Assistants and Field Coordinators

Coordinators

Requirements

All coordinator positions are only open to people who have had previous experience working with sea turtles and have extensive knowledge of patrolling, scientific data collection and hatchery work, can speak fluent Spanish and English, and have excellent leadership skills. All project sites are very remote, thus a Coordinator must have a high degree of independence, responsibility and commitment. Coordinators are expected to maintain a friendly relationship with all other project volunteers and research assistants, in addition to members from local communities, as positive social relationships are crucial to each projects’ success. All project activities are conducted using the help of volunteer program participants and/or research assistants, depending on the project. Coordinators are expected to orientate and direct project workers upon their arrival and motivate them for the duration of their stay with the project. Project coordinators are responsible for the overall success of the project.

Specific requirements for each project:

Bejuco: must be willing to live in/with a fishing community in a rustic environment. Can resolve minor problems and keep a positive attitude at all times. Coordinators at this site are also responsible for coordinating with the community in planning patrols and project logistics. Must be fluent in Spanish. There is no volunteer program at this project.

Corozalito: must have excellent people skills to interact with the local community, organize work within the local school and manage volunteers and research assistants at the project. Coordinators at this site are also responsible for project logistics and organizing and delegating daily household duties. Must be fluent in Spanish. There is no volunteer program at this project.

Costa de Oro and San Miguel: the project coordinator must interacts with the local community, promoting the conservation of sea turtles at this beach. They must also be capable of managing a varied demographic of up to 15 volunteers at a time, supervising all daily schedules, including household duties. Must have previous experience managing volunteers and basic Spanish.

Responsibilities

Training new volunteers in all aspects of the turtle work:

  • Presentation upon arrival explaining past and present work
  • How to take and record data accurately on patrols
  • Finding turtle tracks at night
  • Finding nests
  • Identifying different nesting events
  • Replicating nests
  • How to work within the hatchery
  • Identify when a nest is going to hatch
  • How to carry out nest excavations
  • Releasing baby turtles

Volunteer management: Coordinators are responsible for receiving all volunteers to the project site; you will be expected to welcome each volunteer and show them around the station house. Coordinators must divide the work equally among all project participants and ensure that each participant receives one day off a week. Managing volunteers is often the hardest part of the job as we receive high number of volunteers all from different areas of the world with different personalities, Coordinators must ensure that each volunteer is looked after for the duration of their stay, and are always on hand to answer any questions they may have. General project responsibilities:

  • Maintenance of the station house
  • Maintenance of all project equipment
  • Updating food lists and ordering fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Daily imputing of all data from patrols and hatchery
  • Patrol schedules
  • Cleaning and cooking schedules
  • Coordinating arrival and departure of volunteers
  • Promoting the involvement of the local communities within the project and initiating community activities
  • Taking tourists out on patrol

Coordinators must report back to project directors regularly, giving updates on the overall health of the project

Benefits/Costs

Project Coordinators will receive a $200/month stipend and have their food and lodging expenses covered. Travel expenses are not covered. Coordinators get one day off per week, and one week-long vacation halfway through the internship to renew their visa (see below for dates).

Position Duration

Dates will be finalized by Febrary 28th, 2017

Costa de Oro & San Miguel mid-June 2017 to mid-December 2017
Bejuco & Corozalito July 1st, 2018 to February 28th, 2018

Application Process

To apply for this position please send the following to Maddie Beange at maddie@turtle-trax.com

  • Cover letter indicating:
    • Project you are applying for.
    • Why you are interested in the position(s).
    • Your personal strong points.
  • CV/Resume
  • A list of the email addresses of at least three professional or academic references.

After you have submitted your application we will contact you for an interview, (these are usually done on Skype). You will then receive an email indicting if you have been accepted for the position.

 

Assistants

Research assistant internships are a great opportunity to obtain biology field experience and hands-on experience working with nesting sea turtles!  Assistants are responsible for assisting the project coordinator in all aspects of running the project. It is crucial that assistants bring a positive attitude to the project, work well within a team, be adaptable to a variety of situations, and be prepared to partake in ALL aspects of the project.

Responsibilities

Research assistants are trained to conduct nightly 3-4 hour beach patrols, in which they take biometric data from nesting sea turtles, tag their front flippers, and move their nests to a protected area if there is one available. Other responsibilities vary among the projects, and include the following:

  • Assisting in the training of new volunteers
  • Leading volunteers and tourists on night patrols
  • Conducting morning censuses to check the status of in-situ nests
  • Recording physical data such as precipitation levels and temperatures
  • Building and maintaining the project hatchery
  • Monitoring the hatchery during the night or day for emerging hatchlings and intruding predators
  • Exhuming nests and collecting data on unhatched eggs
  • Maintaining and cleaning the station house
  • Cooking group meals

Requirements

Research assistants are expected to stay at the project site for the entire period for which they are selected. Preference will be given to potential applicants that meet the following requirements:

  • Advanced university student or recent graduate in biological sciences or related fields.
  • Conversational Spanish and English
  • Independent, reliable and responsible
  • Motivated and positive
  • Able to adapt to unexpected situations and unfamiliar cultures
  • Able to undertake physical labor during night and day in extreme weather conditions
  • Experience working within a team
  • Strong interpersonal communication skills
  • Comfortable working in the outdoors or in isolated settings
  • Previous experience with sea turtles or conducting field research

Since many of the research assistants’ responsibilities are physically demanding, they are expected to be in good physical and medical shape. Also, since our projects are in isolated locations where access to medical treatment can be challenging, participants must disclose any medical conditions or possible risks before confirming their placement with our program.

Research Assistant Availabilities for the 2017 Season

Assistants must be able to commit for a minimum of 2.5 months. Dates are flexible depending on availability. The following dates are approximate and will be finalized by February 28th, 2017.

  1. First Term
    • Early option: June 12th to Sept 6th, 2017
    • Late option: June 26th to Sept 20th, 2017
  2. Second Term
    • Early option: Sept 6th to Dec 1st, 2017
    • Late option: Sept 20th to Dec 15th, 2017
  3. Third Term (Corozalito & Bejuco only)
    • Dec 15th, 2017 to February 28th, 2018

Research Assistant Costs

Research assistants pay a monthly fee to cover their meals and lodging. This contribution is different for each project, depending on the variety of the former and comfort level of the latter.

  1. San Miguel: $450 per month
  2. Costa de Oro: $400 per month
  3. Corozalito: $350 per month
  4. Bejuco: $300 per month

A travel assistance package is available to buy for an additional cost of $280. This includes airport pickup/drop-off, first and last nights in hotel, transport to and from bus stop and bus tickets.  

Application Process

To apply, send an email to Maddie Beange (maddie@turtle-trax.com) which includes:

  • Cover letter indicating:
    • Time frame(s) and project(s) you are applying for.
    • Why you are interested in the position.
    • Your personal strong points.
  • CV/Resume
  • List of the email addresses of at least 3 references

After you have submitted your application we will contact you for a Skype interview. You will then receive an email indicating if you have been accepted for the position. We are now accepting applications for the 2016 season.