Sharklife Research Assistant

NGO
·
opgericht in 2005
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Coördinator | Candice
Coördinator | Candice
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High­lights

Get close to sharks
Get Freediving training
Examine real shark and ray specimens
Study in a World Heritage Site
Encounter diverse marine mega fauna and dive in warm clear ocean environments
Sharklife has been driving shark conservation initiatives since 2005 and has a wealth of experience to offer enthusiastic research assistants. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Leeftijd 18+
Alleenstaanden
Koppels
Groepen

Established in 2005 as a non-profit organization, Sharklife works to address the alarming exploitation of both shark populations and ocean fisheries in South African waters. Our marine internship programs aim to nurture shark conservation ambassadors through knowledge developmenthands-on training, and many hours on the ocean encountering a multitude of marine wildlife. 

"The overall goal of the program is to imprint a deeper understanding of the shark species in the minds of participants" 

The Sharklife Research Assistant program provides a unique platform for students and volunteers to gain field experience working on shark research projects in South Africa's largest coastal Marine Protected Area. With direct involvement in all the research components, you will build your skill base through knowledge developmentpractical training, and many hours on the ocean. 

There is a maximum of 6 research assistants at any time allowing for more valuable experiences in the field and increased personal development. 

Sharklife has been driving shark conservation initiatives since 2005 and has a wealth of experience to offer enthusiastic research assistants. So whether you are an early career marine biologist, student, or passionate volunteer we need you to help drive our shark research projects!

Please note: All our data collection methods are non-invasive, not harmful to the animals we study, there is no catching, handling, or feeding of sharks on this program. In addition, we dive in small groups to limit the disturbance of marine wildlife. 

The core goal of this program is to develop your fieldwork experience and watermanship skills. During this month you will steadily practice freediving, clock-up scuba dives, and learn the routine boating tasks. A series of workshops focused on shark ID, behavior and biology are given during this month to enhance your understanding of the animals you are researching. You will also be introduced to the data collection, input, and analysis methods used in the projects we are conducting at the time.  

Scuba Diver Training: Optional extra, completed in the first week of your stay.

If you would like to complete one of the following courses whilst you are here, please specify it in the inquiry form.

  • PADI Open Water Course - $350
  • PADI Advanced Diver Course - $250

 These courses are delivered through our PADI 5 Star scuba training partner.

 Highlights:

  • 10 - 20 boat-based research trips
  • Shark encounters
  • 30 - 60hrs in the field 
  • Research freediver training (5 - 10m)
  • 5 -10 research scuba dives (if certified)
  • Shark workshops

 Duties:

  • Prepare the boat and dive gear
  • Prepare research equipment
  • Assist with crewing the boat
  • Perform in water data collection tasks
  • Maintain dive gear and boating equipment
  • Data collection, input, and analysis

 Deliverables:

  • 1 page (500 words) blog article on a relevant conservation topic
  • A 10-minute presentation on an elasmobranch species you encountered here
  • Short structured report on research findings for the month 

Sodwana Bay is a small rural town that borders the pristine world heritage site known as the iSimangaliso Wetland Park.

The park includes South Africa's largest coastal Marine Protected Area, spanning 280 km of coastline, and is one of the top ten dive destinations in the world. The coral reefs contain over 1 200 species of fish as well as a variety of underwater seascapes and marine megafauna. The warm tropical waters (20-27C, 60-80F) year-round and good visibility make for awesome researching conditions! 

Sodwana Bay is also a short drive from a selection of Big 5 Game Reserves which you will visit on your days off.

“The wetland park must be the only place on the globe where the world’s oldest land mammal (the rhinoceros) and the world’s biggest land mammal (the elephant) share an ecosystem with the world’s oldest fish (the coelacanth) and the world’s biggest marine mammal (the whale).” Nelson Mandela 2001.

Dagelijkse activiteiten

Your days will be divided into land days and ocean days, depending on weather conditions.

Typical Day: 07:00 - 15:00 On returning we rinse, de-kit the boat and diving equipment, and break for lunch. 

After lunch, we meet in the research office where interns and volunteers are tasked with the daily data management functions or maintenance tasks. 

We end off with a debrief and planning session for the next day's research activities. 

If we are unable to go to sea due to inclement weather we conduct theory sessions in our auditorium using graphics, videos, and models to enhance your theoretical understanding of sharks. Interns and volunteers use this opportunity to ask questions and discuss prevalent conservation topics. 

We also use this time to conduct various examinations of the shark and ray specimens we have preserved, either frozen, dried, or in solution. These specimens enable participants to get a feel of the various anatomical features of each animal. 

The rest of the day may be allocated to extra activities happening in the center at the time such as; assisting with school groups, museum display development, boat maintenance, etc.

After preparing the boat and equipment for sea we head to the beach. Interns and volunteers are an integral part of the team and assist directly with all beach and boating logistics.  We launch through the surf and make our way along the coastline to the designated study area where we conduct in-water surveys, record sightings data, and change out equipment. Interns get the opportunity to develop seamanship and diving skills whilst encountering a wide variety of marine life. 


Vrijetijdsactiviteiten

  1. The most popular free-time activity is a day trip to the Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve. The park is home to Africa's big five: elephant, rhinoceros (black/hook-lipped and white/square-lipped), Cape buffalo, lion, and leopard.
  2. You can just relax on the pristine beaches of Sodwana Bay.
  3. For the more adventurous, you can embark on a microlight flight over the coastline
  4. There are also quad bike tours of the local lake systems and forests. 
  5. You can scuba dive on the world-renowned reefs of Sodwana Bay. 
Zwemmen
Bezienswaardigheden
Duiken/
Snorkelen
Safari/
Zoo

Voor­waarden

Om deel te nemen aan het programma dien je tenminste 18 jaar oud te zijn op de startdatum van het programma. Er kunnen uitzonderingen gemaakt worden indien je een bewijs van toestemming kan aantonen van uw wettelijke voogd(en) of samen met je ouders deelneemt.
Taalkennis
Je dient over volgende taalkennis te beschikken Engels (gemiddeld niveau)
Opleidingsvereisten
Marine Sciences, Biology & Conservation (not essential) op High school niveau
Nationaliteitsbeperkingen
Geen beperkingen. Helpende handen van over de hele wereld zijn welkom.
Andere vaardigheden
Being able to swim is a requirement.
Tijdsinzet
Uw helpende hand wordt verwacht op maandag, dinsdag, woensdag, donderdag en vrijdag van 07:00 - 16:00

Diensten ingesloten

Diensten door Sharklife Conservation Group
As the project is based in a remote rural area there are extra expenses involved in providing similar services to those found in developed countries. Nonetheless, we have tried our best to balance the costs to make your trip both affordable and comfortable. 

Costs Include:

The majority of your program cost goes towards the implementation of research projects.

  • Research expense contribution
  • Airport transfers 
  • Private room  
  • Lectures, materials, freediving certification
  • Dive gear
  • Wifi
  • 24hr support  

Excluded:

  • Scuba Courses: (PADI OW or PADI ADV, EFR, Rescue, DM, and any specialties) 
  • Game Park tours
  • Flights 
  • Travel Insurance
  • Meals *
  • Vaccinations 
  • Weekend Activities: These can be scuba diving or field trips

* Meals - The research camp has a fully equipped kitchen where you can prepare your meals and there are daily trips to the local supermarket where you can purchase food.  Alternatively, there is a restaurant on site where you can order lunch and dinner from a large menu. 

Afhaal aan de luchthaven op Richards Bay Airport

You will be met at the airport by a Sharklife staff member. 

If your program starts on the 1st of January you need to arrive at the airport on the 1st of January, not before. If your program's last day is the 2nd of December you need to book your flight for departure on the 2nd of December.

You need to fly into Richards Bay Airport (RCB) via Johannesburg O.R Tambo Airport. Please try to arrive early as it's a 2hr drive back to Sodwana Bay.

We are aware however that due to the current Pandemic restrictions Richards Bay Airport may still be closed. If you cannot find any flights to Richards Bay please fly into King Shaka International - Durban (DUR). Please note that you need to arrive as early as possible in the morning or early afternoon as it's a 4hr drive back to Sodwana Bay.

Accomodatie

You will be situated within the intern camp located next to the Sharklife Ocean Center. 

We have a total of five rooms.

Five rooms which are small yet secure and private which share 2 toilet/shower rooms.

One room is en-suite.

The kitchen and communal areas are spacious and well equip. We do have a washing machine in the common area for you to do some laundry.

Restaurant on-site.

Slaapkamer (Enkel)
Internet toegang
Makkelijke toegang op de project site
Wat is er NIET inbegrepen?
Visum, vluchten, reisverzekering en vaccinaties zijn NIET inbegrepen in de programmakosten. Eten, tussendoortjes en drankjes zijn bijkomende kosten.
Vlucht tickets
De dichtste luchthaven is Richards Bay Airport (RCB) in Richards Bay. We assisteren u met het vinden van goedkope vluchten naar Zuid-Afrika.
Reisverzekering
Naar het buitenland reizen is een avontuur en het is best om goed voorbereid te zijn. Plots ziek worden of gewond raken, annulaties of diefstal - een reisverzekering voor Zuid-Afrika biedt zekerheid en is een meerwaarde.
Vaccinaties
Als je de intentie hebt om als vrijwilliger aan de slag te gaan in Zuid-Afrika dien je eerst medisch advies in te winnen alvorens je eropuit trekt. Kijk de benodigde vaccinaties na voor Zuid-Afrika.

Data & Kosten

GEEN CREDITCARDKOSTEN

Gegevens over jouw aankomst

Start Dates:
1-Month Shark research assistant dates: 
28th March - 25th April 2022
25th April - 23rd May 2022
23rd May - 20th June 2022
20th June - 18th July 2022
18th July - 15th Aug 2022
15th Aug - 12th Sep 2022
12th Sep - 10th Oct 2022
10th Oct - 7th Nov 2022

2-Month Shark research assistant dates:
28th March - 23rd May 2022
25th April - 20th June 2022
23rd May - 18th July 2022
20th June - 15th Aug 2022
18th July - 12th Sep 2022
15th Aug - 10th Oct 2022
12th Sep - 7th Nov 2022
10th Oct - 5th Dec 2022
7th Nov - 2nd Jan 2023
5th Dec - 30th Jan 2023
2nd Jan - 27th Feb 2023
30th Jan - 27th March 2023

3-Month Shark research assistant dates: 
28th March - 20th June 2022
25th April - 18th July 2022
23rd May - 15th Aug 2022
20th June - 12th Sep 2022
18th July - 10th Oct 2022
15th Aug - 7th Nov 2022
12th Sep - 5th Dec 2022
10th Oct - 2nd Jan 2023
7th Nov - 30th Jan 2023
5th Dec - 27th Feb 2023
2nd Jan - 27th March 2023
27th Feb - 22nd May 2023
27th March - 19th June 2023
 
If your program starts on the 1st of January you need to arrive at the airport on the 1st of January, not before. If your program's last day is the 2nd of December you need to book your flight for departure on the 2nd of December.

You need to fly into Richards Bay Airport (RCB) via Johannesburg O.R Tambo Airport. Please try to arrive early as it's a 2hr drive back to Sodwana Bay.

We are aware however that due to the current Pandemic restrictions Richards Bay Airport may still be closed. If you cannot find any flights to Richards Bay please fly into King Shaka International - Durban (DUR). Please note that you need to arrive as early as possible in the morning or early afternoon as it's a 4hr drive back to Sodwana Bay.

If you need assistance with travel arrangements we offer a travel consultant service for an additional $ 100. The service includes the following:

  • Booking flights and securing travel insurance
  • Advice on travel arrangements e.g. visas and passports
  • Up to date changes on flight details
  • Up to date COVID travel regulations
  • Complaints or refunds on flight tickets/travel insurance
  • Lost baggage claims and returns
  • 24hr support on-route to and from Sharklife

A Sharklife staff member will pick you up from the airport on your arrival day.

If you are unsure please do not hesitate to ask for help.

Beschikbaarheid
jan. feb. mrt. apr. mei jun. jul. aug. sep. okt. nov. dec.
Duurtijd
4 - 12 weken

Programmakosten

Kosten: Prijs in USD
4 weken (min. verblijf)
$1.995
8 weken
$2.995
12 weken (max. verblijf)
$3.995
Gemiddelde kosten
$416 /week

Houd er rekening mee dat de hierboven getoonde kosten worden geschat. Sharklife Conservation Group zal je op de hoogte houden over de finale kostprijs gedurende uw aanmeldprocedure.
Waarborg (15%)
De waarborg dient om je plek als vrijwilliger te verzekeren. Betalingen worden door PayPal behandeld, onze betrouwbare betalingsprovider. Indien je niet over een PayPal account beschikt, kan je ook met een credit kaart betalen.
Finale betaling (85%)
Uw finale betaling zal worden goedgekeurd door Sharklife Conservation Group gedurende de aanmeld procedure. Veel voorkomende oplossingen zijn een banktransfer of contante betaling op de projectsite.

Waarom Volunteer World

Bijkomende zekerheid geboden door Volunteer World
Volunteer World is 's werelds leidende vergelijkingsplatform voor internationale vrijwilligerswerk projecten. Wij begeleiden jou door een betrouwbare aanmeldingsprocedure - inclusief de nodige betalingen. Plan jouw zinvolle reis met Volunteer World en krijg gratis toegang tot:
Kwaliteitsgarantie
Hoge ethische standaarden & transparantie in de sociale impact
Flex-optie
Wijzig jouw reservatie zonder extra meerkost
Garantie op terugbetaling
We betalen je kosten terug als Sharklife Conservation Group jouw reis annuleert
Ondersteuning & tussenkomst
Wij steunen je, wat er ook gebeurt, je kan altijd contact opnemen met ons
Onze diensten zijn gratis!
Alle programmakosten worden rechtstreeks gefactureerd door Sharklife Conservation Group

Wat vertellen de mensen over Volunteer World?

Sharklife Research Assistant

Sharklife has been driving shark conservation initiatives since 2005 and has a wealth of experience to offer enthusiastic research assistants.

$416/week

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