Stages

FREE Nature werkt graag met studenten. We zien een meerwaarde in het opleiden van jonge mensen en onderhouden graag contacten met de opleidingen in de buurt van onze gebieden. Wij bieden een afwisselende stages waarin studenten  veel kennis kunnen opdoen over natuurlijke begrazing en contacten kunnen opbouwen met organisaties en vakmensen in het werkveld.

Wij zijn op zoek naar enthousiaste en flexibele studenten die van aanpakken weten. FREE Nature heeft een kantoor in Beuningen, maar biedt stagemogelijkheden in natuurgebieden verspreid door het hele land. Daarom vinden we het erg belangrijk dat studenten zelfstandig kunnen werken.

Op dit moment zijn de volgende stageonderwerpen beschikbaar:

Heb je  interesse in een van de onderwerpen of heb je vragen, mail dan naar stage@freenature.nl.

Eerste wisentkalf 2021 Maashorst © Arjen Boerman

Academic thesis and/or internship: Habitat and diet preferences (Wageningen University, English only)

The Foundation for Restoring European Ecosystems, in short FREE Nature, is an organization that focuses on the recovery and development of ‘wild’ nature. The core of their activity is the restoration of natural processes, namely natural grazing; introduction and management of large herbivores of a wide variety of species and breeds (from semi wild Highland, Galloway, Rode Geus and Sayaguesa cattle, Konik horses to European bison and water buffalo). The species and breeds differ in aspects such as exterior, social behaviour, life history, foraging behaviour, movement, thermoregulation and behaviour towards humans. To facilitate the process of nature restoration, an important objective of FREE Nature is to understand the suitability and ecological impact of these various species and breeds in different terrain types.

FREE Nature in collaboration with Wageningen University offer various thesis or internship positions, the topic of which all fall within the main research framework defined above. Currently, these are specific questions that FREE Nature would like to see addressed: 

FREE Nature uses different species of large herbivores in different areas, which may lead to different impacts on the vegetation. Also, in some areas multiple species of large herbivores are used. FREE Nature is looking for students who will study the habitat and diet preferences of different herbivore species through direct observations and analyses of data obtained from individuals with GPS collars. By comparing data obtained from different sites with different large herbivore assemblages possible competition and niche separation between the different species may be assessed.

  1. FREE Nature uses species that are still relatively wild or closely related to wild ancestors, such as the Konik and Highland cattle, to introduce natural grazing pressure in nature reserves to compensate for the lack of natural populations of large grazers. This may benefit biodiversity in general. FREE Nature is looking for students that study which species (e.g. birds, mammals, insects, plants) benefit from the presence of these large herbivores and whether there are also species that are negatively affected.
  2. FREE Nature uses species that are still relatively wild or closely related to wild ancestors, such as the konik and Highland cattle, to introduce natural grazing pressure in nature reserves to compensate for the lack of natural populations of large grazers. FREE Nature is looking for students that study differences in ecological impacts of natural grazing (year-round, low natural densities) using primitive breeds versus (agri)cultural grazing (usually higher unnatural densities, quite often only seasonal grazing), using more productive cattle breeds managed by farmers.
  3. Student profile: The student seeks to obtain experience with nature management in practice. The student is willing to spend much time in the field. Preferably, the student has knowledge of flora, especially of riverine systems. Because field work has to be done at locations with poor public transport connectivity, a car and a driving licence are desired. As FREE Nature is a small foundation with no central office (employees work from a home office), a high degree of self-dependence is required.

Al internships will entail fieldwork in several areas throughout the Netherlands, as well as analyses of (newly acquired and/or existing) data and report writing.

Required courses (WUR): Ecological Methods 1. Animal Ecology (or similar). For various subjects, experience with GIS is a pre.

Rode Geus op Slikken van de Heen

MBO: Veldwerkstage

Minimale stageduur: 10 weken

Binnen FREE Nature zijn er verschillende mogelijkheden om ervaring op te doen met de dagelijkse praktijk van het beheer van FREE Nature. Je loopt mee met één van onze beheerders en voert zelfstandig controles uit. Werkzaamheden omvatten onder andere:

  • Diercontrole
  • Rastercontrole & verrichten reparatiewerkzaamheden
  • Assisteren tijdens voorbereiden vangactie, o.a. opbouwen vangkraal
  • Informeren bezoekers