The Chimpanzee & Human Communication Institute Apprentice Program
The research at CHCI involves a group of chimpanzees who use the signs of American Sign Language (ASL). Washoe, Moja, Tatu, and Dar were part of the cross-fostering research that began in 1966 with Drs. R.A. & 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. Loulis was adopted by Washoe in 1978 and learned his signs from chimpanzees. Currently, Tatu, Dar, and Loulis reside at 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. After several weeks each apprentice becomes more autonomous and has responsibilities in research and husbandry. The philosophy of CHCI is that the needs of the chimpanzees come first. Apprentices are trained in humane care and research techniques.
The program fee is $1900 and there is a non-refundable $25 application processing fee. The costs do not include housing and transportation. 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 our web page at http://www.cwu.edu/~cwuchci/apprentice.html or contact Bonnie Hendrickson by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail CHCI-CWU, 400 East University Way, Ellensburg, WA 98926. The deadline to apply is February 24, 2012.