Project Leader, Indigenous Water Management

Project Leader, Indigenous Water Management

Earthwatch is an international environmental nonprofit organization that engages people in scientific field research and education. To achieve our mission, we offer research expeditions at exciting locations around the globe. Participants on these expeditions assist top scientists as they investigate important questions about how we can better protect our planet.

Location: Oman

Position Type: Full time, fixed term consultancy contract role for 12 months with strong possibility of extension up to end 2015

Deadline for Application: 6 December 2013

Interviews: 12 to 19 December 2013


Do you have the skills to contribute to a sustainable freshwater resource management project based in Oman? If you have strong field project management and coordination skills and the relevant scientific background, you could be the project leader we need at Earthwatch.


The Freshwater Project is one of four exciting projects we are currently establishing in Oman. Its goal is to enhance the long-term sustainable use of the aflaj for the benefit of humans (economically and socially), which at the same time will allow for an ecosystem to support biodiversity in Oman. As the Project Leader for this multi-disciplinary research project, you will lead the field research and use your findings to set up pilot programmes for water conservation strategies, specifically around falaj management. You will design and conduct research surveys to provide a detailed understanding of the overall falaj system. This will guide the design of pilot projects and will allow, over time, a quantifiable assessment of their economic and environmental impact. Research surveys for you to implement will include topographic mapping; falaj hydrology; socio-economic survey; agronomic survey; and biodiversity survey. You will work closely with other Earthwatch scientists to do this, including botanists, social scientists and local experts. The pilot projects will be designed to enhance falaj and farmer income, and be developed in close consultation with the local community.

To achieve your aims, you will collaborate with local experts, and lead and train teams of specialists and non-specialists from various sectors in Oman. You will be working to create a future in which Oman has scientists who can conduct their own falaj management projects in other locations, utilizing skills they have learnt by working with you and Earthwatch. You will also work remotely and directly with the UK-based Earthwatch team on aspects of research, field management, learning and engagement.

The project will run for two years (2013-2015), with potential for extension of 3-5 years to achieve more detailed research findings and to apply them to conservation management.


To join us in this important role, you must have a post-graduate degree in Freshwater Natural Resource Management, or a similar field with equivalent experience. As the Project Leader you will have responsibility for delivering all aspects of the project on target, including research design and implementation, practical enhancement of freshwater systems (specifically falaj systems), capacity development, budget planning and reporting, delivery of reporting, publication and presentation of the project’s results. You should also have experience of leading and managing research and conservation programmes, and have practical experience in implementing freshwater natural resource management projects with further technical expertise in the hydrology of small scale irrigation systems. Alongside this background plus a solid record of publication, it is also crucial that you are prepared to rise to the challenges of working in the field.

At the very least, you’ll have good awareness of local cultural norms and the willingness to fit in with local customs and traditions as you will be living and working within a small Omani community. Arabic language skills and knowledge of the Middle East would be a big advantage but aren’t essential. The key is good interpersonal skills and the ability to work closely with partners, donors and local communities, as well as the Earthwatch team. In short, we’re looking for a motivated, organised team player – an articulate professional who can manage staff, work independently and deliver results as part of an international organisation.

Please note that a valid international driving licence (or Omani equivalent) is essential.


Send your covering letter and CV preferably via email to

No phone calls please.

All applicants must be eligible to work in the UK. Earthwatch cannot support visa applications.

Salary to commensurate with experience.


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No phone calls please.

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