Tropical Forest Research Experience

Opportunity Type: 
Graduate student

University of Puerto Rico - Rio Piedras Institute For Tropical Ecosystem Studies
Tropical Forest Research Experience - El Yunque Chronosequence Project

September 17th through December 22nd, 2012

Complete applications must be submitted by July 31, 2012

RESEARCH DESCRIPTION: The Institute for Tropical Ecosystem Studies (ITES) of the University of Puerto Rico, together with the Dept. of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology at Columbia University, will carry out a tree census in four variable-aged forest stands (~ 1 hectare each) in El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico. For this project we need six (6) volunteer interns to help collect tree census data and map tree locations. Data will then be entered and reviewed using database software. Volunteers will work together in teams under the supervision of a field technician, spending long hours in the field (8am until 4 pm, Mon-Fri, with weekends free), often in very wet and muddy conditions. While in Puerto Rico volunteers will have the opportunity to learn about diverse aspects of tropical ecology from scientists involved in the Luquillo Long-Term Ecological Research Program.

PERIOD: September 17th through December 22nd, 2012.

STIPEND: $600 per month to cover food and general living expenses.

ACCOMMODATION: Free accommodation at El Yunque Field Station in Puerto Rico. Housing is communal using shared resources. The field station is relatively isolated and transportation is available on a limited basis.

TRAVEL: Refund of up to $750 towards a round-trip plane ticket from mainland USA, if not already living in Puerto Rico.

NOTE: We are unable to provide any medical insurance.

REQUIREMENTS: College graduates with background in biology, ecology, or environmental science, preferably with field-work experience, knowledge of plant identification, and excellent organizational skills. Tropical experience useful, but is not required. We are currently only considering US citizens and permanent US residents for these opportunities.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE: Interested applicants must fill out the online Application Form (see

The following additional materials must also be submitted via email to Christopher Nytch at

  1. A letter of interest indicating why you wish to work in the tropical forest and describing your relevant experience. Include a statement that you understand your application is for a volunteer position;
  2. Full resume;
  3. University transcripts (scanned unofficial transcripts are fine).

All email attachments must include the name of the applicant as part of the file name. Please email further inquiries to

Following phone interviews, we will inform successful applicants in mid-August, 2012.

For more information, please see a and

Expiration Date: 
Tue, 2012-07-31

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