ECOSARA invertebrate research volunteers will be involved primarily in inventorying the mind-boggingly huge number of described and undescribed species of insects, arachnids, arthropods and anything else without a backbone that is found in the park. Research volunteers will work as part of a small group overseen by a staff member on current research projects or for those that wish to develop their own projects, alone under the guidance of a staff member who will assist them to ensure that their results are both useful and productive.  Of course volunteers are able to switch between projects, just because you signed up as a invertebrate volunteer doesnīt mean that you canīt also do some work with animals with internal skeletons as well if the fancy takes you!

We encourage
ECOSARA research volunteers to publish the results of their work and offer all the assistance necessary to those that wish to do so. For many volunteers the opportunity to see their name in print is something that is extremely appealing. Volunteers will be credited in any publication that uses data which they helped to gather. Volunteers who carry out their own projects will have an informal meeting each evening with staff members to discuss progress and will be expected to produce a brief report of their findings at the end of their stay.

We think that
ALL field observations are important and accurate note-taking is part of the daily routine of all volunteers. Daily observations and records will be logged into the San Rafael biodiversity database to keep tabs on changing invertebrate populations throughout the year. Volunteers with a knack for photography are always welcome, we are always looking to boost the photographic database of the parks fauna. In the interests of making data accessible and open to all we collaborate with online database projects such as the FAUNA image gallery and the British Natural History Museumīs online World Hawk-moth distribution database.

Some projects are ongoing throughout the year, other projects are seasonal. Obviously the hottest and wettest months are the best for invertebrates. If you have a specific project in mind that you would like to work on check with us that it isnīt seasonal before confirming your dates!!

To give you an idea of the sort of work that invertebrate volunteers are involved with, here are some of the more popular projects:

Capture of live specimens for description and measurement.
Phenology (seasonality) of butterflies and moths.
Plant-invertebrate associations, how much do certain species depend on certain plants?
Microhabitat preferences.
Photography of free-living specimens to complement the photographic database.
Identification and inventorying of species using keys
Captive breeding of butterflies and moths to document life cycles.
Anatomical studies and comparison.
Description of species new to science.

You donīt need to have any scientific background to be an ECOSARA invertebrate research volunteer, just enthusiasm, a sense of adventure and willingness to get your hands dirty!

Up for it?!

Click here to apply now!
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