Thursday 14 May 2015

Internship opportunity in South Africa - Nature's Valley Trust


Skip the winter blues by joining summer shorebird conservation research on South Africa’s gorgeous Garden Route!

ORGANIZATIONS: Nature’s Valley Trust & Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, Univ. of Cape Town.

LOCATION: Southern shore of South Africa.


DEADLINE TO APPLY: 30 June 2015, but positions filled as qualified applicants are selected.

DURATION: 3-5 months; Breeding season runs Sept. to April, with flexibility for internship timing. Preferably
N. Hemisphere Fall 2015 semester, summer in S. Hemisphere. You will have most field time from Sept. to
Jan.; if you choose an internship from Jan., there is less field work, but carries the benefit of data management & analysis.

• On-foot beach surveys for breeding, nest/brood monitoring, other observations of predation, disturbance, and tourism use.
• Collecting scientific field notes.
• Data entry, checking, and analysis; other administrative tasks.
• Producing various documents, educational & awareness materials, participation in related events.
• 5-6 working days per week, including weekends and public holidays.

• Self-motivated, flexibility, work independently & with others, while following methodology & procedure.
• Trustworthy, show integrity & dedication, sense of responsibility/accountability.
• Observational skills, with particular attention to detail & accuracy.
• An interest in birds and coastal conservation research.
• Physical fitness, willingness to spend long hours in the field, in potentially averse conditions (i.e. up to 12 hrs walking in soft sand & some rock scrambling, in summer heat with salt spray & wind, carrying pack).
• Ability to engage with the public regarding research & conservation.
• Preferably have or be studying toward a qualification in a related biological field, such as: Zoology, Ecology, Ornithology, Conservation Biology, Environmental Science, Nature Conservation, Wildlife/Natural Resource/Integrated Coastal Zone Management, etc.
• Some field experience with birding, nest searching, band re-sighting, animal tracking, and/or bird handling is advantageous, but not necessary. Your willingness to learn & actively participate is most important!
• Some experience with GPS/GIS technology & software beneficial, but not required.

• Residing in Nature’s Valley, on South Africa’s Garden Route, a stunning location surrounded by beautiful beaches, forests, mountains, & breathtaking landscapes, with plenty of exciting activities available during off time.
• Working with a fantastic environmental NGO on a highly impactful project, affiliated with the TOP university & leading academic institute in Ornithology on the African continent!
• You will get much individual support & hands-on training in the field.
• This experience is highly applicable to many shorebird conservation programs conducted around the world, particularly the United States (i.e. Snowy & Piping Plovers).
• Opportunity for involvement in other projects (bird banding, education programs, etc.).
• The Nature’s Valley Trust is willing to discuss requirements with your university for study credits.

• R4,000 per month (±300 US$), which covers shared housing/utilities, field transportation, office space (including WiFi), program participation, & mentoring.
• The Nature’s Valley Trust unfortunately cannot offer assistance with travel costs or other living expenses. Cost of living is comparatively low in South Africa.

• If interested, please send CV & short motivation letter, or any other enquiries via e-mail with the subject “SHOREBIRD INTERNSHIP” to: selenaflores AT
• For more information on the Nature’s Valley Trust, see For a preview of what you’re getting yourself into, see:, and for information on the Percy FitzPatrick Institute, see:

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