Chimpanzee & Human Communication Institute
The research at the Chimpanzee & Human Communication Institute (CHCI) involves chimpanzees who use the signs of American Sign Language (ASL). Washoe, Moja, Tatu, and Dar were part of the cross-fostering research that began in 1966 with Drs. R.A. & B.T. Gardner. Each chimpanzee was raised in an enriched environment in which his or her human family members used only ASL, much like the environment in which a deaf human child grows up. Loulis was adopted by Washoe in 1978 and learned his signs from chimpanzees. Currently, Tatu, Dar, and Loulis reside at CHCI on the campus of Central Washington University in Ellensburg, WA in a large state-of-the-art facility.
Apprentices are at the institute daily -- cleaning enclosures, preparing meals and enrichment, making observations of the chimpanzees, and participating in one or more research projects. The first week is intensive training in laboratory jobs and chimpanzee behaviors. After several weeks each apprentice becomes more autonomous and has responsibilities in research and husbandry. The philosophy of CHCI is that the needs of the chimpanzees come first. Apprentices are trained in humane care and research techniques.
Must be 18 years or older. Must have 1 year of university or college level education. A course in ASL is highly recommended but not required. Graduates, undergraduates, and post-graduates from various academic backgrounds (e.g. Anthropology, Biology, Psychology, Linguistics, Philosophy, etc.) and all nationalities are encouraged to apply.
The program fee is $1800 and there is a non-refundable $25 application processing fee.
Support provided for internship/volunteer positions (travel, meals, lodging):
The program fee does not include the cost of housing or travel
Term of Appointment:
June 27 - August 20, 2010
March 15, 2010
Dr. Mary Lee Jensvold
400 E. University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926-7573