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Volunteer research assistant: Spatial navigation in black howler monkeys in Palenque, Mexico.

Hiring Organization:
Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM)

Date Posted:
2017-06-26

Position Description:
We are looking for a volunteer to assist in a project studying foraging strategies and navigation patterns in black howler monkeys (Alouatta pigra) at Palenque National Park, Mexico. You will work in a team together with a local assistant and Dr. Van Belle while observing study groups. Observations days run from sunrise to sunset during which multiple types of data such as activity and proximity scan samples are collected, in addition to GPS recording of ranging patterns and marking feeding trees. Resting days will be scheduled regularly as part of the field work.

Qualifications/Experience:
The qualifications we are looking for in a research assistant are:
- Be physically fit, and capable of undertaking fieldwork in hot/humid conditions.
- Be capable of team work and not have issues with authority figures.
- Have a background in biology/anthropology/zoology/psychology or a related field.
- Be interested in primate behavior, ecology, and conservation.
- Be hardworking, disciplined in following field procedures and be reliable.
- Some knowledge of animal behavior and data collection preferred but not required.
- Enjoy being outdoors and experiencing the tropical rainforest.
- Enjoy being in the culture of southeast Mexico
- Basic knowledge of Spanish is required

Salary/funding:
No salary will be provided.

Support provided for internship/volunteer positions (travel, meals, lodging):
Assistants will be responsible for airfare/transportation to and from Palenque. For local transportation (estimated at 30 US$ per month), and for food costs (estimated at 30 US$ per week). Lodging will be provided by the field project in a comfortable fully equipped house (electricity, hot water, high speed internet, bunk beds, two bathrooms with showers, a large living room kitchen area) about 2 km from Palenque National Park. The town of Palenque is only 2 km away where banking, telephone services, hospitals, supermarkets, drugstores and others are available.

Term of Appointment:
6 months or more starting January 2018 or later

Application Deadline:
none, but consider applying in advance as positions available are filled rapidly.

Comments:
To apply, please email a recent copy of your CV and send a letter of motivation describing your research interests and experience, and your availability for the position.

If outcome of 1st-step assessment is positive, you will be requested to submit a letter of recommendation from your most recent advisor/supervisor. If approved to join the project, you will be provided with detailed information about the research program and about logistics.

Note on contingencies: Volunteers should be covered by medical insurance when traveling to Mexico. They will need to sign a releasing liability form upon joining the research team in Palenque.

CONTACT INFORMATION
Dr. Alejandro Estrada, Field Research Station Los Tuxtlas-UNAM, Mexico.
Email: aestradaprimates@gmail.com
Research Gate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Alejandro_Estrada3

Dr. Sarie Van Belle, Dept. of Anthropology, University of Texas at Austin, USA.
Email: sarievanbelle@primatesmx.com
Research Gate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Sarie_Van_Belle2

Contact Information:
Sarie Van Belle
Mexico

Website:
http://www.sarievanbelle.com

E-mail Address:
sarievanbelle@gmail.com

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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.