mardi 10 avril 2012

Habituation Field-Team Volunteers

Hiring Organization:
Budongo Conservation Field Station and the University of St Andrews, Scotland

Date Posted:

Position Description:
We are seeking volunteer field assistants to continue our habituation of a new Chimpanzee group at the Budongo Conservation Field Station in Uganda. The Budongo Forest Reserve covers an area of 482km2 in north-eastern Uganda bordering Lake Albert and the Murchison Falls National Park, and has an estimated 580 chimpanzees.

The Budongo Conservation Field Station is a well-established and internationally renown research center located in a clearing approximately 3km inside the forest. The site has an existing habituated chimpanzee community (the Sonso group) that has been studied for over 20-years. In order to expand our range of research and conservation projects in January 2011 we started the habituation of a neighboring community: the Waibira South group. A large community, habituation is progressing particularly quickly and volunteers and researchers follow the group on a daily basis. Regular duties include identifying individuals and party-composition and collecting detailed data on daily activities, social interactions, vocal and gestural communication, forest phenology and the collection and processing of fecal and urine samples for DNA and hormone testing.

Chimpanzee habituation is a demanding job that involved long days of up to 13-hours and hard work in an isolated rainforest environment; however, it presents an excellent opportunity to gain genuine field experience and a wide range of skills for those hoping to go on into field research careers. As well as daily duties with the habituation project, all volunteers will have the opportunity to spend several days training with, and assisting an, ongoing research project with the habituated group.

The site has an established camp with basic sleeping, kitchen and shower facilities but overnight camping in the forest may be necessary at times. All volunteers will be assigned a field-assistant to accompany them at all times when working in the forest reserve.

This job presents the ideal opportunity for individuals with a Bachelor's or Masters degree who are hoping to go on into postgraduate research but require field-experience.

Existing fieldwork experience is therefore not required; however, successful applicants will have an excellent level of physical fitness and be able to work independently under isolated and demanding conditions in a hot and humid environment. Critically they will have the drive and passion to stay focused and positive not only on the easy days, and the amazing days, but also on the days where you have spent 12-hours in the swamp, with the ants, in the driving rain, without a sight of your subjects.

The position is on a volunteer basis and candidates have to cover travel costs, camp fees and living expenses; however, successful candidate can expect to gain an excellent grounding in field-research and particularly successful candidates may (after an initial trial period) be considered for longer-term positions with some costs covered.

Support provided for internship/volunteer positions (travel, meals, lodging):
Please contact by email for details.

Term of Appointment:
We ask for a minimim commitment of 3-months, but candidates who are able to commit for 4-6months are preferred.

Application Deadline:
Ongoing for positions starting in July 2012.

Please contact by email, as we are based in a rainforest camp it may take up to 2-weeks to respond to initial inquiries. Please do not attach files to email enquiries unless requested to do so as our internet connection can not handle them.

Contact Information:
Dr. Cat Hobaiter
School of Psychology, St Mary's College, University of St Andrews
St Andrews, none KY16 9JP
United Kingdom


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