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Atoll Volunteers is a young and vibrant NGO, based in the beautiful Maldives. We welcome international volunteers from around the globe on a range of programmes including medical and teaching placements, and Marine and Turtle Conservation, hosted at our Atoll Marine Centre.
Our marine biologists are in charge of running the marine centre, caring for the sea turtles, progressing our coral gardening efforts, raising environmental awareness within the community, monitoring local reef health and managing the international volunteers who pay to participate in the marine programs; ‘Marine Conservation’ & ‘Turtle Conservation’. The daily work is mostly caring for the turtles, but the more effective the turtle programme runs and in period with many volunteers, the more time there will be for the other projects.
As such, the work requires constant commitment and passion. The position takes on a lot of responsibility and the chosen candidates will be expected to shoulder this responsibility in a disciplined and professional way while also keeping a healthy balance between work and fun. We attract volunteers from around the world, from different backgrounds and with different needs. You will lead and interact with these volunteers daily and we strive to make certain that they have a meaningful stay with us.
As the marine biologist your job description will include the following…
- Managing the operations and expansions at our marine centre
- Maintaining and improving aesthetic appeal, operational facilities and educational content/displays
- Daily opening to receive and educate visitors (locals and tourists).
- Managing and expanding/improving the Turtle Conservation programme
- Ensuring correct sea turtle husbandry (daily)
- Working towards effective protection for sea turtles and their eggs
- Establishing and maintaining constructive communications with other sea turtle institutions
- Continuing turtle conservation contributions for the Maldives Sea Turtle Monitoring Network
- Managing and expanding/improving the Marine Conservation programme
- Monitoring and expanding coral gardening work
- Monitoring reef health in the surrounding areas
- Help with the Clownfish Breeding Programme
- Managing and expanding/improving awareness outreach into the community
- Weekly nature club lessons (ages 10-15)
- Environmental events to reach the whole community
- Reaching out to neighbouring islands
- Ensuring the health and happiness of participating volunteers
- Planning and overseeing the duties of our participating local and international volunteers
- Writing progress reports, funding reports and funding/ grant proposals where necessary
The below criteria are extremely important as your effectiveness here will depend on your ability to thrive in the conditions and face all the tasks ahead.
- You must have a Bachelor degree with some experience in a related field; marine biology, marine ecology etc.
- You should have proven experience working in a tropical and/or developing country. Conditions are basic, food is simple and island operations and supplies tend to be limited and slow under the concept of ‘island time’.
- You will need to be an easy-going, approachable and friendly ‘team player’ as this position is more than a scientific one. You will be leading a team of culturally diverse volunteers, working within a small community and working with busy NGO members.
- The ability to work independently will be important as your ‘behind-the-scenes work/ideas’ will lead and mould the programme going forward.
- You will need to be a confident and charismatic speaker with experience delivering informative but attractive and interactive slideshows. You will be delivering presentations to volunteers, tourists, school children and even adult members of the community, council or other NGOs.
- You will need to be physically fit and comfortable/strong in the water, preferably confident free-diver. It is extremely hot and unsheltered and you will have to travel around the island by foot.
- You MUST be available for 12 months.
- Experience working with sea turtles, whether in the wild or a captive-scenario, will be hugely beneficial as the health and happiness of the turtles is our first priority.
- Coral gardening experience
- A working knowledge of reef ecology and tropical marine species.
- Knowledge about aquarium maintenance and fish husbandry for our Anemonefish breeding programme (funded by the UNDP).
What’s in it for you?
Well, aside from the obvious perks delivered by the Maldives, namely the beautiful setting and fantastic marine life, you will be based in a wonderfully friendly community, fully supported in your work with a programme that is yours to mould and take into the future.
Being based on a local island, as opposed to a resort island, you will have the very real and exciting opportunity to instigate beneficial change right where it is needed. The community is responsive and ready to be educated.
Becoming our new marine biologist will also grant you the unique chance to experience life in the ‘real’ Maldives, outside the crowded and expensive tourist resorts. On our island there are just over 6000 inhabitants so expect to be living in a small island community where everyone knows everyone and where you are bound to be welcomed with open arms and a sense of hospitality which is rare in this world!
We do what we can to engage our volunteers in social activities. On the weekends we arrange weekly excursions to explore the wonders of the Maldives, whether it be to uninhabited islands, our favourite snorkelling spots or resort islands.
This is an unpaid position. However, your board, lodging, domestic travel and visa will be covered while you are in Naifaru.
To apply for the position you must submit an application (CV and cover letter) to [email protected]. Questions are also very welcome.
Applicants must apply no later than the 8th June 2019, interviews will be held in the following weeks. Applicants must be available to begin working early September and commit for 12 months.