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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!

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Listening to the North Atlantic Forest

I worked as a BioAcoustics Researcher with IPBio for two months as the 2nd volunteer to work on the project. As an Engineer with a love of the outdoors, I wanted to work on something technical, something I would find meaningful, but have this role in a place well outside of my comfort zone. This project absolutely met these two requirements.

On a day-to-day basis I would hike to collect audio files, listen to and annotate the sounds I collected, work with a field biologist to identify different animal species by their vocalizations, and teach a computer how to recognize patterns and vocalizations in the future. The ultimate goal of this project is to track the incredible biodiversity in the North Atlantic Forest by tracking the sounds of the forest, and my day to day work alone would have given me enough stories to bring back home to make this volunteer program worth joining.

The opportunities off the Reserve were equally amazing. With other volunteers from around the world, I was able to explore caves, climb waterfalls, explore the local culture and do various other small trips that are not available anywhere else in the world. The last two months have been some of the most unique and story-worthy in my life, and if you have the chance, I would 100% recommend volunteering with IPBio. You will find yourself well out of your comfort zone, in an interesting place with interesting people, and there is no better place for a story to happen.