About the organization

Centro de Rescate de Especies Marinas Amenazadas (CREMA) operates a multifaceted approach to the conservation of endangered marine species at several beaches in the Southern Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica. In our sea turtle nesting program, which opens annually during the Olive Ridley nesting season (June – January), we conduct beach monitoring (night patrols and morning censuses), nest relocations into project hatcheries, environmental education activities, and help on the environmental awareness with the local and international community, that also helps on generating job opportunities for the locals and promoting sustainable tourism development. Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) is the most frequent and main species that nest on these beaches, but there is also sporadic nesting of Green (Chelonia mydas), Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), and Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) sea turtles. Egg poaching is a major threat to the nesting sea turtles on these beaches. Secondary threats include nest predation, plastic pollution, beach development and erosion, and tourist traffic. On the beaches, CREMA directs all our efforts to prevent and ultimately decrease these threats.


The Beach Project Coordinator position is responsible for supervising Local Monitors, International Research Assistants/Interns, and short-term Volunteers. Coordinators will also oversee night patrols and morning censuses, data entry, hatchery supervision, and management, organizing/planning environmental and English classes (the latter only if/when possible) with the community, station house maintenance, among other duties. Whereas the Research Assistants are responsible for assisting the Project Coordinator with all aspects of the project. Both will be actively engaged with an exciting community of volunteers, students, researchers, and local members wrapped in the magnificent mantra of the Costa Rican Pura Vida.

Duration for Coordinators:

San Miguel: June 30th – December 15th, 2024

Costa de Oro: June 30th – December 15th, 2024

Corozalito: June 30th , 2024 – January 31st, 2025

Bejuco**: September 1st, 2024 – February 29th, 2025

**Program dates might change by the starting date of the season

Duties for Project Coordinators:

  • Bring a positive attitude and be communicative about all issues regarding the team and the research, which are essential for the position
  • Work with a small team
  • Coordinate and supervise the activities of Research Assistants, Volunteers, and Local monitors.
  • Lead 3-4-hour night patrols and morning censuses.
  • Collect biometric data and tagging nesting turtles.
  • Photo ID and Tissue sample collection.
  • Build and maintain project hatcheries.
  • Monitor hatchery, conduct nest excavations, and release hatchlings.
  • Work together with local monitors.
  • Update collected data (data entry) and prepare weekly schedules.
  • Visit other projects when necessary.
  • Plan and implement environmental and English classes with the community.
  • Up-keep and station-house maintenance.
  • Train volunteers.
  • Assist in gathering content for digital publications (social media platforms).
  • Maintain professional, open communication with staff and volunteers.
  • Attend all scheduled staff meetings with the Research and Field Supervisors.
  • Conduct ongoing supply and equipment inventory.

Project Coordinators qualifications:

A minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline is desired. Must be organized with attention to detail and be able to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing (English and Spanish) and be able to adapt to unexpected situations and unfamiliar cultures. Applicants must be available to work full dates (from 6 to 7 months, project dependent). This position requires having previous experience working with sea turtles and environmental education programs. Applicants must be reliable, responsible, free-thinkers, self-starters, and have a drive for working in a team as a leader. Must have strong interpersonal, communication, decision making, logistical and organizational skills. Must feel comfortable working in the outdoors and/or isolated settings, be in a good physical condition (be able to lift 45Kg [100 pounds], walk on soft sand, etc) and able to undertake physical labour activities during night and day in extreme weather conditions while maintaining energy and stamina. Applicants must be able to accept and give feedback and maintain a motivated and positive environment.

To more information about Benefits for this position check on our website www.cremacr.org


For Research Assistants 

There are three terms for each project site.

For San Miguel and Costa de Oro first term: 07th July – 17th  September; 2nd term: 15th August – 25th October; 3rd term: 05th October – 15th December 2024.

For Corozalito first term: 07th July – 22th September; 2nd term: 20th September – 5th December; 3rd term: 21st November 2024 – 31st January 2025.

Research Assistants are trained to conduct and lead nightly 3–4-hour beach patrols, in which they take biometric data from nesting sea turtles, tag their front flippers, and move their nests to a protected area if there is one available.

Other responsibilities vary among the projects, and include the following:

  • Assisting in the training of new volunteers.
  • Leading volunteers and tourists on night patrols.
  • Conducting morning censuses to check the status of in situ nests.
  • Recording physical data such as precipitation levels and temperatures.
  • Building and maintaining the project hatchery.
  • Monitoring the hatchery during the night and day for emerging hatchlings and intruding predators.
  • Excavation of nests and collecting data on unhatched eggs.
  • Community environmental education activities.
  • Assist in gathering content for digital publications (social media platforms)
  • Maintaining and cleaning the station house.

Although there is an important research aspect integrated in the position; most of these projects are financed via a volunteer program held by Turtle Trax S.A. It is essential that both coordinators and research assistants make a conscious effort to make the volunteers feel included and part of the research team as well as provide them with a positive experience during their stay.

This is an unpaid position; Research Assistants are expected to stay at the project site for the entire term for which they are selected. Terms usually last between 75 to 80 days (with a possible extension) but not less than two months. All participants must follow the Turtle Trax/CREMA Program Rules for the entire duration of their placement. Failure to do so results in immediate termination of placement without refund. All participants have the option of participating in the Independent Research Project Program, in which they can complete a project with their team during the internship with the assistance of one of CREMA’s biologists.


Turtle Trax and CREMA provide a training workshop upon arrival. This includes several lectures on current sea turtle conservation research topics, safety training, team building activities, and field research training.

All RAs have the option of participating in the Independent Research Project Program, in which they can complete a project with their team during the internship with the assistance of one of CREMA’s biologists.

Research Assistants (RAs) pay $180 (SM-CD) and $120 (CZ) per week that covers three-basic meals and accommodation for the entire internship. The minimum period is 10 weeks.

All interns/RAs must follow the Turtle Trax Program Rules for the entire duration of their placement. Failure to do so results in immediate termination of placement without refund.

Application Instructions

Please submit a resume, cover letter, and three references to gracielapp@cremacr.orgninive.espinoza@cremacr.org, and nestingresearch@gmail.com. Please make the subject line “ POSITION YOU ARE APPLYING_ (your last name)” so it does not get lost. Candidates who do not meet the skills and qualifications laid out in this document will not be considered. Before summiting your application, please check if your country requires a visa to enter Costa Rica.