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
- Special Volunteering Categories
- Car-Driver Volunteer
- 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
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.
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 20 days. Please do not send CVs.
also read the Code
of Conduct before you apply. For
participations at the Sea Turtle Rescue Center please read
PROJECTS (Mid May-Mid 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
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.
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.
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
- 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
For these purposes, five old train wagons
have been converted into facilities, which include rehabilitation,
exhibition, and accommodation areas. These facilities have
expanded to include two containers and several outdoor tanks
for the sea turtles.
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:
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. For EU citizens the pink one, for non EU
citizens it needs the international driving license.). 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.
a. Car Driver Volunteers (within
the summer projects)
task of these volunteers will focus mainly on transporting
volunteers and material to the different areas of work (within
each project) and taking care of the car. Car-Driver Volunteers
in a summer project will work in six-hour shifts, but one
of them will have the overall responsibility of the car.
Responsibility of a car implies keeping the car clean and
in good condition; taking care of regular services and repairs
(if needed), in cooperation with the project leader, and
driving carefully following the traffic rules. Car-Driver
Volunteers will be asked to pay only the annual subscription
fee of ARCHELON which is 30€ and not the fee for regular
volunteers. This applies to the projects of Zakyntho and Messara Bay. For Rethymno, Chania and Kyparissia project,
they will be asked to cover their accommodation to the camping
in addition to the annual subscription. The prices
for Rethymno, Chania and Kyparissia projects can be found in our
website (participation guide). He/she needs to be over 23
years old and to have experience of driving at least 1 years.
Car-Driver volunteers can also take part, if they wish, in
monitoring and/or public awareness activities in consultation
with their project leader and according to the needs of the
project. For EU citizens the pink one, for non EU citizens
it needs the international driving license.
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 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 please print the application form, fill it in, sign it and submit it to the Coordinator. The part time application form you can find it here or please ask the Volunteers Officer (email@example.com) to send you one.
Families can now actively
participate by helping our team of volunteers at the area
of Lakonikos' Bay during July and August. They participate
in selected activities depending on the age of the children.
However, both parents and children become part of the voluntary
Families who participate
in the "Family Volunteering" stay within inside the camping
"MELTEMI" in Mavrovouni, Gytheio close to ARCHELON's Field
Research Station, which is located. The family volunteers
follow an independent schedule and help ARCHELON volunteers
in selected activities during the day, such as providing
information to the public on sea turtles and the protection
of the marine environment or protecting nests. Families
cover their own transportation, accommodation and food
expenses. Accommodation within the camping is offered at
a 10% discount. Participation fees for families are
set at 30 Euros per parent and 15 Euros 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. There is no minimum stay limit for families, although
a minimum of ten days is advised.
In order to participate, a
family has to fill in and send the special application form.
Reply is sent within 20 working days of its receipt.
- 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
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.
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
- 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
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 over 23 years old and have got the license for at least one year. For EU citizens the pink one is fine, for non EU citizens it needs the international driving license. 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.
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, Kyparissia and
Koroni the accommodation of the volunteers is placed
in an organised camping and the volunteers need
to cover their own accommodation.
The participation fee of applicants accepted to work
at ARCHELON's Rescue Centre is 250€ regardless of arrival
Car-Driver Volunteers are asked to pay
only the annual subscription fee of ARCHELON which is 30€ and
not the fee for regular volunteers. This applies
to the projects of Zakyntho, Chania and Messara Bay.
For Rethymno and Kyparissia, they will be asked to cover their accommodation
to the camping in addition to the annual subscription.
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, Kyparissia
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
30€ 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.
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 350€ (except
from Rethymno and Koroni project). For Kyparissia project
the fee for interns is 400€.
Please note that this is not research posts. For research posts please see below.
11. RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES
Opportunities are available for students who are interested in performing undergraduate or postgraduate research during their voluntary work. Only former volunteers of ARCHELON can submit a research proposal. Field leaders of ARCHELON are not entitled to conduct research during the period of their tasks as leaders. The deadline for submitting a research proposal is the 15th of March each year. For more information, please click
here. If you have any queries please contact the Volunteer Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the progress of your application we will reply to you within 20 days.
ARCHELON, the Sea Turtle Protection Society
57 Solomou Street,
GR-104 32, ATHENS, Greece
TEL/FAX: + 30 210 5231342