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Biodiversity Research Assistant
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Biodiversity Research Assistant

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Volunteering in the Atlantic rainforest

As part of travelling South America, I decided to take part in the volunteer program offered at the Reserve Betary. I took a different path as a volunteer, given my professional experience and the needs at the reserve, and I had the opportunity to be involved in the overall coordination of various projects and also to help with some administrative planning within the organization.
Arriving at Reserve Betary was a breeze, given the detailed volunteer package and the insightful coordination from the volunteer leads, Imran and Marleen, I felt comfortable and well versed on travelling to the reserve and what would be expected during my stay. At the Reserve I was able to take part in a number of different conservation projects, while both utilizing my skills and interests. Given the significant involvement of the staff at the reserve, they are able to place you in not only a wide range of projects but also in assignments of personal interest.
The IPBio reserve is in a unique situation as it is not only situated at a remote location in the Atlantic rainforest, but also a short drive from the town of Iporanga. This offers a number of perks for the volunteers such as grabbing essentials in town (great for long-stay individuals), and also allowing for the coordination of a number of different activities outside of the research projects. This allows the volunteers to not only make the most of their free time, but also experience the natural beauty of the Atlantic Rainforest. My favourite of these were the Cave tours (Iporanga is home to the not only the most caves in the world but also some of the largest and most beautiful. These tours are led by experienced guides, and allow for experiences which would not be possible without my involvement with IPBio.
Given the breadth of the projects ongoing at the Reserve, I would recommend volunteering at IPBio to not only those with a science background but also those hoping to have an impact and become involved in NGOs with a conservationist perspective.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Every little step matter. And you'll have a lot of fun while helping

As soon as you arrive to Betary Reserve, you immediately notice how all are mentioning Sergio, the founder. He is described as a Dreamer. And I would add that Sergio is one of those Dreamers who gets things done. All of his dream about this amazing conservation projects are happening not only because of his vision and passion, but also thanks to his eye in hiring and empowering people, from the gardener to the cleaning lady Adriana, who are just as committed as the biologists, with this DREAM that has COME TRUE.

I really recommend volunteering at IPBIO. Everyone I met is totally committed with their projects, which are taken very seriously. All the biologists are totally focused on their research, and they impressed me with their passion, perseverance, love for all they do, and always with a smile. And a joke. I am really thankful for all that Ana, Isaias and Enrique taught me. Lou was on holiday, and I was very fortunate to meet her on one of our Caves trips.

All projects are perfectly coordinated by the very efficient and fun Imrain and his beloved Marleen, whom is the closest you can get to a real version of Lara Croft.

I have worked on Tree Inventory, Camera Traps maintenance and analysis. Tadpoles monitoring and Pitfalls.

Besides learning and discovering some of the secrets this Atlantic Forest hides, and witness the commitment with Forest and Bio System recovery,

I have especially enjoyed collaborating with my fellow Volunteers. The passion of the entire staff of IPBIO is so contagious that volunteers breath and live it. Whether it was on our daily missions, or our night strolls, looking for some amphibious, magical Fireflies and their larvae, whose lights mirror the Reserve beautiful starry night, and even on our fun Cave trips, volunteers are always taking pictures, asking for information and getting closer to this beautiful forest’s heart.

I am always thrilled with the melting pot of cultures Volunteering offers. And this time. Again. I will have new friends to treasure. And, hopefully, meet again.

Thank you, IPBIO.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

A once in a lifetime experience

As a biologist, I have volunteered all around the world, and I still learned so much at the Biodiversity Research Institute! Being in the heart of the Atlantic Forest itself is already an amazing experience, being surrounded by various species of fauna, flora and fungi! I was involved in the amphibian research, observing the presence of the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in tadpoles; collecting and photographing mushrooms, to catalogue them; monitoring mammals through camera traps; and feeding of the fish, terrapins, toad and lizards, that are used for educational purposes. There’s also a lot of fun things to do on the weekends, like tubing, rappel, visiting caves and waterfalls, or just going for a swim in the river. It’s a great opportunity to learn and make amazing memories that will stay with you for the rest of your life, while helping a good cause!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Voluntariado com fauna e flora

Estive no Ipbio durante ótimas 3 semanas. A estrutura do instituto nos oferece tudo o que é necessário e a equipe todo o suporte. Como estudante de engenharia florestal foi uma experiência incrível pois pude auxiliar em uma lista de flora da reserva Betary, além de trabalhar com peixes, tartarugas e análise de desenvolvimento de girinos. Durante o tempo livre pude Visitar belos lugares da região, como cavernas e cachoeiras, e me divertir com novos amigos de diferentes lugares.
Fui muito bem recebida por todos, que fizeram questão de me acolher desde o momento da aplicação até a minha volta. . Pude praticar diferentes idiomas, fotografar a região do Vale do Ribeira, onde existe a maior extensão de Mata Atlântica contínua preservada e conhecer mais sobre comunidades tradicionais da região. Sentirei saudades e voltaria com certeza!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

IPBio

I would suggest volunteering at IPBio to anyone interested in ecology. The staff at the reserve were great and always willing to teach and help. The area itself is very stunning with heavily forested hills and running streams.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Awesome!!

I am undertaking a 5 month internship at IPBio studying the effects of forest successional stages on the abundance of mammals on the reserve. I use camera traps and so far I have caught: a fieldmouse, tayra, opossum, paca, racoon and a capuchin monkey. I also support with organizing mammal footage for a documentary IPBio will soon produce. The weekends are just as fun with activities such as buoy cross down the river, exploration of caves, hiking and swimming in waterfalls.

I have enjoyed my time here and would really recommend this organization to other volunteers.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

Loved IPBio so much I stayed to work!

IPBio was a dream come true. I have been searching for over 3 years for an NGO whose mission I truly wish to support and finally I found it. I came to IPBio as a volunteer having had it recommended to me by various people. After speaking to the manager, Ana, we agreed that I would come to IPBio with 2 goals in mind: structure their volunteer program and fundraise for a environmental education program they we conceptualizing. As many trusted and experienced people had told me such great things about IPBio, I was worried that it wouldn't meet my expectations.. but in fact it surpassed them three-fold! Walking onto the reserve you pass a beautiful wooden bridge over the river and find a hidden state of the art research center in the middle of the forest. After meeting the staff and really discussing their future plans, I was already in love with IPBio and knew I wanted to stay. Over the next 3 months, I worked hard to organize the volunteer program, we managed to meet our fundraising goal for the education program and I wrote a grant which we won for bioacoustics equipment. Soon after, IPBio offered me a position and now I will be working at the organization as the volunteer and communication manager. This place is paradise and I am glad I found a way to stay. The region (forest, wildlife, caves, rivers, waterfalls) to the infrastructure (lab, greenhouse, aquarium) to the topics of research (bioluminescent mushrooms, mammals, amphibians) to the larger plan of creating various IPBio's across Brazil, this place captured my dream: to live in a remote area surrounded by nature which also sparked my intellectual curiosity and drive. IPBio is now home.