Amazon Biologist Requirements

Apply to be an Eagle Scout Amazon Biologist

The National Eagle Scout Association (NESA) has a rich history of placing worthy Eagles on expeditions. These unique experiences provide an entry into the world of exploration.

Opportunity Description

Flying through the trees

Through the BSA's STEM Initiative, NESA has selected Eagle Scouts to participate in field experiments at the Tiputini Biodiversity Station (TBS) in the eastern Ecuador Amazon rainforest. The program has been highly successful. This is a spectacular opportunity to experience different biological disciplines!

TBS resides in one of the most bio diverse areas in the world, the Yasuni Reserve, deep in the Amazon rainforest. TBS is operated and staffed by University de San Francisco Quito (USFQ) and is affiliated with Boston University. Students and researchers who attend TBS are supported by good accommodations, meals, and health resources.

The Eagle will assist in the installation and monitoring of an important camera-trap program to document the diversity of wildlife. Some animals have never been seen except in very rare photos from this system. This area has the highest concentrations of jaguar and ocelot in the world but it also has cougar, tapir, peccaries, capybara, giant armadillo, anteaters, and a host of smaller rare carnivore and herbivore species. Spectacular and diverse birds, insects, and arachnids are in abundance.

Caught on camera

Each participant will be expected to select an area of interest to pursue while at TBS. This could be a survey of birds, particular classes of insects, arachnids (spiders, scorpions), small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, botany, mycology, or some other area of biological interest. For example, on the site visit, there were at least 8 or 9 types of insects disguised as a stick or leaf. Primate researchers are often there because of the multiple monkey species and scientists in other disciplines are common. Very interesting canopy walks are available in this Amazonian paradise.

Qualifications

To qualify as the 2018 Eagle Scout Biologist, candidates must:
  • Be an Eagle Scout
  • Be 18 years of age and not older than 27 years of age by June 1
  • Major or intend to major in a biological science in college or graduate school
  • Be prepared to blog, speak, write, and be interviewed on behalf of Scouting to report on the trip, what it means personally, and how Scouting prepared you for the experience
  • Either have a current valid passport or obtain one no later than June 1
  • Have medical insurance, complete a BSA Medical form and purchase medical evacuation coverage (suggested policies will be provided)

How to Apply

Eagle Scouts who are qualified and would like to be considered for this wonderful opportunity must complete an online application found here, which includes a 250-word essay. Finalists will be announced and required to submit a 3 minute YouTube video expressing reasons to support their selection within two weeks of announcement expressing reasons to support their selection.

Applications must be submitted, no later than Midnight Central Standard Time, January 22. The persons selected to be the Eagle Scout Biologist will be notified by March 15.

Important Notes

The Eagle will be responsible for $600 (not including medical evacuation coverage) to defray some costs of the experience payable to the National Eagle Scout Association by May 31.

Logistics and payment for airfare, lodging, food (in some cases the Eagle will need to purchase on-site and be reimbursed), tuition, etc. will be coordinated by the National Eagle Scout Association. 

Dates for this approximately 10-day trip will be between July and late August and be decided by mutual availability. For additional information about the project, visit the Tiputini or University of San Francisco Quito websites.

Click here to apply.