Madagascar - Volunteer Research Assistant (Lemur monitoring & Reforestation)
Volunteer research assistants: Conservation of Critically Endangered Lemurs in Kianjavato, Madagascar
Affiliated with the Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium's Conservation Genetics Department
About us: The Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership is a Malagasy NGO founded and piloted by Dr. Edward Louis Jr., Director of the Conservation Genetics Department at OHDZA in Omaha, Nebraska. Together they work to protect and restore Madagascar's remaining forests and diverse wildlife.
Project Overview: Volunteers will participate in two important conservation efforts: habitat restoration and lemur monitoring. During a 12-week tenure, volunteer cohorts will spend half their time monitoring lemurs and half their time participating in the community-based reforestation effort.
Lemur Monitoring (5 weeks): Volunteers will follow social groups of either the greater bamboo lemur (Prolemur simus) or the black-and-white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata) within the mountainous terrain of the Kianjavato-Vatovavy landscape. The longterm goal of this project is to offer protection for these two Critically Endangered species while gathering information on habitat usage, population dynamics, and territorial range.
Reforestation Project (5 weeks): This grassroots reforestation effort reconnects and expands natural habitats over the mountainous terrain around Kianjavato while sustainably benefiting the 14,000 area residents. Through this project we have planted over 1.5 million trees in Madagascar. The overall goal of this project is to restore habitats for wildlife and alternative resources for the local community.
Qualifications/Experience: We prefer volunteers with at least a BA or BS in the biological or environmental sciences, and tropical restoration or forest management experience is a plus. Some independent research experience will be an advantage, as will work or travel experience in tropical countries. A willingness to work in isolated conditions, the ability to solve problems independently, and dedication to a positive and respectful working environment is vital.
2018 Volunteer Cohort Schedule:
- January Cohort (January 9 – 11 arrival in Madagascar; April 2 – 5 departure from Madagascar)
- March Cohort (March 13 – 15 arrival in Madagascar; June 4 – 7 departure from Madagascar)
- May Cohort (May 22 – 24 arrival in Madagascar; August 13 – 17 departure from Madagascar)
- July Cohort (July 31 – August 2 arrival in Madagascar; October 22 – 26 departure from Madagascar)
- October Cohort (October 2 – 4 arrival in Madagascar; December 17 – 21 departure from Madagascar)
2018 costs for participating in the MBP Volunteer program:
- $210 USD non-refundable deposit (to secure your placement with the program)
- $650 USD accommodation fees (includes airport assistance, travel costs to/from field station, tent site rental, and food)
- between $30-70 USD 90 day tourist Visa (payable at the airport upon your arrival)
How to Apply: Applicants should send a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, and contact information for two professional references to Dr. Ed Louis (genetics (at) omahazoo (dot) com).
Will start filling 2019 spots starting this fall, please inquire then. Prices and exact dates subject to change between 2018-2019.