Voluntariado con reptiles y artrópodos en el Amazonas ~ Bioblogia.net

29 de abril de 2008

Voluntariado con reptiles y artrópodos en el Amazonas

Field Assistant Needed:
Canopy Herpetofauna and Arthropod Surveys in Amazonian Ecuador

Research Investigator:
Shawn F. McCracken, PhD. Candidate, Texas State University

Position Description:
Motivated, reliable, and durable field assistant to work on a field study of
the herpetofauna and arthropod communities of canopy phytotelmata
(tank-bromeliads) in primary rainforest at the Yasuni Research Station
(YRS), and along the Via Auca in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Assistants will
contribute to a project focusing on amphibian and arthropod diversity and
density in a large canopy tank-bromeliad, Aechmea zebrina, occupying
different forest types and management regimes. Assistants will be
responsible for independent scouting surveys to identify potential survey
trees, providing ground support during sampling, collecting/recording data
during sampling, transporting heavy gear and sampled bromeliads long
distances in difficult terrain, following protocol to collect data for each
bromeliad, dismantling bromeliads in a screen tent and collecting all
herpetofauna and arthropods, recording specimen data, collecting blood or
tissue samples, preserving specimens, sorting arthropods, and data entry.
Other responsibilities may include tree and trail mapping, Visual Encounter
Surveys (VES), and opportunistic sampling.
Assistants are not allowed to collect data for personal research projects or
publication. However, assistants are encouraged to contribute as coauthors
on papers for which they collected and analyzed data. Assistants performing
well in their position will be given strong letters of recommendation and
potential future positions working with the TADPOLE Organization.

Applicants should minimally have significant progress towards a BS/BA (or
higher degree) in Biology, Ecology, or a related field. Previous experience
with amphibians, reptiles, or arthropods is not necessary but a strong
interest in these animals and the mental tenacity to handle them is
required. Previous experience and comfort with living and working outdoors
is strongly preferred. The ideal applicant should have prior experience with
living or working in a foreign country, preferably a developing country in
the tropics. Knowledge of English is required and Spanish is helpful, but
not necessary, a willingness to learn will benefit greatly. Experience with
collecting systematic data in a scientific context is preferred, the
commitment to learn is a must. Tree climbing experience using Single-Rope
Technique (SRT) is highly preferred; those interested in learning this skill
if accepted should look online for training opportunities. In general,
applicants must be in good physical and mental condition; feel comfortable
being far away from family and friends; be emotionally mature, energetic,
respectful of others, and very patient; have an excellent eye for detail;
experience with bugs, snakes, frogs, heights, and being alone in the forest
(day or night); have very good social skills, especially in small groups;
and be able to maintain a positive and humorous attitude towards challenging
and tiring work.

Additional Beneficial Skills:
Use of Digital SLR Camera, Use of GPS equipment, Adobe Lightroom, Adobe
Photoshop, Microsoft Access, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word ArcGIS
software, Raven audio analysis, Weather instrumentation, Navigation,
Generally comfortable with technology
This work will be rigorous and demanding. Assistants will be expected to
work about 8-12 hours in the field each day, about 25 days out of each
month. The terrain in the research site is quite hilly in places, seasonally
floods in others, and the climate is often hot, humid, and rainy - this is a
rainforest just south of the Equator in which close to four meters of rain
falls a year - thus persistence, maturity, dedication, and good humor are
very important. Preference will be given to applicants with previous outdoor
experience in demanding environments.

This is a volunteer position, applicants will pay approximately US$
30-35/day for station fees (includes on-site lodging and three meals daily).
Assistants are also responsible for the costs of health insurance and
immunizations that permit that work. Proof of suitable insurance and yellow
fever immunization is a must; vaccinations against typhoid, rabies,
hepatitis, etc. are all also recommended but not required; oral prophylactic
for malaria strongly recommended (see the Center for Disease Control website
for Ecuador, http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinationEcuador.aspx). Applicants
must also pay their own round-trip airfare to Ecuador (cost varies) and for
travel within Ecuador to and from the research station (~US$120 by plane or
US$10 by bus). Assistants are responsible for their own field clothes, gear,
and personal items.

Term of Appointment:
ASAP till the end of October, with a minimum one month commitment. Prefer at
least two months commitment.

Application Deadline:
Applications are being reviewed now.

Additional Information:
Serious applicants please first email Shawn McCracken (sm1216@txstate.edu)
to receive a project guide and a typical week's work schedule. If still
interested after reading the guide, please submit via email to Shawn
McCracken (sm1216@txstate.edu) the following: 1. CV including relevant
coursework, previous field/outdoor experience, and where/how you can be
contacted. 2. Letter of interest (please include dates you are available).
3. References from persons (preferably professors or research supervisors
with whom you've worked closely) in which they provide information about
your experiences, skills, and training.

For more information about the research stations, researcher, previous work
in the area, and the region in general please see the following websites:

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