STC Programs: Research: Education and Outreach Assistantship in Tortuguero, Costa Rica

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Research and monitoring of sea turtles in Tortuguero, Costa Rica was initiated in the 1950´s by legendary sea turtle researcher Dr Archie Carr. Dr Carr continued his work in Tortuguero until his passing away in 1987 and the Sea Turtle Conservancy continues to conduct annual programs at the site, making it the longest ongoing sea turtle conservation and monitoring program in the world. The intensive program combines monitoring and research activities with an education and outreach program in the local community. 

Application Information for Education and Outreach Assistant Positions


EOA positions are voluntary and selected EOAs are expected to plan and finance their own travel to and from Tortuguero. Selected EOAs will receive board and lodging at the STC Field Station for the duration of their time working for STC in Tortuguero.

Good knowledge of Spanish and English, background in education, environmental studies or related fields, previous educational experience in the tropics, experience working/living in multicultural environments, experience working/living in isolated locations for extended periods, previous experience in conservation and availability for the entire period of the program greatly improve your chances of being selected for a position.

STC Alumni Assistants have gone on to work for conservation organizations, universities and government agencies worldwide.

Applications for EOA positions must include the following materials:

1. Application Form for the Leatherback or Green Turtle Program (download below);

2. A cover letter explaining why you are interested in the Education and Outreach Assistant position, details of any relevant experiences and a statement of your level of proficiency in English and Spanish (either a formal qualification or an indication of your written/oral comprehension);

3. A CV or resume with pertinent information; and

4. Name and email contact of three professional references.

Completed materials should be emailed to Georgina Zamora at georgina@conserveturtles.org

All application materials must be received at our office before or on the deadline listed for each program. Short-listed candidates will be contacted within two weeks of the application deadline. Please do not phone or e-mail to inquire about the status of your application.

Applicants that do not supply all requested materials will not be considered.


2019 Leatherback Program Education and Outreach Assistant Position Information:

Project description: Environmental Education and Community Outreach of endangered leatherback turtles
Location: STC Field Station, Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Dates: March 20 – June 30, 2019
Application Deadline: February 5th, 2019

Project summary:

Research and monitoring of sea turtles in Tortuguero, Costa Rica was initiated in the 1950´s by legendary sea turtle researcher Dr Archie Carr. Dr Carr continued his work in Tortuguero until his passing away in 1987. In 1995, the STC started the Leatherback Program to study leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) in the area. Each year, from March to June, the researchers from STC collect data about this threaten species.  The intensive program combines monitoring and research activities with an education and outreach program in the local community. 

Work description:

A group of assistants will participate in the leatherback turtle season. The team will be conformed by people from all over the world, emphasazing people from latin-american and caribbean countries. 4 Research Assistants (RAs), divided in two periods of a month and a half, will be focused in the field work while the Environmental Outreach Assistant (EOA), who will be working for the entire 3 months for the leatherback season, will be more focused in the educational work.

Monitoring activities during the Leatherback Turtle Program are carried out along 30 km (=18 miles) of nesting beach. Beach patrols require walking many kilometers in extremely soft sand and in very extreme weather conditions; therefore an excellent physical condition is a requirement for the RA and EOA positions.

At the beginning of the Program, the Research and Field Coordinator (RFC) will capacitate the RAs and the EOA in the field work, including night patrols, morning census and nest monitoring and excavation. You will learn how to tag the turtles, take biometric data, register nesting activity during morning census and other abilities related to data collection.

After field training, the RAs will focus on the monitoring and field activities, while the EOA will concentrate on the development of the Educational and Outreach Program under the supervision of the Environmental and Outrech Coordinator (EOC).

Besides, the EOA will, as possible, help with the field work as well as assisting in the STC’s Visitor’s Center, giving information about STC’s work to the visitors. Plus, all the Assistants will be involved in helping out with eco-volunteer’s training, who will stay in the station for a short period of time, as well as supervising volunteer groups during beach patrols.

Leatherback Turtle EOA Application
Leatherback Turtle EOA Application (Word doc)


2019 Green Turtle Program Educational and Outreach Assistant Position Information:

Project description: Environmental Education and Community Outreach of endangered green turtles
Location: STC Field Station, Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Dates: June 6, 2019 – 1 November, 2019
Application Deadline: March 11th, 2019

Project summary:

Research and monitoring of sea turtles in Tortuguero, Costa Rica was initiated in the 1950´s by legendary sea turtle researcher Dr Archie Carr. Dr Carr continued his work in Tortuguero until his passing away in 1987. In 1959, the STC started the Green Program with the goal of studying green turtles (Chelonia mydas) in the area. Each year, from June to October, the researchers from STC collect data about this threaten species.  The intensive program combines monitoring and research activities with an Education and Outreach Program in the local community. 

Work description:

A group of assistants will participate in the green turtle season. The team will be conformed by people from all over the world, emphasazing people from latin-american and caribbean countries. 16 Research Assistants (RAs), divided in two periods of two months and a half, will be focused in the field work while the Environmental Outreach Assistant (EOA), has the option of working for 5 months during the green season, will be more focused in the educational work.

Monitoring activities during the Green Turtle Program are carried out along 8 km (=5 miles) of nesting beach. Beach patrols require walking many kilometers in extremely soft sand and in very extreme weather conditions; therefore an excellent physical condition is a requirement for the RA and EOA positions.

At the beginning of the Program, the Research and Field Coordinator (RFC) will capacitate the RAs and the EOA in the field work, including night patrols, morning census and nest monitoring and excavation. You will learn how to tag the turtles, take biometric data, register nesting activity during morning census and other abilities related to data collection.

After field training, the RAs will focus on the monitoring and field activities, while the EOA will concentrate on the development of the Educational and Outreach Program under the supervision of the Environmental and Outreach Coordinator (EOC).

Besides, the EOA will, as possible, help with the field work as well as assisting in the STC’s Visitor’s Center, giving information about STC’s work to the visitors. Plus, all the Assistants will be involved in helping out with eco-volunteer’s training, who will stay in the station for a short period of time, as well as supervising volunteer groups during beach patrols.

Green Turtle EOA Application
Green Turtle EOA Application(Word doc)