Become a Volunteer
- GENERAL INFORMATION
in Summer Field Projects
- Nest Management & Habitat
- Public Awareness
- Maintenance & Day-to-day
- Amvrakikos Bay project
- Volunteering in the Sea
Turtle Rescue Center
- Part-time Volunteer
- Family Volunteering
- GENERAL REQUIREMENTS
- FIELD WORK REQUIREMENTS
- Participation Costs
- Internship Opportunities
- RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES
ARCHELON, the Sea Turtle Protection
Society of Greece
Enthusiastic and committed volunteers are required to work at ARCHELON's sea turtle conservation projects in Greece. Zakynthos, Peloponnesus and Crete host major nesting areas for the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) in the Mediterranean and have been monitored by ARCHELON, an environmental NGO for over 30 years. In Athens, ARCHELON also runs the only Sea Turtle Rescue Centre in Greece.
Volunteers are invited to work on the island of Zakynthos where the first National Marine Park for sea turtles in the Mediterranean was established in 1999, where they will assist the Management Agency of the NMPZ (National Marine Park of Zakynthos) in its task to implement protection measures for the preservation of the sea turtles. In Peloponnesus (Kyparissia Bay, Koroni and Lakonikos Bay), volunteers will protect nests against predation from foxes and other mammals, and assist in the running of the established Nature Information Centre of Agiannaki (Kyparissia Bay). On the island of Crete (Chania, Rethymno and Messara), participants will work for the implementation of a Management Plan for the nesting areas. At the Sea Turtle Rescue Centre, volunteers will have the opportunity to participate in the daily treatment of sea turtles that usually bear injuries as a result of their accidental capture in fishing gear and help in raising of public awareness among the public as well as in the maintenance of the Centre's facilities. The latest project is Amvrakikos project which is very unique and aims on getting information for male sea turtles using the "rodeo" technique.
A certain number of volunteers with excellent knowledge of the Greek language and mentality is needed for the nesting beaches projects. If you hold such knowledge, please mention it on your application form.
Returning volunteers are welcome and will be given priority when dealing with their applications. If you have volunteered or collaborated with us before, please mention it on your application form.
Please read carefully the details below about the work you are invited to do and then fill in the application form. We will answer you within the next 7 days. Please do not send CVs.
Please also read the Code of Conduct before you apply. For participations at the Sea Turtle Rescue Center please read Code of Conduct.
2. SUMMER PROJECTS (May - October)
If you choose to take part in a summer project please note that you will be asked to take part in the following three main activities described below (a through c):
a. Nest management and habitat protection
The nesting season commences at the end of May and lasts until August. The hatchlings emerge at the end of July through to the end of October. During this period, the work of ARCHELON aims at the protection of nesting females, nests and hatchlings and involves:
Morning Survey conducted daily at dawn, to assess the previous night's turtle activities. It may be long and tedious, physically demanding and extend well into the heat of the day.
Nest Protection against human activities and predation, achieved wherever necessary through screening. Further nests laid in unsafe areas are relocated to safer areas.
During Night Survey, performed by a select number of highly trained volunteers, data is collected on nesting females.
Excavation of a sample of nests is carried out in order to determine hatching success.
The above mentioned tasks vary regarding the needs of each nesting beach.
b. Public awareness
An intensive Public Awareness Programme is carried out on all nesting sites aiming to inform the local communities and visitors about sea turtles and the dangers they face. This work is of particular importance since most loggerhead nesting areas are under pressure from tourism. Volunteers must be prepared to interact long hours with tourists, through participation in:
Information Stations that operate at key points of the nesting sites.
Slide Shows on sea turtle biology and conservation conducted on a regular basis in hotels and other facilities.
Beach Patrols, carried out during the day, and/or Safeguarding of the beaches at night in order to minimise the impact of tourism on the nesting activity and inform beach users.
c. Maintenance and day-to-day duties
These supportive activities are of great importance and play a key role in effective project operation.
Some facilities within the campsites, information stations and hatcheries are erected and dismantled by volunteers.
Basic maintenance of equipment is also volunteer based and includes activities such as painting and carpentry etc. Artistic skills including drawing and photography can also be quite useful.
Finally, each individual shares responsibilities on mutual well being related to communal life with people originating from several countries and the overall proper operation of campsites.
Please note that there are group opportunities in our projects. Please visit the link here for more information.
3. Amvrakikos Bay project
Amvrakikos Bay is located in the Northwest part of Greece and it is a very significant feeding area for sea turtles. Since 2002, ARCHELON has been operating a telemetry programme (monitoring sea turtles with satellite transmitters) which was developed in 2004 through a unique sea turtle census programme involving the caption of sea turtles in shallow waters of the Bay.
The volunteers-researchers sail in an inflatable boat and try to capture the turtles using the “rodeo” technique (jumping out of the boat while in movement and onto the turtle). Then the turtles are being conveyed into the boat where scientific data is collected (marking, measurements, samples, GPS, etc) and around 15 minutes later are set free again.
Amvrakikos Bay project gives the opportunity to experience very close contact with the sea turtles and will be taking place during the summer.
For more information about the dates please contact directly the Volunteers Officer in firstname.lastname@example.org.
The project demands great physical condition so the volunteers should be ideally in well health and fit. It would be much appreciated if the volunteers acquire a driving license and are familiar with driving inflatable boat with outboard engine.
4. SEA TURTLE RESCUE CENTRE (All year round)
Many sea turtles are annually reported stranded throughout Greece, usually caught in fishing gear or injured by speedboats and fishermen. The ones that are still alive have a good chance to survive if immediate and proper treatment is provided. As a consequence, ARCHELON established in 1994 its Sea Turtle Rescue Centre in Athens with the following objectives:
- To treat and rehabilitate injured, sick or weak sea turtles
- To raise public awareness, especially amongst schoolchildren and fishermen
- To operate a Sea Turtle Rescue Network throughout Greece
For these purposes, five old train wagons have been converted into facilities, which include rehabilitation and exhibition areas. These facilities have expanded to include two containers and several outdoor tanks for the sea turtles. At the moment, the accommodation of the volunteers at the Sea Turtle Rescue Center is in a transition period. The accommodation will soon be moved into an apartment near the Rescue Center. Regarding this matter, information will be published in the next few weeks. Until then the accommodation for the volunteers at the Sea Turtle Rescue Center remains as described at the Participation Guide of the Sea Turtle Rescue Center.
Interested volunteers must be prepared to do physically demanding work for long hours. Please note that basic knowledge of animal care is highly appreciated.
Duties are described briefly below:
Actions related to the Rescue Network include response to live strandings throughout Greece, collection and transport of injured turtles. (If you possess a driving license please do not neglect to bring it along. Only valid EU driving license is accepted. Sea Turtle Rehabilitation tasks include preparation and administration of food, operation of the sea water supply systems, carrying and cleaning the animals, as well as cleaning the facilities and equipment. Public Awareness activities include the running of exhibition area and providing information to visitors. Finally other duties, that consume large proportion of voluntary time, include basic maintenance activities as well as cleaning of surroundings and living quarters.
Basic accommodation and cooking facilities are provided at the Centre in one of the train wagons along with a container exclusively used for these purposes.
5. PART TIME VOLUNTEERS
The part-time volunteers are following the schedule of the project as described above and they have the duties as regular volunteers. Please note that this is arranged with the local leaders based on the availability of the part-time volunteers. The part-time volunteers have the responsibility to dispatch the tasks that have undertaken. They live outside of the Field Research Station or the Sea Turtle Rescue Center. The fee is 30€ and they become supporters of ARCHELON for a year.
The duties of the part-time volunteers are dependent on the needs of each project in that particular period and only with the guidelines of the leader(s).
In order to become part-time volunteer please read carefully the information in our website and then apply online. Then contact the local Coordinator and discuss the details (you can find the contact details of each Coordinator in the Participation Guide of each project). When all arrangements are finalized with the local Coordinator then you will be asked to sign the Conditions of Agreement and give the 30€ support The part time application form is available in ARCHELON’s website or please ask the Volunteers Officer (email@example.com) to send you one.
6. FAMILY VOLUNTEERING
Families can actively participate by helping our team of volunteers at the area of Peloponnese (Lakonikos bay, Koroni) and Crete (Rethymno, Chania) during June to September. They participate in selected activities depending on the age of the children. However, both parents and children become part of the voluntary team.
The family volunteers follow an independent schedule and help ARCHELON volunteers in selected activities during the day, such as protecting nests, providing information to the public on sea turtles, shading nests, children activities etc. After communicating with the volunteers in the field and depending on the time a family would like to spend in the project, a plan is made about the days and time of their participation.
Families cover their own transportation, accommodation and food expenses. Participation fees for families are set at 30€ per parent and 15€ per child. Children participating in the project must be 8 to 18 years old. Parents become ARCHELON supporters and will receive a volunteer t-shirt. Duration of the participation: 3 (min) - 7(max) days.
It is highly recommended that you have a car (especially for the participation in the project of Chania this is completely necessary).
In order to participate, a family has to fill in and send the special application form. Reply is sent within 7 working days of its receipt.
7. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS
- Applicants must be over 18 years old, able to communicate in English (the projects are English speaking) and carry a health insurance policy. The recommended participation period is more than 6 weeks (minimum participation 4 weeks/28 days). Long term participation is highly appreciated.
- Applicants must have very good health and physical conditions due to the projects' high physical demanding tasks and living conditions.
- Volunteers are selected on an individual basis. Groups of more than two persons are not accepted for the same project and period of time.
- Volunteers are entitled to 3 days off during a 28 day period.
- Only formally accepted volunteers will participate in the projects. These include the fill of ARCHELON's application form, the receipt of an acceptance letter that we send to you once your application form is approved and mainly the confirmation of the participation. Details about the confirmation are sent with the acceptance letter. Please make sure your participation is confirmed before you arrive at the project. No one is accepted in ARCHELON projects without following the above mentioned procedure.
8. FIELD WORK REQUIREMENTS
- Volunteers stay on either designated camp areas, restricted to ARCHELON volunteers, with outdoor basic sanitary and cooking facilities (cold water showers, gas or electric stoves and fridges, cooking pots and pans, cutlery, crockery) or organised camps. It is absolutely necessary to bring along camping gear (e.g. sleeping bag, tent, torch, alarm clock), warm and comfortable clothes, waterproofs (especially for May and September/ October), plus decent clothes for working with the public.
- Volunteers must be prepared to share a communal life, living and working in both populated and secluded areas, often as members of small teams and usually under harsh conditions. Although relevant experience is not necessary, the ability to live and co-operate with people of different cultures and background is essential.
- Volunteers are trained and supervised by field leaders and experienced project members. They must be prepared to participate in every aspect of the work. Duties are allocated by the field leaders and may include working throughout the night or long hours during the day.
Please note that there is a greater need for volunteers during the beginning (mid May to June) and the end (September to mid October) of the projects.
Please also note that volunteers with driving license are much appreciated. According to our insurance the volunteers should be at least over 20 years old and have got the license for at least 12 months. Only valid EU driving licenses are accepted. If the candidate meets these requirements and has stated them in the application form then (s)he automatically will be considered as capable of driving ARCHELON's cars. If somebody doesn't want to participate in the driving shift then (s)he needs to state it at the application form.
9. PARTICIPATION COSTS
Once approved, an applicant will have to pay once a non-refundable participation fee. Please visit the Participation Guide of each of the projects to find out more details about it. Please note that in Rethymno, Chania, Kyparissia, Lakonikos and Koroni the accommodation of the volunteers is placed in an organised camping and the volunteers need to cover their own accommodation. In Kyparissia and Lakonikos project the fee includes the accommodation cost.
Rescue Centre: The participation fee of applicants accepted to work at ARCHELON's Rescue Centre is 400€ for the first month, 300€ for the second month and 200€ for the third month. If your stay is counted per week the fee is 100€ per week (with minimum stay 4 weeks and maximum 12 weeks). The fee includes accommodation cost.
The participation fee includes administration and training cost as well as the cost of the annual subscription to ARCHELON, an exclusive volunteer T-shirt (received upon arrival), the accommodation (except the project of Rethymno, Chania and Koroni) and the insurance of the volunteers in case of an accident (covers up to a limit). The volunteers of summer projects are staying in ARCHELON camp-sites or organized campings (depending on the project) for the duration of their volunteering.
ARCHELON is not in a position to offer financial assistance or give refunds. Volunteers cover both their travel and food expenses. There are two options for managing the food cost. Firstly, there is the communal system where the volunteers normally share the cost for food so there is around 20€ to 35€ per week depending on the project. The other option is to arrange your own food individually. In that case an amount of about 15€ to 20€ per day may suffice to cover basic food needs.
A special discount to participation fees for the projects in Zakynthos, Crete and Peloponnese can be given to a limited number of volunteers who have an excellent knowledge of Greek language and mentality, upon request. This discount is not applied on the food costs, as well as on accommodation costs in camping sites and hotels. No discount can be made for participation to the Amvrakikos project and the Rescue Centre project. No discount can be made for participation costs of returning volunteers and former field leaders.
10. INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
ARCHELON welcomes internships from Universities and European or other programmes. This needs to be clearly stated in the application form. The interns will have the same tasks as the regular volunteers and are treated as such. The interns need to send to the Volunteers Officer all the paper work required well beforehand so as to be filled in on time. The interns are asked to give to their project leader all the paper work that need to be filled in from them upon their arrival to the project. This is very important in order to give you the required documents on time.
Please note that no project data can be used for any report you may have to write. The fee for interns is without discount (regardless when they come or if they are former volunteers).
Please note that this is not research posts. For research posts please see below.
11. RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES
In ARCHELON projects there are research opportunities, for students or post-doctoral researchers, during their voluntary work. Only former volunteers of ARCHELON can submit a research proposal. The deadline for submitting a research proposal is 15 March each year.
For more information: If you are a student click here. If you are a post-doctoral researcher click here.
If you decide to submit a research proposal, please fill in either the Appendix for Students or the Appendix for Post-docs and email it, together with your proposal, to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any queries please contact the Volunteer Section at email@example.com
About the progress of your application we will reply to you within 2 weeks.
ARCHELON, the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece
57 Solomou Street, GR-104 32, ATHENS, Greece
TEL/FAX: + 30 210 5231342
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.archelon.gr