This internship will provide the successful applicant with an opportunity to sample various roles in a conservation organization that is working to prevent extinctions across the tropics. The intern will be working collaboratively with Rainforest Trust staff on each of the following subjects below. Depending on the intern’s skills and interests, some activities can receive more of the intern’s time than others.
Validating estimates of protected area coverage of threatened species
Goals: (1) Study how well range maps characterize species distributions;
(2) Develop comprehensive species lists for all Rainforest Trust supported Protected Areas.
Tasks: In this project, interns will assist Rainforest Trust staff to refine estimates of how many species Rainforest Trust’s partners are protecting worldwide. We have already completed the first step, which combined maps of species ranges with maps of protected areas in order to estimate the number of species protected in each park or reserve. The next step is to contact Rainforest Trust partner organizations to request verified species lists from their protected areas. The intern will then assist Rainforest Trust staff to: (1) compare the estimates of protected species based on the two different data sources; and (2) refine our list of protected species.
Analyzing changes in seasonal abundance of threatened bird species in Ecuador
Goals: (1) Identify changes in seasonal abundance of key bird species in Rainforest Trust reserves in Ecuador;
(2) contribute high quality data to the project above (Validating estimates of protected area coverage of threatened species).
Tasks: Our Ecuadorian conservation partner, Fundación Jocotoco, manages 10 reserves for the conservation of endangered birds and other species. The organization is managing a bird monitoring program in a handful of reserves, where park guards do bird surveys in the same sites each month. Jocotoco sends us the data, but we need to organize it and analyze to find out how species abundance changes over time. The intern will assist with this process and gain an understanding of abundance analysis and the statistical package R.
Database Development and Management
Goal: To aid in the development and management of a new conservation database for Rainforest Trust.
Tasks: Interns will start with basic development and testing activities in the Filemaker Pro platform. Depending on skills they will then be asked to develop specific reports that are generated from the dataset. Interns will be required to select a set of projects and input the data related to the projects. Interns will be expected to identify one current issue or challenge that could be addressed using the database and provide recommendations for a solution. The intern will gain an introductory understanding of database and project management.
Spatial conservation planning
Goal: Fundamental to Rainforest Trust’s conservation efforts is the process of prioritizing site-based conservation actions. Interns on this program will use various resources to help focus Rainforest Trust efforts in the identification of the most important sites requiring protection globally.
Tasks: The primary role of the intern will be the identification of key sites based on GIS analysis and other desk-based research strategies. Working under the remit of Rainforest Trust, the intern will help to identify these key areas that are currently not protected yet will have a significant contribution to species conservation if formally protected. The intern will gain an understanding of biodiversity hotspots and ArcGIS.
Please send applications to jobs@RainforestTrust.org. Include a cover letter stating your interest to intern for Rainforest Trust and duration of the internship you are looking to undertake.
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