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Volunteer: Conservation Education And Research In Costa Rica

Global Nomadic - Sydney, NSW

Agriculture, Nature & Animal
Source: uWorkin

Source: uWorkin


Location: San Isidro de El General, Costa Rica

Duration: Minimum 10 weeks commitment

Start Dates: This project is ongoing and you can join whenever suits you best, depending upon availability.

Cost: $17 per day + $250 admin fee

Fee Includes: all accommodation, pre-departure + in-country support, orientation and all project related activities

Does not Include: food, flights, airport pickup, travel insurance, personal spending, visas and vaccinations

Please note: This opportunity is designed to give you the contacts and experience to help further your career. You are not replacing any member of staff, but helping alongside them, whilst learning new skills.


  • Gain hands-on conservation experience
  • Help to protect a rich biodiverse environment
  • Work alongside a passionate and highly-skilled team
  • Keywords: Costa Rica placement, Research project, Costa Rica research, environmental research, environmental conservation, Costa Rica research project


Gain excellent hands-on research experience in a private Costa Rica nature reserve. This project is dedicated to teaching visitors more about the local wildlife and environment, aiding in conservation efforts. Education and research plays a huge role in the reserve, which is where your project proves invaluable.

Students, graduates and professionals are all welcome to apply. You will gain great conservation research experience while immersing yourself in the natural landscape of the majestic Talamanca mountains. There are 400 species of vertebrates living within the reserve, 15 of which are listed on the IUCN red list of threatened species.

You will be trained how to conduct research which can be used for conservation purposes, along with the general protection of rainforests and the reserve. Working alongside a passionate and educated team, you are required to commit to the placement for at least 10 weeks.

For more skilled applicants, you will conduct research into cloud forest ecosystems, reforestation, and/or the flora and fauna of the area. For those just starting out in research, as a research assistant, you can support studies from scientists from all around the world and/or take on responsibility for some of our smaller ongoing research projects. As the reserves reforestation project was such a success, less work is now required on planting trees. Instead, more effort is now being placed into research and education.

The reserve is hoping to start publishing its research results within scientific journals. They study a wide variety of topics including geology, forestry, climatology, biology, sociology and ecology. The reserves location is largely understudied, giving the opportunity for researchers to make new, exciting discoveries along the way.

This placement would best suit those who have practical or academic experience in research. If you do not, you may be better suited to our volunteer, rather than project placement.

Daily Life

You will typically be working 30 hours per week from Monday through to Friday, which equates to around 6 hours per day. However, hours can vary depending upon the type of project you are working on.

The tasks you carry out on a daily basis can also vary but will typically include conducting field work, maintaining in-depth field notes and inputting data results into computer records. You will work on 1-2 projects throughout the placement, with the option to undertake short-term or long-term studies, depending upon the length of your placement.

Potential projects you could end up working on include long-term camera trap deployment and monitoring of mammals. An example of a short-term project includes habitat assessments and setting live butterfly traps and sweep netting.

Examples of long-term potential projects include: tropical bird monitoring, camera trap deployment and monitoring of mammals, reforestation technique assessments, and tree inventory. Examples of previous short-term projects include: live butterfly trapping and sweep netting, effect of trail activity on bird behaviour, effect of introduced conifers on soil chemistry, and an assessment of the suitability of the reserve for reintroducing sloths.

Please note: all information above is subject to change. Please check the most up to date information on the Global Nomadic website when applying.