We are pleased to announce the position of Resident Naturalist, beginning January 6, 2021. The successful applicant will be based at the ASA’s field site in Peru’s Madre de Dios Department.

POSITION: Resident Naturalist
LOCATION: Finca Las Piedras, Madre de Dios, Peru
POSITION DURATION: 6 months (January 5 th – July 2 nd , 2021)
SCHEDULE: 5 days/week, flexibility in scheduling required START DATE: January 5, 2021
APPLICATION DEADLINE: October 23rd , 2020


Resident Naturalists (RNs) work closely with ASA academic faculty and staff to facilitate ongoing biological research and monitoring, sustainable tropical agriculture, and community engagement and education programs at Finca Las Piedras, in Peru’s Madre de Dios Department. RNs are part of the public face of the ASA’s programs in Peru, and are part of a dynamic team of researchers, conservation and development professionals, and students from around the world.


Biological Research and Monitoring
The ASA maintains a number of research and monitoring projects aimed at biodiversity conservation in the southeastern Peruvian Amazon. These include mammal, bird, and insect inventories and population monitoring, plant phenology, and rain forest dynamics plots, among others. RNs assist project leaders in data collection and entry, experimental design and setup, etc., as needed. Naturalists will also have the opportunity to assist visiting researchers when required.

Sustainable Tropical Agriculture
Activities at Finca Las Piedras include a variety of experiments in organic agriculture, the use of compost and biochar, and research into the sustainable harvest of Brazil nuts, among others. RNs will assist in these as needed.

Community Engagement and Education
Naturalists will also assist ASA faculty and staff in ongoing programs both at Finca Las Piedras and in Monterrey and Planchon, the nearest local communities to the field site. Activities at Finca Las Piedras include volunteer and internship programs; in the communities RNs will assist in educational visits to schools, as well as a variety of outreach programs.

General Duties
In addition to the duties mentioned above, Naturalists will contribute to day-to-day operations and basic facilities maintenance. General duties may include, but are not limited to: Daily weather station readings, Guide/interpret/translate guided natural history hikes, lead visits to local farms, group check-in and orientation, logistical support for academic programs.


  • 6 month commitment required
  • Minimum bachelor’s degree in natural or environmental sciences or related field
  • Fluency in English (required)
  • At least basic Spanish (preferred)
  • Experience working/living abroad, especially in the tropics (preferred)
  • Teaching experience (preferred)
  • Enthusiasm and strong work ethic
  • Flexibility in schedule and work environment
  • Maturity/must live with and work well with others in close setting
  • Excellent physical condition
  • Traveler’s insurance (proof required upon acceptance)
  • CPR/first aid certification (proof required upon acceptance)


Upon arrival at Finca Las Piedras, Resident Naturalists undergo an intensive, oneweek training period. Naturalists are given an overview of current projects spanning the ASA’s three interrelated focal areas: biological research and monitoring, sustainable tropical agriculture, and community engagement and education, as well as the methodologies used for research and outreach work in these areas. Naturalists will also be trained informally throughout the duration of their term at Finca Las Piedras.


This is an 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 M-F; approximate value $1,000/month). 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 (position begins January 5, 2021)
  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 23, 2020). Document title should read: “last name”_“RN application”.pdf

Send completed applications to: [email protected] with “Resident Naturalist application” in the subject line.

Applicants passing to the interview round will be notified by October 26th, 2020.