Travel to the beautiful Kyparissia Bay in the southern Peloponnese of Greece and discover the local area whilst you learn more about the critical conservation efforts of these turtles. Our interns are based in the most important Loggerhead sea turtle nesting areas in the whole of Greece and have a unique opportunity to truly immerse themselves in protecting the environment and developing their own skills. The project is geared at providing long term benefits to the local environment and community.
Interns will engage in daily morning surveys to record nesting activity and protect turtle nests against predation by mammals and inundation by sea water. Furthermore, interns will inform overseas visitors and the local community about the conservation of these turtles. All our internships are geared at developing your leadership and role model skills, allowing you to develop a variety of soft and hard skills that will boost your marine conservation experience. GVI have been running community development, education, and conservation projects since 1997 and our highly experienced field staff will help you gain and improve vital skill sets to improve your future job prospects. This internship offers the opportunity for you to gain additional qualifications and experience in a conservation environment, giving you a fantastic starting point for developing your conservation career.
Working with one of the most endangered species in the Mediterranean and discovering the beauty of Greece’s Mediterranean coast. You can look forward to the thrill of seeing turtles lay their eggs and watching the hatchlings head for the sea. Experience the Greek culture first hand in a beautiful area which you can explore in your free time; take a great first step towards your career in practical conservation or simply making a lasting one-off contribution to the preservation of endangered turtles.
"I’ve met so many interesting people who have opened my eyes to ideas and places I hadn’t even thought about before. It seems ages ago that I saw my first hatchling waddle out to sea under the equally spellbinding night sky with the Milky Way as their roof and the moon leading them. I have really enjoyed working for the turtles and it feels so good to being doing something for the world no matter how small my actions, every bit counts! I feel like a better person for this special experience. This has been a highlight of my life."
What's Not Included
Life on the Internship
Interns will be trained to participate in a variety of important tasks, as the work we do here is varied and interns will rotate around the different roles. During your internship you will spend time on the following tasks:
· Turtle patrol (morning and night surveys)
· Scientific data collection and analysis.
· Camp duty
· Bamboo harvesting (used to protect the nests)
· Nest shade making (used to prevent hatchlings from getting disorientated)
· Environmental education for the locals and tourists
Your accommodation will be in tents right next to the beach, where you will be able to hear the sound of the waves as you wake up in the morning. The campsite has a number of facilities, including a mini-market, a typical Greek restaurant and access to the wifi.
Interns will work hard, but will also have plenty of time to soak up the sun on the sandy white beaches or relax with other interns back at the campsite.
What's Not Included
GVI works in collaboration with a Greek organisation that has been conducting research in this area since 1983, making it one of the oldest conservation projects in the Mediterranean.
Key internship tasks may include:
· Patrolling the beach to locate new tracks and nests
· Recording data and taking measurements
· Elaborating the paperwork where the data is recorded
· Installing protective nest grids
· Nest relocation (if required)
· Nest excavation (from August onwards)
· Bamboo harvesting - assembling nest grids
· Educating public about the project
What's Not Included
Optional Side Trips
Whilst not part of the program most interns will have the opportunity to visit the Villages of Giannitsochori an Elaia, and the towns of Kyparissia and Kalo Nero that are all very close to the campsite. Kalo Nero is a little town with a few lovely beach bars with stunning sea view where you can see one of the most beautiful sunsets in Greece. From the top of the Kyparissia castle the entire bay can be seen. On occasion the project staff may take interns to Turtle beach where it is sometimes possible to snorkel with turtles.
The Archaeological Site of Mystras is now a world heritage site. It was built as an amphitheatre around the fortress erected in 1249 and since then has been conquered, re-conquered, occupied and abandoned. Now only the medieval ruins remain.
Monemvassia is a well-known medieval fortress with an adjacent town, located on a small peninsula off the east coast of the Peloponnese near Laconia. Its remains include the defensive structures and the small adjacent town and Byzantine churches . Its name derives from two Greek words, ‘mone’ and ‘emvassia’, meaning "single entrance". Many of the streets are narrow and fit only for pedestrians. Areopoli is the second-largest town in Mani and is one of the few areas in Greece that was not under occupation rule. The inhabitants, in the past, built their homes like small fortresses in order to feel secure. Now you will find narrow streets, majestic tours, markets and a small port.
Further Travel Opportunities
Greece is a country with one of the most fascinating histories in Europe. If you have the available time and funds, then you should definitely try and explore it further. Possible side trips include relaxing on some of the island beaches, visiting the traditional villages of Metsovo and Kythira, taking in the ambience of Nafplio or Corfu Town, investigating the royal tombs at Vergina, and above all, seeing the ancient ruins at Delphi, the Acropolis and Olympia. Ferries depart from Gythio to Crete twice a week and from there it is possible to island hop back to Athens.
Meet Sebastian, our enthusiastic nature-lover here in Greece. Sebastian studied biology in Berlin and is passionate about wildlife and conservation. He is part of a big wildlife conservation program in Berlin and coordinates his own project at the university. A few years ago he worked on similar projects at the very same beach where our projects are based now, so he knows the area and the projects quite well.
The travel bug has really bitten him and he's always planning his next trip. After going around Australia in a Land cruiser for 18 months he went on to travel all over Europe in a Volkswagen T3 for 15 months. Steve Irwin was his childhood hero, "I remember looking up words in the dictionary when I was a kid to be able to ask him personally if I could help him with his amazing mission of protecting wildlife". This is still what Sebastian wants to do – protect and give back to nature and all of it’s amazing creatures!
Meet Helena, a GVI field staff member here in Greece! Helena has always had a love for the ocean and travelling since she was young. She first started off working with marine life in Greece where she worked with Loggerhead Sea Turtles. This led to her to work for GVI Greece and then in Jalova, Costa Rica where she worked with Green turtles and a wider variety of wildlife. There she explored her love for all life especially the Aracaris and Toucans, yet her heart still lies with the ocean.
This has recently lead to her becoming qualified as a Certified PADI Open Water Diver which will enable her to work alongside more marine life and help her improve her work as a keen marine conservationist. She wishes to expand her knowledge in the future and to carry on exploring the world one country at a time. She is still waiting to cross off swimming with Whale Sharks and Manta rays off her bucket list.
Meet Will, one of our knowledgeable staff members here in Greece. Will is a final year student at Durham University studying biology; he has had a strong passion for wildlife conservation his whole life and is very excited to work with GVI Greece.
He volunteered with GVI in Costa Rica before joining us in Greece and was really taken with how passionate and dedicated everyone at GVI was. Will is a big sports fan, specifically rowing and rugby, although as a Scotland fan that's often not very fun!
Meet Quintin, he is part of our field staff here in Greece! Quintin loves to travel and study animals, after graduating with a bachelors in Wildlife Conservation he went to work on a Leatherback monitoring project on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica.
If not working, you can find him in or around the water and taking photos of any living creature. Quintin gets very excited when searching for personal new species of birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals. He is always ready to go on a hike or try something new!
Meet Victoria, one of our awesome field staff members in Greece for this summer. Victoria has a degree in Environmental studies and has always had a love and passion for the environment and wildlife. She has been with GVI for over a year starting as an intern in GVI Costa Rica before moving on to a field staff position with both GVI Greece and GVI India.
Victoria has a passion for animal behaviour and would like to one day carry our studies here into animal behaviour and patterns. She loves marine life and the understanding of how that environment works and would like to further develop her knowledge in this environment and the species within this year in Greece.
Meet Alyssa, also known as “Miz or Missouri”, one of our very enthusiastic staff for this upcoming season here in Greece. Miz has always had a passion for wildlife and sharing her knowledge with the world. Her entire childhood was filled with nursing orphaned rabbits, and opossums back to good health and releasing them back into the wild.
She aspires one day to open her own rehabilitation center in South-west Missouri. Miz has worked on a number of GVI projects including Costa Rica, India, and Greece. She has had the opportunity to work with 5 of the 7 species of sea turtles and hopes to get the opportunity to work with the remaining two in the near future!
Director of Programs
Meet Shayle, our innovative and driven director for all our projects around the world. She has two honours degrees, one in Industrial and Organisational Psycology, and another in Developmental and Education Psycology. Shayle also has over 10 years experience in setting up, managing and evaluating environmental and community programs across Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America.
She is well-practiced in facilitating meaningful and effective intercultural engagement and this makes her the perfect person for overseeing our operations in the multicultural country of South Africa.
When not attending meetings or planning her next endeavour, Shayle can be found spending time with her family or taking part in some or other exciting outdoors activity!
Meet Ana, our helpful project coordinator here in Greece. Upon finishing her PhD studies in Molecular Biology she decided to change the lab coat for the field and ran the largest sea turtle conservation program in Greece where she met and worked in close collaboration with GVI Greece, Mavrovouni.
Before joining us as project coordinator in Greece she ventured to work as a science coordinator at one of our conservation programs in Costa Rica. "Ever since I met the GVI team I decided I wanted to become one of them! She relocated from her home country, Spain, to work in Greece, ensuring that our turtle conservation programs run smoothly."