About SFS

Faculty Careers

A Dedicated Team

The faculty at SFS comprises an international team of dedicated, hardworking, and fun academics with a commitment to education, research, and to addressing environmental issues.

The core functions of the Resident Lecturer position are teachingresearch, and service, as at any university.

  • The primary function is to teach undergraduate students about local environmental issues based on a challenging, problem-based, interdisciplinary curriculum. The teaching at SFS should be high-quality, innovative, and experiential. You are not only teaching in your discipline, but you are teaching students about the process of scientific inquiry and research.
  • You are also doing research. SFS instructors design research projects that are linked to the Center or program’s Strategic Research Plan. These projects should be designed in a way that undergraduate students, under your guidance, can conduct the research in an ethical and rigorous manner.
  • The third core function is service—to actively foster good community relations, lead community outreach projects with students, and engage in residential life on campus. The relative emphasis on each area is perhaps different from university positions, and your engagement in each area may vary over the course of your tenure at SFS.
After every four years (8 semesters) of teaching, SFS faculty members are eligible to apply for a sabbatical. This opportunity for three months “off” with full salary is provided to give SFS instructors an opportunity for focused writing, skills training, engagement with a wider professional community, and to recharge their batteries. Sabbatical leave is granted for the purpose of investing in a faculty member’s ability to engage in scholarly research or other activities leading to professional growth and an increased capacity for service to the School.

The Life of an SFS Faculty Member

Life at an SFS Center is unique. Each Center is a full field campus with classroom and support facilities, dining, and living accommodations, and recreational space all contained in a secure compound. SFS faculty generally live on-site or in close proximity to campus in individual accommodations, and enjoy the opportunity to routinely take meals with students and continue stimulating conversation outside of standard classroom hours. SFS operates ‘field-stations’, but our amenities should not be considered rustic. Comforts include quality beds and warm showers. The full-time cook staff provide eclectic culinary menus and manage dietary challenges well. Each center is secured physically with locked door access at night and guards who patrol our properties.
All Centers have a fleet of vehicles and/or vessels for use in program activities. Faculty enjoy individual offices with internet connections, and most Centers have a shared common area for faculty and staff to hold meetings. There are small physical libraries and computer rooms and internet is broadly available, although connectivity challenges arise while living in remote areas of the world. SFS faculty has access to nearly the same academic resources available at a U.S.-based college; we subscribe to the International Environment Library Consortium (IELC) that provides electronic retrieval of scholarly work from thousands of journals.

“I appreciate how CSDS approaches environmental justice holistically by exploring the intersection of Costa Rica’s environmental policy and social issues. Faculty and students contribute to social justice in action by developing meaningful research with local stakeholders. Current collaborations with local municipalities on urban park development and plastic reduction strategies have produced data that communities can use to facilitate positive change. Through these partnerships, students get firsthand experience of the complexity of development issues while contributing to solutions.”