Estación Las Tortugas (ELT) is a sea turtle nesting project founded in 2000 to help protect the endangered leatherback sea turtle from illegal poaching and to help its recovery on a national and international level. ELT is situated on a 3km beach on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. The Station’s goal is to conserve the turtles and their habitat together with promoting awareness and education through its education program which includes the Education Centre “Las Siete Quillas”.
ELT has a long term database on nesting activity that RAs will be trained to assist in through their participation. Duties include but are not limited to:
- Learning the specific scientific protocol used when taking data on sea turtles and nests.
- Conducting sunrise patrols to assess the total nesting activity of the night before, as well as excavating hatched nests to observe hatch and emergence success
- Conducting night patrols to encounter and collect data on nesting sea turtles. Basic data collection includes carapace measurements, counting eggs, flipper tagging, and nest marking/relocation.
- Maintaining a hatchery for relocated nests
- Between patrols, RAs are expected to assist with the daily maintenance of the field station, including cleaning equipment, entering data, and house chores
- At least 18 years old
- Able to participate in strenuous physical activity for extended periods of time, eg. lift up to 50 pounds, walk 16 km (10 mi) a night on soft sand and uneven surfaces in the dark, work in rainy, humid, buggy conditions
- Adaptable to an inconsistent sleep schedule to be able to conduct both morning and night work
- Comfortable living and working in a team in a remote setting with limited internet for an extended period of time
- Have a positive mindset and be communicative and considerate of others especially when faced with little sleep and a fast paced work environment
- Professional demeanor
- Ability to follow instructions with patience and respect
- Basic level of Spanish
- Provide a negative COVID-19 test before arrival or quarantine in Costa Rica prior to the start of the project
- Enthusiastic and excited to contribute to the conservation of the biggest sea turtle on the planet
- Background in biology, animal science, ecology, environmental science, etc.
- High level of Spanish proficiency
- Previous experience conducting remote field work, especially with nesting sea turtles
- Previous experience working in a diverse team in a fast paced, unpredictable work environment
Qualified applicants should send the following materials to Stamie Skrilos (email@example.com) and Tamara Popovska (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- CV or resume
- Names and e-mail contacts of three professional references
- Cover letter summarizing your qualifications and interest in the RA position
Priority will be given to those able to stay the entire duration of the program (March 1 - July 15). For those interested in volunteering short-term, visit estacionlastortugas.org for information on volunteer options.