Website Osa Conservation

Sea Turtle Conservation Long-term Field Internship

At Osa Conservation, we reconnect the rainforest, monitor and protect biodiversity, and work hand-in-hand with the local community to build climate resilient ecosystems for people and wildlife. Our team works across southern Costa Rica, connecting and protecting landscapes and biodiversity from the ridges of the Talamanca mountains to the coral reefs of the Golfo Dulce and the Pacific Ocean.

Be part of our conservation successes and come get your boots dirty in one of Earth’s greatest wildernesses.

The Sea Turtle Conservation Program focuses on safeguarding the four sea turtle species that nest along the beaches bordering the Osa Conservation Campus. Interns will learn to lead beach patrols and sea turtle nest censuses, record data, build sustainable hatcheries, relocate nests, release thousands of baby sea turtles every year, and gain hands-on experience conserving vital nesting habitat and safeguarding the future of sea turtle populations. Our program has evolved to incorporate technologies to advance sea turtle monitoring and research.

Long-term intern activities, training and experience:

Long-term internships are designed to empower and immerse early-career conservationists in one of the most important neotropical landscapes on Earth while developing crucial career skills. Come live in a tropical rainforest and learn, explore and achieve alongside an outstanding community of conservationists, biologists, media-specialists, educators, community outreach leaders, and more to fill knowledge gaps and push the frontier of tropical conservation. This team will provide one-on-one mentorship, advise on research methods, and equip interns with tangible career skills to solve real-world conservation issues.

The sea turtle conservation long-term interns will:

Be trained and participate in sea turtle population monitoring via morning and evening censuses for olive ridley and green sea turtles on two important nesting beaches totalling 6.5km. Input all data collected into databases using phone apps and computers and review data for quality assurance. Data is eventually shared with State of the World’s Sea Turtles (SWOT), the global clearinghouse for sea turtle nesting data. In addition, execute daily equipment cleaning and preparation for sea turtle monitoring efforts.
Assist with the maintenance of Osa Conservation sea turtle hatchery, including construction and daily cleaning. During population monitoring, execute relocations of vulnerable nests to the safety of the hatchery, implement predator exclusion devices on wild nests that were not able to be relocated to the hatchery, and monitor hatching success through excavation of hatched nests on the beach and in the hatchery.
Engage in local sea turtle environmental education activities, to increase awareness and share your knowledge and passion for sea turtle conservation with the communities, tourists  from the surrounding eco-lodges and young students and conservationists visiting the Osa Conservation Campus.
Lead  regular beach cleans to reduce the amount of plastic pollution, as well as classify and weigh the marine debris, and upload the data to global beach clean datasets via phone apps.
Train and work with volunteers and short-term interns to accomplish the daily program duties and activities.
Create reports, flyers and info-graphics to promote program results and activities. Assist with the search of literature review for scientific communications and conservation technologies to implement in the program.
Assist program coordinator in producing content for applications and inquiries for possible funding opportunities to develop exciting projects of interest to Osa Conservation’s sea turtle program and sea turtle conservation.
Share your stories and experiences of living in the rainforest and protecting sea turtles to create content for personal and Osa Conservation social media accounts. You will also have the opportunity to give program update presentations and attend science and media meetings to interact and engage with the Osa Conservation science team and outside researchers.

In addition to the Sea Turtle Conservation program activities, long-term field interns will interact with and build skills alongside Osa Conservation’s wide breadth of programs. You will:

Plant and monitor native tree restoration efforts.
Trial new rewilding techniques for tropical rainforest restoration.
Install camera traps and acoustic devices, organize data from these devices and citizen science apps for vital wildlife monitoring across the Osa region.
Practice regenerative farming techniques to grow sustainable produce.
Develop scientific communication skills and learn to produce cutting-edge stories from one of Earth’s greatest wilderness areas.

Long-term field internship details:

Long-term field internships range from 6-9 months, starting in September 2022. Interns live alongside the team at the Osa Conservation Campus (OCC), located at the heart of Osa’s tropical rainforest. The OCC is home to our top-tier biological station, boasting a new research lab and classroom, regenerative farm, arboretum, restoration experiment, and over 20 km of trails through old-growth and secondary forests, mangroves, rivers and pristine coastlines.

During your internship, all food and accommodation will be provided. At the OCC, you will live in the middle of the rainforest in basic shared-living accommodation. You will be provided with three cooked meals a day by our campus kitchen.


Apply to be a Sea Turtle Conservation long-term intern now!

If you are interested in this unique field opportunity to develop your scientific and conservation career, please send your CV, cover letter and a 1-minute video explaining why you are the perfect person for this tropical rainforest conservation experience to [email protected] with the email title “Sea Turtle long-term intern” by August 2nd, 2022.


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