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Research Assistant

Hiring Organization:
The Owl Monkey Project-Fundación ECO

Date Posted:
2017-12-17

Position Description:
The Owl Monkey Project is looking for two qualified, enthusiastic RESEARCH ASSISTANTS to join our team in Formosa, Argentina. They will participate in a 22 year study of the behavior, ecology and demography of monogamous owl monkeys in the Argentinean Chaco (http://owlmonkeyproject.wordpress.com/). The assistants will primarily participate in a project titled: ?Behavioral, hormonal and life-history correlates of pairbonding in owl monkeys? which is part of Alba García de la Chica doctoral dissertation project.
Depending on the length and timing of the stay, the assistant will be responsible for collecting behavioral, foraging, and ranging data, as well as data on phenological patterns and fruit availability in the research site. The assistant will collaborate in all aspects of the logistics of running the project including equipment maintenance, data organization, entry and summary, camp and office maintenance.

The field site is located in a 25,000 ha cattle ranch, 30km away from Formosa city (150,000 people). The area includes gallery forests, savannahs and wetlands. Over the course of the year, there will surely be plenty of opportunities for encountering two species of peccaries, two species of deer, rheas, armadillos, howler monkeys, various snakes, toucans, and tamanduas. Every now and then we encounter capybaras, tapirs, cats, foxes, giant anteater and maned wolf. We can guarantee the assistant will also experience other creatures from the forest: mosquitoes and ticks are definitely bad (but carry no diseases in this area). There are relatively low risks of poisonous snakes or spiders (although we had the first, and only, bite by a poisonous snake in 2010). We all are required to wear rubber boots in the field.
The work will be rigorous and demanding. Assistants will be expected to work about 10 hours in the field each day, about 20-25 days out of each month. There will also be much time spent in the Field Station in the City of Formosa, where the assistant will stay at least one or even two days every 10 days. The climate is very frequently hot, thus persistence, maturity, dedication, and good humor are very important.

Qualifications/Experience:
We are looking for applicants whose qualifications include a background in primatology, animal behavior, ecology, biology, or biological anthropology, and who have a demonstrated motivation and capacity for independent work. Proficiency in Spanish is helpful, though you need not be a fluent speaker. Good social skills and a profound sensitivity to and respect of foreign cultures are a MUST. Flexibility and adaptability to different living conditions also a must. Previous field experience is required and previous experience collecting behavioral data or biological samples from non-human primates or other animals is ideal, but not required. Training will be provided on site.
Expertise in data management, ArcGIS, telemetry, behavioral methods, and/or statistics will be considered a plus, but not required.
The assistant will ideally start in February 2018, but there is a little flexibility. A commitment to the project of at least 6 months is required.

Salary/funding:
the project will cover the lodging fees in the field station in the city of Formosa (which includes shared room and bathroom, use of laboratory facilities, use of kitchen, internet access), the research fees associated with staying in camp, the costs of traveling back and forth to the field when needed and the required membership with Fundacion ECO of Formosa. Pending grant applications, there may be funding for a small stipend to cover their food while in the field. Necessary research gear (e.g., binoculars, notebooks) will also be provided, but applicants are expected to cover: their own visa costs (in case you need it), health and accident insurance (about 50USD if you get it while in Formosa), personal field gear (clothes, boots, pack, etc), and personal expenses.

Support provided for internship/volunteer positions (travel, meals, lodging):
Accomodation will be in a few different settings. The project has access to a house in the city of Formosa, 25km away from the forest, where there will be lodging facilities during weekends, when the weather is not conducive to being in the field or when there is the need to work in the office. In the forest accommodation will be in tents, where there is no electric power and no toilettes.

Term of Appointment:
Minimum 6 months, longer commitments will be given priority

Application Deadline:
Until December 2018

Comments:
Ideally, this experience will be seen as an internship for your own future research. Assistants will have the possibility to work with an interdisciplinary team, and carry out their own research, having the possibility of coauthoring presentations to professional meetings based on, or stemming, from the data they collect. If you are interested in pursuing a graduate degree that involves field work in the tropics, this should be a fantastic experience.
Interested applicants should send or arrange to have sent the following materials to me via email at alba.delachica@gmail.com as soon as possible. I will then contact you for additional information if necessary.

* Letter of interest
* CV including any courses taken in ecology, biology, botany, and animal behavior
* Description of your computer skills, including details of your expertise with Excel, stat packages and Access.
* Description of previous fieldwork and outdoor experiences
* Email references from two people (preferably professors or research supervisors with whom you have worked closely) in which they provide information about you experiences, skills, and training.

Contact Information:
Alba Garcia de la Chica
Barrio Fontana casa 200
Formosa, none 3600
Argentina

Telephone Number:
3704247834

Fax Number:
3704247834

Website:
http://fernandezduque.wordpress.com/ http://owlmonkeyproject.wordpress.com/

E-mail Address:
alba.delachica@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.