Join The Leatherback Trust as a Field Biologist in Costa Rica

Each year, The Leatherback Trust selects a team of highly motivated, early-career biologists to assist our researchers at the Goldring-Gund Marine Biology Station.

Description: Field biologists participate in The Leatherback Trust’s long-term sea turtle monitoring program at Las Baulas National Park by conducting nightly patrols in search of nesting turtles. Field biologists assist with tagging and measuring nesting turtles. When turtles nest below the high-tide line, field biologists relocate eggs from nests at risk of inundation to a beach hatchery. Other responsibilities include monitoring nests in the hatchery, excavating hatched nests, and recording temperature data from incubating nests.  

Field biologists also engage with visitors to the Goldring-Gund Marine Biology Station, leading volunteer activities, educating school groups and conducting community outreach. There is also the potential for field biologists to assist with other ongoing scientific research projects.

Conditions: Applicants must be in good physical shape and comfortable with working long hours at night. Night patrols generally last up to 6 hours, over which time field biologists walk distances exceeding 10 km in soft sand. Applicants must also be comfortable working in tropical conditions, with extreme heat, humidity and mosquitoes.

Duration: The position is from October until March. We prefer applicants who are able to stay for the entire 6-month duration, although we can accommodate special circumstances upon request.

Benefits: Although the position is unpaid, The Leatherback Trust covers airfare and transportation costs to and from the project site and provides food and bunk accommodation at Goldring-Gund Marine Biology Station for the duration of the position.

Qualifications: Applicants should be at least 21 years of age and hold a Bachelor’s degree (need not be in biology, but science background is a plus) or the equivalent.

Application Details: If you are interested in applying for a Field Biologist position with The Leatherback Trust, please send an email with a statement of interest, a confirmation of your availability for the October-March duration, and a copy of your resume or CV to Please use the subject line “Field Biologist Position” and submit all application materials by by June 15. Applications will be reviewed from April-June each year. We will notify all applicants of decisions by July.