Join us in one of the world’s top biodiversity hotspots, Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, and gain firsthand experience in biodiversity conservation and sustainability. At the Iracambi Rainforest Research Center you’ll work with agroforestry, regenerative agriculture, medicinal plants, community outreach and community development, all focused on our mission of Saving Forests and Changing Lives.
A little background. Over the past twenty years here are some of the things we've done. We've planted over 130, 000 native forest trees, founded the first program of environmental education in the region, set up the first web-based GIS, created thousands of acres of protected areas, hosted 2000 international students and volunteers from 65 countries, and impacted the lives of thousands of people in the Serra do Brigadeiro mountains.
And just look where we’re going now! We’re working with local farmers on a mixed program of agroecology and agroforestry, whereby together we plant native and productive tree species in order to increase farm incomes, restore degraded soils, protect water sources and increase habitat for biodiversity. This involves a host of different practical tasks, starting with everyone’s favorite place on campus: the forest nursery. Creating and maintaining a healthy supply of young trees requires a lot of work – collecting seeds in the forest, preparing and caring for young seedlings, planting them out at the right time of year, and monitoring and recording our progress.
In addition to our forest nursery, we are constantly working to improve our model agroecology plots. In one of them we plant native species trees alongside a variety of different crops designed to improve the soil, provide green manure, and grow healthy food free of chemicals. A second plot is devoted to experimenting with shade coffee and using more sustainable techniques of coffee harvesting – which are already producing high quality coffee. A third area focuses on mixing non-traditional food crops with medicinal plants species. Interested in research? Iracambi partners with Brazil’s premier research institute Fiocruz, as part of a network inventorying the hundreds of medicinal plant species in the Atlantic Forest, along with their traditional uses. And we're experimenting with creating natural products based on medicinal plants extracts.....
That’s all about saving forests – so what about changing lives? Here’s where we work with local farmers, school kids, volunteers and visitors on outreach programs designed to raise awareness of the important issues of how to live sustainably, and how to encourage more and more people to join us exciting task of protecting one of the most important forests in the world.
Life at Iracambi
Studying, interning, volunteering or visiting Iracambi provides you with a fantastic opportunity to be part of a lifestyle that is likely very different from what you are used to. You will be sharing the campus space with people of different nationalities, backgrounds, skills, ages and interests - not to mention a few bugs! We invite you to participate in our ongoing projects and encourage you to take responsibility for your own work, experience, lifestyle and for your fellow Iracambistas. If you have your own study project or particular passion, that’s great, and we’ll give you the space and support that you need for that too. If you have a brilliant idea for something we could or ought to do, let’s see if we can do it!
The Research Center is located on a working farm, which includes a large area of native forest as well as tree crops. There are rivers to swim in, mountains to climb, forest trails to hike, and a welcoming local community. You won’t have the bright lights of a big city. But you will have the chance to make friends for life, as you work in the nursery, maintain the forest trails, visit local farms at tree planting times, and get involved in teaching English, forest monitoring, construction projects, graphic design – the list is endless.
You’ll be living on our rainforest campus, and eating delicious local food cooked by Larissa – who is more than happy to supply vegetarian or vegan options on request. The Research Center has one central dorm, five four-bed cabins, a field lab, a classroom, our multi-use Forest House, a system of forest trails, and our forest and agroecology plots. We have 24-hour access to internet – except during thunderstorms, when we power down in order to protect the equipment! Bring your hiking boots and a sense of humor, and let's get busy!
Join us in one of the world’s top biodiversity hotspots, Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, and gain firsthand experience in biodiversity conservation and sustainability. At the Iracambi Rainforest Research Center you’ll work with agroforestry…