Third Millennium Alliance
Third Millennium Alliance
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Camarones, Manabi, EC
Climate zone:
Wet/Dry Tropical

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Position Available: Internship and Research Manager in the Ecuadorian Rainforest

Project: Third Millennium Alliance

Posted by Ryan Lynch over 6 years ago

We're hiring for the 2014 year! Join us in the rainforest managing the Jama-Coaque Reserve and our internship program. Applications due by January 31, 2014.

Introduction: A few years ago, a few of us—ecology, economics, and business graduates—founded a non-profit organization called Third Millennium Alliance (TMA). We raised some money and bought a lot of land in a critically endangered rainforest and established an ecological reserve in coastal Ecuador. There was a small patch of previously degraded land right in the middle where we have built an innovative and surprisingly comfortable research station out of bamboo by hand. Immediately surrounding the house we are designing/growing/building a living laboratory of sustainable resource management (i.e. permaculture), which also serves as our field headquarters for biological scientific research and forest monitoring. Our reserve (called the Jama-Coaque Reserve) is one of the last remnants of Pacific Equatorial Forest, part of the Tumbes-Choco-Magdalena Biodiversity Hotspot, which is designated as one of the most bio-diverse and endangered ecosystems on earth. Only 2% of native forest remains in coastal Ecuador; we’re trying to preserve the last of it and begin the task of restoring what has already been lost.


Job Summary: As Internship Coordinator the chosen candidate will work closely with individuals from diverse backgrounds to facilitate project-based internship experiences in the fields of research, conservation and permaculture.  Projects are developed to achieve the research goals of the organization and serve as catalysts for interns as they navigate their academic and professional careers.  As Reserve Manager he/she will synthesize and report the information generated from program projects/investigations to the management team and directors to prioritize conservation goals and land management strategies. Primary responsibilities are to manage the internship program and to manage the Research Station as an operating center. He /She will be the responsible for intern recruitment and processing of applications, organizing and leading intern orientation, and serving as an advisor/facilitator/mentor for interns and their related projects, although deferring to the Manager of Permaculture Operations with respect to guidance of food-based intern projects. He/She is responsible for site logistics such as supply runs, monthly accounting, and managing the flow of people in and out of the reserve.


Field Management Team: As Reserve Manager/Internship Coordinator you will work closely with the other members of the Field Management Team - Reserve Manager/Intern Coordinator, the Manager of Field Operations, and the Manager of Permaculture Operations. Although each member of this team has his or her own primary responsibilities, there will inevitably be overlap and the need for a lot of team work and collaboration.  As such, the three of you should always stagger your off-time, to ensure that at least one of you, although usually two of you, are on-duty at any time.


  • Coordinate, lead, and facilitate 8 week tropical field internships in Research, Conservation & Permaculture
  • Provide logistical and technical support to facilitate successful completion of research, conservation, and permaculture based field projects.
  • Receive, process, and respond to intern applications.  Monthly compensation for the entire field management team is entirely funded from intern fees. The operations of this project are dependent on filling up every intern session to capacity. This particular task is incredibly important for the on-going viability of this project. Initiate, build, and maintain long-term relationships with local conservation organizations and communities
  • Produce weekly and monthly accounting of expenses
  • Submit monthly reports to the Directors
  • Develop overall educational quality of the internship program through field activities, assignments, required readings.


Please note: The field station and sites are living entities, constantly evolving into yet more functional, comfortable, self-sufficient and sustainable systems. When you are not otherwise occupied with office work and leadership duties (i.e. on-and-off throughout weeks 4-8 of each session) much of your time and energy will be devoted to brainstorming, prioritizing, designing/planning, and realizing additions and changes to the existing infrastructure


  • Bachelor’s degree in Ecology, Biology, Environmental Studies or related field
  • 4 years of work/life experience following undergraduate studies*
  • Experience in experimental design, field methods, statistical analysis and scientific writing
  • 1 year field research or project management experience
  • Strong leadership skills
  • Excellent communication and organization skills
  • Fluent in English and at least highly proficient in Spanish
  • Physical and mental strength to live in a remote, off-the-grid field station with 5-8 interns for 2 months at a time
  • Dedicated to sharing research experience and knowledge of global conservation issues in educational   settings
  • Passion to mentor, empower, and inspire the next generation of young scientists through field and inquiry-based learning experiences.


  • MS in Ecology, Biology, Environmental Studies or related field
  • Field-based and hands-on teaching experience
  • Tropical research experience
  • Experience living in a developing country (preferably within Latin America)
  • GIS mapping experience
  • Fluent in both English and Spanish



You will be paid a monthly stipend of $500, in addition to free room and board in the Bamboo House Research Station. Your visa costs will be covered. You will need to cover your own travel costs to Ecuador. Once in Ecuador, all work-related domestic travel will be covered by TMA.

Although the monthly stipend may not seem much by U.S. or European standards, this amount is more than sufficient for Ecuadorian standards, especially considering that your room and board is covered. Before you begin work, you will undergo a two-month training period; the first month will be un-paid, the second month will be paid.



The training session would begin with the spring internship session, which is March 19, 2014. Although an earlier start date would be even better for us. When you apply, please state when you would be able to start.


Amenities and Other Info

Full room and board are offered in the “Bamboo House” Research Station, which despite being in the middle of the forest, is quite comfortable – beds with good mattresses and mosquito netting; kitchen and shower and a bathroom with spectacular views of the river valley; 10 hammocks strung along the balcony and the living area, and waterfalls right in our backyard. You will have your own bedroom. We eat fresh and local, healthily and abundantly, with little-to-no meat. Everyone shares cooking and house maintenance responsibilities. There is no electricity. At night we use candles. The beach town of Pedernales is 25 km away, and has internet access, ATM, hospital, hotels, eateries, pharmacies and hardware stores, etc.


How to Apply: Before applying, thoroughly review the Third Millennium Alliance website (, especially the FAQ, Program Description, and Disclaimer documents found on the internship page. PLEASE DO NOT APPLY IF YOU HAVE LESS THAN 4 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE AFTER RECEIVING AN UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE. Also, please only apply if you satisfy the language requirements.


If interested in applying for this position, please send resume, cover letter, and two references to [email protected] and [email protected] with the subject heading: RESEARCH COORDINATOR – YOUR NAME. In your email, please state when you would be ready to start the job. 


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