Archipelagos Institute

Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization committed to researching and defending the biodiversity of the Greek seas.

About the Project

Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation is a non-profit, non-governmental organization committed to researching and defending the biodiversity of the Greek seas and islands, as well as the entire eastern Mediterranean.

Who we are

Since 1998, Archipelagos has focused on a combination of multidisciplinary scientific research and efficient conservation work, in which local communities play an active part. This cooperation creates a strategic foundation that enables and strengthens the activities of Archipelagos at the local, national and European level, allowing us to defend marine and terrestrial wildlife against the ever-increasing human threats. Archipelagos operates far from city centers and commercial interests, offering a pure, direct approach to environmental conservation. We are working in different areas of the Aegean Sea throughout the year, next to the ecosystems in need of protection and management. Despite adverse weather conditions, especially during the winter months, we manage to implement significant research and environmental protection activities thanks to the enthusiasm and dedication of our research team. These actions are combined with applied scientific research in the field and in the laboratory as well as developed in close cooperation with local communities,authorities, international NGO coalitions and national and European institutions.

Where we focus

Marine wildlife conservation

Marine mammals, fisheries, coastal ecosystems (focusing on endangered habitats and species), oceanographic research, water quality, pollution assessment and shipping disaster prevention.

Terrestrial wildlife conservation

Island fauna, with a particular focus on endangered species such as chameleons, jackals, bats and birds. Island flora, focusing on the rare island forests and freshwater habitats. The continued development of the Aegean Seed Bank (preservation of rapidly disappearing local varieties of agricultural plants), pollution and human impact assessments, and the management of priority habitats.

How we work

Archipelagos Institute operates far from city centers and commercial interests, offering a pure, direct approach to environmental conservation.

Our research team works in the field throughout the year, directly in the environments we strive to protect. Despite adverse weather conditions that can occur, especially in the winter months, our team’s enthusiasm and commitment has enabled us to conduct valuable research and achieve conservation actions in defense of the environment.

Archipelagos Institute carries out multi-faceted conservation work involving a combination of research expeditions, field surveys and laboratory work while in close collaboration with local communities, national and EU policy makers and the wider media.

"Our goal is a truly efficient and effective approach to the environmental protection"

Start your career with a special experience!

Graduates and students are welcome to apply for placements through a volunteer placement or internship, with the aim to enrich their knowledge with the practical experience of working in hands-on field research and conservation projects. These take place within the beautiful landscape of the islands in the eastern Aegean Sea, Greece. They address a number of key conservation and scientific issues, which relate to the protection of the rare biodiversity in the region. The goal of Archipelagos’ placement program is to provide participants with research experience in the field, contributing directly towards the future of this unique ecosystem.

All volunteer placements and internships are geared at developing your leadership and role model skills, allowing you to develop a variety of key skills, which can improve your future job prospects.

The Team

One of the main goals of Archipelagos Institute is to bring together the expertise and know-how of the local and international scientific conservation community and to gain knowledge and experience that actively contribute to the conservation of the unique biodiversity hotspot of the Aegean Sea and the eastern Mediterranean.

Scientists, experts, recent graduates and students work as volunteers in Archipelagos’ research bases on the Northeastern Aegean islands throughout the year. Teams are comprised of people from all over the world, with a wide background of specialties and skills, who actively work on various projects. Archipelagos works closely with leading universities and research institutes from Europe, America and Asia.

The Main Research Base

Archipelagos’ main research base is located close to the small town of Pythagorio, in the settlement of Mesokampos, on the southeastern part of Samos island. It is a multifunctional that enables the conservation of coastal ecosystem and terrestrial biodiversity. The base includes offices with a small library and a presentation area, a small laboratory, dormitory style rooms for accommodation and a kitchen. Wireless Internet is also available.

The building is situated just a few steps away from the beach with a beautiful view facing the coast of Turkey and the national park of the Dilek Peninsula. The Psili Ammos salt marsh, a protected Natura 200 site, is located a few kilometers away and supports important migratory and resident bird populations, as well as other wildlife. Within a close distance from Archipelagos’ base lies Pythagorio, an ancient town with a 2,500-year-oldharbor filled with brightly colored fishing boats. While in Pythagorio, one can find a diverse selection of cafes, restaurants, taverns and shops. From here several historical sites can be accessed, including the ancient temple of the goddess Hera, the Tunnel of Eupalinos and the Archaeological Museum of Pythagorio.

Samos is a Greek island in the eastern part of the Aegean Sea, situated very close to the Turkish coastline, which at one point is only 1.6 km away. It is a historical island, with ancient heritage and important archeological sites. In antiquity it was home to prominent figures such as the mathematician Pythagoras, the storyteller Aesop, the philosopher Epicurus and the astronomer Aristarchus. Today Samos is characterized by its rare natural wealth, both at land and sea. It is the only island of the Mediterranean that supports populations of golden jackals and the only place in Greece where Mediterranean chameleons still survive. The marine ecosystems around Samos are equally important, as they contain Posidonia seagrass meadows, coralligenous reefs and considerable populations of rare, endangered marine mammals and turtles.

Social Impact

We Use Our Scientific Knowledge to:

  • Cooperate with local communities and authorities to develop and apply pilot management and conservation projects aimed at protecting habitats and species of the Aegean Sea. These projects can later be applied to other parts of Greece and the northeastern Mediterranean. 
  • Work directly to stop destructive human behavior, such as illegal fishing practices, explosions at sea, waste dumping, maritime pollution, erosive overgrazing and other threats to biodiversity.
  • Launch environmental actions and awareness campaigns at local, national and EU levels through the use of social media, video, animation and printed media in order to inform the public on how to better preserve and actively protect its natural resources.

NPO Status
Yes, registered non-profit organisation
Foundation Year
2001
Contact Person
Anastasia Miliou
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