Internships in the Peruvian Amazon

The Alliance for a Sustainable Amazon (ASA) is pleased to announce its 2018 Internship Program. Our interns contribute to projects spanning biological research and monitoring and/or sustainable tropical agriculture through hands-on activities and independent research under the guidance of a team of professional biologists and conservationists. The internship program is based at Finca Las Piedras, the ASA’s main field site in the southeastern Peruvian Amazon rain forest.
About the Internship Program
Three internship opportunities are available:
1) Introduction to Sustainability (4 weeks)
Multiple sessions available in 2018
Total fees: $1,300
2) Advanced Sustainability (8 weeks)
Multiple sessions available in 2018
Total fees: $2,200
Independent Research Project
3) Academic Quarter (12 weeks)
Multiple sessions available in 2018
Total fees: $3,000
Independent Research Project
Fees cover full room and board at Finca Las Piedras, 7 days per week, including 3 meals per day and drinks/snacks 24 hours per day, as well as local transportation to and from the field site. Full time support is also provided by the ASA’s team of professional academic faculty, as well as field assistance by our team of resident naturalists. Fees do not cover international or domestic airfare to the meeting location (Puerto Maldonado).
All interns receive training during the first weeks of the internship period in basic field techniques such as methods for conducting biological inventories, field data collection and management, observation and note-taking skills, wildlife observation and natural history, off-trail navigation with compass and GPS, and canopy access (tree climbing), among others, after which interns spend time working with ASA faculty and staff on projects of their interest. Two and three month interns are encouraged to develop and carry out an independent research project under the guidance of ASA academic faculty. All interns also participate in guided reading discussions drawn from the primary literature that cover topics spanning Amazonian biodiversity, biology and ecology, and current conservation challenges.
Independent Research
Independent research projects are intended to help interns build the skills needed to conduct field research in the tropics, as well as to further the ASA’s mission, which is to aid the conservation of Amazonian biodiversity through basic research. Previous independent research projects conducted at Finca Las Piedras include:
  • An estimation of carbon in the living above ground biomass at Finca Las Piedras
  • Herpetofaunal diversity and abundance change from abandoned agricultural areas over edge habitat to terra firme rain forest
  • Macaw artificial nest boxes to boost reproductive success
  • Wild cacao (Theobroma cacao) survey and mapping at Finca Las Piedras
  • Assessing the sustainability of local farming practices in the vicinity of Finca Las Piedras
  • Discerning diurnal roost preferences of cavity roosting bats for the purpose of designing successful artificial bat roosts
Our internship program is ideal for:
  • Those considering a career in field biology or ecology, tropical agriculture, conservation, or sustainable development who are seeking field experience
  • Students wishing to conduct independent research for a capstone, honors thesis, etc., who want close guidance in the field
  • Those wishing to contribute directly to biological research or conservation in the Amazon rain forest 
More about the field site, Finca Las Piedras
Finca Las Piedras is a 54 hectare (135 acre) property located 2 km from the recently completed Interoceanic Highway in Peru’s Madre de Dios department. The property itself is comprised mostly of upland, ‘terra firme’ rain forest, although Mauritia palm swamps as well as active and abandoned agricultural fields and regenerating secondary forest are also within easy reach. To the east of the property the rain forest stretches unbroken for hundreds of kilometers into neighboring Bolivia. Facilities at the site are comfortable but rustic and include shared dormitories, shared composting toilets, a bathing platform over a crystal-clear jungle stream, a screened dining hall, shade houses, and a butterfly flight enclosure.
Please visit for more information about the ASA, Finca Las Piedras, and our internship program.