Field Projects International is currently accepting applications for our new Wildlife Biology Field Training Program. The program will be held at the Los Amigos Biological Station in the Madre de Dios department of Southeastern Peru, where we have conducted our research programs for more than a decade.
Enrollment is currently open for limited spots in four specialty tracks. This year's specialty tracks reflect the growing diversity of our field studies, as well as our partnership in establishing a new in situ laboratory resource.
1.) Primate Monitoring
2.) Biodiversity and Wildlife Health
3.) Animal Movement and Spatial Ecology
4.) Conservation Genetics
While participants all work together to make the field season a success, those enrolled in a given specialty track will spend approximately 60% of their time engaged in the core activities of that particular project. The remaining 40% of the time is spent learning more general field skills that support all projects, as well as helping out other teams that need assistance. The goal is to offer a more well-rounded experience that will better prepare students for future field studies and research.
Program Start Dates:
May 29, 2022
June 19, 2022
July 10, 2022
Note: There is a minimum 5-week commitment, with the possibility of adding more weeks.
Learn more and apply:
April 1, 2022, or until all spots are filled
Skills and Training
Specialty 1: Primate Monitoring
Conduct a primate handling session including sample collection, morphometric monitoring, monitoring of animals under anesthesia, and safe release
Appropriately restrain and handle wild primates with proper technique and PPE
Record data on animal weight, TPRs (temperature, pulse and respiration), injuries, dentition, and much more.
Collect biological samples such as feces, urine, hair and blood from each animal
Construct and organize animal processing kits and in-situ animal processing tents
Determine sex and appropriate age of individuals by morphological characters
Identify primate species by sight and sound
Comfortably and safely work and navigate on and off trail systems in a Neotropical rainforest
Track primates by sight, sound, radio telemetry, and GPS devices
Conduct full-day behavioral follows of wild primates using focal, scan, and ad-libitum data sampling methods recorded on Animal Observer software
Clean and organize data for a relational database system
Organize and project spatial data in QGIS and Garmin BaseCamp
Specialty 2: Biodiversity and Wildlife Health
Field sampling for environmental DNA screening programs
GPS navigation training for off-trail navigation
Sample biobanking under field conditions
Species identification using morphometrics
Sample coordination during field anesthetizations of mid-sized mammals by veterinarians.
Best practices for personal safety and wellbeing while conducting field work in forest systems
Non-invasive sample collection
Animal tracking and safe capture-release techniques
Safe animal handling procedure focused on bats, small mammals, and birds, including a number of opportunities to participate directly in collection events
Sample collection, handling, labeling, and storage protocols, including the use of sterile technique to prevent self-contamination and preserve specimen integrity
Animal health data collection and data management
Specialty 3: Animal Movement and Spatial Ecology
Deployment and monitoring of smart traps for biosurveillance
Work on setup of CTT grid (tentative)
Assist in optimizing LoRa communication network
Gain familiarity with passive animal monitoring technology
Data pipeline development for sensor produced data
Daily expeditions into the rainforest for sensor deployment and checks
Presence at mark-recapture events where animals will be tagged with tracking devices
Specialty 4: Conservation Genetics
Participant experience very much depends on the laboratory’s work schedule, but is likely to include training in most --if not all-- of the following:
Library prep and indexing
Portable nanopore-based sequencing
DNA barcoding including submission to BOLD databases
Bioinformatics pipeline executions for field genomics
Sample handling, labeling, and storage protocols, including the use of sterile technique to prevent self-contamination and preserve specimen integrity.