Field Project Manager- Santa Rosa Primate Project

We are seeking a Project Manager for the Santa Rosa Primate Field Project, a long-term collaboration examining the demographics, behavior, genetics, endocrinology, feeding ecology, and conservation of white-faced capuchins at Sector Santa Rosa, Área de Conservación Guanacaste in Costa Rica. The project manager is a 12-month commitment and we are ideally seeking someone to start April 1, 2018. The white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus imitator) of Santa Rosa have been studied continuously for over 30 years and we regularly study ~100 monkeys in five habituated study groups. The project directors (PIs) are faculty at the University of Calgary (Dr. Linda Fedigan and Dr. Amanda Melin) and Tulane University (Dr. Katharine Jack); students and postdocs from these institutions carry out both short and long-term projects at the site.

To read more about the long-term project, please see:
Fedigan LM, Jack KM. 2012. Tracking Neotropical monkeys in Santa Rosa: Lessons from a Regenerating Costa Rican Dry Forest. In: Kappeler PM, Watts DP, editors. Long-term field studies of primates. p 21-45.

An ability to get along with many different types of people is integral to the success of the Project Manager. The Project Manager will be responsible for locating monkey groups based on known ranging territory, following monkey groups, and collecting behavioral, biological, ecological, and ranging data. He/She will be responsible for learning and recognizing all individual group members and learning and using the proper data collection protocols, including biological sample collection and processing techniques. Days in the field most often involve intense hiking in a hot and humid climate, often getting up before dawn or coming back to the field station after dusk. There are snakes and other wildlife that you must be able to cope with and hopefully enjoy. All researchers and assistants wear snake guards in the forest to prevent snake bites, though in the more than 30-year history of the project no one has been bitten. Wasps, bees, large spiders, scorpions, chiggers, and ticks are all common and non-lethal, but stings and bites will happen. Though medical care is available ~60 minutes by car from the entrance to the field site, researchers are often multiple hours from the nearest roadway, and will not have immediate access to a vehicle. For this reason, applicants who have a history of anaphylactic allergies to wasps/bees must haveundergone treatment (e.g. immunotherapy), and allergies must be at a manageable level.

Project manager responsibilities:

1) Serving as the on-site liaison between Projects PIs (Fedigan, Jack, and Melin) and park personnel
2) Collecting long-term data on habituated study groups, organizing these data, and sending it monthly to the University of Calgary to be entered into the long-term database
3) Habituating new study groups, if desired by the PIs
4) Organizing and aiding in the maintenance of project trails throughout the field site
5) Updating monkey ID sheets, trail maps, and data collection protocols
6) Maintaining project equipment
7) Updating permits and workers’ insurance policies
8) Managing and maintaining the project house (including finances)
9) Overseeing and helping to coordinate field assistants as well as student and post-doctoral PIs who conduct projects at the field site. The project currently has one full-time local field assistant and one part-time local field assistant.

Although the project manager does not aid in data collection for students’ projects, through the above roles, as well as open communication and fostering a positive work environment, he/she facilitates the success of individual projects. Also, while not required, should the PM wish to undertake an individual project/pilot study, this can be negotiated with the PIs.


1) Applicants must be clean and tidy, responsible, respectful, and have experience living communally with housemates.
2) Physical fitness is a must. The terrain is rough, it’s hot, and during the rainy season (May-Dec) it’s buggy and humid.
3) Prior fieldwork experience
4) An interest in scientific research and animal behavior.
5) A background in biology or anthropology is preferred.
6) Advanced Spanish language skills.
7) Strong interpersonal skills.
8) The ability to live away from close friends and family for an extended period of time.


This is a volunteer position that provides $800 USD ($1000 CAD) per month to cover/offset living expenses while assisting with the project. Applicants will be required to purchase international travel health insurance (usually $30-50/month). Lodging will be provided (at no cost to the Project Manager). The field site is remote and the Project Manager will live in the project’s field house. The field house is equipped with a full kitchen, bathroom with hot showers, laundry facilities, and wi-fi internet. The Project Manager will be responsible for purchasing and preparing his/her own food (usually purchased and cooked communally). Depending on dietary preference, this can cost as little as $130/month. The successful applicant is responsible for securing their own airfare, the costs of which will be reimbursed in 12 monthly installments throughout the contract period. Applicants are responsible for all of their field gear, including a sturdy field pack, water bottles, sturdy field clothing, hiking boots, etc. A tablet for data collection, a desktop computer for data compilation, plus GPS units, field radios, and binoculars will be provided.

The preferred start date is April 1, 2018. Applicants must be able to make a 12-month commitment. Applications will be reviewed upon receipt and will be accepted until the position is filled. This
posting will be removed when the position is filled.

To apply, please submit via email to Jeremy Hogan (
1) a letter of interest describing relevant experience, training, reason for interest in the position, how this experience fits with your longer-term career goals, qualities that make you a superior applicant, your availability, and anything else you deem relevant
2) a CV or resume, which can include a summary of college courses taken, and
3) names and contact information for 2-3 references. Preferably references will include an academic reference and a work-related reference.