Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Volunteer Research Assistants in Tropical Herpetology Needed - via Herp Digest

The Biodiversity Group is seeking highly motivated volunteer research assistants to join our field team in the Amazonian rainforest of Ecuador

Our current project includes amphibian and reptile biodiversity surveys as well as implementing thorough plot surveys and drift fence arrays at one of our remote study sites surrounding an Ecuadorian Kichwa community. 

While Ecuador stands as the third most diverse country in the world for amphibians (510 species) and is seventh for reptiles (430 species), making it a herpetologically mega-diverse region. Due to the severe deforestation taking place in addition to many other pressures on Ecuador’s fauna, The Biodiversity Group research program aims to study, document, and preserve these rich and unique communities of reptiles and amphibians found within the country’s diverse array of ecosystems. 

The work that research assistants will be involved with will primarily consist of conducting night surveys for reptiles and amphibians (however other taxa such as invertebrates are also of interest), animal data collection, and daily lab work. Field assistant will learn capture and release methods, take detailed measurements on animal morphology, screen for chytrid diseases, and learn techniques in animal preservation and acquisition of DNA samples. Assistants will also have the opportunity to learn the basics of taking diagnostic photography. Other tasks include animal handling and general note taking and data organization. 

Research assistants will gain valuable research experience, learn about the Kichwa community, contribute towards our mission in conservation ecology, and will have an unforgettable experience that provides the opportunity to study the most biologically diverse region of reptiles and amphibians in the world. Our summer research expeditions are scheduled in Amazonian Ecuador for June 2-13 and June 16-24, 2013. Assistants can join for one term or two. 

Research assistants accepted to join our team should be 18 or older, able to walk 10+ miles a day in hot, humid, and muddy conditions, be comfortable working in the field late at night with a small group, and have a general interest in conservation ecology and herpetology. However, the most important qualifications that you can bring to the project are enthusiasm, energy, and a good work ethic. Anyone meeting these general criteria is encouraged to apply. Training for field techniques will be provided upon arrival and participants will be briefed on safety and risks prior to and during the research expedition. 

Please go the following link for more information about the work, expedition fees, and to apply:  

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