Position: Conservation Literacy Intern (CLI)

Location: Yupukari Village, Guyana, South America, English-speaking country (former British colony)

Contract: Voluntary, unsalaried, one-year position (shorter, student terms available)

Probationary Period: 3 months

Reporting to: Save the Giants (STG) Field Managers and Caiman House Staff



Within-country transportation, food, and housing in the field will be provided (courtesy of Caiman House and STG). This volunteer position is ideally designed to be completed in one year; however, we will consider shorter-term applicants. If the applicant completes the entire year, STG will award a $1000 USD stipend.


An additional 3-month position will be reserved for a University of Guyana student. This new program is promoted and approved by the Centre for the Study of Biological Diversity at the University of Guyana for their BS and MSc students.


STG and Caiman House, Rupununi Learners are two non-profits, working independently of each other. Yet both are working towards similar goals that will increase literacy rates within the village and inspire a love for learning and the natural world. The conservation literacy intern will serve as a liaison between these two organizations and help merge the teaching ideologies of literacy, art, and science into one concise and effective program for the village youth.


Yupukari Village is an Amerindian community located in Guyana’s Region 9.  Yupukari residents integrate high quality education programs, sustainable livelihoods, and conservation programmes to support long-term, sustainable change.  The CLI will work alongside village staff to support and enhance these important ongoing efforts.


Rupununi Learners Library Support Portion:

Rupununi Learners Foundation is a US 501c3 that supports wildlife research, education, and economic development in the Rupununi region of Guyana. We are looking for a current student or recent college graduate of any major to assist management of the day-to-day operations of a village public library for 1 year, ideally beginning January 2019 and running through December 2019.


The Yupukari Public Library is a community center with books, computers, and (limited) internet. The mission of the library is to make learning to read easy and fun, to provide enticing literacy enrichment programming to villagers of all ages, and to serve the broader community (approximately 800 indigenous people) in a responsive, supportive manner.


This position is a creative opportunity for a high-energy self-starter to uncover the diversity of village talents and co-create innovative after-school and other programs with the villagers. You will supervise volunteers, initiate and carry out programs of your own design, and run the library building in partnership with the staff of Caiman House, an ecotourist lodge co-located with the library. See RupununiLearners.org for more about our activities. The library is pictured under the “Literacy” tab at top.


Save the Giants, Conservation Field Intern Portion:

Save the Giants is a US 501c3 community driven conservation initiative dedicated to preserving Guyana's wildlife via a multi-disciplinary approach. The focal species for STG is the critically endangered giant otter.  The STG field intern would support the Yupukari field naturalist in the following tasks:


- Conducting monthly giant otter surveys, recording field notes on data sheets (provided by

STG), and submitting data sheets to researchers during internet-accessible times.

- Maintaining equipment: ensuring it remains in working order and reporting any

damages/loss as well as maintaining an inventory of all pieces.

- Photographing giant otters for identification and maintaining corresponding GPS

coordinates when applicable.

- Collecting fecal samples for testing (after specific training in proper handling and

preservation techniques).

- Providing ideas and content for “blog” entries and field stories for social media use, which can include or be substituted out with short, appealing video clips.

- Assisting in the training of new interns that come on board throughout the year, whether to conduct specific research projects or provide assistance with ongoing projects.

- Assist in setting research objectives and ensuring these are consistently met.

- Assist in the development of research projects, analysis of data, and write up of research papers when required.

- Any other tasks the Field Managers deem necessary within the broad remit of this role.


This position will also work within the community as a conservation educator, helping to foster a

love for protecting the environment and its natural resources.

This will be achieved by:

- Assisting the youth wildlife club with the organization of monthly meetings.

- Develop (alongside Save The Giants biologists, university interns, and other village staff) educational and engaging activities for the wildlife club.

- When time allows, assist with taking the wildlife club on mini field trips, ensuring appropriate parental consents have been signed and filed on record.


Research Flexibility:

Students earning their degrees or post-graduates interested in conservation research have the option of collecting additional data for their own research and potentially utilizing our database. We are deeply committed to research that betters our understanding of giant otters and their conservation status. Intern research could be conducted in addition to the outlined responsibilities as an intern. The Centre for the Study of Biological Diversity at the University of Guyana is supportive of their students participating in this internship concurrently with collecting thesis data. In addition, STG board member, Ruth Mock, PhD, is available to serve on committees as an outside committee member and generally provide support.



  • Preference will be given to individuals offering a one-year commitment (summer internships for students will be considered and time commitments tailored)
  • Must possess a strong knowledge and understanding in current sustainability trends and best practices as well as community development issues
  • Working toward a sustainability/conservation-related career in a wildlife, environmental, communication, or education-related field.
  • Knowledge in a biological or educational-related field: zoology, mammalogy, herpetology, botany, or environmental education is desirable
  • Previous experience in collecting data
  • Working knowledge of GPS and/or GIS is an advantage, as well as organizing waypoint files
  • Strong working knowledge of Microsoft Office products particularly, Outlook, Excel, and PowerPoint
  • Ability to conduct research and compile and analyze data
  • Passion for sustainability, conservation, and wildlife
  • First Aid certificate required, CPR certification preferable
  • Ability to grasp and carry out instructions in challenging, fast-paced environments and maintain a good sense of humor
  • Previous experience living or working in a developing country would be an asset
  • High level of communication skills in a multicultural environment
  • A good degree of initiative, self-motivation, and commitment
  • Ability to motivate others
  • Must possess excellent organizational and time management skills
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to work under pressure and be flexible, empathetic, and accommodating
  • Ability to work as part of a dynamic and multicultural team
  • Good degree of physical health and fitness for working in difficult terrain in tropical conditions
  • Ability to work and advocate for all of STG and Rupununi Learner’s policies and procedures and capability to report any concerns appropriately
  • Ability to remain flexible and open-minded throughout changing schedules and variance in environment

Interested applicants should send a CV and cover letter outlining how their skills and experience match the requirements in the job description criteria and three reference contacts to: info@savethegiants.org


Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until the position is filled.  There will be an initial Skype chat with the Save the Giants board for applicants who are considered for the position.

Contact Info:

Christina Ward, Save the Giants Director christina@savethegiants.org

Bridgette San Marco, Save the Giants Vice President bridgette@savethegiants.org

Alice Layton, Rupununi Learner's Board Member

Ashley Holland, Caiman House Rep