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Biological Research & Permaculture Internships in the Rainforest of Ecuador

Project: Third Millennium Alliance

Posted by Ryan Lynch over 8 years ago

Third Millennium Alliance (TMA) was founded in 2007 with the purchase of 100 acres and the establishment of the Jama-Coaque Reserve (JCR) in the western province of Manabí, Ecuador, between the cities of Jama and Pedernales, and four kilometers inland. Now encompassing over 1,200 acres, the Jama-Coaque Reserve actively protects one of the last remaining fragments of Pacific Equatorial Forest, which is considered to be one of the most threatened tropical forests in the world. Learn more at www.tmalliance.org.


Internship Opportunities:

Interns are to take on high-impact and dynamic projects in the fields of biological field research and sustainable food production. There is a tremendous amount of work to be done and experience to be gained – for interns and for us. Above all, creativity, innovation, and self-motivation are the fuel of our internship program. 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.


Interns are to select a specific project focus for their time in the Reserve. Generally speaking, there are three project paths of personal projects: 1) flora & fauna research, 2) permaculture & land management, and 3) appropriate technology.


The following is a list of some of the projects we’re looking to tackle during the upcoming sessions. Some are new projects and others are ongoing and multi-year projects. When applying please inform us which of the three project paths you would like to join and which specific project you are most interested in.


Flora & Fauna Research:

  • Primate Demography & Behavior Study (Howler & critically endangered White Fronted Capuchin)
  • Investigation of Endangered Avifauna - (Nesting ecology, habitat use study integrated with reforestation efforts)
  • Camera trapping of wildlife (birds; wild felids including ocelot, jaguarondi, etc)
  • Herpetofauna survey (reptile and amphibian diversity and abundance)


Permaculture & Land Management:

  • Production Zone Intensive – Focused on increasing food production, crop zonification & rotation, plant propagation, care/maintenance, integrated pest management and food preservation (ie, canning)
  • Reforestation - Last year we planted 6,500 trees in one portion of our re-forestation plot, and hope to plant another 8,000 next year. We want to keep this momentum going this year to plant even more trees and expand the project. Help manage tree propagation and planting efforts.
  • Green Building - Learn to use natural, recycled and sustainable building materials.


Appropriate Technology:

  • Assist with development of alternative energy systems (ie. micro-hydro and solar)
  • Design and build a solar or compost water heater.
  • Design and build a solar food dehydrator.


We also offer an optional Permaculture Design Certification (PDC) course with our internship, which is highly integrated with the real-life applications of permaculture in the Reserve. If you are interested in becoming certified in Permaculture Design during your time in the Reserve please review our website for further details about how to apply.


2016 Internship Schedule:

A complete program description with the 2016 schedule and prices can be found at our website: www.tmalliance.org/internships. Here you can also find the application form, contact details, as well as other media, such as photos, video, and the program FAQ.


We look forward to working with you!


Alex Brubaker

Research & Intern Coordinator

Third Millennium Alliance

Quito, Ecuador


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