IPBio- Biodiversity Research Institute
IPBio- Biodiversity Research Institute Programs
The Eco-Volunteer contains a range of activities which are conducted in a group. The majority of these tasks are field activities so this is for volunteers who like to be...
IPBio- Biodiversity Research Institute Reviews
Submitted by Lauren Kessler - Florida State University | July 19, 2018
IPBio has been the most amazing way to spend my summer. The past two months have been filled with so many opportunities to learn and be hands on with projects. As an eco-volunteer, I had the chance to work with all of the projects here as well as focus on the frogs in the lab. Being able to be in this gorgeous area while learning and exploring is an incredible experience. The staff here is extremely friendly and supportive. Living with the other volunteers has given me the opportunity to make great friends to explore this beautiful forest with. The weekends allow us time to explore the state park and the town and the weekdays are filled with hands on experiences in nature. This summer here has provided me with experiences, knowledge and memories that will last a lifetime.
Program: Biodiversity Research Assistant
I found my lifelong passion in the Atlantic Forest!
Submitted by Rowan Carroll-Christopher - University of Maine Orono | July 18, 2018
My time at IPBio was an amazing first abroad experience! During my two month stay, I served as a research assistant for the numerous amphibian studies, as well as an eco-volunteer, assisting with various other projects in the field. Every day, I spent either the morning or the afternoon in the lab with tadpoles and frogs; I collected data like length and mass, as well as examining some under a microscope to assess their health and take photos. I had the opportunity to write up new research protocol for the studies, and I also got to participate in one night collection of frogs to inform our understanding of the biodiversity on the reserve! The other half of my day was spent in the field, overseen by the lovely and super knowledgeable Marleen, collecting data for a variety of other projects at IPBio. One of my favorites was the pond habitat monitoring, which was set up by a fellow volunteer during my time at IPBio. Lily created a monitoring system to track the health of a variety of aquatic habitats on the reserve, and once a week we would collect data from one of the ponds, rotating through them over the weeks. My favorite part was probably identifying the macro-invertebrate species in each pond, which required us to sift through a small sample size that we collected, picking out a variety of insect larvae, tiny crustaceans, snails, and aquatic worms to identify. I also assisted in sorting through loads of camera trap footage, which led to watching a little family of birds basically grow up before my eyes, as they passed in front of the same camera consistently for upwards of a month.
My fellow volunteers during my stay were all so interesting and wonderful, and it was an honor and pleasure to get to know them, for whatever the length of time our paths crossed. The staff were all amazing and so knowledgeable in their respective fields. Marleen taught me so much about field biology and data collection, Henrique taught me loads about birds, and Anna was so helpful answering all of my questions in the lab. Being my first trip out of my home country, Imran was so supportive and answered my questions every step of the way, all the way up until I got off the bus at the Reserve the day I arrived. I was more than pleasantly surprised to find my room even had its own AC unit, which was a total luxury! And I don’t even know how she does it with all of the tromping around in muddy boots we do, but Adriana keeps everything on the reserve sparkling clean 24/7, and always greets you with an equally sparkling smile. Not only is everybody on staff excellent at what they do, they are so much fun to just hang out with!
When you are not involved in the exciting and interesting projects on the Reserve, you will not lack for activities to occupy your time! There are so many amazing trips to be taken on your weekends off, and it is 110% worth it to budget out some extra money to take at least one or two. Whether you take a day to lay out on the beach in Cananaeia and watch dolphins play just meters from shore, or hike deep into the jungle to swim in remote waterfalls and explore captivating caves, you will NOT be disappointed.
Being an Ecology and Environmental Science student in the US, I was drawn to IPBio’s projects in general, but had no special interest in amphibians. After my time volunteering, I have decided to go on for my masters and hopefully become a PhD candidate in herpetology down the line! I had no idea how much I would come to love and be inspired by a single family of animals, as well as the places they live. They are fascinating creatures and I think anyone who has the chance should get to know them a little better; they are an important bioindicator for many biomes, and can tell us so much about the health of the environments they inhabit. So, thank you IPBio for igniting this passion in me, and for giving me the opportunity to find it! I hope to return soon, and see all of the wonderful people (and frogs) I got to know during my stay. Obrigada, Brazil <3
Program: Amphibian Researcher
Analyzing Anuran vocalizations
Submitted by Kelsey - Antioch University New England | July 05, 2018
I was introduced to IpBio through my Conservation Biology Master's Program and was given the opportunity to participate in the bioacoustics research inventory at the reserve in a personalized fashion, while earning internship credits at my university. I could not have asked for a more fulfilling experience. I received extensive support in my research objectives of detecting three endemic frog species while learning Kaleidoscope software along with the reserve staff. Not only did this internship provide me with thorough experience in the rising field of bioacoustics, a extremely valuable skill for a budding ornithologist or herpetologist, it also enabled me to personalize my learning and take on a high level of accountability for my results at a Master's level. Data was generously open to me in a way in which I can continue to work on my project as I proceed with my degree. All bioacoustics findings are very exciting in that huge data sets can be analyzed in a relatively simple process. There is also much to learn in the field, which makes any contribution feel important.
As my job required many hours on the computer, I was also looked after and given a great deal of freedom to assist with other projects. I believe the opportunity IpBio provides volunteers to directly contribute to the conservation sciences and to practice field skills regardless of profession or experience is remarkable on many levels. I recommend the experience to anybody.
I was highly impressed by the combination of efficiency and care with which research was conducted at the reserve. I also felt like my biological opinions were valid, and that I was taken very seriously as a conservation professional. From a personal standpoint, I felt extremely supported by all of those around me. All volunteer needs and requests were dealt with immediately. I will not forget the kind souls I met at the Betary Reserve, nor the beauty of the natural landscape in the Atlantic Forest.
Program: Bioacoustics Research & Inventory
Great team, project, vibes :)
Submitted by Vlad - Varna Bulgaria | July 02, 2018
I spent the last eight weeks volunteering as an Eco Volunteer at the Betary Reserve and can say that the experience was very fulfilling. I got to learn about field data collection skills and about the ecologically significant research topics that the data is being collected for. The team, including all volunteers, volunteer coordinators and permanent staff were very tightly knit, accommodating and welcome to new suggestions that can help the organization and its activities grow. Weekends were always full with hiking, visiting caves and waterfalls, attending events in the town nearby, etc., so we really got to experience the beautiful and unique nature and culture in the region. A big thanks and I hope that we meet again!
Submitted by Marta Chiapasco - Milano Italy | June 28, 2018
IPBio is located in a beautiful place in the middle of the Atlantic forest. The work we have done for the centre was collecting data about trees, birds, mashrooms to build an archive and an e book for the reserve. The data are also useful for the animal release centre Celine.
Weekends are free and some of the activities include discovering the forest, the caves, going to the seaside... The volunteers I have met were incredibly nice and warm, the staff was ready to listen to any suggestion and to help for anything. I really liked this experience. It has been one of the most peaceful places I have ever been. I highly recommend this whoever wants to live for a little while close to the forest and to nature!