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Bioacoustics Research & Inventory
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Bioacoustics Research & Inventory

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    9

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    10

A great experience and look forward to continuing to volunteer with IPBio!

I am from the United States and volunteered with IPBio's Bioacoustics Project for just over 5 months in total. Overall, the past 5 months have been fantastic and I feel incredibly fortunate to have this kind of an opportunity.

My background is in engineering and physics, so I was especially excited to find a technical volunteer opportunity abroad with such a direct impact on conservation research efforts. My typical week on the bioacoustics project included hiking up into the forest to collect audio data, listening to the audio recordings and teaching the software to recognize each individual type of species vocalization, and brushing up on my coding skills to create an analysis program. In all, I found the work very rewarding, relevant, and am able to see the direct impact of my work.

I greatly enjoyed working with and getting to know the staff and other volunteers at IPBio. They are a very kind, helpful, and welcoming group of people who I am going to miss quite a lot! Everyone at the Betary Reserve was very dedicated and was working toward IPBio's vision. I always felt comfortable asking for help or advice, whether work-related or not. While not strictly necessary for the volunteer program, I would recommend learning at least a little Portuguese prior to arriving in Iporanga because many staff members do not speak English fluently and a little Portuguese can go a long way!

The volunteer house was kept up quite well, but could feel a bit cramped at times when we were at full volunteer capacity. This shouldn't be an issue soon, though, because IPBio is in the process of building a new, bigger volunteer house that should alleviate this problem!

After 5 months of living on the Betary Reserve, I still have yet to complete my Iporanga bucket list. There are endless caves, waterfalls, and trails to explore in the gorgeous Vale do Ribeira, and countless weekend trips to nearby attractions.

Overall, my time at IPBio was a fantastic experience that I will always keep close to my heart. I 100% recommend volunteering here and look forward to continuing to volunteer with IPBio remotely from home in the United States!