Research Assistants & Field Managers for Filoha Hamadryas Project
Filoha Hamadryas Project
We are seeking volunteer field research assistants and field managers to assist with a long-term study of the behavior, ecology, and physiology of hamadryas baboons at the Filoha study site in the lowlands of central Ethiopia. Each position would last for a minimum of ten months, preferably longer. Responsibilities include maintaining habituation of the study group through all-day follows (5-15 km/day), daily census of the study group, collection of behavioral and reproductive data, collection of fecal samples, and transmission of reports to the project director (Dr. Larissa Swedell) via e-mail. We are always be accompanied by our local field assistant and/or a local guard or park scout while following baboons, as dictated by park regulations, and are trained and supervised locally by our current project field manager.
The study area is hot and dry (averaging 94 degrees F) for most of the year and the baboons often travel quickly over very rough terrain. The living conditions at Filoha are simple and rugged: we sleep in tents, cook on kerosene stoves, and bathe in the local hot springs. A cook is available and paid from project funds. The field site is a remote outpost of the Awash National Park, so contact with the outside world is minimal and social interaction is limited to project personnel and park scouts. The area experiences occasional ethnic conflict, during which time baboon follows are suspended. Prior to departure, volunteers would need to arrange for Ethiopian visa, vaccines, anti-malarial prophylaxis, and travel insurance (for medical evacuation).
Depending on length of stay, amount and quality of data collected, and other intellectual contributions to the project, these positions could potentially lead to co-authorship on a publication.
Volunteers need to be physically fit and able to hike quickly and collect data under the conditions described above. Volunteers should be able to drive a manual transmission (stick-shift) vehicle and, ideally, will have had previous experience driving and/or coping with mechanical problems in a remote area. Malaria is endemic to the area, so volunteers must be willing to use insect repellent and take anti-malarial prophylaxis so as to minimize chance of contracting malaria. Due to the remoteness of the field site and the lack of communication infrastructure, volunteers must also be of sound physical and mental health without any pre-existing conditions that might require immediate medical attention. Volunteers must also be able and willing to maintain professional relationships with people of varied cultural backgrounds and cope with disruptions to fieldwork due to ethnic conflict and other factors out of one’s control.
The ideal candidate for this position would have the following characteristics:
* Ability to withstand – and enjoy! – rugged and remote field conditions.
* Ability to adapt to the local cultural milieu and represent the project in a professional manner.
* Previous international field experience that includes living or traveling in a developing country.
* Previous experience collecting observational data on behavioral biology or ecology.
* Prior coursework on (and knowledge of) primate behavior and ecology.
* Excellent physical and mental health.
In addition to the above, the successful applicant will be flexible, adaptable, patient, emotionally mature, responsible, self-reliant, energetic, and highly motivated. To reiterate, living conditions are rough and remote, and to survive fieldwork at Filoha you must enjoy these aspects of fieldwork.
All approved project-related travel and subsistence expenses will be paid for up front or reimbursed, with some reimbursement to be made only after successful completion of fieldwork. The project will also cover all within-country research fees and site fees. This is a volunteer position, so no salary is available.
provided for internship/volunteer positions (travel, meals, lodging):
All necessary project-related travel, lodging, and food expenses will be covered by the project.
Term of Appointment:
At least one position will begin in November 2013, with others becoming available as current volunteers leave the project. A minimum 10 month commitment is required.
Applications will be considered as they are received.
Please submit by e-mail a letter of application describing your background, experience, and qualifications and explaining why you are interested in this position. Please also supply a CV listing your prior coursework, grades, and research experience along with the names and contact information (including e-mail addresses and phone numbers) of at least 2 references. Please send your correspondence via email to Dr. Larissa Swedell at FilohaHamadryasProject@gmail.com.
Anthropology, Queens College, 65-30 Kissena Blvd
Flushing, NY 11367-1597
718-997-2897 (USA); 27-79-291-8129 (South Africa)
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