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Head Mammal Research Intern

Canadian Organization for Tropical Education and Rainforest Conservation, Pococí, Costa Rica
Job Description

The Canadian Organization for Tropical Education and Rainforest Conservation (COTERC) seeks a full-time Head Mammal Research Intern (HMRI) to administer and operate long-term mammal research projects at Caño Palma Biological Station. 

Caño Palma Biological Station is located next to the Caribbean Sea within the Barra del Colorado Wildlife Refuge and north of Tortuguero National Park; a region renowned for its high species diversity in the lowland rainforest. The position is full time, starting June 2019, with a commitment of at least 12 months. This position encourages publication, utilizing data from our long-term projects. During the internship period we will be continuing long-term monitoring of large mammals, tent making bats, and the neo-tropical river otter. 

This position is perfect for candidates interested in writing for publication, while gaining field experience in neo-tropics. Preference will be given to candidates with an excellent work ethic and experience in ornithological research projects. A record of excellence in dealing with volunteers, student groups, researchers, difficult work situations and conflict resolution is crucial. Candidates should be fluent in English and have a high level of spoken/written Spanish as presentations, meetings and reports/permit applications to local authorities must in Spanish. An MSc in biology or ecology with experience working in remote tropical ecosystems, conservation, research/monitoring and sustainable development is preferred. The position entails project report writing and permit application paperwork throughout the year. 

You will also be expected to give logistical support and mentoring to visiting researchers and groups, including providing international undergraduates with appropriate research ideas, and guiding them in the formation and execution of research. 


Job Requirements

We are looking for someone who is open-minded and with a recognizable level of maturity and professionalism when presented with cultural differences, and an ability to relate conservation/scientific concepts to lay people. Applicants must be willing and able to work under hot and humid conditions in a remote area. To varying degrees, depending on the number of interns and volunteers at the station, the HMI will lead and participate in monitoring programs. 

Caño Palma Biological Station hosts researchers as individuals and groups from various international educational institutions who work on independent permitted research projects, some of which are tied to our monitoring and conservation programs. We also host undergraduate classes, student interns, and volunteers, all working on various monitoring and community conservation programs. 

The successful candidate is foremost expected to work in collaboration and development of wildlife monitoring programs, but will also work in concert with the station manager to ensure the overall quality of experience of user groups and visitors and to ensure compliance with Health and Safety standards. Special attention is to be given to issues of education, community conservation, sustainability, and working with a local village. The HMRI reports directly to station manager, coordinates with COTERC, and receives supervision from our Canadian based Director of Research. 

 A great stepping stone for the right individual: 

  • Influence local area management of the national park and wildlife refuge 
  • Examine first-hand, human impact on large mammal and bat populations, in areas with different levels of protection 
  • Gain experience working with local communities and government agencies in the design and implementation of conservation measures 
  • Supervise undergraduate research 
  • Contribute to the knowledge base for the understudied neo-tropical river otter 
  • Publish from long-term monitoring data 
  • Consolidate data management and report writing skills 
  • Food, accommodation and a small stipend are provided 

For further details, check out our website and facebook page:

To apply and, please contact Director of Research, Dr.Roberta Fulthorpe, at Applications are to include a cover letter, CV, and three references. 



05 June 2019
03 September 2019
Masters Degree