About Indo Ocean Project
Indo Ocean Project was founded by marine biologists, dive instructors, and ocean enthusiasts from around the globe to create a standardised data collection and research diver training program in Indonesia. We work together with government agencies, NGOs, local stakeholders, and universities to carry out scientific research to address marine conservation issues and conduct ecological monitoring in the Indo-Pacific region.
Our field expeditions in Indonesia host international and local research projects focused on marine mega fauna, coral reef conservation, and marine park management. The aim of Indo Ocean Project is to bridge the knowledge gap in Indonesia by providing a platform for high quality data and a space for local and foreign scientists to conduct independent field research. We publish our work in scientific journals and use this data to inform marine park officials and local stakeholders, helping create data driven changes to local marine policy.
Our unique dive master and research diver internship allows our students to take an active role in our science while completing internationally recognised diving and ecology certification courses. Our award-winning curriculum offers in-depth training on the biggest issues facing marine conservationists today. You don’t need to be a diver or a scientist to apply! Our project relies on the diverse experience and expertise of our volunteers from around the world to take action.
Indonesia is the 4th most populated country and the largest archipelago nation in the world. Geographically, Indonesia is expected to have some of the highest biodiversity of marine species in the world. High demand for shark fins and manta ray gill rakers has caused severe overfishing across the country, depleting the fish stock populations dramatically.
This is the front lines for global marine conservation efforts, and in recent years the Indonesian government has shown they care. There has been a generational switch in mindset towards marine preservation and local efforts have been blossoming across the country. In 2022 Indonesia announced its plan to protect 10% of its seas by 2030, and 30% by 2045. This is nearly quadrupling its current Marine Protected Area (MPA) coverage to a total of 975,000 KM2!
Indo Ocean Project is in a unique position to provide data driven establishment and management of MPAs by suppling a consistent and quality ecological monitoring program to our partnering MPAs and local stakeholders. Operations like Indo Ocean Project exist to bridge the gap between marine park officials and the data required to manage them and to help support the development of new protected areas.
As an intern with Indo Ocean Project you will be directly contributing to this goal by being part of the team conducting our baseline data, establishing new projects, and engaging the community, all while becoming an exceptional dive professional.
What we do
We combine ecological monitoring, community engagement and direct conservation efforts across all our regions of study. As an intern you will be part of conducting surveys, deploying BRUVs (Baited Remote Underwater Videos), benthic and coral coverage monitoring, mangrove and coral restoration, educational programs, and community outreach.
For a complete breakdown of all our projects and their goals check out our Conservation Management Plan HERE
About the Internship
At Indo Ocean Project it is our belief that in order to become a good research diver you must first become a good diver. This is why we exclusively offer programs to dive master trainees or existing dive professionals. Conducting research underwater has additional technical and safety concerns. Diving becomes a tool, enabling underwater work and research goals to be met. You need to have perfect buoyancy, excellent awareness and a deep understanding of diving theory to safely manage heavy equipment and focus on surveys.
The project runs 6 days a week with 5 days of diving and 1 dry day. 3 days a week are boat diving and 2 days of shore diving with around 7-9 dives per week. Your time will be split between diver development, marine ecology workshops, practical assessment, and in water application. Before we do anything practical, interns complete workshops lead by our team of dive professionals and marine biologists. Like any new job, there is a learning curve of around 4 weeks. In this time you go through an in-depth training on diving and our scientific methodology before you join the research teams and your data is counted.
All of our programs include 5 ecological specialties:
- Marine Ecology
- Shark Ecology
- Manta Ecology
- Turtle Ecology
- Coral Ecology & Restoration (Ocean Gardener)
Additional workshops in marine creatures, diver development, dive theory, and marine science are run throughout the program.
We pride ourselves on being a career stepping stone, training the next generation of marine biologists and dive professionals. This is not your typical dive master training program.
Life at the Raja Ampat Project
Location: Waigeo, West Papua
Partnering dive centre: Scuba Republic’s Raja Ampat Base Camp
Maximum number of interns: 10-12 (6 person dorm rooms)
Staff: 3 project staff, 15+ dive resort staff
Ocean highlights: Reef sharks, manta rays, and incredibly biodiverse and thriving coral reefs. The birthplace of macro diving with endemic critters only found in the region.
Diving conditions: Raja Ampat conditions vary throughout the year but offers excellent diving year-round. From the months of November to March nutrient rich waters bring in lower visibility, but larger fish like manta rays. From April to October is traditionally known as “low season” in Raja Ampat, but the diving conditions are fantastic, with 40m+ visibility, warm waters and tons of reef sharks on private dive sites. The average temperature year round is between 27C-30C with occasional cold upwellings to the low 20’s. There is no rainy or dry season as it is right on the equator, rain fall happens year round in short bursts rarely lasting longer then 1 hour.
Good to know: The Raja Ampat Project is the newest location at Indo Ocean Project and launched in 2021. It is known as “The Last Paradise” and is the most biodiverse marine ecosystem on the planet boasting over 1,600 species of fish and 550 species of corals. It is one of the world’s MPA success stories with a network of locally governed and enforced sanctuaries. It is also one of a handful of known oceanic manta ray (Mobula birostris) cleaning stations. The diving is world class, with some of the most famous sites at our doorsteps like Blue Magic, Sardine, and Cape Kri.
Papua is rich in culture with a proud history. An integral part of the Raja Ampat project includes cultural immersion in the local village of Sapokren and in the village schools assisting in teaching English and ocean awareness. Raja Ampat stands for Four Kings which represent the four main islands in the region. The project headquarters is on the island of Waigeo, around 2 hours ferry from the main entry point of Sorong.
Life at the project is simple. This is the most remote location for Indo Ocean Project and all action happens on site at Scuba Republics Raja Ampat Base Camp. Accommodation is 6-bed mixed dorm rooms with fans, shared with your fellow interns. It is 50m from the ocean and nestled in the dense jungle. There is a project office and communal dinning area/classroom. The best feature is the beachside deck and jetty which offers easy entry for our house reef and main research site.
Raja Ampat is a famous destination that welcomes divers from around the world, but it is remote and takes additional flights from Jakarta or Bali to reach. Be prepared to travel an additional 18 hours domestically once you arrive in Indonesia.
Who should join this project? This is a premiere diving destination, but not for those faint of heart. It is remote and there is limited access to western comforts. The town of Waisai is 20 minutes away and offers an array of basic needs and supplies, but if you are looking for the Bali nightlife or western foods then this is not the place for you. Basic but clean and comfortable living conditions, 3 home cooked Indonesian meals are served every day, and a social atmosphere brings this project to life. The accommodation is comfortable but limited private rooms are available. In Raja Ampat it is all about diving, science, and communal jungle living. Please keep in mind we are in the heart of a jungle which offers an array of endemic wildlife like couscous (local marsupial), reptiles, and critters. Excellent spot for experienced divers, but also offers great learning conditions.
Packages and Program fees
Programs like ours rely on the generosity of our partners and volunteers to allow for development and growth. In order for us to create an unforgettable adventure for you we do require a tuition to cover your expenses while on program. We have various packages available depending on your current diving experience.
*Minimum age requirement for all our programs is 20 years old as of your start date
Package 1 – Dive Master
Prerequisites: For candidates who have completed up to their Rescue Diver and Emergency First Responder course with O2 provider.
Courses included: PADI/SSI Divemaster, SSI Marine Ecology, SSI Shark Ecology, SSI Manta Ecology, SSI Sea Turtle Ecology, Ocean Gardener Coral Ecology & Restoration
Minimum time commitment: 8 weeks
Program fees: 56,500,000 IDR
Package 2 – Rescuer
Prerequisites: For candidates who have completed up to their Advanced Open Water Diver course.
Courses included: Rescue Diver, React Right First Responder with O2 Provider, PADI/SSI Divemaster, SSI Marine Ecology, SSI Shark Ecology, SSI Manta Ecology, SSI Sea Turtle Ecology, Ocean Gardener Coral Ecology & Restoration
Minimum time commitment: 10 weeks
Program fees: 74,500,000 IDR
Package 3 – Advanced
Prerequisites: For candidates who have completed up to their Open Water Diver course.
Courses included: Advanced Open Water Diver, Rescue Diver, React Right First Responder with O2 Provider, PADI/SSI Divemaster, SSI Marine Ecology, SSI Shark Ecology, SSI Manta Ecology, SSI Sea Turtle Ecology, Ocean Gardener Coral Ecology & Restoration
Minimum time commitment: 12 weeks
Program fees: 89,500,000 IDR
Package 4 – Zero to Hero
Prerequisites: For candidates who have strong swimming skills, comfortable in open water conditions, can complete a timed 400m free swim and tread water for 15 minutes, have been cleared for diving by a doctor.
Courses included: Open Water Diver, Advanced Open Water Diver, Rescue Diver, React Right First Responder with O2 Provider, PADI/SSI Divemaster, SSI Marine Ecology, SSI Shark Ecology, SSI Manta Ecology, SSI Sea Turtle Ecology, Ocean Gardener Coral Ecology & Restoration
Minimum time commitment: 14 weeks
Program fees: 105,500,000 IDR
Package 5 – Research Diver
Prerequisites: For candidates who have already completed the Dive Master course, have a minimum of 60 logged dives, and been cleared for diving by a doctor.
Courses included: SSI Marine Ecology, SSI Shark Ecology, SSI Manta Ecology, SSI Sea Turtle Ecology, Ocean Gardener Coral Ecology & Restoration
Minimum time commitment: 6 weeks
Program fees: 43,000,000 IDR
Additional weeks = 6,750,000 IDR/week
In addition to the recreational and professional diver courses listed above, all our programs include:
- 6-bed shared accommodation (with fellow inters)
- One way Transportation from Sorong Airport (on arrival) to project headquarters
- Full board: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Drinking water, coffee and tea
- 7-8 dives per week
- 5 ecology specialty course certifications
- Access to pre arrival training courses and materials
- 2 Program shirts
- Pre arrival support
- Flights, travel and VISA costs
- Travel & dive insurance
- In country spending money
- Meals (can eat for 20,000 IDR+/meal)
- Divemaster crewpack and training manuals (3,850,000 IDR SSI or 4,400,000 IDR PADI)
- Divemaster processing fees (agency dependant)
- Equipment rental (1,500,000 IDR/4 weeks)
- Marine park fees (1,000,000 IDR)
*Prices are subject to change depending on project changes and requirements
Find out what our grads are saying out us here:
Find out what our grads do after graduation here: https://indooceanproject.org/where-are-they-now/
We work on rolling start dates year-round, that means when one intern leaves another arrives to take their place. We fill up around 6 months in advance with occasional last minute spots.
The first step is to apply online. Our admissions process takes around 3-4 weeks to complete before a 50% deposit is due to secure your spot. In this time we will pass over more information on the project and answer your questions. You will submit a short application questionnaire with some supportive documents.
Contact email@example.com for next availability
Apply online here: https://indooceanproject.org/apply-now/
For more information read our Introduction & Application Guide Here: https://issuu.com/indooceanproject/docs/iop_intro_and_application_guide