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Volunteer Research Assistant - monitoring three troops of Angolan colobus monkey

Hiring Organization:
Colobus Conservation, Diani Beach, Kenya

Date Posted:
2014-02-20

Position Description:
Background Information and Position Description
Colobus Conservation, Kenya, is launching a new research project to investigate home range sizes and levels of aggression between Angolan colobus inhabiting overlapping areas, with comparisons between heavily degraded, semi-degraded and good habitat types.

One research assistant, for each habitat type (3 researchers in total) are required to collect comparative and baseline data. The study troops have already been selected, some have been habituated and all are waiting for dedicated volunteers to collect data.

Field time is currently scheduled as a 5 day rotation, working on average 45 hours per week (2 field days at 6.5 hours, 1 field day at 13 hours, 1 office day at 8 hours for data input and on day off).

Researchers are not permitted to take the data away, nor use it for any form of personal analysis, unless discussed with the Conservation Manager prior to arrival

A 6 month commitment is essential

Colobus Conservation is based in Diani, Kenya and offers a unique opportunity to live in a beautiful beach and forested area, with many western comforts. Our accommodation comprises single/uni sex bedrooms in a communal house, hot/cold showers, 3 meals a day, laundry and housekeeping. There is good mobile phone and internet coverage, and using Sarfricom, the local network supplier, text messages to the UK are very cheap (approx 8p). This accommodation is also used for Colobus Conservation eco-volunteer programme, and as such there may be up to 12 people sharing the facilities at any one time. Many of the volunteers on this programme are not serious researches and as such will be performing different duties and working different hours. Any researcher accepting this position needs to be aware of these differences.

Qualifications/Experience:
Essential requirements
1. Experience of working on a scientific research project, collecting and working systematically with data, ideally an observational/behavioural project
2. Significant foreign travel or living/work experience, within a developing country and ideally the tropics
3. Interest in animal behaviour, conservation and welfare, and a university level qualification in animal behaviour, primate conservation, zoology or other relevant subject

In addition, applicants must have certain QUALITIES: they must be energetic, patient, open, responsible, flexible, healthy, able to work independently but also as part of a team, be highly motivated and not easily distracted by the holiday mentality found here in Diani. Applicants must also be hardworking and able to keep going, and do so cheerfully! Our schedule is demanding and unconventional with no guarantee of getting lunch, but monkeys permitting we try our best. The position is not ideal for someone who needs a lot of personal time, or for someone who easily feels lonely. The ideal applicant must be comfortable being unplugged and a distance from easy communication with the outside world, although there is good mobile phone and e-mail communication, sometimes things just don't work. They must also have above average resistance to social/psychological stress with a tolerance towards local customs and beliefs and be comfortable with other conditions and risks that are simply part of tropical fieldwork, such as limited healthcare, monotonous diet, rare confrontations with noxious plants or animals. This is very intense work - if your main goal is not gaining scientific research experience, you will probably not be happy in this position.

Salary/funding:
This is a volunteer position and as such no wage or stipend is currently available, but food for 3 meals a day is provided. The volunteer is responsible for their return flight to Mombasa, visa, which will need extending after 3 months for an additional 3 months, comprehensive travel and medical insurance, accommodation as mentioned above (for 100 Euros per week the accommodation is partially subsidized, normal rate is 1000 Euro per month), all field clothing, including adequate walking boots and airport transfers

Support provided for internship/volunteer positions (travel, meals, lodging):
Food provided and partially subisdised accommodation. Volunteer contributes 100 Euro per week

Term of Appointment:
Minimum of 6 month commitment

Application Deadline:
Rolling until filled

Contact Information:
Andrea Donaldson
Kenya

Website:
http://www.colobusconservation.org

E-mail Address:
enquiries@colobusconservation.org

Questions and Comments

Questions about a specific job listing should be directed to the contact person listed for that job. Questions and comments about using the Primate-Jobs web site can be directed to Joe Kemnitz at kemnitz@primate.wisc.edu.