Join our team

Thank you for your interest in working with Osa Conservation. Staff openings are available periodically and a number of volunteer and internship positions are available year-round. Read the listings below for current opportunities.

Volunteer Opportunities in the Osa

Volunteers are accepted year-round for our sea turtle and general volunteer programs. For more information on our volunteer opportunities, send an email to [email protected]

Learn more about our volunteer program

Research Field Assistant Opportunities

Field assistant positions are posted according to availability but we have rolling application acceptance. These positions are 3 months – 1-year opportunities for post-grad students interested in hands-on field experience in tropical biology, ecology, sustainable agriculture, community involvement, and more! For more information on our field assistant positions, send an email to [email protected], or see our current job postings here:

Current Research Field Assistant Positions

Botanic Conservation Field Staff

Start date: 1/8/19

Contract period: 1 year

Job description

The Botanic Conservation Field Staff is a leading role to develop plant related research and conservation efforts (particularly trees) of Osa Conservation, a regional non-profit conservation organization in the Osa Peninsula Region, of Costa Rica. The organization is 14 years old. The mission is to conserve the extraordinary biodiversity of the Osa Region and to utilize OC facilities and programs to engage students, professionals and the broader public with biodiversity conservation.

OC has offices in Washington, DC, Puerto Jimenez, and operates several field research stations and other facilities on 2500 hectares of private land that includes old growth rainforest, marine coastal habitats, wetlands and agricultural landscapes.

The role will be responsible for strategically overseeing the development of the OC’s Arboretum. Key duties include all aspect of plant research, conservation, horticultural production, gardens, trails landscaping and interpretation. This high-energy position reports to the Botanic Project Coordinator and Conservation Science Director and will work in direct collaboration with the Restoration & Rewilding program, Education, Operations and Land maintenance team. The base of operations is in the Osa Peninsula and an enthusiasm for living in the humid tropics is a must. The post will require regional travel.

Professional Qualifications: 

  • B.A., BSc Graduate and/or Master in Ecology, Biology, Botany, Natural Resources Management, Forestry or related field. Or one year or more related experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience in botany, biology, environmental sciences or related areas.

 Skills and Experience: Desirable

  • Willingness to live in the Osa. Preferably Costa Rican nationality or resident
  • Experience with ecological field methods (floristic surveys, ecological sampling, vegetation monitoring) and a basic knowledge of plant biology preferred.
  • Basic knowledge of plant identification is required. Professional experience in field techniques and taxonomic identification preferred.
  • Must be able to hike off-trail often in steep, exposed terrain while carrying moderately heavy equipment for extended periods of time sometimes in inclement weather conditions (heat, cold, rain, wind, and direct sunlight).
  • Experience in map reading, GIS, and/or operating a GPS
  • Must be able to maintain attention to detail and a positive attitude under sometimes uncomfortable field conditions. Irregular hours including weekends and evenings may sometimes be a part of this position
  • Responsible, flexible, self-motivated and able to work effectively with limited supervision, as well as in a team setting.
  • High-level organizational skills, including the ability to organize and prioritize work activities in a demanding, busy environment
  • Ability to communicate well both verbally and in writing.
  • Bilingual command of English and Spanish.
  • Experience giving presentations
  • Valid Driver’s License with the ability to drive a company vehicle and an acceptable motor vehicle record
  • Standard First Aid, CPR, and/or Red Card

Job responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Work in collaboration with the Restoration & Rewilding program in all aspect related to plant science and conservation (tree propagation and production, assistance in the planting design, monitoring of planted trees and assist in the formation of the Restoration & Rewilding network of the Osa Peninsula).
  • Coordinate the reintroduction of threatened trees in their natural habitat through the Restoration & Rewilding network of the Osa Peninsula.
  • Management of the native plant and tree nursery (infrastructure, propagation, production and maintenance).
  • Management of the creation, building, maintenance, signing and interpretation of trails for the creation of an arboretum.
  • Upkeep of any and all garden landscape needs as directed by management, working in direct collaboration with the Operation and Land maintenance team.
  • Assist in plant identification.
  • Coordinate and carry out floristic expeditions to remote areas of the Osa Peninsula.
  • Coordinate ongoing study of native vanilla plants.
  • Assessment of the Conservation status of trees of the Osa Peninsula according to IUCN criteria.
  • Work with internal teams and external consultants to conceptualize and design bilingual interpretative materials for tree conservation.
  • Oversee data management, ensuring that all data collection and data input is secure, standardized and of high quality.
  • Overseeing plant collection database
  • Help with various lines on scientific research.
  • Led educational activities in plant conservation for local and international audience.
  • Write reports to an excellent standard.
  • Train, supervise and works with research field assistants, interns and volunteers as necessary or as required.
  • Ensure that you, staff and the volunteers you supervise uphold health and safety protocols at all times.
  • Oversee and participate in weekly operations and science team meetings.
  • Actively participate to communicate the goals and results of the project through social media platforms.

Other responsibilities:

  • Maintain satisfactory working relationships with managers, co-workers and others.
  • Maintain a positive, helpful and solution oriented demeanour.
  • Perform other duties as requested by management.

Please contact Ruthmery Pillco Huarcaya (Botanic Project Coordinator) [email protected]  with a current CV/Resume and short 1-2 page cover letter by the 26th June. Please use ‘Botanic Conservation field staff’ in the subject line. Successful applicants will be contacted for interview.

Internships in Washington D.C.

Our Washington, DC office offers internships year-round, in the winter/spring (January – April), summer (May – August), and fall (September – December). Interns often assist in program and database management, communications and social media efforts, but other opportunities are available. Available internship positions are usually posted 1-2 months in advance of the upcoming semester, but applications are accepted year-round. To submit an application, send a resume and cover letter to [email protected]

Learn more about our Internships