Come to beautiful Costa Rica and work with us in our sea turtle nesting conservation program! Join our team of talented, passionate, and dedicate researchers. Available seasonal job openings for Project Coordinators at our four project sites Southern Nicoya Peninsula.
The Sea Turtle Nesting Conservation Program from Centro de Rescate de Especies Marinas Amenazadas (CREMA) and Turtle Trax, S. A aims to research and conserve the species of sea turtles that nest in the Southern Nicoya Peninsula and the marine biodiversity that surrounds this coast. We are seeking highly motivated, early-career scientists to work with us. Successful candidates will be actively engaged with an exciting community of volunteers, students, researchers, and local members wrapped in the magnificent mantra of the Costa Rican Pura Vida.
Positions are available at our four projects located on the Southern Nicoya Peninsula, Guanacaste, in Costa Rica’s Pacific:
- Costa de Oro
- San Miguel
– San Miguel and Costa de Oro: these two beaches host several hundred nesting olive ridley sea turtles per season, with occasional nesting of green, hawksbill, and leatherback turtles. These project sites have a variable number of volunteers and visitors. San Miguel and Costa de Oro coordinators must be sociable and be willing to work with a constantly changing team. San Miguel is the only project site with two coordinators; a Research Coordinator, and a Volunteer Coordinator; both will have the same responsibilities regarding research duties and overall project organization, with the exception of volunteer management, which will be the responsibility of the Volunteer Coordinator.
– Bejuco: this project site is operated under close collaboration with the small-scale sustainable fishing community of Bejuco, as it represents a sustainable source of income for its members. It is physically demanding due to the characteristics of the beacch (steep, soft sand, length) and the challenges of monitoring its sea turtle hatchery. It is the most rustic and basic project of the four.
– Corozalito: this beach hosts several thousand nesting olive ridley sea turtles per season and occasional nesting of green, hawksbill, and leatherback turtles. It is the most physically demanding project mostly due to the characteristics of its nesting activity.
– San Miguel and Costa de Oro: July 1st to December 15th, 2022
– Bejuco** and Corozalito: July 1st 2021 to January 31st 2023**
** Program dates might change by the starting date of the season
The Rescue Centre for Endangered Marine Species (CREMA) runs a sea turtle conservation program at four project sites or nesting beaches in the Southern Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica. This program opens annually during the Olive Ridley nesting season (June – January). Olive Ridleys are the most frequent and main species that nest on these beaches, but there is also sporadic nesting of Green, Leatherback, and Hawksbill sea turtles. Egg poaching is a major threat to the nesting sea turtles on these beaches. Secondary threats include nest predation, plastic pollution, beach development and erosion, and tourist traffic. In the beaches, CREMA operates a multifaceted approach for the conservation of sea turtles, including beach monitoring (night patrols and morning censuses), nests relocation into project hatcheries, environmental education, and awareness with the local community, generating job opportunities for the locals and promoting sustainable tourism development.
The Project Coordinator supervises Local Monitors, International Research Assistants/Interns, and short-term Volunteers. Coordinators will also oversee night patrols and morning censuses, data entry, hatchery supervision, and management, organizing/planning environmental and English classes (the latter only if/when possible) with the community, among other duties (read below).
There are five main activities in the nesting areas:
a) Beach monitoring,
b) Nest management,
c) Maintenance and day-to-day duties,
d) Lead Volunteers and Visitors
e) Public awareness.
During a typical workweek, you will be expected to work 6 days a week. Working hours are usually during the night-time, and the remaining time is spent maintaining equipment and processing data. You will be expected to work on weekends and holidays, but you will be given time off during the week as compensation. There are also opportunities to help with other projects, research initiatives, and local outreach both during and outside of work hours.
Project Coordinators must:
- Bring a positive attitude and be communicative about all issues regarding the team and the research, which are essential for the position.
- Work with a small team.
- Coordinate and supervise the activities of Research Assistants, Volunteers, and Local Monitors.
- Lead 3-4-hour night patrols and morning censuses.
- Collect biometric data and tagging nesting turtles.
- Photo ID and Tissue sample collection.
- Build and maintain project hatcheries.
- Monitor hatchery monitoring and nest excavations.
- Hatchling release.
- Work together with local monitors.
- Visit other projects when necessary.
- Plan and implement environmental and English classes with the community.
- Up-keep and station-house maintenance.
- Data entry.
- Prepare weekly schedules.
- Train volunteers.
- Assist in gathering content for digital publications (social media platforms)
- Maintain professional, open communication with staff and volunteers.
- Attend all scheduled staff meetings with the Research and Field Supervisor and the Research and Internship Program Manager.
- Conduct ongoing supply and equipment inventory.
Coordinators will be supervised by CREMA’s Research and Field Supervisor.
Coordinators are expected to stay at the project site for the entire period for which they are selected. Preference will be given to potential applicants that meet the following requirements:
- BS or Masters in biological sciences or related fields.
- Conversational and written Spanish and English (Obligatory to all the projects).
- Previous experience working with sea turtles or conducting field research.
- Previous experience working in environmental education.
- Leadership skills.
- Independent, reliable, and responsible.
- Ability to accept and give feedback.
- Motivated and positive.
- Able to adapt to unexpected situations and unfamiliar cultures.
- Able to undertake physical labor activities during night and day in extreme weather conditions while maintaining energy and stamina.
- Previous experience working in a team as a leader.
- Strong interpersonal, communication, decision making, logistical and organizational skills.
- Comfortable working in the outdoors or in isolated settings
Since many of the responsibilities are physically demanding, Project Coordinators are expected to be in good physical and medical shape. Also, since our projects are in isolated locations where access to medical treatment can be challenging, participants must disclose any medical conditions or possible risks before confirming their placement with our program. It is important to keep in mind the frequent changes in entry requirements and guidelines from the Costa Rican government and the Health Ministry according to the status of COVID-19 in the country.
Participants must bring their own safety equipment and materials (facial mask, soap, alcohol, etc), and travel policy / medical insurance with a duration equal to the period of stay (preferable), that covers, at least, medical expenses generated by COVID-19 and other diseases, plus lodging expenses due to quarantine if necessary.
We will keep you posted with any updates on any changes about this matter. We will continue with the health protocols and recommendations according to the World Health Organization and the Costa Rican Health Ministry.
Turtle Trax, S.A/CREMA WILL NOT accept unvaccinated individuals.
Meals and accommodation will be covered by CREMA during the length of the project.
Coordinators will be given a stipend of 100,000 Costa Rican colones per month ($200 approximately). This stipend is intended to cover living costs.
Additional Contact Information
- Up-to-date CV/Resume.
- Cover letter explaining how your experience and skills meet the requirements for this position and specifying project preference.
- Contact information (names and email addresses) of at least 3 references (either professional or academic).
- Please send applications to Ninive Espinoza-Rodriguez and Daniela Rojas-Cañizales to the following email addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.