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Volunteer Researcher Opportunities

ACA and our Peruvian sister organization Conservación Amazónica–ACCA are creative, hard-working, team-oriented, high-energy conservation groups and we welcome volunteers with the same qualities! If you are ready to get your boots dirty to conserve the Amazon, then we have volunteer opportunities available in biological monitoring and sustainable agriculture that might be just right for you.

Why Volunteer
Being a volunteer with ACA in Peru is hard work. This is not an eco-tourism opportunity. But your hard work will contribute to protecting the greatest rainforest in the world. Our volunteers frequently mention how much they gained from this experience, both personally and professionally. You will get first-hand experience in the area of biology and sustainable agriculture by working with top-notch professionals dedicated to safeguarding and understanding the Amazon. You will be able to advance your career with a boots-on-the-ground experience and see the Amazon that few people have the privilege of knowing. You may interact with locals and learn about indigenous cultures and traditions. Not only that, you’ll get to meet researchers, naturalists, and visitors from all over the world and all walks of life, building your network of like-minded professionals. By volunteering your time and skills, you widen your world while helping us protect the Amazon.

The Opportunity: Biological Monitoring
Our Wayqecha Cloud Forest Biological Station is located on the eastern slope of the Andes in southeastern Peru, an area known to harbor the greatest known richness of species on the planet. Volunteers live and work in this environment as an integral part of our science program gathering scientific data, supporting facilities and grounds maintenance, and assisting in critical research projects. Our Biological Monitoring opportunity would allow you to help manage some exciting projects, such as:

  • Terrestrial mammal monitoring program:
    • Monthly deployment of camera traps, monthly review of cameras to replace batteries and/or memory cards.
    • Analysis of camera trap photos.
    • Geographic and photographic record of mammal scat along trails.
    • Identification and tagging of trees marked by Andean bears.
    • Entering camera trap scat and marked trees data into data base.
  • Bird monitoring program:
    • Monthly audiovisual bird point-counts along trails.
    • Entering point-count data into data base and upload it to eBird.
  • Phenology monitoring program:
    • Monthly phenology evaluation of orchids along orchid trail.
    • Monthly phenology evaluation of marked trees along trails.
    • Entering phenology data into data base.
  • Weather monitoring program:
    • Record precipitation information daily.
    • Entering precipitation data into data base.
  • Supporting projects of visiting researchers and other duties as assigned.

The Logistics
For volunteers accepted to the program, a minimum stay of six weeks is required.

Volunteers work from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Saturday (with two hours for lunch) and free Sundays, which you can use to explore the area or relax at our comfortable dorms. All volunteers are overseen by the science coordinator at the station, who will work with you on developing a detailed work plan, and will provide technical and general support throughout your stay. Because you will be working closely with locals, Spanish proficiency is required.

Volunteers pay $57/day (covers food + lodging) for one to three months. For stays 3 months or longer, the fee is $48/day. Volunteers are required to work 30-40 hours per week (daily lunch break is 2 hours). Volunteers should bring their own towels, personal hygiene items, and laundry detergent.

Next Steps
Ready to become a conservation hero? Here are your next steps:

  • Read through our full volunteer researcher job description and make sure you meet our minimum requirements. Fill out the application in that document.
  • Read and understand our code of conduct. You will have to agree and abide by this code to be a volunteer.
  • Send your completed application along with an up-to-date résumé or CV to volunteer@amazonconservation.org. A member of the ACA or ACCA staff will contact you following receipt of your complete application.

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