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Tropical Botany Technician Internship: Belize
Job Type: part-time permanent position
Posting Date: 4 Feb 14
Closing Date: 1 Apr 14
The goal of this internship is to give the student various experiences in tropical botanical studies that will aid the student in developing their skills for a variety of future education and employment opportunities. The main component of the project will be to work with the T.R.E.E.S staff and Ecorana biologists in establishing a long-term plant monitoring project that is part of a bigger project looking into insect abundance and timing of plant flowering and seed production in the Maya Mountains of Belize and how this affects wildlife (especially avian) abundance, breeding, moulting, and movement.
- Identify plants (trees, shrubs, and other groups) found at the T.R.E.E.S Hosting Center and in the Maya Mountains in Belize.
- Gain experience in collaborating with local researchers and botanical institutions to obtain keys to allow the identification of plants in Belize.
- Contribute findings with the National Herbarium of Belize.
- Initiate a plant collection from dried specimens using plant presses.
- Learn and become proficient in a variety of plant sampling techniques, including how to conduct: quadrat plots, transects, habitat characterization and vegetation mapping, etc.
- Gain an understanding of the timing of reproduction for these plants (flowering time, seed production etc.) to be included in a flowering plant database.
- Add plant I.D. tags to trees and plants that will be used to create an educational trail at the station.
- Work with locals and learn and document local knowledge of plants found.
- Work with Ecorana researchers, T.R.E.E.S staff, and other interns on the development of scientific protocol design.
- Understand and follow all safety regulations and priorities while working in the field and office.
- Use of ArcGiS and GPS an asset to add to the existing map of the T.R.E.E.S trails and botanical features of note.
- Learn to enter data in a systematic manner and compile it into a scientific report with introduction and literature review, methods, results (including basic statistical analysis), and discussion using peer-reviewed scientific articles.
- Depending on involvement in project, may have opportunity to collaborate on future publications.
- Complete a short 4-5 page summary report that will help to establish future research protocols.
We are looking for interns who are independent yet willing to work in a team environment. Applicants should have a certain level of botanical identification skills and should be interested in improving their techniques for proper plant identification in the tropics and learning about the incredible biodiversity of Belize through systematic field surveys and data collection.
- Previous experience working with plant identification keys.
- Previous experience working with plant presses and preparing botanical specimens for herbariums.
- Knowledge of plant survey and monitoring techniques.
- Enjoy working with a diverse community of people.
- Spend long hours in the field (difficult conditions).
- Knowledge of some tropical plant families an asset.
- Experience using Microsoft Office Suite, Photoshop and ArcGIS an asset.
- Flexible easy-going attitude.
Physical Requirements and Work Conditions:
- Ability to tolerate high temperature and high humidity.
- Ability to work in environments where exposure to spiky plants, toxic vines, scorpions, spiders, ticks and biting flies is common. In addition, it is the jungle; venomous snakes are uncommon but present.
- Ability to live in remote conditions away from electronic amenities.
- Possible indoor work is performed in a typical office setting.
- Ability to lift, carry, and position objects weighing up to 30 pounds.
- Multiple positions available
- No application deadline
- Start-date: February 2014 (but flexible); positions available year-round for this continuing monitoring project
- Length of position: minimum 6 weeks; longer is preferable.
- Schedule: 30 hours per week, Monday–Friday.
Ecorana fees for internships for international students are $25 US/day. This includes lodging and use of all facilities at the T.R.E.E.S Hosting Center, training on methodologies by Ecorana biologists and local T.R.E.E.S professionals in their field of study, as well as mentorship from Ecorana tutors for the duration of the intended internship. International students must have international travel medical insurance during their stay in Belize. At the discretion of the T.R.E.E.S managers, local Belizean students (especially those not staying on site) can have fees reduced or exchanged for work. All interns (international and local) are required to pay for transportation to/from the site and their food while on site (cooking facilities provided).
Contact Information:To Apply:
Please email your resume and a thoughtful cover letter to: firstname.lastname@example.org (international students) OR email@example.com (Belizean students).
Please indicate the position title in your email subject line. No phone calls please.
For more information about the internship center (T.R.E.E.S Hosting Center), visit: www.treesociety.org
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