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Apply to be the 2017 NESA 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. NESA and the BSA's STEM Initiative have selected Eagle Scouts to participate in field experiments at the Tiputini Biodiversity Station (TBS) in the eastern Ecuador Amazon rainforest for the past 3 years. The program has been highly successful and will be offered again this year.

This is a spectacular opportunity to experience different biological disciplines! TBS resides in one of the most biodiverse 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 College. 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. 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.

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, no later than 11:59 PM Central Standard Time, March 15, 2017. Finalists will be announced and required to submit a 3 minute YouTube video within a week of announcement expressing reasons to support their selection.

To qualify as the 2017 Eagle Scout Biologist, candidates must:

  • Be an Eagle Scout
  • Be 18 years of age by June 1, 2017
  • 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 to him personally, and how Scouting prepared him for this
  • Either have a current valid passport or obtain one no later than June 1, 2017
  • Submit an essay no more than 250 words on why you are the best person to go on an expedition to the Amazon rainforest as the 2017 Eagle Scout Biologist. This must be submitted no later than midnight March 15, 2017
  • Have medical insurance, complete a BSA Medical form and purchase medical evacuation coverage (suggested policies will be provided).

The persons selected to be the 2017 Eagle Scout Biologist will be notified by May 1, 2017.

Costs for the selected candidate will be paid by NESA. The Eagle will be responsible for some expenses not to exceed $1000.

Dates for this approximately 10-day trip will be between July and late August and be decided by mutual availability.

Click here to apply.

For additional information about the project, visit the Tiputini or University of San Francisco Quito websites.