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ATTENTION: This job expired Jun. 21, 2014 and is no longer linked from the job list. If you are the job poster and would like to renew the listing, please access it through "My Job Listings" (available when logged in only).

Research Assistantship in PRIMATE HANDLING

Hiring Organization:

Date Posted:

Position Description:
This is a volunteer training program targeting students with an interest in wildlife handling or veterinary science. This program will train students to participate in an annual capture and release program on tamarins (small Neotropical primates) in southeastern Peru. Each participant will individually handle upwards of 25 animals of two species of primate, while gaining valuable knowledge on the natural history of 9 other primate species at this site. This program is part of an ongoing long-term tamarin monitoring project begun in 2009.

Additional information on the research program is available on our website:

At the end of this program, students will be able to:
• Identify all materials used in an animal field processing kit
• Collect swabs of secretions and genetic materials from the primates
• Determine sex and appropriate age of individuals by morphological characters for two primate species
• Appropriately handle wild primates under time constraints
• Record TPRs at regular intervals (temperature, pulse and respiration)
• Manipulate a weighing scale to accurately record the body mass of subjects
• Collect biological samples
• Store and process biological samples analyses of endocrinology, parasitology and reproductive physiology


We are currently recruiting participants with the following requirements. If you are uncertain if you are eligible, contact us at to confirm:
• Participants must be at least 18 years of age by the time the training program begins.
• Participants must demonstrate a grounding or strong interest in animal handling and biology.
• Participants must be certain that they are not squeamish at the sight of medical equipment – if you are scared of getting a vaccine, you will not gain from this experience.
• Previous field experience is not required, but previous handling experience (or some contact with animals other than your pets) is a plus.
• Participants must justify why this program is important to them, and what they hope to gain from it.
• Participants must provide a letter of recommendation from a source that can substantiate the participant’s experience and skills.
• Participants must be unafraid of insects, reptiles and the jungle in general.
• Participants must be in good physical condition, with the capability to walk 4 miles a day or at least 2 miles carrying a 30 lb load.
• Participants will not be discriminated against for medical conditions they might have, if we determine that being on this project will not pose an immediate risk to their health.
• Participants must sign waivers of liability for this project and for the field station before their participation in the project is finalized.
• Participants must be willing to maintain long hours in the field, but also return to complete data entry in the evenings.
• Sometimes we wait and are unsuccessful – this is the nature of the work. Participants must demonstrate patience.
• Participants must be reliable – when a team is assigned to work with a group of animals, days of planning go into the execution of the protocol. Carelessness and tardiness on the part of the participant could jeopardize the entire project.
• Due to the nature of the work and weather constraints, participants MUST be willing to be flexible about their days off. Our time in the jungle is valuable, and participants can expect that time off will come in the form of half days and some full days (rarely).
• Participants must exhibit a willingness to adjust your schedule to primate daily activity patterns. This can require waking up early, sometimes by 4 or 5 am, and going to bed early, 8 or 9 pm.

COST: $1500. Longer stays are welcome and are prorated at $375 per week. For these extra weeks, tasks may include behavioral monitoring of tagged individuals.

Support provided for internship/volunteer positions (travel, meals, lodging):
The program fee for all programs cover the following:
•Transportation to and from the field station once per participant
•Lodging and meals at the field station
•Training and activities related to the program provided by experienced instructors
•Access to the internet while at the field station, although it is slow and dependent on the weather

The course fee does not cover the following:
•Travel from your home to Puerto Maldonado in Perú
•Medical insurance, which is a requirement for the program
•Food and stay in Puerto Maldonado (available for cheap)
•Costs related to exigent circumstances under which a participant requires an early departure from the field station
•Medical costs of any kind
•Binoculars – each participant must bring their own pair of binoculars
•Field boots, headlamp/flashlight and other personal effects required for the program

Term of Appointment:
Anytime within June 10 – July 31, 2014 (Minimum commitment 4 weeks)

Application Deadline:
May 10, 2014 (Rolling deadline)

WHERE: The Los Amigos Biological Field Station in Southeastern Peru

We strongly recommend that students also attend the short course in tropical field biology in May 2014 ( that will occur just before the handling program begins. This course will provide students grounding in the natural history of the flora and fauna at this site.

More information is available on travel requirements (
amigos/) and the Los Amigos Field Station ( where the program will take place.

Contact Information:
Mrinalini Erkenswick Watsa


E-mail Address:

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