WILDLIFE RESEARCH INTERNSHIP IN ECUADOR

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

GAIN PRACTICAL SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH EXPERIENCE HELPING TO PROTECT THE CLOUD FOREST

This is a fantastic opportunity for budding young biologists to get ahead whilst making a valuable contribution to the furtherment of cloud forest conservation. Travel to the Cloud Forest and gain scientific research experience studying endemic species of flora and fauna.

This organization conducts important research on ecosystems, flora, and fauna of the Cloud Forest. This research is used to implement conservation strategies, to measure the impact of climate change, find solutions, and inform their community educational programs. They are based in La Hesperia Cloud Forest Reserve on the western slope of the Ecuadorian Andes, a site of unique significance to conservation science, where two of the five biodiversity regions of South America converge. Their mission is to devise and promote alternative and innovative models of development in Ecuador, whilst expanding global knowledge of rainforest conservation.

As an intern, you’ll play a crucial role in maintaining and developing their ongoing research projects. For instance, they’re running a feline monitoring program where interns are responsible for setting camera traps, retrieving them, then processing and analyzing the data. This is an ideal program for biology students as this data could easily be used towards your own university research. They’re also open to interns proposing their own projects.

ORGANIZATION

The Tangaré Foundation works to protect the Cloud Forest and its wildlife through a combination of research, natural resource management, and environmental education. Based in the La Hesperia Cloud Forest Reserve on the western slope of the Ecuadorian Andes, they work to promote alternative, sustainable models of development in the area.

They achieve this by researching and monitoring flora and fauna in the region, using their findings to develop sustainable methods of land use and natural resource management, then teaching these practices to local communities.

Active since 2009, the organization has already made a significant impact. Their research has helped to identify and protect important habitats for threatened species, such as the Ecuadorian white-fronted capuchin monkey and felines such as puma, ocelot and oncilla. They’ve reduced deforestation by promoting sustainable agriculture and forest management practices. Their educational programs have trained over 1,000 in environmental education and conservation. They are a valuable asset to Ecuador and the region, and its work is essential to the future of the planet.

TASKS & REQUIreMENTS

This organization runs all kinds of research projects, so the work interns get assigned depends on what’s going on when they turn up. At the moment, the organization is conducting long-term research on felines, and capuchins, in the past they have studied amphibians, fungi, and a variety of fauna. As well as this, interns will have the chance to get involved with any number of the sustainability and permaculture projects happening on the reserve.

Responsibilities

  • Setting and retrieving camera traps around the reserve
  • Collecting, processing, and analyzing data gathered from camera traps
  • Corroborating findings with larger database of wider research
  • Maintaining and developing sustainability programs
  • Writing reports and helping with grant writing
  • Assisting with eco-conservation workshops and community outreach
  • Creating visual and written content
  • Getting involved with community conservation projects

Requirements

  • Studying towards or completed a Bachelor’s degree in biology, conservation, or related field
  • Excellent attention to detail and analytical skills
  • Prior research or data-processing experience is a bonus
  • Basic level of Spanish
  • Ability to work well independently and as part of a team
  • A passion for conservation in a nonprofit context

WHERE YOU’LL STAY

You’ll stay at a dedicated volunteer house with rooms ranging in size from 2 to 6 people, shared bathrooms, and a selection of communal spaces. Excitingly, this volunteer house is located in the heart of the 800 hectare La Hesperia Cloud Forest Reserve.

Safety & Support

Safety & Support

Make sure to visit your doctor and dentist for a check-up before yoUr internship and to get all the recommended vaccines and/or medications necessary to stay healthy.

Communication

Communication

There is Wi-Fi available on site strong enough for WhatsApp and video calls. You can buy a local SIM card, but the network is not very fast.

Meals

Meals

Three meals a day are included from Monday to Friday. Over the weekend you can use the kitchen at the accommodation to prepare your own meals.

Location details

Location details

This is a site of unique importance to the conservation of the Cloud Forest. It is where two of the five biodiversity hotspots in South America converge: the Tropical Andes and the Chocó-Darien. The area has a huge species variety with a large number of endemic species. It is also a site of an array of sustainable farming practices, including: permaculture garlic farms, chocolate production, coffee production, and organic livestock farming.

DATES & RATES

Fee Breakdown

Internships always start on Monday, so no arrival over the weekend, always on Monday.

Note: this internship is available starting from January 2025.

What you’ll pay (2024 rates)

Placement fee USD 600

Inclusions

  • Careful matchmaking. It takes time to find the right internship for each person, and we take this process very seriously.
  • Initial interview with one of our team to gauge your skills, interests, and desired learning outcomes.
  • An academic internship eligible for university credit. Check with your university to confirm if this internship qualifies for credit or alternatively we can assist you with purchasing transfer credits.
  • Accommodation in a shared room (2-6 pax)
  • Three meals a day from Monday to Friday
  • Wifi access
  • Assistance with your visa arrangement & other preparations
  • An orientation program with your supervisor
  • Supervision and support during your stay
  • Regular check-ins during your internship with your supervisor
  • Troubleshooting if needed
  • A reference letter at the end of your internship

Exclusions

  • Flights to Quito
  • Visa and medical/travel insurance costs for the duration of your placement – must include cover for repatriation
  • Transfers from Quito Airport to the reserve
  • Meals over the weekend
  • Drinks, snacks, and items of personal nature (f.e. curios, gifts, clothing)
  • Costs for additional excursions or activities
SCHOLARSHIP & FUNDING

FAQs

Some of our most commonly asked questions for programs in Ecuador.

What can I expect from an internship in Ecuador?

You can expect to work on your Spanish language skills while gaining hands-on experience in your preferred field. From exploring diverse ecosystems to engaging with local communities, your stay in Ecuador will provide you with insights into the country’s rich biodiversity, while the challenges and accomplishments that you experience will foster your adaptability and global perspective.

Will I have time to explore the country during my internship?

Yes! There is always time to explore the surrounding area. Our nonprofit partners are based around the country (and on the Galapagos Islands) and they can offer recommendations about which places are the best to visit! When you are based on the mainland, some of the highlights of Ecuador are, for example, the city of Cuenca or the Cotopaxi National Park. If you are based on the Galapagos Islands, there are great excursion options on the island(s) including fantastic diving. If you are keen to also explore the mainland of Ecuador, you will need to do so before or after your Galapagos internship because of the distance (and costs of the flight).

Does an internship in Ecuador qualify for university credit?

Yes, but you must ensure with your university that your supervisor approves this. It is also possible to purchase transfer credits that can be added to your internship.

Will I be paid during my internship?

Unfortunately, it is not possible to receive any kind of stipend while interning. As your internship with the nonprofit organization will be unpaid, you can check out ways to fund your internship here. The wealth of knowledge and opportunities for both professional and personal growth throughout your experience are invaluable!

QUICK FACTS

LOCATION: Recinto La Esperie, Ecuador
PROJECT FOCUS: Nature Conservation
TASK FOCUS: Education, Data Capture & Analysis, Community Projects
LENGTH: Min. 8 weeks
COST: USD 600

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Independently run conservation research projects
  • Gain in-field scientific research experience
  • Develop deep and expansive knowledge of rainforest conservation, eco-sustainability, and wildlife of the Cloud Forest
  • Live and work in the Ecuadorian Cloud Forest
  • Make a valuable contribution to the furtherment of conservation science
ENQUIREAPPLY NOW

HOW TO APPLY

If you’re ready to apply for this internship, here’s what to do:

APPLY

Fill in the application form (it will show in a new screen) which includes sharing your CV to us.

GET STARTED

SPEAK WITH AN ADVISOR

We’ll set up a call with you to go through your application.

INTERNSHIP MATCHING

If we feel it’s a good match, we’ll set up a call between you and the supervisor for this internship.

PAYMENT

If everyone’s happy, we’ll provisionally confirm your placement! We’ll then send you the invoice for the deposit, getting started with the booking process and all the info you need.

CONFIRMATION

Only once we receive payment of the deposit your placement will be confirmed.

NEED TO MAKE AN ENQUIRY FIRST?

Or if you’d just like to ask us some questions about this internship first, just fill in the contact form below. We’ll be happy to assist!

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