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Positions Available

Field Manager for Filoha Hamadryas Project in Awash National Park, Ethiopia

Hiring Organization:
Filoha Hamadryas Project, Queens College, City University of New York

Date Posted:

Position Description:
We are seeking a volunteer field manager for a long-term study of hamadryas baboons at the Filoha study site in the lowlands of central Ethiopia (see:, to begin in May 2018 for a period of 13 months. The primary responsibility of the field manager is to coordinate (and be part of) the field team, which is responsible for all-day follows (5-15 km/day) of baboons, daily census of the study group, collection of behavioral and reproductive data, and collecting and processing of fecal samples for genetic and hormone analyses in our field laboratory. The field manager oversees the field assistants and local staff so as to achieve these tasks, spearheads project and field site organization and maintenance, and sends regular reports to the PI.

The Filoha field site is based at the most northerly outpost of the Awash National Park. The area is hot and dry (averaging 94 degrees F) for most of the year. Baboon follows can be challenging as the terrain is rough, the baboons often travel quickly through thorn scrub, and there is often little shade. Living conditions at Filoha are simple and rugged: we sleep in tents, our cook prepares food on a kerosene stove, and we bathe in the local hot springs or carry water from the springs to our shower stall. The area experiences occasional ethnic conflict, during which baboon follows are suspended. Prior to departure, volunteers would need to arrange for their Ethiopian visa, vaccines, any anti-malarial prophylaxis desired, and travel insurance that includes medical evacuation (the latter will be reimbursed by the project; see below). For more details and photos of the field site, see:

Hamadryas baboons are characterized by a unique multi-level and male-dominated social system. Filoha is the only currently operational long-term field site where members of this species are individually identified and habituated. At Filoha, we are studying various aspects of hamadryas baboon social behavior, ecology, genetics, and physiology. See footage of hamadryas at Filoha in the primates episode of the recent BBC documentary Life:

Depending on length of stay, amount and quality of data collected, and other intellectual contributions to the project, these positions could potentially lead to co-authorship on a publication.

All volunteers at Filoha need to be physically fit and able to collect data under the conditions described above. Due to the remoteness of the field site and the lack of communication infrastructure, volunteers must also be of sound physical and mental health without any pre-existing conditions that might require immediate medical attention. Volunteers must also be able and willing to maintain professional relationships with people of varied cultural backgrounds and cope with disruptions to fieldwork due to possible ethnic conflict and other factors out of one?s control.

The ideal candidate for the field manager position must have the following characteristics:
* Excellent communication skills
* Ability to adapt to the local cultural milieu and represent the project in a professional manner.
* Good people management skills.
* Ability to withstand ? and enjoy! ? rugged and remote field conditions.
* Previous international field experience that includes living or traveling in a developing country.
* Excellent physical and mental health.
* A strong interest in animal behavior and conservation!

Bonus characteristics:
* Prior coursework in (and knowledge of) primate behavior and ecology.
* Previous experience collecting observational data on behavioral biology or ecology.
* A desire to learn new languages for maximum ease of communication.
* Emergency medical training, construction and/or car maintenance skills, and the ability to a drive manual transmission vehicle.
* Animal handling or captive care experience.

In addition to the above, the successful applicant will be flexible, adaptable, patient, emotionally mature, responsible, self-reliant, energetic, and highly motivated!

This is a volunteer position with no salary, but we will cover most travel and in-country expenses either up front or on a reimbursement basis. The project will reimburse the following previously-approved expenses after a successful term as field manager: reasonably priced airfare, medical evacuation insurance, visa fees, and a US$1000 research fee to the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority. Local transportation and simple subsistence at the field site will be covered by the project up front.

Support provided for internship/volunteer positions (travel, meals, lodging):
Local travel and food at the field site will be covered by the project. Lodging at the field site is free as we camp in tents.
International travel expenses will be reimbursed after successful completion of fieldwork (see above).

Term of Appointment:
May 2018 through June 2019.

Application Deadline:
Applications will be considered as they are received.

Please submit an application letter that includes a description of your background, interests, and experience as well as any questions you may have. Please include a current CV and at least two (preferably three) references with contact information. Please send your correspondence via email, copied to both Dr. Larissa Swedell at and Ms. Alexis Amann at

Contact Information:
Larissa Swedell
Anthropology, Queens College, 65-30 Kissena Blvd
Flushing, NY 11367-1597

Telephone Number:

Fax Number:


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