Third Millennium Alliance is dedicated to offering young scientists from around the world an affordable and high-quality learning adventure in the Neotropics. Our Internship and Seasonal Field Course programs are designed to provide a unique opportunity to gain practical field skills by participating in intensive, hands-on research – all while living in beautiful tropical rainforest environments. With the establishment of TMA’s flagship research program, El Observatorio de Aves Jama-Coaque (OAJC, aka The Jama-Coaque Bird Observatory), in late 2017, these internships have taken a unique and delightfully birdy turn. As in our previous internship offerings, we still ensure participants experience all steps of the scientific process and issues relating to applied conservation. Now, however, we also provide additional focus on developing technical and in-demand skillsets such as mist-netting and bird banding, not to mention a much more hands-on experience with tropical wildlife! We are also more committed than ever to providing budding Ecuadorian scientists with affordable and accessible learning experiences. After spending a month or more participating in a TMA internship, students and scientists will return home equipped with all the tools necessary to excel in graduate school and/or careers in science and conservation. We look forward to you joining our team soon!
Full description of internship:
Third Millennium Alliance (TMA) was founded in 2007 with the purchase of 100
acres and the establishment of the Jama-Coaque Reserve (JCR) in the province of
Manabí, Ecuador, between the cities of Jama and Pedernales. The reserve lies 4km
inland from the Pacific Ocean. Now encompassing over 1,300 acres, the Jama-
Coaque Reserve actively protects one of the last remaining fragments of Pacific
Equatorial Forest, which is considered to be one of the most threatened tropical
forests in the world. Our organization has been running a hands-on, field-based
internship program in the fields of Biological Field Research since 2008, with more than 200 young and enthusiastic students from around the globe.
TMA’s Biological Research Internship is rooted in Ornithology, Tropical Ecology, and Conservation. The program is designed to provide both an excellent educational opportunity for emerging scientists and to collect ecological data in support of TMA’s research and conservation initiatives. Interns will participate in ongoing projects investigating pollination networks, demographic trends, seasonal movements, molt patterns, habitat use, nesting ecology, and more (see Bird Observatory page for additional details). Field work will focus on ornithological field techniques but may also incorporate vegetation work depending on time of year and study needs (resource availability, structural assessments, species identification, etc.).
Interns will also have the opportunity to participate in other research studies being carried out in the Reserve during their stay (e.g. camera trapping, primate surveys, herpetofauna studies, drone mapping), but these activities will be supplemental to the more in-depth ornithological research activities at the core of the internship. Long-term interns are also encouraged to develop independent research projects that may be related to our observatory work and/or personal research interests in any field.
- Bird banding
- Bird identification
- Bird handling techniques
- Aging and sexing techniques
- Study/sampling design
- Pollen collection and identification
- Nest searching/monitoring
- GPS navigation
- Data management
- Conservation practices
Prior experience working with birds or other wildlife is not required but is encouraged. Each internship session begins with an intensive two-week training period to help develop necessary skills. Interns may also be asked to review literature supplied by TMA before beginning their programs. While Spanish proficiency is not required, 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 days 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, passion for wildlife (particularly birds) and conservation, a hard work ethic, and a positive attitude are all critical to your success and our top requirements.
While TMA is not currently in a position to offer college credit or scholarships to international students, our staff are happy to support students who wish to pursue independent credits and/or scholarships through their universities or elsewhere by writing letters and/or communicating with university staff and faculty. Most universities have Independent Research or Internship credits and/or travel/internship grants available to students wishing to partake in study abroad, internship, or research experiences. We highly suggest prospective applicants pursue these opportunities with their advisors or department chairs, and we are more than willing to help. Many previous students have successfully received credit for their time with TMA, often at lower costs than typical class credits.
To learn more and apply to one of our internship please visit out website:
1. About the TMA Internship: http://tmalliance.org/internships/about/
2. 2018 Internship Calendar: http://tmalliance.org/internships/calendar/
3. How to Apply: http://tmalliance.org/internships/how-to-apply/