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Programs : Brochure

  • Locations: Formosa Province, Argentina
  • Program Terms: Summer Internships
  • Restrictions: UPENN applicants only
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Program Description:

Program Snapshot

Global Internship Program (GIP): Owl Monkey Project
Owl Monkey Project LogoThe Internship: This unique opportunity allows Penn students interested in biology, ecology, and/or zoology to have hands-on field experience with the owl monkey population in Formosa Province, Argentina.

Number of Spots Available: 4

Duration: 10 weeks

Start Date: Between Mid-May and Early June 2018

The Organization: In 1996, Claudia Valeggia and Eduardo Fernandez-Duque established research projects in the Formosa Province in Argentina.  Eduardo's site on the Guaycolec ranch and his work in Formosa Parks focuses on primates and non-human mammals.  As their research developed, Claudia and Eduardo founded the Fundación ECO, whose aim is to promote education and conservation in the Province of Chaco, Argentina.

The Location: The Owl Monkey Project takes place in Formosa Province, Argentina.  The study area, located in the gallery forests along the Pilagá River in the Argentinean Gran Chaco is part of the 1,600-hectare Owl Monkey Reserve established in 2006.  The Argentinean Gran Chaco is one of the most biodiverse ecoregions in the country and the southern cone of the American continent.  This makes the Argentina Chaco not only an important conservation area, but also an ideal place to study the species that conform it.  The area includes a mosaic of grasslands, savannas, xeric thorn forests, and semi-deciduous forests.  Due to its environmental heterogeneity and its wetland system, Formosa Province is a priority for the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable development of the South American Great Chaco.

The project's field site is in Estancia Guaycolec, a 25,000 hectare privately-owned cattle ranch along the banks of the Pilagá River.  The research station in the city is in Barrio Gral. José de San Martín, a neighborhood in Formosa City.

Some health and safety risks to be aware of in the field include:
  • Insect discomfort (especially mosquitoes and ticks)
  • Vaccines are not required, but the tetanus vaccine is recommended by the Owl Monkey Project

Internship Details

Research Assistants at the Owl Monkey Project will:
  • Be part of the project's daily tasks, such as demographic and behavioral data collection, biological sample collection (feces), and use of telemetry equipment and GPS
  • Have the possibility to collaborate in research focused on pair-bonding and monogamy maintenance and evolution, as well as  he biological basis of biparental care
  • Develop their own research project based on their own preferences and needs
  • Work independently and on small teams to prepare monthly seminars on research topics
As this is field work, Research Assistants need to be willing to accept that the work gets organized around rainfall, moon phases, temperature, monkey needs, etc.  The work generally starts very early in the morning (between 5:00am-6:00am) and finishes around 7:00pm, with some break during the day.  Students need to be prepared to work hard but will have some down time during "siesta" and while in the city.  Research Assistants can expect to work no more than 48 hours per week.


All GIP applicants must be current full-time, degree-seeking University of Pennsylvania students who are returning to their degree program full-time in the Fall semester.  All GIP applicants must also be in good academic and disciplinary standing.
The research placement at the Owl Monkey Project also requires applicants to meet the following eligibility criteria:
  • Interest in animal behavior and biodiversity conservation
  • Motivation and positive disposition for field work
  • Ability to work under hard conditions (e.g. insects, rain)
  • Capacity for teamwork
  • Organizational skills
Priority will be given to applicants who have the following criteria:
  • Ability to speak Spanish
  • Experience in behavioral data collection
  • Experience working in outdoor environments
  • Background in biology, ecology, anthropology, and/or experimental psychology

Please Note: Students who have participated in this program in the past OR who accepted a placement through this program in the past but then withdrew are not eligible to apply again.


Formosa Province, ArgentinaAccommodation is included in the program fee.  Students will spend the vast majority of nights (during the week) at the field site sleeping in a tent.  They will share a tent with someone else or may bring their own tent if they want privacy.  During the day time, the ranch has a "quincho" (hut), with shared common areas.  While in Formosa City (during the weekend), students will stay at the house provided by the Owl Monkey Project, where they will share a room with a private bathroom.  The rest of the house is used as the project's office.


Money Matters

All students accepted to the GIP will be awarded a Global Internship Program Award.  GIP award amounts vary by student, and are based on location of internship, length of internship, the student's need, and the student's merit. The internship placement application process includes the GIP award application essay.

The program fee* is $2,060 and includes the following:
  • Transportation to/from the field station and the city
  • Housing in the field during the week and in the city during the weekend
  • Use of equipment (telemetry and GPS systems, binoculars, iPod, dictaphones, digital watches, etc.)
Please note: Students are still expected to pay for international airfare, transit expenses between Buenos Aires and Formosa, visa costs, meals, and field equipment.

The estimated budget for this internship is as follows:
Expense Estimated Cost  Notes
*Program Fee $2,060 Includes accommodation and transport
Round trip airfare $1,600 Estimated cost PHL - FMA
Accommodation $0 Included in program fee
Meals & Personal Expenses $800 Could vary based on lifestyle
Visa $0 US Citizens do not need visa up to 90 days
Local Transport $200 Domestic bus from Buenos Aires to Formosa
Other $80 Field Equipment
Total Estimated Cost $4,740  


How to Apply

Ready to Apply?  Follow These Steps:
1. Click Apply Now above to login with your PennKey and password and begin the application
2. Complete all requirements listed in the online application, including:
  • CV/Resume upload
  • Cover Letter or Personal Statement upload
  • Unofficial transcript upload
  • Award essay
  • Required advising appointment with the Global Internships Manager (schedule yours by clicking here)
  • Other program-specific requirements, as needed
3. Once all requirements have been received and checked off, submit your application by the deadline
Don't Forget:
  • You may apply to a maximum of two (2) GIP programs.  You may open your first program application by following the above instructions.  To open a second application, you must first meet with the Global Internships Manager for an advising appointment.
  • Do not wait until the last minute to schedule your advising appointment, as appointment slots may fill!  Advising appointments will not be available from December 23rd-January 1st, so please plan ahead.

Application Deadline: January 10th, 2018 at 11:59pm EST


Schedule an Advising Appointment: Don't forget that meeting with the Global Internships Manager is a required component of applying to the GIP.  Schedule your appointment by clicking here, and don't wait too long, as appointment slots may fill!

Past Participants: Want to connect with a student who participated in the Global Internship Program?  Click here to view a list of past participants and get in touch.

Career Services: The Career Services office on campus can help you in several ways.  You may find the following links helpful: Visas: Depending on your citizenship and destination country, you may need a visa or work permit to participate in this internship.  It is your responsibility as a GIP participant to determine your visa requirements and obtain a visa, if needed. Past participants have found the following resources helpful in determining visa requirements:

This program is currently not accepting applications.