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Research Assistants

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Research Assistants
(Volunteer-based position)

The research assistant (RA) is a long-term volunteer job whom supports the work and data collection of the different investigations of Pacuare Reserve: sea turtles, Agami heron, jaguars and monkeys, among others.

Research Assistants (RA) will be trained in sea turtle monitoring techniques and the primary responsibilities 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, 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 visitors 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 visitors, beach cleaning, recycling projects, or other needs of the station. RAs are expected to work 8-10 hours throughout day and/or night, often with little sleep. Beach censuses require walking on soft sand and under the rain, therefore, a good physical condition is a requirement for the RA position.

The position has duration of three or four months with the possibility of extending the period based on the execution of activities and performance. The volunteer must choose one of three teams of assistants to participate during the season.

Photo: Batsú Estudio

Photo: Batsú Estudio



  • Being at least 22 years old.

  • Graduates of or close to graduating in Biology, Environmental Science or a related field.

  • Availability to work full dates, according to the chosen period

  • Be bilingual in Spanish and English

  • Being in a good physical condition

  • To be able to work actively in an atmosphere of variable sleep hours, with day and night schedules.

  • Be proactive

  • Experience of living with many people over long periods of time

  • Experience teaching or sharing knowledge with other people

  • Desires to live in a remote place and get the most out of the experience.


  • Previous experiences working with sea turtles

  • Previous experience volunteering and living in Costa Rica, specially in the Caribbean coast

  • Previous Experience in environmental education

  • Previous Experience with customer service


Schedule and location

There are two possible options to participate from February 12th to June 12th, and from June 12th to September 30th, Pacuare Reserve, central Caribbean coast, Costa Rica. The research assistant work is voluntary; approximately 4-6 hours are worked on the beach and 2-3 hours during the day. The assistant has one night a week to rest and four free days per month that can be accumulated to leave the Reserve once a month. Rooms are shared, limited privacy and limited internet connection.


RA Positions are voluntary and selected candidates are expected to plan and finance their own travel to and from the Reserve, as well travel insurance. FAs will receive 3 meals day and basic shared accommodations for the duration of their time working for Pacuare Reserve.

Please note: A deposit of US$200 will be needed and will be reimburse at the end of the volunteer work.


Research Assistant information

Wildlife Assistant information


Questions can be directed to:

Application Forms

Research Assistant application

Wildlife Assistant application

If you are interested in being a field assistant for the 2020 season, apply here
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