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Research assistant at Gunung Palung National Park, West Kalimantan, Indonesia

Hiring Organization:
University of Michigan

Date Posted:

Position Description:
Volunteer research & admin assistant for long-term field research project on the ecology of tropical vertebrates and forests in Gunung Palung National Park, West Kalimantan, Indonesia

Project and study site:
The vertebrate and forest ecology research project examines how various aspects of the ecology of tropical forests affect the vertebrate populations that inhabit them. Since 2007, the project team has been monitoring more than 6,000 plant stems and populations of all large vertebrates across a natural gradient of seven distinct tropical forest types and applying these data to a range of theoretical and applied questions in tropical ecology and conservation biology. In 2015 we added a camera trapping component to the project. The project is run by Dr. Andy Marshall, a professor at the University of Michigan, USA.
The Cabang Panti Research Station is located in Gunung Palung National Park. The station is quite remote, reached by a walk of 4?6 hours through the forest or a 12+ hour boat ride. The research camp is located in pristine, lowland Dipterocarp rainforest; the camp buildings are rustic and living conditions are simple but comfortable.

Primary responsibilities:
Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

a) Participating in collection of long-term data. Data collection includes monitoring plant phenology in botanical plots, surveying vertebrates along established census routes, maintaining a system of remotely triggered camera traps, and gathering behavioral data on gibbons and leaf monkeys (the initial target taxa of our research project)
b) Assisting the research manager in the accurate entry of project data and any other necessary research administration tasks
c) Maintaining project equipment and supplies
d) Assisting the research manager in the smooth running of the research station
e) Participating in the launch and general running of the project social media

Open, although candidate must speak fluent English or Indonesian to permit communication with the project PI and Project Field Manager. Ideally, candidates will have proficiency in both languages, although this is not a pre-requisite.

Applicants should have a strong interest in biology, ecology, conservation, or a related field and have completed a relevant Bachelor?s degree (or equivalent). Applicants must be culturally sensitive, adaptable, and mature; must be in a sufficient physical and mental condition to live and work in a remote tropical rainforest, be able to work and live closely with others, and be comfortable both following instructions and using initiative to complete their work. Ideally the applicant should have previous experience working in the field, preferably in the tropics, have basic proficiency working with databases, and be able to speak Indonesian (or be prepared to learn).

This is a volunteer position. The compensation is the opportunity to live and work in a beautiful, diverse tropical forest and gain valuable experience in field ecology research. Opportunities may also exist for collaboration on scientific publications. In addition, the project will cover all direct on site costs associated with the project (e.g., national park fees, research station fees, food, accommodation).

Individuals will be responsible for their own travel expenses to Borneo, required visas and research permits, and internal travel and accommodation within Indonesia. They will also cover their own basic field equipment, health care, and medical expenses.

Support provided for internship/volunteer positions (travel, meals, lodging):
See above.

Term of Appointment:
We ask for a minimum commitment of three months.

Application Deadline:
Applications will be accepted until position is filled, but all materials should be submitted by July 15th to receive full consideration.

Please submit to Beth Barrow, Project Field Manager, via email: a CV and a cover letter of no more than two pages explaining your relevant experience and qualifications and your reasons for applying for the position. In addition, please have two recommenders capable of evaluating your suitability for this position submit letters of recommendation directly to Ms. Barrow.

Please submit all application materials and any questions to Beth Barrow:

Contact Information:
Beth Barrow
Department of Anrthopology, University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48104


E-mail Address:

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