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Orangutan field work - volunteer
University of Zurich
We are looking for volunteers for a PhD project investigating learning behavior of wild immature orangutans. The work of the volunteers will include collecting behavioral data and fecal samples as well as helping with archiving and organizing data at camp and helping with collective work at the research station such as phenology work and nest counts. The study is conducted at Suaq Balimbing research station in the Gunung Leuser National park, Aceh Selatan, Sumatra, Indonesia. Data collection will be carried out in the form of nest to nest follows of the focal animals, through the peat swamp forest. Follow days will be demanding: camp will be left before dawn, followed by an up to 1.5 hours walk to the nest position and then full day observation by following the focal animal through the study area until the evening nest around dusk.
The volunteers will be accommodated in a basic camp together with students, other researchers and local field assistants. There is no hot water at camp as well as no electricity apart from generator power at the evenings for some hours. There is only a weak cell phone signal and no internet.
• Preferably have a background in Biology or any related field
• Have experience with field work
• Be in excellent physical condition as the work in the peat swamp is demanding including long walks through the tropical swamp forest, getting up early and long work days
• Be ready to live under very basic conditions and close together with a small team of international researcher and local field assistants
• Be resistant to social and psychological stress
• Be able to live remote and isolated, with very limited contact to the outside world
• Be experienced with traveling and living in foreign countries and cultures
• Have good observing skills including patience, persistence and attention to detail
• Be willing to learn the local language Bahasa Indonesia as the local staff speak very little English only
• Be ready to travel independently in Indonesia and wait for permits in different cities
• Be motivated, energetic and have the ability to maintain a positive attitude towards tiring and exhausting work
provided for internship/volunteer positions (travel, meals, lodging):
Travel and permits expenses will be covered after at least a 6 months stay.
Term of Appointment:
We are looking for volunteers working for at least 6 months in 2013 with flexible start dates.
Interested applicants can send their CV, a short letter of motivation and at least one reference to
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