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Positions Available

Volunteer Field Assistant

Hiring Organization:
Universidad de los Andes and Proyecto Primates Colombia

Date Posted:

Position Description:
We are looking for volunteer research assistants to help with an ongoing project in two locations in Colombia (Magdalena Valley and Llanos). The Magdalena Valley project is located in a private cattle farm named San Juan del Carare. The farm is surrounded by several forest fragments that contain white faced capuchins, brown spider monkeys, owl monkeys and red howler monkeys. The Llanos project is located in Tomo Grande Reserve ? Vichada and the gallery forest in the reserve contains red howler monkeys, owl monkeys and tufted capuchins, which are the focus of this project.

Each species has at least one troop well habituated and most individuals in each group are identified. This long-term project is aimed at understanding how parasite dynamics change according to social structure and what socio-ecological variables shape the social structure of each species.

Volunteers/students will be part of a team and each person will be responsible for the following:
1. Recording data on one of the species, according to project protocols
2. Recording data on fruit productivity, including collecting fruits from traps, and drying/weighing samples
3. Collecting fecal samples
4. Identifying capuchins using natural features (i.e. ear and tail shape) in order to collect data on individual capuchin monkeys.
5. Data entry

What do volunteers get out of it?
-The opportunity to observe free-ranging Neotropical primate species in Colombia
-New skills and experience in behavioral and/or ecology data collection
-Experience with collecting botanical data
-Students in their last semester will also have the opportunity to develop a master or bachelor thesis, involving parasites, ecology or the behavior of the monkey species listed above.

These positions are open to anyone with an interest in animal behavior, ecology, botany or other related fields. No specific experience is required for the position, however, the ideal application should:

1. Have a background in biology, anthropology, primatology or a related field
2. Have a healthy dose of patience and persistence
3. Be physical able to hike in variable terrain, for extended hours
4. Be willing to walk through dense vegetation in pursuit of monkeys
5. Be able to work in a team, as well as independently
6. Have excellent attention to detail
7. Be enthusiastic, motivated, mature, reliable and highly committed to scientific research
8. Did we mention patience?

Interested applicants should send the following documents via email to: and as soon as possible:
*CV indicating previous field experience and relevant coursework
*Cover letter indicating describing your interest in the project
*Two references that can speak to your experience, skills and training in relevant areas

Applications will be evaluated in the order they are received. The position will remain open until filled.

Five volunteer field assistant positions are currently available. No salary is provided, but all meals, accommodations and local transportation will be covered by the project.

Support provided for internship/volunteer positions (travel, meals, lodging):
All meals and accommodations, as well as round-trip from Bogotá to the field site, are covered for this position. Assistants will be responsible for their own international travel/health insurance and any necessary vaccinations (yellow fever).

Term of Appointment:
6 months- from the beginning of June to the middle of December 2018

Application Deadline:

Contact Information:
Nelson Galvis
Universidad de los Andes
Bogotá, Colombia

E-mail Address:

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