viernes, 16 de marzo de 2012

Volunteer field assistants for Costa Rican rainforest reserve

Volunteer field positions are now available for tropical rain forest studies within a remote private biological reserve located in the mountainous regions of Costa Rica. Founded in 2001, the Aula Global reserve is off limits to the general public, spans five ecological zones and contains old growth and secondary forest as well as streams and open areas, making it an excellent location for a wide range of studies. Beginning April 1, 2012, The Global Classroom will be conducting scientific studies and various work projects throughout the reserve ranging from bird, mammal and reptile census to canopy exploration requiring technical climbing equipment. No previous rain forest experience is necessary, but volunteers must be motivated, self directed and prepared for off trail hiking in rugged, wet conditions. Participants may be asked to carry 15-20 kg loads short distances as all food and equipment must be carried into the reserve as there are no roads to the research station. Projects run from April 1 to May 28, 2012

Main areas of focus during the spring 2012 season will be documenting the breeding and nesting habits of the Bare-necked Umbrella bird using direct observation, photo / filming of this little known species, canopy exploration, and the movement and repopulation of large cats into the reserve using tracking techniques, track pads and camera traps. (For more information on our current projects, see below). Only 4 positions are available. Cost is $300 per week and includes all food, lodging, use of Aula Global facilities and transportation to and from the reserve.

Canopy Research
Participants interested in assisting with canopy studies will climb into the trees in search of orchids, epiphytes and other plant species found among the treetops. Using crossbows and other means of launching light cord into the trees, we will then secure special climbing ropes that will be used to ascend into the canopy to collect plant samples as well as photograph and document the wide range of life found there. We provide all the necessary equipment and training required to operate safely in the trees. No previous climbing experience is needed.

Big Cat studies
Using camera traps, track pads and other techniques, participants will focus on gathering data on the movement of transient cats such as jaguar and puma that move through the Aula Global reserve. Data will also be collected on prey density as well as those cats that reside within the reserve boundaries, including puma, ocelot, marguay, and possibly jaguar. This project will require long hikes in thick jungle using animal tracking skills to locate game trails used by these predators. Participants will be required to use machetes and other tools while in the field constructing track pads, setting up and collecting data from camera traps, and constructing observation blinds.

For more information on Aula Global reserve go to

For more info, contact:

Colin Garland