Volunteer Field Assistant, Tsaobis Baboon Project

Thanks for your interest in volunteering with ZSL! Here’s a bit more about it:

The role of volunteers

Volunteers play a very important role in the life of the ZSL. They contribute to the success of ZSL by assisting staff at our zoos and by participating in our science and conservation work around the world.

Role description

Volunteer Field Assistants on the Tsaobis Baboon Project work alongside doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers to assist with their studies and contribute to the wider research activities of the Baboon Project. The fieldwork primarily involves daily follows of baboon troops on foot, collecting data on the behaviour of individually recognisable animals, together with monthly vegetation surveys. This year, we will also capture both study troops to fit GPS collars and collect measurements/samples.

You will receive a full induction into the role once in the field, and receive on-going training to ensure you are confident in your role.

Please note this role is not for the faint-hearted! There will be very early starts, and lots of physical activity, often in inclement weather conditions (cold mornings, hot days)! But the payoff will be a unique and rewarding experience, giving you an in depth look at what goes on behind the scenes on a ZSL wildlife research project in Africa.

About us

The Zoological Society of London is an international scientific, conservation and education charity, whose mission is the conservation of animals and their habitats. We also employ over 70 scientists to carry out research in conservation science and manage conservation programmes in more than 80 countries around the world, including the UK.

The Tsaobis Baboon Project is one of our international wildlife research programmes. It is a long-term study of the behaviour, ecology, health, and genetics of a baboon population on the edge of the Namib Desert, in Namibia. We have been conducting research on the Tsaobis baboons for over 15 years.

Who are we looking for?

  • Friendly, outgoing people who are happy to live in small team under basic conditions at a remote field site
  • Reliability and commitment
  • An interest in animal behaviour and ecology
  • Good levels of physical fitness and stamina - you will be following the baboons on foot from dawn to dusk over mountainous terrain in extreme heat
  • Good initiative, with a willingness to learn and show attention to detail

What do volunteers get out of it?

  • An amazing opportunity to share the lives of wild baboons in a beautiful desert landscape
  • A chance to be in a team of friendly, like-minded people
  • An opportunity to be involved in an African wildlife research project hosted by an international conservation charity
  • Training and an opportunity to gain new knowledge and learn new skills
  • Most of our volunteers use their experience on the Baboon Project as a stepping stone on to Masters and PhD courses

How to apply for this volunteer opportunity

Please visit the Tsaobis Baboon Project Information for Volunteers webpage for application guidelines. The deadline for applications is 6pm Sunday 10 January 2016.

Volunteers must be over 18. There is no upper age limit as long as you continue to be fit and active, able and willing to learn and remember new information and adapt to change.