First of all, your working tasks and functions depend majorly on whether you want to participate in a Wilderness Experience course or want to do an internship. Furthermore the work you will be doing also depends on the topic of the course or internship you are interested in. In the following you can find a short description of different topics and what you will be doing in these fields.
Tropical Primatology: In this course, you will track primate species and groups, observe their behavior to support long-term studies, take samples to monitor the health of the animals and enter data into a database. Experienced scientists will be by your side at all times to pass on their valuable theoretical and practical expertise. You will be trained in the basic knowledge of rain forest navigation and orientation as well as its corresponding safety measurements. Furthermore you will gain theoretical knowledge through scientific literature in the fields of tropical biology and conservation work. During the practical work you will gather experiences in the behavioral science of primates, learn to handle the animals and get an insight into the diversity of the Peruvian primates as well as telemetry and the analysis of generated data.
Tropical Ornithology This NATUCATE-Wilderness Experience will give you the chance to explore the diverse avifauna of the Amazon region as well as their ecology and habitat. Students participating in this course will learn a variety of approaches to gain a deeper understanding about bird behavior, their population dynamics and the habitat quality as well as about telemetry, taxonomy, ecology and conservation methods. Most of the time will be spent in field activities, complemented by theoretical lectures about conservation work, (local) ornithology as well as tropical ecosystem in general. This is intended to foster an interest in conducting scientific research, with a special focus on developing analytical skills relevant to tropical biology.
Tropical Entomology: The course covers the work with insects ranging from butterflies to beetles, bees, and aquatic insects, among others. Students will be introduced to an astonishing array of terrestrial and aquatic habitats that shelter a greater diversity of plant and animal species than anywhere else on the planet. You will spend most of our time studying insects in the field from the tops of towering tropical trees to the bottom of oxbow lakes. Our field activities will be supplemented by selected readings from the primary literature covering topics on theoretical and applied tropical biology and entomology, as well as conservation in the Andes and Amazon regions. Participants will also gain experience in cutting-edge research in other tropical biology fields in one of the most active biological research stations in the neotropics.
Tropical Herpetology: In this course, participants will develop an understanding of the natural history, anatomy, ecology, and conservation of neotropical reptiles and amphibians. We will additionally examine the roles of chemicals in herpetological studies, focusing on defense, food capture, aboriginal use, and modern pharmacology. Moreover the students will learn about different field-research methods such as telemetry and implementation of field studies. There will be a focus on practical work during daytime and nightly lectures which convey theoretical knowledge
Tropical Biology: This course is intended to provide an introduction and broad overview of Amazon forest ecology and conservation, with a taxonomic focus on plants and a geographic focus on the Madre de Dios basin in southeastern Peru. The overarching theme is the incredible biodiversity of Amazon rainforests, the key factors and processes underlying its creation and maintenance, and the impact of anthropogenic disturbance on these critically important forest ecosystems. Classroom-style lectures will complement extensive field-based activities and interpretation, and individual and group projects.
Tropical Genomics: This course aims at gaining more specific information about the wildlife population in the Amazonian habitat to better understand and encode behavior and physiology. During your time in the project you will assist with sample collection and extract, amplify, sequence and interpret genetic data by yourself to support the field research about wildlife ecology and natural history. As the genetic lab is located directly in the rainforest you will be able to experience the whole range of tasks from sample collection to the analyzing sequence data. Your tasks depend on the project you are researching as well as the phase of the project and will be assigned to you.
Rainforest Photography: The goal of these workshops extends beyond just the techniques that will enable you to get better shots under tough conditions, but also to convey the natural history of what you are shooting. Photography is a highly evocative art form with immense potential to increase knowledge and appreciation of the world’s incredible biodiversity. Your photos can tell stories when words alone fail, and for this workshop, your stories will be about the complex tropical ecology of the Amazon Basin. During the day you’ll be watching wildlife in the rainforest, while the evenings are for discussions as well as using our guides and resources to identify the species that you have seen. We offer three different photography workshops in Peru, they focus on Field Photography, Macro Photography or Arboreal Camera Trapping. No matter, which one you choose – you will always be guided and instructed by an experienced, professional wildlife photographer.
Internship: Our Peru internships aim at improving and broadening your knowledge and practical skill-set in primatology and tropical biology. You can decide which of the following internship courses you would like to join in order to gain deeper knowledge in important field research methods: Primate Disease Ecology, Wildlife Handling (primates and terrestrial mammals), Primate Behaviour and Space Use or Primate Sensory Ecology.