Title: Tropical Conservation/Avian Ecology Intern
Organization: Third Millennium Alliance, El Observatorio de Aves Jama-Coaque
Location: Reserva Jama-Coaque, Manabí province, Ecuador
Start dates: Multiple, see tmalliance.org/internships
Third Millennium Alliance (TMA) is a registered non-profit dedicated to conserving the last remnants of Pacific Ecuadorian Forests and empowering local communities to restore what has been lost. The organization’s flagship project is the Jama-Coaque Bird Observatory (El Observatorio de Aves Jama-Coaque, OAJC) – Ecuador’s first international bird observatory dedicated to long-term, year-round avian monitoring, research, conservation and capacity-building. TMA and OAJC offer local and international interns the opportunity to engage in hands-on research in diverse tropical environments from dry to humid to premontane cloud forest over the course of 1-6 months. Each internship session begins with an intensive two-week training period followed by fieldwork allowing interns to handle more birds and master challenging techniques. Interns joining the TMA/OAJC team in 2018 will dive into a number of mist-netting and ornithology projects as well as a study investigating nesting ecology of the endangered Gray-cheeked Parakeet and other cavity-nesters. Long-term interns are encouraged to pursue their passions by developing independent projects with TMA/OAJC staff and to take on leadership positions in our field teams.
TMA was founded in 2007 with the purchase of 100 acres and the establishment of the Jama-Coaque Reserve (JCR) in Manabí province between the cities of Jama and Pedernales, 4km inland from the Pacific Ocean. Now encompassing over 1,300 acres, the Jama-Coaque Reserve protects some of the last remaining fragments of Pacific Ecuadorian Forest – one of the most critically threatened tropical forests in the world. Our organization has been running a hands-on, experiential learning-based internship program in the fields of Tropical Ecology/Conservation and Sustainable Agriculture since 2008, with more than 250 young and enthusiastic students from around the globe participating to date.
A complete program description with the 2018 schedule and associated costs can be found on our website (www.tmalliance.org/internships), where you will also find additional details, the application form, contact information, various media and answers to Frequently Asked Questions.
While TMA is not currently in a position to offer college credit or scholarships to international interns, our staff are happy to assist students who wish to pursue independent credits and/or scholarships through their universities or elsewhere. Many previous students have successfully received credit for their time with TMA, often at lower costs than typical class credits.
Prior experience working with birds or other wildlife is not required but is encouraged. In addition to the intensive two-week training period at the start of each session, interns may be asked to review literature supplied by TMA before arriving for their programs. While Spanish language proficiency is not expected, it is recommended as we work in a bilingual environment, and it can improve the overall experience. At the very least, we encourage visitors to be open to learning. Interns will receive the full tropical field ornithology experience, which means many mornings spent waking before the sun and hiking in difficult field conditions while carrying equipment, thus applicants should be in good physical condition. Given these realities, a passion for conservation and wildlife (especially birds!), a strong work ethic, and a positive attitude are both critical to your success and our top requirements for applicants.
Please visit tmalliance.org/internships for all application materials. Inquiries may be addressed to info[at]tmalliance.org, or TMA's director of research, Mike Ellis, at mike[at]tmalliance.org