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Field assistant, Lomas Barbudal Monkey Project (Capuchins, Costa Rica)

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Position Description:
The Lomas Barbudal Capuchin Project has been running for 29 years, and (funding permitting) will continue for many years to come. Each year we accept about 6 interns who stay a full year and participate in data collection. The project currently monitors 10 social groups of monkeys. Virtually all monkeys are well habituated, and their genetic relationships are known, as well as social histories dating back several years in most cases. The primary focus of research during 2019 will be behavioral flexibility across the life span, with a particular focus on innovation and social learning, and the primary subjects will be the surviving members of a longitudinal study of subjects we have followed since their birth in 2001-2004, and the primary focus in 2020-21 will be the role of alloparents (and grandparents in particular) in shaping the learning environment for young capuchins. In addition to collecting data, we are actively involved in environmental education in the community, at all age levels, so Spanish speaking applicants should tell us if they are interested in that component of the project.
Application instructions and a detailed guide to working on the project are on the following website:

Please read the detailed guide to working on the monkey project BEFORE applying or contacting the project, as this will answer virtually all questions. Applicants are also strongly encouraged to read the book "Manipulative Monkeys: The Capuchins of Lomas Barbudal," which is a popular science book documenting not only the first 15 years of scientific research, but the life style of researchers working at this site. The PI (Prof. Susan Perry, UCLA) spends ~4 months/year on site participating in data collection and training of interns, affording a closer working relationship between PI and volunteer than is typical for most field sites.

There are no absolute criteria, and we try to hire people with a blend of different talents. But some traits that help are good grades (>3.3 GPA), some prior Spanish training, and prior experience studying animal behavior and working in the field. Skills in construction (for house repairs), computer maintenance and website design would be nice additional perks but are non-essential. The most important trait in a field assistant is strong work ethic and the ability to make a firm commitment for a year. Please do not apply if you are the sort of person who signs contracts and then backs out, as such behavior is highly damaging to the project (as well as to your own reputation). It is also highly desirable for applicants to have done some reading in primatology (not just websites, but journal articles and books, including some from this project) before applying.

None. However, 2 field manager positions (which some salary in addition to room and board) will open at some point during 2019-2020, and these positions will almost certainly be chosen from this year?s group of interns. Room and board and ground transportation will be covered. We cannot currently cover plane fares to and from the site (during 2019), though we will probably be able to cover such costs in late 2020-2021, depending on grant support. See below.

Support provided for internship/volunteer positions (travel, meals, lodging):
Minimally, we can guarantee free housing and a substantial contribution towards food costs. Interns must feed themselves when away on vacation and visa trips. The project will be able to pay the food costs for those assistants who stay an entire year, though assistants who do not stay for the duration of their contracts will be expected to reimburse the project for their food costs. These cost estimates change over time as grant support changes, so the applicant should inquire about current conditions. Assistants must buy their own medical insurance and the cost of sundries.
Field site managers will be selected from among the interns, and these people will earn a modest stipend. Please, when you apply, specify the minimum among of financial support you would need in order to be a viable applicant, and state dates of your availability. If financial stress is the only thing keeping you from applying, we will do our best to help you find additional funding sources.

Term of Appointment:
Minimum one year. Start dates are flexible, but we need one person to start during late summer 2019 and at least two other people to start in fall 2019.

Application Deadline:
Rolling deadlines: We keep a bank of applications on file to replace people who leave unexpectedly (e.g. due to illness), so if you might want to come at some unspecified time in the future, it?s good to have your application on file so we know you are interested.

These internships are excellent preparation for graduate school. Interns who finish their terms have always received admission to high quality graduate programs (70 of our past interns have been accepted to graduate school).

Contact Information:
Susan Perry
Dept. of Anthropology, Box 951553, UCLA
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1553

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