Sea Turtle Program Assistant

OC is seeking energetic and motivated Research Field Assistants for our Sea Turtle Conservation Program. We are looking for hard-working, dedicated college graduates who love the outdoors and are passionate about protecting these beautiful creatures and their tropical home. 

Our Sea Turtle Conservation Program monitors the nesting activity, predation rates and hatchling success of four of the seven sea turtle species. We monitor and protect nesting turtles on 18 km of beach on the Pacific coast of the Osa Peninsula. Our staff and volunteers gather important population and reproductive data and deter poachers who collect turtle eggs for consumption or sale. Our efforts are made possible with the help of dedicated volunteers and visitors who participate in beach patrols, monitoring efforts and data collection.

Our Sea Turtle Conservation Program collects vital baseline data that is shared with national and international networks enabling regional and global strategies for sea turtle conservation. We rely on volunteers to make this project successful and it is our goal to provide an enriching and educational experience for everyone who contributes their time to this project. This program allows volunteers to participate in supervised research alongside our staff and a team of research field assistants. It provides the opportunity to get close to these truly magnificent creatures and other wildlife in their natural habitats, while making a difference to the conservation of these species.

As an RFA, you will conduct night and morning beach patrols with the help of staff and other field assistants.  A turtle patrol runs about 2.5 to 8 hours and a RFA will be expected to walk this much in soft sandy beaches and through the rainforest. During these patrols, you will:

  • Take biometric measurements of nesting turtles

  • Assist in the application of identification tags

  • Record data on turtle tracks and nest locations

  • Perform nest excavations when needed and relocate vulnerable nests to our hatchery

  • Evaluate hatching success rates

  • Monitor nesting sites for hatchlings and predators

  • Carry out nest protection techniques and assessment of potential risk factors

  • Mark and triangulate nest positions for later excavations

  • Learn how to relocate and care for nests in our sea turtle hatchery, including performing  temperature readings of nests and atmosphere, and releasing hatchlings

You will also have the opportunity to explore our network of trails covering 4,200 acres of property, learn about forest restoration, and relax in one of the world’s most beautiful rain forests during your time off from turtle work!

RFAs  will be stationed at Piro Research Station located where the rainforest meets the sea. Accommodations include room and board in shared rooms with bunk beds & mosquito netting. You will be provided 3 meals a day centered around local Costa Rican cuisine, and refreshing cold water showers (which are appreciated most days out here).

To apply, email at volunteer@osaconservation.org with subject line “RFA Application” with your resume and cover letter and the dates you are available to work in Costa Rica.