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Archipelagos Institute

Marine Mammal & Sea Turtle Conservation

Pythagorio, Greece

The main goals of our research are: Monitoring the habitat use, abundance and distribution of cetaceans, Mediterrenean monk seals and sea turtles.

The monitoring of marine mammal populations focuses on the sea around Samos and extends to the islands of Ikaria, Fourni, Patmos, Arki and Lipsi. From the research base of Pythagorio in Samos, land based surveys are also conducted from a number of observational points in different parts of the island.

The Aegean, just like the whole Mediterranean Sea, is influenced by human activities such as shipping, tourism, unregulated fisheries practices
and pollution, which threaten the survival of marine mammal populations. A vital sector of the eastern Aegean economy are the fisheries, which
cause an unavoidable interaction between the marine mammals and the fishermen who are after the same prey.

The main goals of our research are:

  • Monitoring the habitat use, abundance and distribution of cetaceans, Mediterrenean monk seals and sea turtles.
  • Studying the population structure and its dynamics.
  • Studying the behaviour through visual and acoustic data.
  • Investigating the impact of major threats, such as fishing and tourism, on the cetacean behavior.
What you should expect from your stay

The work of Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation, is built upon a strong and enthusiastic volunteer team. We are therefore seeking applicants that are motivated and have a strong desire to protect and conserve the natural environment. You must be conscientious and highly motivated, able to work both individually and as part of a dynamic, multi-cultural team of people from around the world. 

Typical day

Our current work includes the following activities:

  • Conducting boat-based surveys to collect data on cetacean abundance, distribution and behavior.
  • Conducting land-based surveys to investigate the effects that marine vessels and fishing pressure exert on the behavior of cetaceans and to collect data on the abundance, distribution and behavior of marine mammals.
  • Collecting data about different types of marine vessels, their distance from the focal group, fishing activities and marine debris during the boat and land surveys.
  • Assessing the populations of resident, transient and seasonal cetaceans through photo-ID.
  • Developing an online photo-ID network.
  • Using a hydrophone to collect acoustic data.
  • Creating GIS maps to pinpoint critical habitats and understand the factors threatening them.
  • Delivering first aid to live stranded animals
  • Performing necropsies of animals that have been found stranded dead

Free-time activities

Samos is one of the biggest islands of Greece and it's the favorite touristic destination in the north east Aegean.
It features a rich history as well as beautiful nature, an intact infrastructure and friendly people who will make your stay a memorable one, be it for one week or many years. During the weekend the volunteers are organizing trips around the island or the near by islands boat trip, hiking, riding and so many other activities.

Water Sports
Swimming
Diving/Snorkling
Climbing
Hiking
Museum/Opera
Sports
Riding

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s). Of course, there is an exception for children that are accompanied by their parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (fluently)
Education Requirements
at There must have been some kind of relative education about marine conservation level
Required Documents
CV and motivation letter
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 09:00

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Families
Groups

Any questions? Just ask. We at Archipelagos Institute are happy to help you.

Contact Project Coordinator
Contact & Reservation
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Included Services

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We refund your fees if Archipelagos Institute cancels your trip
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Archipelagos Institute.
Services by Archipelagos Institute
  • Accommodation 
  • Meals 
  • Equipment and working expenses 
  • Transport for working purposes
Accommodation

We have shared rooms for 3 to 4 people with bathroom and balcony only 100 meters away from the sea.

Dorm Room
Food & Beverages

You will be getting three meals per day.

Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees. An airport pickup isn't included within the program fees either.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Samos Airport (SMI) in Samos. We assist you to find cheap flights to Greece.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Greece provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Greece you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Greece.
Costs (Prices in USD)
12 weeks (min. stay)
$1,950.00
13 weeks
$2,113.00
14 weeks
$2,275.00
15 weeks
$2,438.00
19 weeks
$3,088.00
27 weeks
$4,388.00
50 weeks (max. stay)
$8,125.00
Average fees
$163.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Pythagorio/Greece between 12 weeks and 50 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Archipelagos Institute will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Greece.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Archipelagos Institute during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
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