The Alliance for a Sustainable Amazon (ASA), a research-focused non-profit organization dedicated to biodiversity conservation in southeastern Peru, is pleased to announce the position of Volunteer Lepidoptera Research Assistant, beginning January 4, 2022. The successful applicant will be based at Finca Las Piedras, the ASA’s research and education center in Peru’s Madre de Dios region.

POSITION: Volunteer Lepidoptera Research Assistant

LOCATION: Finca Las Piedras, Madre de Dios, Peru

POSITION DURATION: 6 months (January 4-July 1, 2022)

SCHEDULE: 5 days/week, flexibility in scheduling required



The Volunteer Lepidoptera Research Assistant (VLRA) position is intended for recent graduates and other early-career biologists and/or conservationists who seek hands-on experience in tropical field research. VRNs work under the direct supervision of the Lead Lepidoptera Research Assistant at Finca Las Piedras, and closely with other ASA staff and project leaders, to support the ASA’s research, reforestation, and education efforts in Peru. VLRAs are part of the public face of ASA and are part of a dynamic team of researchers, conservation and development professionals, and students from Peru and around the world. For more information about the ASA, the region in which we work, and our projects in Peru visit www.sustainableamazon.org



VLRAs assist in the ASA’s Lepidoptera Diversity and Biology project, which aims to create a comprehensive butterfly and moth list at Finca Las Piedras, generate a region-wide database of butterfly distributional records, identify butterfly host plants, monitor populations over time, and conduct a variety of ecological studies of Lepidoptera in southeastern Peru. Specific tasks include, but are not limited to, assistance in butterfly rearing, searching for Lepidoptera host plants, collection of adult butterflies and moths in the day and night, and general support for ongoing research projects.


VLRAs, as well as all other ASA staff, contribute to day-to-day operations and basic facilities management at Finca Las Piedras. Tasks may include, but are not limited to: preparation and serving of meals, basic cleaning of station facilities, group check-in and orientation, etc.


Minimum 6 month commitment
Bachelor’s degree in natural sciences or equivalent experience
At least intermediate/conversational Spanish
Enthusiasm and strong work ethic
Flexibility in schedule and work/living environment
Maturity (must live and work well with others in a close setting)
Excellent physical condition
Traveler’s insurance (proof required upon acceptance)
Full vaccination against COVID-19


Upon arrival at Finca Las Piedras, VLRAs undergo an intensive, two-week training period. Training includes an overview of the ASA’s research, reforestation, and education projects, as well as various professional development activities. Training continues informally throughout the duration of the VLRAs’ time at Finca Las Piedras.


This is a volunteer (unpaid) position. However, all room and board is provided on-site at Finca Las Piedras, 7 days per week, for the duration of the appointment (although work is only required 5 days/week). Work-related local transportation, including pickup from the Puerto Maldonado airport (PEM) or bus terminal, is covered. Resident Naturalists are responsible for their international flight to Peru, including airfare, taxes, airport fees, flight insurance, etc.), and domestic air or land travel to Puerto Maldonado (bus or air).


The following are required to apply for this position:

1.     A cover letter of interest

2.     Current CV/resume with contact information for two references

3.     Most recent unofficial university transcript

Completed applications should include each of the three required items, and should be submitted as a single PDF document, in the order listed above, by the application deadline (October 29, 2021). Document title should read: LASTNAME_VLRA_application.pdf

Send completed applications to: info@sustainableamazon.org with “Volunteer Lepidoptera Research Assistant application” in the subject line.

About Alliance For A Sustainable Amazon

The Alliance for a Sustainable Amazon is a nonprofit working to conserve biodiversity and other natural resources in the Peruvian Amazon, for the benefit of all those who live in and depend on the rainforest.