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Tropical Internships in Biological Research & Sustainable Agriculture in the Rainforest of Ecuador

Project: Third Millennium Alliance

Posted by Ryan Lynch about 7 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 1,300 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. Our organization has been running a hands-on field-based internship program in the fields of Biological Field Research and Sustainable Agriculture since 2008, with more than 200 young and enthusiastic students from across the globe.


Internship Opportunities:

Interns that participate in our program take on high-impact and dynamic research projects within the fields of Biological Field Research (Flora & Fauna) and Sustainable Agriculture (Permaculture & Agroforestry) in the Jama-Coaque Reserve, Ecuador. Interns must select one of the two internship tracks mentioned above when applying, but cross-pollination between the two different paths is encouraged for individuals looking to broadly experience each topic. Above all, a positive attitude, desire to learn, and a strong sense of adventure are the foundations of our internship. Working alongside our experienced staff, community members, and fellow interns from across the globe ensures an unforgettable tropical learning experience.


Following is a list of some of the projects we will be tackling during the upcoming 2017 sessions. Some of these projects are new and others have been ongoing for multiple seasons or years. When applying please inform us if you would like to participate in our Biological Field Research path or our Sustainable Agriculture path.


Biological Field Research (Flora & Fauna):

  • Investigation of Endangered Avifauna – Nesting ecology, habitat use study integrated with reforestation efforts
  • Camera Trapping – monitoring native wildlife presence and movement in the Reserve and along our developing conservation corridor
  • Monitoring endangered herpetofauna – visual and audio surveys of global threatened species in the Reserve
  • Seed bank and germination studies – native tree species germination rates, survival, and applications for reforestation
  • Orchid inventory within the Reserve


Sustainable Agriculture (Permaculture & Agroforestry):

  • Production Zone Intensive – Focused on increasing food production, crop zonification & rotation, plant propagation, care/maintenance, and integrated pest management.
  • Agroforestry – Maintenance and use of mixed-use forest. Development of cleaning and harvest system, use of products, and analysis of agroforestry systems in comparison to the widespread use of slash and burn agriculture.
  • Reforestation – Plant native trees on 40 hectares of pasture land, initiate a bamboo reforestation program along riparian areas, and manage a growing nursery of native plant species.
  • Green Building – Learn to use natural, recycled and sustainable building materials. Assist with construction projects of all forms as we continue to grow into the future.


In addition to our standard internships, we also offer a variety of seasonal workshops and certification courses. We offer a Permaculture Design Certification (PDC) course four times a year, including a special traveling PDC each summer that visits three unique farms across Ecuador. Additional workshop opportunities will be announced on our website as they are scheduled, so please stay tuned here: www.tmalliance.org


2017 Internship Schedule:


A complete program description with the 2017 schedule and prices can be found on 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 answers to Frequently Asked Questions.


We are currently accepting applications for the following sessions:


Taste of the Tropics Internship (4 week program):

  • March 20-April 14, 2017: Application deadline February 20, 2017
  • April 17-May 12, 2017: Application deadline March 17, 2017
  • May 29-June 23, 2017: Application deadline April 29, 2017
  • June 26-July 21, 2017: Application deadline May 26, 2017

Academic Internship (8 week program):

  • March 20-May 12, 2017: Application deadline February 20, 2017
  • May 29-July 21, 2017: Application deadline April 29, 2017 

Quarter Abroad Program (11 week program):

  • April 3-June 11, 2017: Application deadline March 3, 2017
  • June 26-September 8, 2017: Application deadline May 26, 2017 

Semester Abroad Program (15 week program):

  • May 8-August 18, 2017: Application deadline April 8, 2017

Professional Apprenticeship (26 week program):

  • June 12-December 8, 2017: Application deadline May 12, 2017

* Accreditation– For students looking to get academic credit for our internship program, please discuss the options available with your advisor or internship office. TMA does not currently have the ability to independently provide academic credit, but we are happy to work with your university to ensure all requirements are met by our program. Our staff is happy to provide an evaluation of performance and complete any paperwork required by the university.


We look forward to working with you!


Jama-Coaque Field Research Team

Third Millennium Alliance

Quito, Ecuador

Email: [email protected]

Web: www.tmalliance.org

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