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Research Assistant | Tropical Ecosystems – University of Puerto Rico

by Kris Pieper on July 9, 2015

September 1st through December 19th, 2015
Complete applications must be submitted by July 16, 2015

RESEARCH DESCRIPTION: The Environmental Science Department of the
University of Puerto Rico, together with the Dept. of Ecology, Evolution
and Environmental Biology at Columbia University, will carry out a tree
census in four forest stands of varying ages (~ 1 hectare each) in the El
Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico.  There will also be 2-3 weeks of
dendrometer tree band measurements, a project that allows for precise
measurements of diameter growth in our 16 hectare long term study plot.
For this project we need six (6) volunteer interns to help collect tree
census data and map tree locations.  Data will then be entered and reviewed
using database software.  Volunteers will work together in teams, spending
long hours in the field (8am until 4 pm, Mon-Fri, with weekends free),
often in very wet and muddy conditions.  In addition, the dendrometer
project will involve strenuous field work, requiring hiking and climbing
into trees with the help of ladders. While in Puerto Rico, volunteers will
have the opportunity to learn about diverse aspects of tropical ecology
from scientists involved in the Luquillo Long-Term Ecological Research

PERIOD: September 1st through December 19th, 2015.

STIPEND: $600 per month to cover food and general living expenses.

ACCOMMODATION: Free accommodation at the El Verde Field Station in Puerto
Rico.  Housing is communal using shared resources.  The field station is
relatively isolated and transportation is available on a limited basis.

TRAVEL: Refund of up to $750 towards a round-trip plane ticket from
mainland USA, if not already living in Puerto Rico.

NOTE: We are unable to provide any medical insurance.

REQUIREMENTS:  College graduates with background in biology, ecology, or
environmental science, preferably with field-work experience, knowledge of
plant identification, and excellent organizational skills.  Tropical
experience useful, but is not required.  We are currently only considering
US citizens and permanent US residents for these opportunities.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE: Interested applicants must fill out the online
Application Form (
opportunities/lfdp-internship-application). (You may have to cut and paste
into address bar.)

The following additional materials must also be submitted via email to the
LFDP/Chronosequence Research Manager (Seth Rifkin) at

1) A letter of interest indicating why you wish to work in the tropical
forest and describing your relevant experience.  Include a statement that
you understand your application is for a volunteer position;
2) Full resume;
3) University transcripts (scanned unofficial transcripts are fine).

All email attachments must include the name of the applicant as part of the
file name.

Please email further inquiries to

Following phone interviews, we will inform successful applicants in late-
July, 2015.

For more information about the Luquillo LTER research program and the El
Verde Field Station, please see, and

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