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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Conservation Science Internships in Nicaragua

Nicaragua is a poor country with lots of natural resources at risk in a rapidly changing socio-economic environment. Whole forests can disappear overnight, lakes can go from pristine to polluted before anyone notices, and species may go extinct without ever getting a name in the first place. FUNDECI/GAIA has developed Conservation Science Internships to promote the protection of Nicaragua's delicate and wonderful natural world. 
Conservation Research
Pier-Olivier Beaudrault, from Sherbrooke University in Quebec, studied the birds of Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve. During his internship, he established five monitoring sites for flora and fauna and began collecting data in a project that has now lasted five years. Photo by Catherine Bard-Descheneau.
The forests of the tropics face grave challenges in the twenty-first century. The worldwide construction wood business affects forests globally, as does urbanization locally. Furthermore, poverty drives many people to cut firewood from forests for sustenance and income. Our interns develop useful information to guide the community about what is important in the natural important and how to protect it.

Many of our conservation science interns are students of biology or environmental science, but not all of them. If you would like to participate as a conservation science intern, you don't need to be planning a career in biology. In fact, we can use people of many types of skills which can apply to our projects, ranging from science students to people dedicated to education, computers, construction, and even journalism. There are many ways in which someone can contribute.

Three of our Conservation Science Interns from Holland produced a video about their projects. We hope you like it. Please take a look!

Our focus is on protecting the natural resources of Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve. This means a lot more than just counting the monkeys and birds. It also means working with the people of the area. As a result, interns with diverse areas of professional development can be involved, all coinciding in a love of wild nature and a desire to help poor, rural people live more prosperous lives, sustainably. 
bird research
Mara McPartland is an ecologist from Bennington College in the United States. She is making a presentation on the variations in the bird communities in Laguna de Apoyo, according to human impacts on the forest in each site. Photo by Laura Ruysseveldt.
conservation science intern
Our Conservation Science Interns may study some aspect of the biodiversity in the lake or the terrestrial system of the Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve. 

conservation science internship
Data gathered in field work is later used for purposes of advancing scientific knowledge and protecting the wild ecosystems found in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve and other natural areas.

bats and birds
Nicaraguans and foreigners will work closely on all projects.
Our current projects for interns include: care and promotion of rescue animals; organization and outreach for conservation and environmental education activities; and wildlife conservation and biodiversity research.
internship Nicaragua
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