Navigating Ancient Shores

Greece Sea Turtle Conservation Short Term Internship

Join our vital sea turtle conservation project on Greece’s Mediterranean coast.

Durations:  4 - 12 weeks

Program information

Our short-term internship is the perfect opportunity to work alongside an international conservation team and make a real contribution to one of the most important Loggerhead sea turtle nesting areas in the region. Interns assist with collecting data, conduct surveys to protect the nests and the turtles from predation and educate the local people about conservation issues. Join us for an instructional internship to gain practical conservation skills and do your part to help preserve this unique environment!

undefined 31 May 2022

Included in your program

Make the most of our unique programs with these exclusively curated local adventure and wellness experiences.

Take a walking food tour of Kyparissia

Enjoy the sunset from the Old Town

Go stargazing and learn Greek mythology

White-water raft through a tunnel of trees

Trek the Neda river gorge

Hike through a gorge to a local spring

Explore the birthplace of the Olympic Games

Visit a local farmers' market

Connect with our alumni
Want to connect with some of our past participants about their adventures? Get in touch with hundreds of friendly ambassadors all over the world who would be more than happy to answer any questions.
Testimonial bg

Amanda Lloyd

11 Oct, 2018
GVI is an extraordinary organization the 6 weeks I was a part of the project in Greece were some of the best weeks of my life. The staff was the most caring people I have ever worked with. I found friends from all over the world that shared the same passions as me. The internship gave me endless opportunities from mastering skills in leadership to leading a morning survey. This internship will help me in future jobs because it taught me how to be a leader while teaching me more in depth about sea turtles and the marine environment. All of these skills will increase my experience in the marine biology field and qualify me better for a job in the future with marine conservation. During my time abroad with GVI I got to see many parts of Greece, get to know the locals, and save sea turtles. This was an opportunity of a lifetime and I wouldn’t have changed one minute of it. I absolutely loved every part of my GVI experience and would recommend anyone be a part of this organization. I wasn’t just a part of a project in Greece I became part of a family. I hope to see the world through GVI in future projects.

Imogen Manley

11 Oct, 2018
I’m a second-year student at Bournemouth university, during my time here I have to do a placement for 10 weeks over first and second year. I decided to take my time abroad and look into conservation and the ways that different conservation issues are affecting the lives of different endangered animals. I decided to take my travels to Greece in hope of working with the endangered loggerhead sea turtle. On the day I arrived I was welcomed by three of the GVI staff, Sebastian Hoefer, William Hayes and Alyssa Kirkham. It was a warm and friendly welcome making me feel part of the GVI family as soon as I landed. I went to find the rest of the volunteers and interns and met a few of the people I would be spending the next six weeks with. Once we arrived in camp we were given dinner and told where our tents were and our routine for the next day, due to arriving late we were given our tour the next day and as soon as the router was put up I saw I was on night survey. Although I was nervous, I was extremely excited and everyone showed me exactly what we had to do. We were told about the different surveys we would be helping on such as  Morning survey o Nest o Relocation o Predation o Wash o Inundation  Night survey  Hatchlings on morning survey  Data base  Shading  Nest check  Excavation I was on beach A south where we saw seven turtles and tagged three. The first turtle I saw was amazed by, seeing the fantastic creatures walk up the beach and dig an egg chamber and lay their eggs. Whilst they were laying we had to time how long the process took and measure the turtle and check it was in good health and then tag and pit tag the turtle, noting everything down in the night survey books. We then would add a string into the egg chamber ready for the people on morning survey to be able to find the egg chamber in the morning. We then paroled the beaches whilst looking at the stars, even spotting some shooting stars with the sound of the waves crashing against the shore accompanying us. A few mornings after I was put on morning survey, this means we got up early to see if any eggs had been laid by nesting sea turtles in the night. On my first morning survey our leader, Helena Zepetes, ensured she talked me through each step of the morning survey, from finding the egg chamber, measuring the distance from the chamber to the top of the sand, getting the exact location using GPS, finding the distance to sea and how everything was supposed to be noted down in the morning survey book. This was helpful as I knew I had to lead one of these morning surveys for my internship in a few weeks to come! On this particular morning we found six nests and had two relocations. It was fascinating to see my first nest and learn how we are helping to protect these endangered species. Finding my first nest chamber and feeling the “pop” of the nest is one of the most rewarding things to happen whilst on my trip. I decided to do an internship to help further my knowledge when looking into sea turtle conservation. This means that I had added work to complete such as making a presentation, leading an activity, and also leading a morning survey. I had to make sure I had written a risk assessment, EAP (Emergency Action Plan) I also had to look into Tuckerman’s stages of development, SMART stages, Communication and conflict. This made me look into the activities in further detail. My intern leader was Sebasitian Hoefer and I couldn’t have asked for a more friendly and dedicated person to help me whilst away. He ensured I was happy with the work but also that I was happy in camp and if there was anything I was struggling with or needed help with he would put his 100% dedication and effort into helping me. I would like to thank him for everything and for making everything unforgettable for me. One of my favourite memories from Greece was being on morning survey, as I was helping lead the survey (before the real thing) and I was with my intern leader and some of the closest friends I have made on the trip. As we were walking along D south/ C one of the girls screamed “HATCHLINGS”. We all ran over to see 13 tiny hachlings the size of a matchbox crawling out of the nest. We helped shade them one by one down to sea. Seeing the excitement on everyone’s faces and the thrill of finally seeing a baby turtle brought joy into everyone’s day, taking pictures and videos of how we were helping these tiny endangered species down to sea showed that all of our hard work had helped with protecting them! I have never ever had a prouder moment in my life. After hatchlings the morning surveys had started which meant that excavations had also begun. This happened 10 days after the eggs had hatched, we dug up the nest to look at hatchling success and to open the unhatched eggs to see why they were unable to hatch. This can be due to infection, worms, and many other reasons. Although the smell was horrendous, this was one of my favourite parts due to being able to see the science behind the unhatched eggs and finding hatchlings that were still trying to get to sea and guiding them in the right direction. We also saw a rare albino turtle whilst doing an excavation. This was sad as due to it being deformed meaning it didn’t live to get to sea. Whilst away we decided to travel to see different places in Greece and to discover the local culture and sample traditional Greek food. We travelled to Kalarnero, Kalamata, Kyprissia, Methoni and Zakynthos. We also tried different Greek food such as Gyros, Greek Salad, and Souvlaki. This gave me different experiences of the Greek culture and way of life. We also visited small local shops in Giannasochori. The range of different people that I shared my Greek experience with means I now know people from all over the world who are as passionate about conservation as I am, and I have made friends for life. It was an amazing experience which I never wanted to end and would recommend to anyone interested in this area. Thank you my GVI family. I had a truly amazing 6 weeks living in a tent on a beach in Greece, learning so much about myself and the wonderful world around me.