Botanist
KTK-BELT Project

KTK-BELT (www.belt-project.org) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization registered in the United States in 2014 to catalyze new models of biodiversity conservation and environmental learning in eastern Nepal. Its mission is to work with teachers, farmers, youth, and women to create a ‘Vertical University’ that will span from Koshi Tappu Wildlife Sanctuary (67 m.) to Kanchenjunga (8,586 m.), the third tallest peak in the world. The core objective is to give a framework to local farmers to become ‘professors’ of the Vertical University in order to teach their vast indigenous knowledge to the new generation while conserving threatened species and landscapes. KTK-BELT works with non-profit cooperatives based in rural municipalities called ‘Learning Grounds.’ Each Learning Grounds, governed by a diverse local Board, owns its own biodiversity-rich conservation land base, which it holds in perpetuity in order to prevent ecosystem fragmentation and deforestation. Local BELT Youth Fellows, trained by KTK-BELT staff, run and administer the Learning Grounds.

To support the KTK-BELT, we have Vertical Biodiversity Fund (VBF), a registered local non-profit company based in the Eastern Region of Nepal. The Vertical Farm is a brand for organic agro-products launched by the Vertical Biodiversity Fund (VBF).


We are working with farmers, youth, and local communities across this vertical gradient to grow organic and nutritious fruits and vegetables. Our farms also operate as demonstration hubs or resource centers for local rural farmers.

Botanist

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POSITION AND SCOPE OF WORK :

The incumbent will be responsible for working closely with local communities in our project sites to identify threatened native plants, collect data about these species, and create a seed bank and in situ conservation garden for native plant species found in the Chure region (and as needed also in other climatic zones). The incumbent will be expected to expand digital and analog biodiversity portals and prepare biodiversity compendiums for the different regions of the Vertical University project.  

  • Catalog plant specimens using taxonomic tools to increase the BELT biodiversity portal
  • Explore and identify threatened  local plant species 
  • Identify and list native wild edible plant species and develop and implement a plan for their conservation
  • Identify important endemic trees for which local conservation efforts need to be increased
  • Organize citizen science workshops and trainings for youth fellows and farmers, to strengthen their understanding of the floral diversity found in their communities
  • Prepare relevant outdoor education modules for middle school students as per the KTK-BELT outdoor education program
  • Coordinate and collaborate with the Vertical Farm team to establish a seed bank of wild edible plants for the Chure region in Morang, and potentially other project locations too
  • Work closely and communicate with the project team members, local communities and government officials to ensure proper implementation of the program

QUALIFICATIONS/EXPERIENCE DESIRED :

  • M.Sc. in Botany, Ecology, Natural Resource Management, or related field, with a focus on plant taxonomy and conservation, and 2+ years’ of specific field experience in plant research and conservation
  • Strong knowledge of plant identification tools, field guides and deep familiarity with the major plant families
  • Demonstrated experience in identifying and keying out plants from tropical to alpine regions
  • Prior experience with setting up a seed bank is a major advantage
  • Past experience and advance working knowledge in plant collection and biological inventories required
  • Authorship of relevant articles and papers preferred
  • Expertise and interest in lower plants (pteridophytes, bryophytes, lichens, and fungi) preferred
  • Highest degree of sensitivity regarding gender, caste, religion, and economic status
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English, ability to adapt in multicultural team members, and in different projects sites
  • Team player, friendly, professional attitude, focused and hard working
  • Female candidates and members of underprivileged ethnic communities strongly encouraged to apply 

DURATION, START DATE, AND DUTY STATION : 6 months,  start date September 2019. Morang District.

REMUNERATION : 30 – 40 K NRs. plus benefits

Applying Procedure

Please submit a one-page cover letter, updated CV, the name, phone number and email addresses for 3 references, and 2 writing samples.  Please submit your application materials by email to hr@belt-project.org.  Deadline to apply: Sunday, September 1, 2019  

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