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Assistants needed for Ruffed lemur-Canarium Project at Betampona Reserve

Hiring Organization:
Hunter College, City University of New York

Date Posted:
2014-01-08

Position Description:
We are searching for two reliable, hard-working field assistants to participate in an on-going study examining black-and-white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata) feeding ecology, resource utilization and fission-fusion social dynamics at Betampona, an 80 ha reserve located 18km NW of the coastal city of Tamatave (Toamasina).

In the field, assistant responsibilities will entail:
- Full-day behavioral observations (12-hour days)
- Recording GPS ranging coordinates
- Collecting and processing food samples (weighing, measuring, drying)
- Other responsibilities may include monthly plant phenological monitoring,
tree and trail mapping, data entry, and sample preparation.

*Assistants will work approximately 5 days/week in the field, with weekends off for data entry, sample processing and personal time.

We will train assistants on-site in June 2014. Please note that we will be only be present for the first two months of the project. Following this time, assistants will be responsible for managing all aspects of fieldwork. Therefore, assistants should be willing to work as a team and demonstrate ability in leadership positions.

We encourage assistants to work on independent projects/research questions as long as they fit within the existing data collection protocol. This position is a great opportunity for someone wishing to gain field experience, as you will learn various field methods relevant to the study of animal behavior and ecology. Prior assistants have gone on to graduate school. Please contact Dr. Andrea Baden (andrea.baden@hunter.cuny.edu) for a more information about the project.

Qualifications/Experience:
Applicants should have a B.S. or B.A. in Biology, Ecology, Anthropology, or other related field. Preference will be given to those with prior experience with animals, camping, and/or working outdoors under difficult conditions. Applicants should have experience living or working in a foreign country, with special preference for developing countries. Knowledge of French is helpful, but not necessary; however, a willingness to learn and use Malagasy is expected. Preference will be given to applicants experienced in collecting systematic data in a scientific context, and a strong interest in primate behavior and ecology a must.

This work will be rigorous and demanding. The site is remote (half a dayís journey from the nearest metropolitan area), the terrain is difficult (mountainous and steep with limited trail systems) and the site does not offer running water and has limited solar energy. Leeches and other pests are common, and the climate is often quite cold and rainy. To be comfortable in these conditions, volunteers must be in good physical and mental condition. They must feel comfortable being far away from family and friends and be emotionally mature, energetic, and patient. It is necessary that applicants have good social skills, especially in small groups, and be able to maintain a positive and humorous attitude towards challenging and tiring work.

Monthly trips to Tamatave are optional; however, these trips are encouraged as luxuries such as cell phone coverage and high speed internet will be available at this time.

Salary/funding:
None.

Support provided for internship/volunteer positions (travel, meals, lodging):
None.

Assistants can expect to pay:
- Round-trip airfare to Madagascar (cost varies)
- Malagasy visa (circa US$50)
- MICET facilitation fee (US$350)
- Travel within Madagascar to and from the research station (cost varies)
- Food in the field + cook salary (US$5/day)
- Facility and lodging fees (US$3/day)

Assistants are also responsible for purchasing and providing proof of international health insurance and immunizations that permit work (anti-malarials are a MUST; vaccinations against typhoid, rabies, hepatitis, etc., are all also strongly recommended), and their own personal field gear (e.g., clothes, sleeping bag, etc).

Term of Appointment:
6-months beginning June 2014 (with the option to extend)

Application Deadline:
April 15, 2014

Comments:
Serious applicants should submit the following:
1. Curriculum Vitae including relevant coursework, previous field/outdoor experience, and how you can be contacted
2. Letter of interest (please include dates you are available)
3. References from at least two persons (preferably professors or research supervisors with whom youíve worked closely) in which they provide information about your experiences, skills, and training.

Contact Information:
Andrea Baden
Hunter College, Dept. Anthropology, 695 Park Ave
New York, NY 10065
USA

Telephone Number:
631-252-4915

Website:
http://andra581.wix.com/andreabaden

E-mail Address:
andrea.baden@hunter.cuny.edu

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