GIS Volunteer in Belize

Job Title: GIS Volunteer

Job Type: volunteer position Opportunity location: Punta Gorda Town
Closing date (if specified): 15 Nov 2010
Opportunity Description:

Position: GIS Volunteer
Ya’axché’ Conservation Trust
Location: Belize, Central America
Responsible for: Assisting the Sustainable Land-Use Programme to develop a program for monitoring land use change over time within the Golden Stream Landscape. The purpose of this program is to promote sound and sustainable land use, planning decisions, and to help produce models for future development, especially as it relates to future community land needs as a result of population increase.

Duration of placement: 6 months to 1 year
Background Information:
Ya’axché Conservation Trust is a community-oriented organization which advances integrated landscape management for equitable development in southern Belize through sustainable land use management, strategic advocacy and awareness, and by supporting socially innovative and economically viable enterprise.
Assistance to the SLM Programme in:
1. Ensure the timely progress of Planet Action project activities and deliverables
2. Assist the SLPM in gathering and analyzing social and biological data as needed for Sustainable land-use, including physical features, land-use, demography, human resources, traditional and cultural practices, health and nutrition, livelihood activities, infrastructure, forest and water resources, land resources, archaeological sites.
3. Strengthen the capacity of Ya’axché staff in all relevant areas.
4. Provide additional assistance in the areas of GIS mapping and analysis as needed
5. Assist Ya’axché staff, under the supervision of and alongside the SLPM, in developing and/or revising (as necessary):
a. Landscape level sustainable land-use plan(s).
b. Resource use and development plans for the both the communities of the Golden Stream Landscape and the private land owners.
c. Scenario models to guide ongoing and future development.
d. Protected Area Management plans for the Golden Stream Landscape’s Protected Areas.
e. Reports, as required by Planet Action and under the SLM Progamme.
f. Education, training and advocacy materials
Preferred Qualifications:
The Sustainable Land-use Programme Volunteer will ideally have:
• An advanced academic degree in GIS, the social sciences, rural development, planning or a closely related field.
• Experience in rural development projects involving community participation.
• Proven ability to promote cooperation between, and negotiate with, a range of actors.
• Highly advanced ability to use GIS for modelling and spatial analysis, coupled with the ability to design and carry out a project using recently acquired ArcGIS and ITT-ENVI software.
• Experience in remote sensing and able to perform land-use classification.
• Capable of innovating solutions for the application of GIS for conservation land use planning and monitoring.
• Previous experience in working with communities in developing countries and strong cultural sensitivity would be advantageous.
• Excellent written and spoken English is essential and spoken Spanish, K’ekchi or Mopan languages would be be advantageous.
• Excellent written and spoken English is essential and spoken Spanish, K’ekchi or Mopan languages would be advantageous.

Personal Qualifications:
Volunteer is expected to provide general support to the Sustainable Land-use Programme by working flexibly, responsibly, with initiative and in a professional manner. Volunteer should have a strong work ethic and the ability to pick up concepts quickly and run with them.

For more info, contact:

To Apply:
First read the Volunteer Information Manual at the bottom of this link:
Submit letter of interest detailing interest, how you meet qualifications, along with resumé to Ya’axché Conservation Trust
By email: with the subject line “GIS volunteer”
Ya’axché Conservation Trust
P.O. Box 167
#2 Alejandro Vernon, Punta Gorda,
Toledo District, Belize
Central America
Phone: (501)722-0055
Phone/Fax: (501)722-0108

Benefits of Volunteering with Ya’axché:
o Shared housing (or camping) in a quiet, nature preserve
o Opportunity to work closely with dynamic, multi-cultural staff
o Appreciation for your dedication and hard work
o References and invaluable experience for future employment
o Adventure in a country with pristine ecosystems, world-class snorkeling and SCUBA
o In-depth, interactive cultural experience unattainable by tourists
Volunteers live and work in a beautiful but rustic, rural setting at Ya’axché Field Center and become part of the team to gain and promote the understanding and action necessary for a sustainable environment. Accommodations offer limited solar power, a cold water, shared bathroom, and the occasional rat, bat, tarantula, or scorpion. Alternatively, volunteers can choose to live in Punta Gorda at their own expense.
Volunteer Personal Expenses:
There are no program fees charged for this experience, but the volunteer is expected to arrange and pay for:
o Transportation to Punta Gorda, Belize, including airfare.
o Food, personal expenses, in-country travel, passport, visa (if applicable)
o BZ$50 per month contribution toward butane costs at Field Centre (for cooking and refrigeration)