Fellow (Water & Cities)

Bogota, Colombia 🇨🇴


Conservation International is working to conserve ecosystems that provide water and prevent flooding in three of the five largest megacities in Latin Americas – Bogotá, Mexico City, and Rio de Janeiro. Together, these three cities are home to more people than California and almost as many as Spain. In Bogotá, 95% of water come from Andean moorlands, so called ‘paramos’. In Mexico City, the Water Forest (‘Bosque de Agua’) provides 70% of the water that recharge the main freshwater reservoirs for the city. In Rio de Janeiro, two watersheds provide important freshwater sources for the city. All three cities suffer from regular flooding and both wetlands and forests which can reduce the likelihood of floods have been destroyed (e.g. 99% of the wetlands in Bogotá have been converted since 1940).

The strategic goal of the fellowship is to quantify how much ecosystem conservation and restoration can contribute to water provision and flood prevention in these three cities, and to compare the cost of such ecosystem conservation and restoration actions with other, hard infrastructure solutions. The methods, data and results developed by the fellow will be used to build support for ecosystem conservation and restoration in and around the three cities, and will be used as models to be replicated in other cities in Latin America and beyond.

The Fellow should –

  • Possess strong quantitative skills including spatial analysis, ecosystem services modeling (especially water and flood provisions) and valuation.  
  • Be able to compare different analytical approaches, and decide on the best methods for analyses that meet both local needs in each of the three cities, and that allows for the development of a standardized model applicable to all the world’s megacities.
  • Have a demonstrated ability to incorporate scientific results into public and private sector decision-making (preferred).
  • Be able to communicate results of complex analyses to a broad range of audiences (Conservation International colleagues, scientists, policy makers, private sector representatives, community leaders and members).

Travel associated with the position:

  • Field visits and partner meetings in Bogotá, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro and additional travel to collaborate with global experts.
  • Fellowship cohort events, including CI training events and CI Board meetings.
  • Estimated 25% travel.

At the successful completion of the 2-year Fellowship, the Fellow will have –

  • Completed the analyses of the contribution of ecosystems to freshwater provision and flood prevention in Bogotá, Mexico City, and Rio de Janeiro.
  • Completed the cost estimates for conservation and restoration actions compared to hard infrastructure solutions.
  • Evaluated the approaches and models for how to sustainably finance ecosystem conservation and restoration in and around megacities and determined the best approaches.

Candidates must submit the following materials:

  1. Two reference letters from either a department head or other colleague officially referring the candidate and describing his or her qualifications, initiative, and research;
  2. The candidate’s curriculum vitae (including a list of the candidates scientific publications;
  3. Two representative articles by the candidate (optional);
  4. A brief (one-page) statement by the candidate describing his or her significant scientific work and reason for applying to be a Fellow.