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Resident Naturalist 2018

We are pleased to announce the position of Resident Naturalist, beginning March 19, 2018. The successful applicant will be based at the ASA’s field site in Peru’s Madre de Dios Department.

POSITION: Resident Naturalist

LOCATION: Finca Las Piedras, Madre de Dios, Peru

POSITION DURATION: Minimum 6 months

SCHEDULE: 6 days/week, flexibility in scheduling required

START DATE: March 19, 2018




Resident Naturalists (RNs) work closely with ASA academic faculty and staff to facilitate ongoing biological research and monitoring, sustainable tropical agriculture, and community engagement and education programs at Finca Las Piedras, in Peru’s Madre de Dios Department. RNs are part of the public face of the ASA’s programs in Peru, and are part of a dynamic team of researchers, conservation and development professionals, and students from around the world. In addition to assigned tasks, naturalists are encouraged to develop individual projects within their areas of interest, which may include anything from community service activities to biological or agricultural research.




Biological Research and Monitoring

The ASA maintains a number of research and monitoring projects aimed at biodiversity conservation in the southeastern Peruvian Amazon. These include mammal, bird, and insect inventories and population monitoring, plant phenology, and rain forest dynamics plots, among others. RNs assist project leaders in data collection and entry, experimental design and setup, etc., as needed. Naturalists will also have the opportunity to assist visiting researchers when required.


Sustainable Tropical Agriculture

Activities at Finca Las Piedras include a variety of experiments in organic agriculture, the use of compost and biochar, and research into the sustainable harvest of Brazil nuts, among others. RNs will assist in these as needed.


Community Engagement and Education

Naturalists will also assist ASA faculty and staff in a number of ongoing programs both at Finca Las Piedras and in Monterrey and Planchon, the nearest local communities to the field site. Activities at Finca Las Piedras include volunteer and internship programs; in the communities RNs will assist in educational visits to schools, as well as a variety of outreach programs.


Social Media

Resident Naturalists contribute to outreach efforts on social media. Naturalists are required to create material for distribution across a variety of platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and regular blog posts.


General Duties

In addition to the duties mentioned above, Naturalists will contribute to day-to-day operations and basic facilities maintenance. General duties may include, but are not limited to: Daily weather station readings, Guide/interpret/translate guided natural history hikes, lead visits to local farms, group check-in and orientation, logistical support for academic programs.



  • Minimum 6 month commitment required

  • Minimum bachelor’s degree in natural or environmental sciences or related field

  • Fluency in English (required)

  • At least basic Spanish (preferred)

  • Experience working/living abroad, especially in the tropics (preferred)

  • Teaching experience (preferred)

  • Enthusiasm and strong work ethic

  • Flexibility in schedule and work environment

  • Maturity/must live with and work well with others in close setting

  • Excellent physical condition

  • Traveler’s insurance (proof required upon acceptance)

  • CPR/first aid certification (proof required upon acceptance)



Upon arrival at Finca Las Piedras, Resident Naturalists undergo an intensive, one-week training period. Naturalists are given an overview of current projects spanning the ASA’s three interrelated focal areas: biological research and monitoring, sustainable tropical agriculture, and community engagement and education, as well as the methodologies used for research and outreach work in these areas. Naturalists will also be trained informally throughout the duration of their term at Finca Las Piedras.



This is an unpaid position. However, all room and board is provided on-site at Finca Las Piedras, 7 days per week, for the duration of the appointment (although work is only required M-F; approximate value $1,000/month). Work-related local transportation, including pickup from the Puerto Maldonado airport (PEM) or bus terminal, is covered. Resident Naturalists are responsible for their international flight to Peru, including airfare, taxes, airport fees, flight insurance, etc.), and domestic air or land travel to Puerto Maldonado (bus or air).



The following are required to apply for this position:


  1. A cover letter of interest, including end date (position begins March 19, 2018)

  2. Current CV/resume with contact information for two references

  3. Most recent unofficial university transcript


Completed applications should include each of the three required items, and should be submitted as a single PDF document, in the order listed above, by the application deadline (December 1, 2017). Document title should read: “last name”_”RN application”.pdf


Send completed applications to: with “Resident Naturalist application" in the subject line.

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