ACES Research Internship

Experience life in Belize while studying crocodilians and their wetland habitats. One on one, you train alongside Field Biologist & Expert Croc Wrangler, Chris Summers, while assisting with evening croc eye-shine surveys and crocodile conservation in Belize. 

Intern with ACES

ACES Research Internship provides you with the unique opportunity to enjoy Belize while assisting with crocodile conservation. Interns assist with evening croc eye-shine surveys, tagging, crocodile rescues, relocations, care, and community outreach. You will learn crocodile biology; behavior; proper handling methods of various sized crocodiles; and accurate scientific data collection procedures, including measurements, hands-on sexing techniques, and kind crocodile tagging. Programs are individually designed and tailored to meet each intern's personal goals and research interests. 

Email Christina at for additional details and information on how to apply!

Partnering with ACES, Sandbar Beachfront Hostel gives ACES Interns fabulous discounts for extended stays. With hostel rooms starting at $15 USD per night, Sandbar Beachfront Hostel is the best value in town for clean, comfortable, and safe lodging. Amenities include FREE Wi-Fi, beach access, swimming pool, deck over the ocean with loungers and floaters, free use of snorkel gear, a bilingual staff, an onsite concierge coordinator for local adventures, as well as delicious food served at Sandbar Restaurant. ACES Interns choosing to stay at Sandbar Hostel receive 10% off room, food, and drink during their stay.

Meet ACES Interns

Amaury Devagar Mellier, is a graduate of [] and a two-time returning intern of ACES. 

Evan Sims is a graduate of the University of Montana where he obtained a Bachelors of Science in Wildlife Biology. After college Evan joined the Peace Corps for a short stint, where he lived in the Philippines volunteering as a Coastal Resource Management Extension Worker. Evan has also had a wide variety of jobs in the wildlife field, working with snowshoe hares, jackrabbits, goshawks, and desert bighorn sheep. However, for the last two seasons, he has worked in the field of tourism and recreation, where he worked with a local fly-fishing company. Evan was able to apply not only his degree, but his knowledge and work experience with various other types of wildlife, to aid ACES in our mission.

Viviane Heily, Olivier Mathiaund & Chelsea Canon, France & New Mexico

Three students from around the World studying to become Veterinarians Intern at ACES together for five days in Ambergris Caye. Viviane and Olivier from France, and Chelsea from New Mexico, learn crocodile biology, behavior, and scientific data collection techniques, including safe crocodile handling, sexing, tagging, and release. Besure to watch Belize Channel 17 OpenLearningTV this September on "Adventures with Jungle Ron" to meet Chelsea, Viviane, & Olivier and see them in action learning with ACES! Watch the girls use their training as they assist with a crocodile relocation.

Special thanks to The Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic.

Anthony Pine, Founder of The Tomistoma Fund, California, USA

Anthony trained at ACES January thru March 2012. He gained important insight, experience, and training in crocodile research and conservation methods to apply to his charitable nonprofit organization, The Tomistoma Fund, to help protect endangered Tomistoma overseas.

While at ACES, Tony organized and presented a series of educational lectures for the schools on the island and covered the importance of science, conservation, and crocodiles in a fun and unique way. He also assisted with a mangrove restoration project and provided several activities for the children to take home, in hopes to create greater awareness and appreciation for animals and conservation in Ambergris Caye.

After ACES, Tony spent two weeks in the Philippines introducing his organization to the Crocodile Specialist Group 2012 meeting in Manila.

Chris Summers, previously a Croc Enthusiast and now Lead Field Biologist and Expert Croc Wrangler, from High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England

That's right! Chris Summers, ACES Daily Operations Manager, started his croc career by volunteering! 

Chris is a long-time Belize resident with native ties. After volunteering his time and labor to ACES for over four years, he became an official part of ACES’s Team and employee, in 2014. Trained by ACES Founders, Vince & Cherie, Chris is highly skilled in crocodile wrangling, behavior, biology, scientific data collection, and safe crocodile handling techniques. Today, Chris in charge of all crocodile rescues, relocations, and official croc training in Belize; as well as, ACES Captain and Lead Field Researcher.

Rachel Ithen & Dillion Plunket

Volunteering with ACES/ American Crocodile Education Sanctuary for the entire month of August in 2011, Rachel and Dillion's work with ACES was an immense asset to crocodile conservation in Belize. Always willing to learn new skills, such as captaining a skiff for daytime croc surveys; reading a refractometer to monitor salinity levels of crocodile habitats; and even handling wild crocodiles during croc rescues; this dynamic duo was a tremendous asset to ACES in collecting pertinent scientific data for research on the American crocodile population, distribution, and habitat viability. 

Whether painting or collecting garbage from the environment, Rachel and Dillion always worked with enthusiasm and dedication to complete the job, even when it meant spending grueling hours on night croc eye-shine surveys covered in mosquitos and helping to build the new wildlife refuge while dripping wet from the heat and humidity.

Brandon Sideleau, Wildlife Photographer, San Bernardino, California, USA

Specializing in Crocodilian photography, Brandon's goal is to photograph all 23 species of Crocodilians in the wild. He first visited ACES in Jan. 2011 primarily to photograph both species of crocodiles found in Belize, the American crocodile, Crocodylus acutus, and the freshwater Morelet's crocodile, C. moreletii. He also interview us for Australian Zoologist and Croc Expert, Adam Britton's podcast "CrocLog" on Adam's Croc Blog (2011, Episode 4). 

Returning later in 2011 as an Intern, Brandon learned safe crocodile handling skills and assisted on several crocodile rescues. He additionally interviewed us second time for Adam's "CrocLog Podcast (2012, Episode 9). 

Brandon currently is a co-creator of CrocBITE, the worldwide crocodilian attack database.