University of Vermont

Internships & Careers

primate Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute

Location:  Ellensburg, Washington

Dar, a chimpanzee at CHCIThe Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute (CHCI) is currently taking applications for their 10-week Summer Apprentice Program. Graduates, undergraduates, and post-graduates from any nation and from various academic backgrounds (e.g. Anthropology, Biology, Psychology, Linguistics, Philosophy, etc.) are encouraged to apply. This program is open to students from all universities and post-graduates. The program runs from the middle of June to the end of August.

The research at CHCI involves a group of four chimpanzees who use the signs of American Sign Language (ASL). Three of the four, Washoe, Tatu, and Dar, were part of the cross-fostering research that began with Drs. R.A. and B.T. Gardner. Each chimpanzee was raised in an enriched environment in which his or her human family members used only ASL, much like the environment in which a deaf human child grows up. The fourth chimpanzee, Loulis, was adopted by Washoe in 1978 and learned his signs from other chimpanzees as a focus of research done by the co-directors of CHCI, Dr. Roger and Deborah Fouts.

Currently, the chimpanzees reside at the CHCI on the campus of Central Washington University in Ellensburg, WA in a large state-of-the-art facility. Apprentices are at the institute daily -- cleaning enclosures, preparing meals and enrichment, making observations of the chimpanzees, and participating in one or more research projects. The first week is intensive training in laboratory jobs and chimpanzee behaviors. The philosophy of CHCI is that the needs of the chimpanzees come first. Apprentices are trained in humane care and research techniques. After several weeks each apprentice becomes more autonomous and has responsibilities in the research project.

The program fee is $1800 and there is a non-refundable $25 application processing fee. This does not include housing and transportation. Inexpensive housing is available on campus. A course in ASL is highly recommended but not required. For more information on the program and the application please see the CHCI web page at or contact Dr. Mary Lee Jensvold, CHCI, CWU, Ellensburg, WA 98926

If you would like to receive ASCI credit for this internship, contact Fran Kinghorn.

Dr. Mary Lee Jensvold
Chimpansee and Human Communication Institute
Central Washington University
400 E. University Way
Ellensburg, WA.  98926-2234

Phone:  509-963-2244

Fax:  509-963-2234

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Last modified October 23 2007 10:39 AM

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