Osa Conservation is accepting applications for our  Native Vanilla and Agroecological Fellow at our biological station in Costa Rica's southern Pacific Ocean.

Ugalde Forsyth Rainforest Field Fellowship 

At Osa Conservation, we reconnect the rainforest, monitor and protect biodiversity, and work hand-in-hand with the local community to build climate resilient ecosystems for people and wildlife. Our team works across Southern Costa Rica, connecting and protecting landscapes and biodiversity from the ridges of the Talamanca mountain  to the coral reefs of the Golfo Dulce and the Pacific Ocean. 

The Regenerative Agriculture Program and The Ridge to Reef Restoration Program mark the collision of sustainable food systems and healthy ecosystems, where humans and threatened species thrive. Fellows will work alongside professional agronomists and botanists to grow, analyze and learn the skills needed to work with and investigate native crops with potential use in agroecological production and secondary forest sustainable use.

Fellow activities, training  and experience 

Fellowships are designed to empower and immerse early-career conservationists in one of the most important neotropical landscapes on Earth while developing crucial career skills. Come live in a tropical rainforest and learn, explore and achieve alongside an outstanding community of conservationists, biologists, media-specialists, educators, community outreach leaders, and more to fill knowledge gaps and push the frontier of tropical conservation. This team will provide one-on-one mentorship, advise on research methods, and equip Fellows with tangible career skills to solve real-world conservation issues.

The Native Vanilla and Agroecological Fellow will: 

  • Enrich and maintain a Vanilla agroforestal plantation with native wild species by applying regenerative, science-based farming strategies based on organic production principles.
  • Get trained on cultural practices at the Osa Verde Regenerative Farm, that will include application and elaboration of mountain microorganisms and bokashi.
  • Set up a vanilla plantation in secondary forests to find best practices for sustainable production in one of Costa Rica’s most representative landscapes.
  • Develop an experimental design for the long term monitoring of mortality, growth, and productivity of the vanilla plantations.
  • Work alongside leading experts in the Vanilla current research to address knowledge gaps.
  • Design interpretive signs to enrich the Osa Arboretum experience by sharing timely scientific information about Vanilla.

In addition to Regenerative Agriculture Program and The Ridge to Reef Restoration Program activities, Field Fellows will interact with and build skills alongside Osa Conservation’s wide breadth of programs. You will:

  • Release baby sea turtles, monitor nesting mothers, and relocate threatened nests. 
  • Plant and monitor native tree restoration efforts. 
  • Trial new rewilding techniques for tropical rainforest restoration.
  • Install and organize data from camera traps, acoustic devices and citizen science apps for vital wildlife monitoring across the Osa region. 
  • Practice regenerative farming techniques to grow sustainable produce. 
  • Develop scientific communication skills and learn to produce cutting-edge stories from one of Earth’s greatest wilderness areas. 

Field Fellowship details:

This field fellowships will span 6 months from May 15 – November 15. May 15 is the required start date. Fellows live alongside the team at the Osa Conservation Campus (OCC), located at the heart of Osa’s tropical rainforest. The OCC is home to our top-tier biological station, boasting a research lab and classroom, regenerative farm, arboretum, restoration experiment, and over 30 km of trails through old-growth and secondary forests, mangroves, rivers and pristine coastlines. 

During your Fellowship, all food and accommodation will be provided and you will receive a small stipend. Reasonable transportation costs are included in the fellowship. At the OCC, you will live in the middle of the rainforest in basic shared-living accommodation. You will be provided with one cooked meal a day by our campus kitchen (lunch) and groceries to cook breakfast and dinner in your living quarters. 

Apply to be an Native Vanilla and Agroecological Research Fellow now! 

If you are interested in this unique field opportunity to develop your scientific and conservation career, please send your CV, cover letter and a 1-minute video explaining why you are the perfect person for this tropical rainforest conservation experience to [log in to unmask] with the email title “Native Vanilla and Agroecological Researcher” by April 12, 2023.

Osa Conservation
1300 I St. NW Ste 400E #9996 | Washington, DC 20005