Jamaican Iguanas: Short-term Research Volunteers


The International Iguana Foundation is seeking two motivated undergraduate, or preferably graduate students, interested in radio-tracking Jamaican Iguanas or the invasive mammals that are the primary threat to the iguanas, in Jamaica. These data will be used to better inform the current Jamaican Iguana Recovery Program, including control efforts.

The iguana project will commence in March 2019 and run for 4–5 months. The timing of the invasive project is more flexible, but applicants should plan for 3–4 months in the field between March and September 2019. Twenty iguanas will be tracked at least once per day for the duration of the project. Approximately 10 cats and/or mongoose will be tracked as often as possible for the duration of that project. Upon encountering the individuals, location, habitat characteristics, and behavior data will be collected.

The applicant will be expected to enter and analyze data and will have the opportunity to collaboratively publish the results in a peer-reviewed journal. These projects are best suited for master’s theses or internships. There is the opportunity to develop the specific details of each project together to satisfy masters programs.

The applicant must be in excellent physical condition (able to hike 10–15 km/day), have experience living in remote areas in a tent, eating very basic foods, and able to work both independently and within a group. Applicants with experience radio-tracking, navigating with a GPS, analyzing spatial data, and seeking to complete degree qualifications with this project will be given priority.

Dr. Stesha Pasachnik will provide training and mentorship for this project. Basic field food and lodging costs will be covered. A stipend may be available for international travel to Jamaica. Graduate school costs will not be covered. Those interested should send their CV, a cover letter detailing experience in the above listed criteria, and two references to Dr. Pasachnik before 1 December 2018.

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