2013 Dates: June 23 - August 16
Applications are now closed for 2013
Interested in what you'll be doing as an apprentice? Take a look at a sample weekly schedule.
Students from various academic backgrounds (e.g. anthropology, biology, psychology, linguistics, philosophy, etc.) are encouraged to apply. Applicants must be at least 18 years old and must have completed at least one year of university level education prior to the start of the program. There is a $25.00 non refundable application processing fee and a $1,900.00 program fee which does not include housing, food, transportation, or personal expenses.
The research at CHCI involves a group of chimpanzees who use the signs of American Sign Language (ASL). Two of the three, Tatu, and Dar, were part of the cross-fostering research that began at the University of Nevada, Reno in 1966 with Drs. R. A. and B. T. Gardner. Each chimpanzee was raised in an enriched environment in which their human family members used only ASL, much like the environment in which a deaf child grows up. The youngest chimpanzee, Loulis, was adopted by Washoe (who passed away in 2007) in 1978 and acquired his signs from the other chimpanzees as a focus of research done by the co-directors of CHCI, Roger and Deborah Fouts.
The chimpanzees have been at Central Washington University since 1980. In May of 1993, we moved from the third floor of the Psychology Building into a large facility that offers the chimpanzees a spacious outdoor area and a significant increase in indoor living space. This home, the Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute, is a complex, interesting, and enriching environment for this family of chimpanzees, whose well-being is our first concern. The facility also allows us to offer many educational and research programs such as this Summer Apprenticeship.
Successful completion of one university-level ASL course is highly encouraged in order to understand chimpanzee signs and interactions you will observe, but it is not necessary for application. Just as with any unfamiliar culture, learning the language is the first step to experiencing it. Those who do not take ASL classes will certainly be an active part of the program and will have just as many chances to observe the chimpanzees during observational research projects. It takes a long time to develop a relationship with the chimpanzees and a three-month training period is necessary to sign and interact with them. Therefore, even if you do take ASL classes, you will only be able to observe rather than participate in signed conversations with the chimpanzees. Also, if you have learned ASL, you would be able to work on research projects that involve videotapes of the chimpanzees signing.
All apprentices are involved in the husbandry, care, and enrichment of the chimpanzees on a daily basis. The chimpanzees' needs come first and everyone who is involved in the program participates in fulfilling these needs. Humane caregiving practices are valuable skills to have in this field and we offer plenty of opportunities to learn here. Specifically these activities include cleaning enclosures, food preparation, daily enrichment, and observing the chimpanzees from the berm, an outer walkway, when they are in their outside enclosure. Each apprentice has approximately 15 hours a week during which he or she is scheduled to be present at CHCI and help in these care activities. The rest of your time at CHCI will be spent participating in research projects.
Ours is a team approach to research. Apprentices are part of one or more research teams, each team working on its own research project. Apprentices are responsible for the majority of data collection, data entry, and literature review. The beginning stages of the program involve intensive training in chimpanzee care and husbandry and in research methods for the projects. After several weeks, each apprentice becomes more autonomous and is responsible for his or her own progress in the research project, much like a graduate student. Regular meetings are held to monitor progress on the various projects. Examples of previous research programs include the chimpanzees' reactions to visitors, chimpanzee imaginary play, comparison of the artwork of human children and chimpanzees, topic maintenance in chimpanzee-human signed conversations, and post-conflict interactions between the chimpanzees.
Applications for 2013 program will be accepted until February 22, 2013
CHCI is pleased to announce a Visiting Researcher grant. This grant covers up to $1800.00 toward the total Apprentice Program fee. Interested applicants should complete the Visiting Researcher Application form. The Visiting Researcher Application must accompany a CHCI Apprentice Application.
If you need information about campus housing you should contact the CWU housing office at (509) 963-1831, firstname.lastname@example.org, or University Housing and New Student Programs, Central Washington University, 400 E. University Way, Ellensburg, WA 98926-7513. If you have additional questions about the application process and/or the program in general please feel free to contact us through email: HendricksonB@cwu.edu or by writing to CHCI/CWU, 400 E. University Way, Ellensburg, WA 98926-7573. We will notify you of our decision by the middle of March.
Please Note: Persons requiring an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter for a CHCI sponsored prgram must contact CHCI at least 10 working days prior to the program's starting date.