Deadline: April 13th, 2013
Decision Notification: April 20th, 2013
Cost: 2,500 USD + Travel
Timeframe: Starting dates and ending dates are a little flexible for schooling
One intern needed from June 1st, 2013 to August 1st, 2013
One intern needed from July 1st, 2013 to September 1st, 2013
Well-qualified undergraduate senior or already graduated biology/conservation major to work as an intern on the Giant Panda Mate Preference in Captive Breeding project.
You will be based predominantly in Ya’an China, working closely with the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda (CCRCGP) to research mate preference in captive giant pandas. The interns primary job will be daily tracking of panda locations to track familiarity and scoring mating behaviors. Other duties will include, collecting fecal samples three times a week, downloading videos weekly, and scoring personality and stereotypical data once mating season in completed.
With connections to the Oregon Zoo, San Diego Zoo, and CCRCGP this internship provides a well-rounded and practical experience perfect for building a career in international biological conservation or zoo biology.
This project has the potential to improve captive breeding methods currently utilized by both zoological and private breeding facilities of endangered species. Given the predicted results, the Oregon Zoo, San Diego Zoo, SCBI and CCRCGP can provide a model system of captive breeding that integrates both genetic and behavioral information to determine optimal mating pairs. It seems clear that conservation breeding programs in zoos and breeding centers have much to gain from a more integrated approach, addressing both the importance of genetic management and natural mating preferences.
Accommodation in Ya’an is a Chinese apartment with 2 rooms and running hot water, electricity, and internet. Heaters are either by gas or electric and are provided in the housing if you are staying over a winter months (please run the gas heater preferentially over the electric heater). You will be expected to keep up with daily housekeeping, cooking and shopping on your own.
Panda interns are expected to work independently, with only minimal supervision, managing their own time and meeting any deadlines given to you. You will usually be able to take at least one-two days off each week, dependent on current work priorities.
On days off you can hike, go wildlife watching or take trips to other cities but this will all be on your own money and you will be required back at work on Monday. There are various cultural events you may attend with local friends, such as festivals and national holidays, which can provide a fascinating and very personal insight into local traditions.
Medical facilities are extremely basic; anything beyond a minor medical emergency would require international evacuation where full medical facilities are available. A charter plane would be required for evacuation, and all interns are required to have adequate insurance to cover any costs that ensue, since a full medical evacuation back to Europe could cost up to 100,000GBP. We will need relevant medical history and proof of travel insurance if selected.
You will be expected and encouraged to learn some of the Chinese language in order to be integrated as fully as possible into the community during your stay. This will come quickly with daily immersion and opportunities to practice with local staff and students. It is a good idea to bring a dictionary and audio learning materials with you in order to facilitate your studies.
Interns are required to work for a minimum of 3 months and pay a contribution of 26 USD per day or 2,500 USD for the entire 3 months. This funding will contribute to the individual’s accommodation and research‐ associated costs during the internship (see below).
All interns are required to cover their own travel to the country (flights around 1200 USD from Portland Oregon) and insurance. We require proof of insurance before starting of the internship. You are also required to cover your own food expenses. Average costs for shopping at the local grocery store is 20 USD per week. Interns should budget approximately 300 USD for food while conducting their 3 month internship.
All interns are required to get their Chinese Visa on their own. These can be obtained via sending your passport and visa application materials to the closest Chinese consulate. Please contact your local consulate for further details
Below is an example of where fund allocations from an intern contribution goes and may not be the exact distribution of funds based on changes in circumstance and program needs: Prices are per day.
Accommodation (apartment and utilities in Ya’an): 10.50 USD
Office rental & utilities (for the office space at the base): 4.50 USD
Staff salaries, overhead and project costs: 4.50 USD
Administrative overhead: 3.00
Transport (to ride the bus every morning with the base workers): 3.50 USD
How to Apply
Candidates should send in a CV and brief cover letter to Meghan Martin by March 23rd: email@example.com
Please state in your application:
- Where you heard about PDXWildlife
- Details of the experience you have either living / working / traveling in developing countries
- Your level of English & Chinese
- Your level of qualification as it pertains to research involving captive animals, animal behavior, and/or wildlife conservation
Applicants may also be interested in reading our blog and joining our Facebook group for recent news and photos from our programs.