Internships

Resident naturalist

Resident Naturalist interns at the University of Georgia’s Costa Rica campus are dedicated, motivated individuals with a passion for natural history, teaching, and guiding. Our Naturalists lead a variety of nature-based activities and academic programs for student groups and ecotourists of all ages and educational backgrounds.

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Resident Naturalists have the opportunity to advance their training in the fields of tropical ecology, natural history, environmental education, sustainability, conservation, agriculture, Costa Rican culture and Spanish. Interaction with guests from around the world both formally and informally allows Resident Naturalist interns the opportunity to develop skills in public relations and public speaking.

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This is a high-energy position and requires excellent interpersonal and customer service skills, in addition to expertise in natural history and related fields. Interns spend days and evenings learning and teaching in a socially and environmentally unique atmosphere at the base of the magnificent Monteverde Cloud Forest.

In addition to their primary duties as facilitators and guides, Resident Naturalists will have the opportunity to participate in on-going projects on and around UGA Costa Rica. Naturalists are also encouraged to develop their own individual projects within their areas of interest, which may include anything from community service activities to scientific research.

Requirements

  • Minimum bachelor’s degree (Exceptional undergraduates will also be considered)
  • Interest in natural history, ecology, wildlife, botany, environmental sciences, and related fields
  • Degree in the natural or environmental sciences preferred
  • Fluency in English required
  • Conversational Spanish skills highly desired
  • Teaching / guiding experience preferred
  • Experience living abroad preferred
  • Enthusiastic attitude and strong work ethic
  • Flexibility in working environment and schedule
  • Strong initiative and ability to work independently, as well as part of a team
  • Excellent mental and physical condition
  • Availability for a minimum of six months
  • Travelers’ insurance (proof required following acceptance)
  • First aid certification (proof required following acceptance) 

Read complete job description.

If interested, please download the application and submit it completed application along with other required documents (see application). 

INFORMATION FOR ACCEPTED RESIDENT NATURALISTS

Sustainable Agriculture

When: April - July / August – December; 4 or 5 months or full 9-month positions, annually. Applications accepted on a rolling basis with intention to fill the position at least 6 months prior to the internship start date.
Where: University of Georgia (UGA) Costa Rica Campus, San Luis de Monteverde, Costa Rica
Who is eligible: Applications will be considered for students who have completed at least two years of undergraduate study in agriculture or for people who have at least 18 months relevant work experience. Graduate students are also eligible to apply, and thesis research may become part of the internship.

Job Description:

UGA Costa Rica offers an annual sustainable agriculture internship at the UGA Costa Rica Campus in San Luis de Monteverde, Costa Rica. Agriculture interns will help manage a one acre vegetable plot as well as the animals on the plot and at a nearby stable at UGA’s Costa Rica campus in the rural mountain town of San Luis de Monteverde, Costa Rica. The intern will be actively involved in all aspects of the growing process, including composting, bed preparation, trellising, seeding, transplanting, weeding, mulching, harvesting, record keeping, and future planning. In particular, the intern will be responsible for coordinating production with the fluctuating menu demands of the campus dining hall. This requires direct coordination and planning with the Kitchen Department Head on the UGA Costa Rica campus staff. Other activities include, but are not limited to: tending to the animals on site including the chickens, pigs, and cows (daily milking); leading farm and milking/biodigester tours for student groups and guests of UGA Costa Rica’s Ecolodge San Luis, and supervising student volunteers in Service Learning courses.

The agriculture intern may also be asked to assist with agriculture-related courses offered as part of education abroad programs at the UGA Costa Rica campus. The agriculture intern may also be asked to assist the UGA Costa Rica campus maintenance staff with annual or special projects, particularly those related to farm infrastructure maintenance.

Prior to beginning the position, the agriculture intern will meet with the UGA Costa Rica Director and College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences faculty and/or staff to review the internship expectations and desired products. During the time in Costa Rica, the intern will provide an e-mail update every 2 weeks to the Director and to the campus General Manager to review progress, help answer questions, etc. The intern should also schedule regular update meetings with the campus General Manager and department head of maintenance at UGA Costa Rica.

The UGA Costa Rica Director will facilitate a mandatory pre-internship orientation, and the UGA Costa Rica Academic Programs Manager and/or UGA Costa Rica campus General Manager will provide an in-country orientation to the campus and facilities during the first days following arrival to the UGA Costa Rica campus.

Sustainable agriculture interns will deliver a comprehensive report of all work carried out during the internship to the UGA Costa Rica Director within the week of departure at the end of the internship.

Long term goals:

The intern will gain a hands-on experience with concepts of sustainability and organic agriculture. He/she is expected to communicate and extend this knowledge to others on campus and in the local community, as well at the University of Georgia in Athens. As the farm becomes an interactive part of campus, the intern must be willing to commit to experimenting and contributing new information about sustainability and farming in this part of the tropics. This information must be extended to students, campus staff, future agriculture interns, visitors to UGA Costa Rica of all ages and backgrounds, and residents of the local community. In addition to managing daily responsibilities, the intern will be responsible for (in communication with previous interns) developing a work plan for the farm based upon the length of his/her stay. This could include introducing new crops to enhance the diversity of the farm, new methods of growing crops to increase output while maintaining/increasing sustainability, or expansion of farm size and amount of produce brought to the kitchen.

Desired Skills:

Applicants for the sustainable agriculture internship will be considered based on the following skills and criteria:

  • Must have proven ability as a self-starter, able to carry out a project with little direct supervision;
  • At least six months vegetable gardening experience;
  • Demonstrated interest in organic agriculture, animal husbandry, and sustainable agriculture systems;
  • Degree in agricultural sciences preferred;
  • Good communication skills. English fluency and conversational Spanish required;
  • Excellent mental and physical conditioning required.

Compensation and Expenses:

  • This is a full-time internship position, 40-hours per week.
  • As in-kind compensation, UGA Costa Rica will provide room and board at the UGA Costa Rica campus, weekly laundry service at the UGA Costa Rica campus, Internet access at the UGA Costa Rica campus, and workspace with computer access at the UGA Costa Rica campus.
  • UGA Costa Rica will provide logistical support services to assist the sustainable agriculture intern for arranging ground transportation and off-campus lodging within Costa Rica.
  • The sustainable agriculture intern will be responsible for international airfare, in-country ground transportation for personal travel, fees for off-campus activities and entrance fees (e.g., zip lines, rafting, etc.), off-campus lodging and meals, exit tax upon leaving Costa Rica, personal phone calls, and all personal items.
  • Sustainable agriculture interns are required to obtain and provide proof of supplementary international travel health insurance for the duration of the internship in Costa Rica. Upon request, UGA Costa Rica will provide contact information for the insurance company that provides service to UGA study abroad programs.
  • Should this internship be arranged for academic course credit, the intern will be responsible for associated tuition and fees and paperwork. The UGA Costa Rica Director will provide an official acceptance letter for the interns.

Application Procedure and Deadline:

To apply for the sustainable agriculture internship, complete the application form which can be downloaded from the UGA Costa Rica website and is also available upon request from the UGA Costa Rica Director, Quint Newcomer.

Sustainable Agriculture Internship Application.pdf

Photojournalism

When:  Continuous (ideally 3-6 month position, 10-week minimum commitment, with flexible start-end dates)
Where:  University of Georgia (UGA) Costa Rica Campus, San Luis de Monteverde, Costa Rica
Who is eligible:  Applications will be considered for students who have completed their junior year of undergraduate study in photojournalism or a closely related field, however recent graduates in this field are preferred. Graduate students are also eligible to apply.

Job Description
The Photojournalism Intern will be responsible for maintaining the UGA Costa Rica blog, coordinating with Facebook, Twitter, and other social media postings. They will be responsible for writing and editing content as well as maintaining an organized file of various media (photographs, video) documenting activities at both the UGACR campus and community activities of interest. Skills in photo editing are preferred. The Photojournalism Intern will also be expected to develop a suite of concept proposals to be carried out over the course of the internship. Upon project approval, the Photojournalism Interns will provide workplans with completion schedules, which will be of personal/professional interest to the Intern and should additionally meet the expressed interests of UGA Costa Rica and the San Luis community.

Storytelling is a central feature of the Photojournalism internship. He or she will be expected to identify a story, person, issue, etc. and tell the story through the use of various media. The number of projects undertaken during the internship will be dependent upon its duration as well as the complexity of the story being developed. Projects may be a series of short stories or a larger, more complex single story—this will be up to the Photojournalism intern to decide.

Desired Skills

The Photojournalism Internship is a team project—while Photojournalism Interns must exhibit strong ability to work independently to carry out projects, it is expected that they will interact with education abroad programs, the UGACR campus and Athens Office Staff, and San Luis community members in support of UGA Costa Rica's mission. 

Applicants for the Photojournalism Internship will be considered based on the following skills and criteria:

  • Demonstrated knowledge about digital photography and video, including image capture and editing;
  • Experience using editing software (e.g., Photoshop, InDesign, movie editing software);
  • Experience in creating and maintaining a blog;
  • Strong narrative writing skills with ability to write coherent, detail-oriented photo captions;
  • Proven ability to work independently and on team projects;
  • Strong oral communication skills;
  • Demonstrated research skills for new project development.

It is not obligatory that the Photojournalism Interns speak Spanish, although this is highly desired, nor is it obligatory that they have prior experience on extended outdoor/wilderness travel, although this will be considered.

Read complete job description.

Application Procedure and Deadline

To apply for the Photojournalism Internship, print and complete the application form found here. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.