plans you may have during this time. You will also require unrestricted access to Canada during this time for assessment and training, as applicable.



Leaving your country of residence can have significant effects on your citizenship status in that country. It is your responsibility to research the consequences of travelling to Canada during the pre-departure process if you are living outside of Canada and of leaving your country of residence for a placement with the immigration authority where you live.

By applying to this placement, you accept full responsibility for any consequences related to your citizenship, residency and immigration status or penalties as a result of travel to an assessment day, training course, international placement or other Cuso International related travel.

You  must  check the implications that apply to you, but examples include:

  • Canadian permanent residents may need to make arrangements with immigration authorities before travelling. These arrangements allow them to travel without risk to their status in Canada. Without them, residency status may be withdrawn.
  • Citizens of other countries, including those visiting Canada on a visa, may have travel restrictions.