Our research internships give students, graduates and professionals an opportunity to gain conservation research experience and build skills towards a career in biological field work. Interns are trained in how to conduct research that will be used for the conservation, protection and renewal of the reserve and rainforests in general. With the mountainous cloudforest as your backdrop, you will be part of a passionate and skilled team of people committed to the long-term protection of this richly biodiverse part of the world.
A minimum 10 week commitment is required for this internship.
How it works
The aims of the internship are to build the biological field technician skills necessary to make you more employable and to gain sufficient knowledge of the methodologies for you to run your own independent research in the future. Cloudbridge staff are experienced field technicians and teachers, who will aid you with advice and knowledge take the next steps in your career or passion. All interns will receive in-depth training for our three main long-term fauna studies (bird point counts, herpetology visual encounter surveys and mammal camera trapping), as well as hands-on experience with our celebrated reforestation program.
Each intern works on 1 or 2 projects studying animal and/or plant populations across 3 major habitat types: primary forest, naturally regenerating secondary forest, and actively planted (reforested) secondary forest. The main goals of these studies are to 1) study the effects of long-term active planting strategies compared to natural regeneration, 2) build a comprehensive species list for the reserve, and 3) gain a better understanding of the species on the reserve.
Potential projects include:
- One of our long-term studies monitoring:
- Birds: point counts and walking transects recording bird species seen and heard
- Amphibians: visual encounter surveys at night and identification of captured animals in the lab
- Mammals: camera trap deployment and monitoring
- A shorter (3-month) study on another group of organisms or subject:
- Habitat Assessments and Forest Recovery: various studies such as monitoring forest regeneration, canopy cover, and forage potential
- Butterflies: setting live traps and sweep netting
- Beetles: pitfall trapping and lab identification of captured animals
Cloudbridge will also accept interns in fields unrelated to the above projects if we feel we have sufficient expertise and resources to provide an effective intern experience.
During a typical work day, interns conduct field work, maintain comprehensive field notes, and input the resulting data into computer records. Interns work approximately 30 hours per week (6 hours per day on weekdays), although actual hours can fluctuate depending on the project.
Research intern requirements:
- Academic or practical experience in floral or fauna research
- Physically capable and willing to walk up and down steep hills in all types of weather
- Able to work independently, in pairs, and as part of a small team
- Self motivated, with good timekeeping, record keeping, and ability to meet realistic deadlines
- Comfortable living in a close knit community
- 20 years or older; exceptions may be made for outstanding candidates as young as 18
- Able to fund your food and accommodations for the duration of your stay
- Commit to a minimum of 10 weeks
- Responsible for renewing your visa, if staying longer than 90 days
To apply, please fill and submit the Volunteer/Research Application.
Accommodations and Costs
Housing is provided at $17 USD per person per day and includes Wi-Fi, hot showers, shared bath, and shared kitchen. For stays less than 30 days, we must charge a Costa Rican tax for temporary accommodation which is an additional $3.00 USD per day. Food costs and cooking are the responsibility of the individual volunteer/researcher, most of whom can eat a basic, mostly vegetarian diet for around $5 USD per day. Most people stay in shared rooms, although some private rooms with queen beds may be available (subject to current occupancy) for an additional fee. Housing fees are paid one month in advance to the Cloudbridge Manager. In 2023 we will be raising our rates to the following: $18 USD per day for stays 12 weeks and over, $20 per day for stays of between 4 to 12 weeks and $24 USD for stays of under 4 weeks.
A $200 “good faith” fee is required prior to being accepted as a volunteer or researcher. This fee will be credited toward your accommodation fees for the last 2 weeks of your stay. The fee is payable through the Donate page.
Please note that our intake day is Sunday, meaning you will only be able to be picked up and join the rest of the participants on Sundays. Please plan your trip accordingly.
Questions? Contact email@example.com.
Please visit our blog site for monthly updates and photos on our volunteers and researchers, their projects, and other activities at Cloudbridge Nature Reserve.