Sea Turtle Research Assistant

Costa Rica (CR)
RA Positions are voluntary and selected candidates are expected to plan and finance their own travel
Oct 02, 2018
Nov 05, 2018
Job Level
Entry level
Employment Type
Internship, Volunteer
Salary Type

Research Assistants (RA) will be trained in sea turtle monitoring techniques and will work under the supervision of the Research Coordinators. RAs will work mainly with adult Leatherback turtles, adult Green turtles, and Leatherback hatchling.  Some Hawksbills may arrive to the beach but it’s not very common.  The primary responsibilities of the RAs will include leading night beach censuses, conducting morning beach surveys, tagging sea turtles and collecting data, relocating and excavating nests, train new volunteers, manage the database and building and being in charge of the sea turtle hatcheries.

Monitoring activities are carried out along 6 km (3.7 miles) of nesting beach. RAs will be in charge of leading volunteers and/or groups of students while on the beach, explaining the beach protocol and supervising them on the process of data collection. RAs are expected to participate in other activities carried out by the Reserve like personal research projects, environmental education activities, talks and workshops with students and volunteers, beach cleaning, recycling projects, or other needs of the station. RAs are expected to work long hours throughout day and/or night, often with little sleep. Beach censuses require walking on soft sand and occasionally under the rain, therefore, a good physical condition is a requirement for the RA position.



  • Graduates of or close to graduating in Biology, Environmental science or a related field.
  • Able to communicate both in Spanish and in English.
  • In good physical condition and able to walk long hours on soft sand, sometimes under difficult conditions.
  • Be motivated to work in a remote environment under difficult conditions (rain, mosquitoes, high humidity…) with irregular sleeping hours and restricted electricity availability.
  • Be open-minded, flexible and keep a positive attitude to unexpected situations and be willing to live and work with a big or small group of people.


  • Previous experiences working with sea turtles
  • Previous experience working and living in Costa Rica, specially in the Caribbean coast
  • Previous experience working in a multicultural team, since RAs come from different nationalities and they will be working with the local staff and volunteers from all around the world.

Schedule and Location:

February 25th to August 10th, 2019 (Feb 25th to May 20th or, from May 15th to Aug 10th or the whole season). Pacuare Reserve, central Caribbean coast, Costa Rica.

How to apply?:

Applications must be submitted electronically no later than Nov. 5th. Please, submit the following information using the web page (


-A CV or resume with pertinent information.

-A cover letter explaining why you are interested in the Research Assistant position, details of any relevant experiences and a statement of your level of proficiency in English and Spanish.

-Name and email contact of one to three professional references.

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