For Volunteers

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The CPRC volunteer program encourages the public to participate in the activities of its various research stations. Experience in handling primates or mammals is welcome, but not required. The successful candidate must have medical insurance, certificates of completion in IACUC CITI training, and must comply with our medical entrance protocol. The volunteers are also expected to cover their board and lodging, travel expenses, and visa-related expenditures.


At Sabana Seca:

Volunteers will be given the opportunity to learn from our scientists, veterinarians, and dedicated veterinary staff. The volunteer will be rotated to the different divisions within the Sabana Seca Field Station and be exposed to the daily maintenance and care of our animals. Some of these activities are the shadowing of veterinary routines and treatment, behavioral assessment and enrichment, social group monitoring and formation, animal laboratory work, necropsy, skeletal maceration, tissue sampling, and fecal sampling processing. The volunteer will also be involved in data collection and research, science extension work, literature review, and other activities that the CPRC supervising personnel may designate.  

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At Cayo Santiago:

Behavioral data collection intern at CSFS. Interns observe and collect agonistic interactions to help establish social ranks.  Responsibilities also include data entry. The successful applicant will be expected to work at CSFS from Monday thru Friday, between 6:30 am and 3:00 pm. Interns are welcome to come to CSFS from January through October, but must commit a minimum of two months. No salary is offered, but free housing may be available.

Trapping assistant at CSFS. Trapping season is held from mid October – mid December. The successful applicant will be expected to work on CSFS from Monday thru Thursday, between 6:30 am and 2:00 pm. Responsibilities include the handling and sampling of trapped animals (e.g. DNA samples, body measurements), as well as the preparation and storage of samples taken. No salary is offered, but free housing may be available.


At the Laboratory of Primate Morphology:

The Laboratory of Primate Morphology accepts volunteers to help curate the Laboratory of Primate Morphology’s collection. The volunteer will be trained in rhesus macaque bone identification and curation method. For example, under the supervision and guidance of our Laboratory Manager, the volunteer will be supplied with a mature rhesus skeleton, an India ink pen, and a manual of rhesus bone identification. He or she will be shown how to write the specimen’s catalog number on each bone and how to string the vertebrae. The final steps are sorting the bones into broad classifications and filling out the inventory sheet. 
As the volunteer gets more proficient, he or she will be supplied with an aged skeleton.  The last and most difficult phase is curating the immature skeletons.  These are complex due to the small size and unfused epiphyses.  By the end of the volunteer period, we expect that the volunteer will have a good grasp of growth, development and ordinary variation of bone biology.