Volunteer Information

Volunteer opportunities to study carnivores! Gain fabulous experience now! My lab seeks motivated field assistants on numerous projects such as bobcat camera trapping in Virginia; non-invasive detection methods for jaguar, pumas and ocelots in Belize, Central America; Malagasy carnivore surveys in Madagascar; tigers and co-occurring predators in Nepal. Volunteers will gain extensive field experience working on multi-faceted wildlife conservation projects in beautiful areas of the world. Non-invasive methods include setting up large remote camera grids across large landscapes (e.g. lots of hiking across remote and sometime difficult terrain); and hiking many, many kilometres with a scat detector dog to collect scat samples for later molecular DNA analysis. Habitat sampling is often involved on all projects.

These field jobs involve long working hours, and rustic living conditions, including tent camping, in a variety of climates and ecosystems. The tropics present hot, humid weather and a vast array of biting insects and dangerous critters including, but not limited to, poisonous snakes.

Field workers often carry heavy equipment, hike long distances through rough terrain, and bushwhack through thick vegetation. Expect after-hours work involving shared data entry and camp maintenance and running errands. In short, these are not circumstances for the faint of heart. Good physical condition is required!

Qualifications: Current student or graduate in a related field (biology, wildlife science, ecology). Previous field experience is not required, and yet possessing navigational ability with map and GPS would certainly come in handy. As would competence in driving a manual transmission. Plus, some skill in 4-wheel driving earns serious bonus points. But perhaps the most important qualities are: enthusiasm and a positive and flexible attitude. We can teach field techniques, but attitude and demeanor under stressful conditions are, perhaps, innate.

If you are interested in a volunteer position, please e-mail me a letter of interest, a resume/cv, and three references.

Application Deadline: Rolling. Various positions will be filled continuously.

Expenses: This is an entirely volunteer position, meaning that volunteers must pay for their travel to and from the study site, transportation in-country, accommodations, and various project costs. For international projects these costs amount to roughly US$ 1,750 per month. A one month minimum is required; a two month commitment preferred.

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