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.