Co-instructor for field ecology course at Cocha Cashu Biological Station Wanted

What: Co-Instructor for the Third Annual Course in Field Techniques and Tropical Ecology

Where: Cocha Cashu Biological Station, Manu National Park, Peru

When: September 1 (arrive a few days earlier)- November 30, 2015

How much: $0, but all travel and living expenses are paid ($5,000 value)

Interested in an all-expense paid 3-month journey to the heart of the Peruvian Amazon? Are you passionate and knowledgeable about tropical field ecology and conservation? Would you enjoy working with a small cadre of motivated Peruvian college students, teaching them the fundamentals of tropical ecological research and conservation? Then we might be looking for you.

We are looking for a highly motivated, capable individual to volunteer as a co-instructor for San Diego Zoo Global-Peru’s annual course in Field Techniques and Tropical Ecology. The following expenses will be covered: air, vehicular, and boat transportation; Station fees; food.

What is Cocha Cashu? The Cocha Cashu Biological Station (CCBS) is a tropical ecology field station of international renown and importance for understanding and preserving biodiversity. It is located within Manu National Park in southeastern Peru. As a biodiversity repository, the Manu Biosphere Reserve stands without peer, encompassing the entire Manu River watershed from the Andes Mountains to the lowland Amazonian rainforest—almost 6,000 square miles. SDZG has managed the Station since 2011.

What am I expected to do? You will travel to one of the most remote places on Earth, several days’ journey from civilization (and medical care). You will live in the Amazonian rainforest, sleep in a tent, and enjoy the company of some of the top tropical ecologists from the past, present and future. You will develop and present in-field lectures on agreed-upon topics related to tropical ecology and scientific methodology. You will mentor students, who will select and implement independent research projects. You will assist them with devising research hypotheses, experimental design, data collection methods, statistical analysis, and interpretation and write-up. You will never forget this experience and you will never be the same person again (we hope).

Requirements for applicants:

  • Master’s or PhD degree (enrolled in PhD, ABD acceptable)
  • Significant experience conducting ecological research in tropical forests
  • Mastery of fundamentals of scientific hypothesis-testing and methodology
  • Experience working in Latin America
  • Excellent communication and inter-personal skills
  • Spanish fluency strongly preferred
  • Experience teaching highly preferred
  • Excellent health and experience living under rigorous field conditions

Before you apply: please visit our website ( and read the materials there to make sure that you and Cocha Cashu are a good fit. It is a magical place but it is not for everyone.

To apply: Email Cesar Flores (Director CCBS) and Ron Swaisgood (Director, Applied Animal Ecology, San Diego Institute for Conservation Research) Send a full CV and a 1-page Statement of Interest detailing why you would like this position, what talents and skills you bring, and how this experience will facilitate your career.

III Field Techniques and Tropical Ecology Course at the Cocha Cashu Biological Station

The call for the III Course on Field Techniques and Tropical Ecology at the Cocha Cashu Biological Station is now open. This course is aimed at promoting the most talented students from Peruvian universities in courses in biology and related management and conservation of natural resources. There are ten vacancies for this year’s course, which will be held between August 31 and December 4. The deadline to submit your application is Monday, June 15, 2015.

As in previous years, successful candidates will only be required to cover their transport to the city of Cusco and a two-night stay. Transport, accommodation and meals between Cusco and the Station will be covered by the organizers thanks to the generous support of the Wallace Research Foundation and the Research Fund of the Condon family.

For more information you can download the 1ra Circular Curso Cocha Cashu 2015_esp or contact us at the following email:


Conservation education bilingual booklet for Manu National Park’s Matsigenka communities

We received funding last year from the UK-based Iris Darnton Foundation, through the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (University of Oxford), for the creation of a bilingual conservation education booklet, in Matsigenka and Spanish, for the Matsigenka communities in and around Manu. It is aimed at children but we hope it will appeal to all ages. The main protagonists are a Matsigenka boy acting as the voice of his community and a giant otter as flagship species of the aquatic environment in particular, and of Manu National Park as a whole. The story explores the worlds and perspectives of each, as well as key conservation issues, in a non-judgmental language and in an entertaining, highly visual way. The booklet is co-authored by Gregorio Perez (Matsigenka community leader) and Glenn Shepard and illustrated by a Cusco artist, Miguel Angel Achahuanco. It incorporates several Matsigenka fables contributed by Gregorio. 2000 copies of the booklet have been printed and will be distributed among Matsigenka families in the Manu region early 2015. You can download a PDF version of the book here: Tito intiri Chavaropana.compressed (6.82 MB).

Front and back cover of hard copy

Course on Field Techniques and Tropical Ecology at the Cocha Cashu Biological Station 2014 

05 December

This year’s ten Peruvian students have just successfully completed the three-month course at the Station and recently presented the results of their individual research projects to the Head of the Park, John Florez, and his team. You can find a list of the projects conducted by the students here: Alumnos Students_TEFT_2014.

Many congratulations!!  


Course on Field Techniques and Tropical Ecology at the Cocha Cashu Biological Station2014 – announcing the successful candidates!

Once again we received applications with a high standard which made it very difficult for us to decide. We therefore encourage those who did not make the final selection on this occasion to keep in touch with us for further opportunities and we wish them every success for the future.

We are delighted to announce the names of the ten successful candidates, selected on the basis of their academic background, the professionalism of their applications, their expressions of interest in the course, and their proposed projects:

Areli Benito

Brenda Vaccari Paz

Claudia Salaza Ávilar

Emil Rivas Mogollón

Francisco Vásquez Arévalo

Isaú Cabrera Espíritu

Lisset Gómez Martinez

Misael Paz de Noboa Nores

Smilsa Montesinos Robles

Vania Tejeda Gómez

Many congratulations!! We greatly look forward to welcoming the ten successful candidates at the Station in early September!