Biological Research Center
Are you interested in biology, wildlife, and love nature? And do you want to learn more about the exotic animals and nature of Costa Rica? Then you should be a volunteer or intern on our ‘Biological Research Center’ project!
- Quick Facts
- Volunteer's Duties
- Accommodation & Food
- More Info
- Age requirement: 18+ years
- Dates: The project accepts volunteers year around, except for the sea turtle project which is seasonally restricted from June until December. The peak of turtle nesting season is in September, October and November.
- Working Schedule: 5-6 days a week for 6 hours a day
- Language requirement: You do not have to speak Spanish because the project supervisor, volunteers / interns and other staff members speak and understand English
- Costs: A one week experience starts from US$649, for each additional week add on another US$299 per week
- Duration project: Minimum of one week
- Accommodation: Volunteer house offers private rooms and dormitories right on the property of the research center
- Food: Three meals a day, food provided for you to prepare your own meals
- Location: Ojochal on the Puntarenas, Costa Rica
- We offer: 24/7 emergency telephone support
- Optional: A letter of recommendation and certificate at the end of your volunteer time
As a volunteer or intern on this project, you will help the biological research center to collect more information and data about sea turtles, mammals, crocodiles, butterflies and other wildlife. The projects runs the whole year around, except for the sea turtle project which is seasonally restricted from June until December. The peak of turtle nesting season is in September, October and November.
In the past seasons the research center has successfully protected over 140 sea turtle nests and released more than 5000 hatchlings (each nest has about 100 eggs). During turtle season, nests are moved to the hatchery where they are observed and constantly protected. The researchers and volunteers collect important data about the biology of the nests and make sure that the hatchlings arrive safely in the ocean.
Another important aspect of the biological research center is the mammal research project, an important study because these species are important for the dynamic balance of the forest. The reserve around the biological research center has over 11 species of mammals, such as raccoons, coatis, kinkajous, weasels, river otters, tayra and monkeys. The researchers and volunteers collect data on the mammals with camera traps and by studying their behavior, and they constantly collect information about their local distribution and movements.
Caimans and Crocodiles
Another great research project is the caiman and crocodile project, which aims at gathering information about their distribution, their relationship with the environment and human impacts on the ecosystem. The research center wants an initial profile of the population of crocodiles. By adding new information about the crocodiles’ current status, the conservation and management of this species can be improved.
Environmental Education and Butterflies
The butterfly garden of the Biological research center offers visitors to see butterflies and learn about their behavior. The butterfly garden is an educational alternative for tourists, but also for the whole surrounding community. Often school kids come and visit the center, and you can help educating them about nature, butterflies, and conservation. Visitors of the garden can learn more about the butterfly cycle of life, metamorphosis, anatomy, physiology, senses, food, ecologic nice and many more.
Green Life Volunteers partners with the Biological Research Center to provide them with more researchers and volunteers to help with ongoing research projects and also establishing new research.
Volunteer’s responsibilities include:
- Help with ongoing research projects, such as the turtle, mammal, crocodile and butterfly research
- Install cameras in the reserve, check the cameras for activities and replace the batteries of the cameras
- (Nocturnal) monitoring of the animals
- Counting of the animals
- Marking of the animals and their locations
- Capturing of the species
- Help in the hatchery at night and during the day
- Patrol beaches during sea turtle season to collect eggs and bring them to the hatchery
- Release baby turtles into the ocean once hatched
- Other research project help – whatever is ongoing at the biological research center
An ideal volunteer / intern on the ‘Biological Research Center’ project wants to learn more about the exotic animals and nature of Costa Rica. Also, the volunteer has to enjoy physical labor and being outside. You do not need a degree for this project. You can volunteer on this project if you are 18+ years old.
If you are studying biology, ecology, or conservation, you can do an internship at the biological research center.
The internships work just as the volunteer placement – the difference is that you could choose your own research topic, and use the research as credit towards your university degree or major paper research! Just speak to us and let us know that you’d like to do your research at the center – we’re glad to help you with whatever is necessary to get you set up for your research project.
You can of course also do an internship and help on already exisiting research at the center! Whatever you prefer!
The internships are usually a bit longer in duration, and the goal is that you gain in depth knowledge about an area, and can use this later in your career!
The Biological Research Project offer shared (separated by gender) dormitory rooms with bunk beds.
You’ll share the accommodation with your fellow volunteers. Food is Costa Rican typical food cooked for you and prepared by a chef.
You’ll all eat together in a common space at certain hours. Breakfast is usually around 6-7am, lunch is around 12pm, and dinner is around 6 -7pm.
The location of the Biological Research Center is on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, in a town called Ojochal. It’s just South of Uvita.
The town of Ojochal is really small – but the nearby town Uvita is bigger and has supermarkets, restaurants, banks, pharmacies, a National Park, and more. You can go and visit Uvita in your free time or if you need anything special.
The costs for this project are:
- First week’s fee: $US 649
- Every Additional Week: $US 299 (It does not matter many weeks you choose, this fee stays the same)
FEES EXPLAINED: Our organizational fee of around 299$ is included in the first week’s fee and covers the “behind the scenes costs”, such as staff salaries, office space rental, transaction and bank fees, and more. Our weekly fee for additional weeks covers the costs of your host family or project accommodation and food, the local staff on your project, and a donation to help with the daily running costs of the program you will help on.
NOT INCLUDED IN THE FEE: First and last night in San Jose in a hostel, travel to and from the international airport (airport shuttles are around 30$ each way to San Jose – We can set this up for you, just ask us during sign-up), travel to the project site (usually by public buses, which are from around 10-16$ one way), national/ International flights, travel insurance, visa costs, any additional food or snacks besides the host family meals, extra-curricular activities.
This is the GLV Handbook for the Biological Research Center. This will give you DETAILED info on everything you would need and want to know regarding the project. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to contact us!
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