If you are a recent graduate with an educational background in wildlife biology and a particular interest in primatology and you’re looking for an opportunity to gain field experience in primate research and primate-tourism, then we have an exciting opportunity for you. We are looking for an ambitious and dedicated person to assist in gibbon-research and tourism field activities.
At Jahoo, we provide unparalleled gibbon watching experiences that motivate conservation action and promote indigenous culture. Visitors join gibbon researchers to track a habituated group of southern yellow-cheeked crested gibbons, gaining unparalleled access to this endangered species. Led by indigenous local guides, guests can witness traditional forest skills, explore remote waterfalls, and spot other rare primates and unique wildlife. Overnight accommodation and meals are provided at the exclusive Bamboo Camp where guests are based throughout their wildlife experience.
Jahoo is a small community-owned initiative, supported by the Ministry of Environment (MoE), World Hope International (WHI) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), providing wildlife-friendly livelihoods in wildlife-tourism and research, motivating conservation action, and supporting social development with the unique southern yellow-cheeked crested gibbon as its flagship species. Jahoo is located within the core protection zone of Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary (KSWS), the most biodiverse protected area in Cambodia and the last stronghold for this gibbon species protecting a globally critical population of approximately 1,200 gibbons.
The Jahoo Research Centre vision is under development to create a nationally important and internationally recognized Research Centre, implementing conservation research on gibbons, and other wildlife, through partnerships with national institution and international universities. The research team is already habituating 3 families of southern yellow-cheeked crested gibbons (Nomascus gabriellae) to human presence for wildlife-based tourism and conservation research. Projects on bioacoustics, primate canopy bridges, camera trap networks, forest phenology and gibbon behavioral ecology are underway with partners such as the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Cornell University and the Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP).
The Research Centre is based at the Bamboo Camp at Jahoo which provides ecotourism facilities, staff and visiting researcher accommodation and a well- equipped office. The Research Centre employs and trains indigenous Bunong youth in research, developing skills, knowledge and developing their capacity to conduct conservation research. The Research Centre collaborates with important national and international institutions on research projects such as developing Passive Acoustic Monitoring technology with Cornell University, hosting, and supervising research projects of MSc Wildlife Conservation students from the Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP). The Research Centre is also developing its own long-term databases on gibbon behavioral-ecology and forest phenology as well as other biodiversity surveys on key wildlife within the protected forest.
Tourism in Cambodia is recovering quickly after the global pandemic and Jahoo is receiving growing interest and fantastic feedback from visitors who have experienced our specialist and exclusive wildlife-watching experiences. Jahoo offers guests with a unique experience to visit the forest and habituated gibbons and interact with primate and wildlife researchers in the field and gain a deeper understanding of the ecology and conservation of the forest, gibbons and other wildlife.
About the Role
A successful Field Assistant will be an organized and responsible individual, with a hard work ethic, a desire to spend significant time in the field gaining experience in primate research and an enthusiastic personality that would enjoy educating guests. Previous successful Field Assistants have been those that have a passion for nature, an adventurous spirit, and a roll-your- sleeves-up attitude.
Success is spending significant time in the field, supporting local researchers to implement gibbon and biodiversity research activities and collect high-quality data, whilst also interacting with guests and providing them with an interesting insight into primate research. The Field Assistant should be able to work as a team, have an eye for detail and accuracy, be self-disciplined, and remain self-motivated doing relatively repetitive gibbon and biodiversity research.
The role of the Field Assistant is to:
· Support the day-to-day research operations, being present with the local research team 5 days per week in the field and leading by example in data collection and in following protocols and methodologies.
· Support the delivery of tours by acting as the English-speaking wildlife- expert add-on option that guests can include when booking a tour at Jahoo to access a more in-depth and scientific experience when visiting Jahoo.
The responsibilities of the Field Assistant are to:
· Contribute to the habituation of gibbon groups following protocol, ensure team motivation, and assist problem solve any issues that are barriers to progress.
· Support the ongoing long-term database development of gibbon behavioral- ecology data collection in the field and ensure high quality data collection.
· Contribute to the ongoing long-term phenology database following the data collection protocol, the maintenance of plots in the forest, as well the development of an herbarium at the Research Centre by collecting and processing vegetation samples.
· Assist with the deployment of camera traps following protocol, maintenance of the cameras as well as processing of images using Wildlife Insights.
· Be flexible to collect a wide range of data accurately such as socio- economic data, illegal activities, and agricultural data.
· Assist the Field Research Coordinator to input, review, and clean data whilst ensuring data is stored safely and in an organized and accessible way.
· Ensure care, security, maintenance, preparation and organization of field equipment and materials.
· Create visual assets (photos and videos) for the development of marketing and promotion campaigns to raise Jahoo’s profile.
· Support wildlife education and outreach activities in the community including at schools with children and youth and hosting community delegations and events at Jahoo.
· Deliver wildlife-watching activities such as guiding guests on specialist researcher-led gibbon/wildlife-watching tours, including transporting clients to the site, hosting guests at the camp, providing interpretative guiding in the forest on tours whilst gibbon and wildlife watching.
· Develop wildlife-watching experiences such as bird watching hides and wildlife science experiences for guests to participate in such as moth trap surveys and collecting camera trap photos.
· Recently graduated with at least an undergraduate degree in primatology, conservation, biology, or a related field. Experience in wildlife tourism desirable.
· Extensive field experience is not required, but priority will be given to applicants who can demonstrate they can conduct field experience for an extended period in a relatively remote and challenging condition.
· Experience living and working in relatively remote and challenging settings in a multi-cultural team in a developing country context is preferred.
· Fluency in English and a proven ability to learn a new language quickly to a basic / working proficiency is preferred.
· Excellent communication and people skills, especially with people of varying levels of ability, interest, and motivation.
· Ability to learn and use Microsoft Office (word and excel). Experience using statistical software such as R, and spatial analysis software such as QGIS preferred.
· Physically fit, self-disciplined, and resilient.
· A valid driving license, experience with 4WD vehicles on off-road driving is desirable.
· Basic first aid training, and wilderness first aid is desirable.
Jahoo, Andong Kraleung Village, Sen Monorom Commune, O’reang District, Mondulkiri Province, Cambodia
Note: Shared tented accommodation at the Bamboo Camp is provided whilst working at the site.
Note: Most staff rent housing in the nearby town of Sen Monorom a 30-minute commute from Jahoo.
Start as soon as possible, December 2023 / January 2024 is desirable.
One-year contract with possibility of extension.
Note: Contract extension is dependent on the availability of funding and good performance.
Jahoo Research Manager and Ecotourism Manager.
The salary range is from $550–1050 USD per month and is to be negotiated and will be based on experience.
Note: Above salary range includes benefits such as medical insurance, fuel, and communication contribution. Other benefits include a flexible leave cycle (to be negotiated).
How to Apply
Send your CV, letter of interest and references from previous relevant work experience, using the subject header “Research and Ecotourism Field Assistant” to firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline for applications is 19th November 2023.
Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an online interview between 20-24 November.
Interested, but have questions?
Don’t hesitate to contact email@example.com with an initial expression of interest, queries about the role and your suitability before you apply.
Mondulkiri Province, Cambodia