Program Details

The Foundation hosts students and researchers who are at least in their final years of undergraduate studies, in a masters program, doing postgraduate work or somewhere in between. We are looking for people with energy and initiative to conduct independen
Location:
Ibarra, Ecuador
Program Type:
Intern Abroad
Degree Level:
Undergraduate
Term:
Academic Year, Fall Semester, MayMester Intersession, Rolling Starts, Spring Break, Spring Semester, Summer, Winter Semester, Year Round
Work Types:
Animal Sciences, Sciences & Environment

Program Overview

Program Description:
Explore little known ecosystems & design your own research. The condors share their páramo habitat with spectacled bears, pumas, páramo foxes and a wide variety of other animals and birdlife. In order to save the condor, we must save the páramo, the Andean forest and ensure that there are healthy populations of other wildlife. As Zuleta is located in the Andean Páramo and in the Andean Forest, both of which still require a great deal of exploration, the Foundation is interested in promoting research and investigation of the local ecosystems. The Foundation aims to catalogue wildlife in the area, to study and understand the roles of other species living in the páramo and Andean forest, and how the ecosystems, flora, fauna, and humans impact each other. There is particular interest in studying two critically endangered species - the Andean marsupial tree frog and the spectacled bear. The spectacled bear is the only surviving bear native to South America and the foundation is planning to began genetic testing of the bears.

The Foundation hosts students and researchers who are at least in their final years of undergraduate studies, in a masters program, doing postgraduate work or somewhere in between. We are looking for people with energy and initiative to conduct independent research on topics of their choice. Due to the multidisciplinary approach of the Foundation's work it makes the perfect site for students with multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary interests to do research. While developing an idea for the research proposal please feel free to contact us and discuss your interests and potential research ideas.

Interns will be supported in their day to day research by two on-site biologists and will be mentored by a faculty member from either Universidad San Francisco de Quito or La Católica. Interns can meet with their faculty mentor via Skype or they can take the three hour bus trip to Quito. It is estimated that most projects will last between three and six months, but we expect each project to have its own time frame. By the end of the intern's time with us they will be expected to have produced a poster presentation and a paper/article. Interns will be asked to leave a copy of their work with the Foundation so guests of the Hacienda can review their work and so future interns can build on what has already been discovered. Interns will also deliver at least one presentation on their findings at a venue appropriate to their project. The presentations may be at a university, in the community, etc. Research topics: the watershed, frogs, cataloging plants & animals, endangered species, etc.
Setting Description:
The Zuleta is a rural town in the mountains outside of Ibarra. The majority of the residents are indigenous people who are dedicated to protecting the environment around them. Fifty years ago they petitioned to have their land protected and won. It sits in the paramo and Andean forest at an altitude of around 2,900m (9,500ft) and the highest observation point at around 3,780m (12,401ft. While Zuleta is only a few minutes away from the equator, it is very high up in the Andean Mountains. Thus, it would be wise to familiarize yourself with the weather in the area before packing, as beachwear will leave a visitor quite chilly.
Cost:
The Independent Research Intern position for 2014 requires a contribution of $1,071for 12 weeks and 2 days ($12.45/day) or$2,142 for 6 months. Included: - Accommodation in a shared house as described above - Three meals a day - Training and supervision by project staff - Mentoring by a university faculty - Transport from Ibarra Bus Terminal to project site on the first day - Letter of reference on satisfactory completion of the placement

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