Volunteer/Internship with Lomas Barbudal Capuchin Monkey Project, Costa Rica
The Lomas Barbudal Capuchin Project has been running for 22 years, and (funding permitting) will continue for many years to come. Each year we accept about 6 interns who stay a full year and participate in data collection. The project currently monitors 11 social groups of monkeys. Virtually all monkeys are well habituated, and their genetic relationships are known, as well as social histories dating back several years in most cases. The primary focus of research currently is coalitions, alliances, and male life history strategies.
Current application instructions are on the following website:
http://capuchinfoundation.org/support/internships.html and further historical information is available at our old (now outdated) website: http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/anthro/faculty/sperry/ Please read the detailed guide to working on the monkey project BEFORE applying or contacting the project, as this will answer virtually all questions. Applicants are also strongly encouraged to read the book "Manipulative Monkeys: The Capuchins of Lomas Barbudal," which is a popular science book documenting not only the first 15 years of scientific research, but the life style of researchers working at this site.
There are no absolute criteria, and we try to hire people with a blend of different talents. But some traits that help are good grades (>3.3 GPA), some prior Spanish training, and prior experience studying animal behavior and working in the field. Skills in auto mechanics, construction (for house repairs), computer maintenance and website design would be nice additional perks. The most important trait in a field assistant is strong work ethic and the ability to make a firm commitment for a year. Please do not apply if you are the sort of person who signs contracts and then backs out, as such behavior is highly damaging to the project (as well as to your own reputation). It is also highly desirable for applicants to have done some reading in primatology (not just websites, but journal articles and books, including some from this project) before applying.
No salary for internships, but see support section below. However, one or two field manager positions (which pay a real salary in addition to room and board) will open in March or April of 2013, and these positions will almost certainly be chosen from this year’s group of interns. Until we hear back about several pending grants, we will not know what level of funding we provide.
provided for internship/volunteer positions (travel, meals, lodging):
Minimally, we can guarantee free housing and some contribution towards food costs. Maximally, we could offer room and board, transportation, and a small living stipend of $~100/month. Interns must feed themselves when away on vacation and visa trips. If certain grants are funded, then interns may qualify for a travel refund of up to $1000 for their plane fares. Assistants must buy their own medical insurance. The worst case scenario (if all grants fail) is that it will cost an intern ~$5000 (including airfare, food, and incidental expenses) to spend a year at Lomas. The best case scenario (if most grants are funded) is that an intern will break even financially. If selected for a management position, it will be possible to make a profit. Please, when you apply, specify the minimum among of financial support you would need in order to be a viable applicant, and state dates of your availability.
Term of Appointment:
Minimum one year. Start dates are flexible, but we need some people to start as early as February or March 2013.
Rolling deadlines: Try to apply at least 3 months before desired start date if possible. We will be hiring 4 more people between the months of May 2012-Mar 2013, and would prefer people who can start sooner rather than later.
These internships are excellent preparation for graduate school. Interns who finish their terms have always received admission to high quality graduate programs (50 of our past interns have gone to graduate school). Interns will live on an ecologically friendly ranch adjacent to the forest, in the rural community of Pijije, Costa Rica.
Dept. of Anthropology, Box 951553, UCLA
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1553
http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/anthro/faculty/sperry or http://capuchinfoundation.org/
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