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Volunteer Coordinator INTERNSHIP

Job Type: volunteer position

Location: N/A

Posting Date: 28 Jul 14

Closing Date: 27 Oct 14

W H A L E S H A R K & O C E A N I C R E S E A R C H C E N T E R
U T I L A, B A Y I S L A N D S, H O N D U R A S

V O L U N T E E R C O – O R D I N A T O R I N T E R N S H I P 2 0 1 4
We are looking for diverse, motivated and hard-working individuals who are passionate about conservation, have a strong biological background and who are looking for a unique opportunity to gain valuable skills and experience applicable for a career in marine conservation.

The Whale Shark & Oceanic Research Center is a registered non-profit conservation organization based on the vibrant Caribbean island of Utila. Utila is one of the few places around the world where whale sharks have been sighted year-round, and WSORC is responsible for a continuous monitoring program documenting the distribution and abundance of whale sharks in the area. Our mission is to facilitate conservation through research and education, and promote the sustainable use of Utila’s natural resources for the future benefit of the natural environment and local community of Utila. WSORC operates in conjunction & with the support of our affiliate organizations the Bay Island College of Diving (BICD) & the Utila Lodge Resort.

Location: Utila, Bay Islands, Honduras
Internship dates 2014 & 2015: We are currently looking for interns for the following programs starting in:

 September 2014
 November 2014
 January 2015

Minimum time commitment: 3 months

To assist the Director of WSORC in developing and co-ordinating WSORC’s Volunteer Education Program and support the daily operation of the whale shark visitor center. Interns are responsible for staffing the visitor center, for the upkeep of WSORC’s research databases, data collection and input, and co-ordinating volunteer groups. Under the supervision of the director interns will also be responsible for helping co-ordinate visiting tourist groups during interactive environmental education weeks held at the Utila Lodge Resort. WSORC interns are an integral part of our diverse organization, and must be prepared to work as part of a cohesive team and help out wherever necessary.

WSORC’s Internship program requires a full time commitment and you will not be able to seek external employment during the course of the program. Your involvement with the program will require 8 hours a day, six days a week, plus out of hours events. Work day schedule will change from week to week, suitable candidate must be flexible. Normal visitor center operating hours are Monday - Friday 09:00am - 5:00pm, and Saturday 10:00am - 4:00pm.

• Background in marine biology/conservation/environmental studies or related field.
• Previous volunteer experience.
• Passion for conservation and the natural environment, with a strong emphasis on marine studies.
• PADI (or equivalent) Dive Master certified, this is negotiable dependent on other relevant experience.
• Data collection experience.
• Strong leadership and interpersonal skills.
• Excellent organizational skills and demonstration of good time management.
• Ability & confidence to create & deliver PowerPoint presentations to members of the public & volunteer groups.
• Ability to work in tropical conditions; hot and humid climate with mosquitos and sand flies.
• Confident swimmer.
• Comfortable at sea and working on boats. No experience necessary but if you suffer from extreme sea sickness this is not the right project for you.
• Initiative, enthusiasm and the ability to work independently as well as part of a diverse team.
• Personal insurance. Documented evidence must be provided to WSORC prior to arrival.
• Minimum age: 21.

• Caribbean reef fish identification experience.
• Experience with coral reef conservation.
• Research diving experience.
• Teaching experience.
• Online marketing experience and competent use of social media networking sites.
• Database management, preferably experience using Access.
• Experience conducting personal research projects and data analysis, preferably using R.

WSORC interns are ambassadors for the WSORC and leaders to our volunteers; suitable candidates will be expected to exhibit role model behavior throughout the duration of the internship. The Volunteer Education Program which this Internship is associated with is a developing program, so please be prepared for the role to evolve with the progression of the volunteer program. A great deal of initiative, resourcefulness, flexibility and motivation are necessary for this role. Candidates who naturally posses these qualities will be most suited to this position.

Suitable candidates will gain valuable experience working within a non-profit conservation organization on the vibrant Caribbean island of Utila. Full training and support from the WSORC director will be given throughout the internship. The opportunity to organize and lead whale shark encounter tours for tourists and volunteers (in whale shark season), and experience collecting and managing data for our ongoing whale shark monitoring project. Research diving; minimum of 2 research dives per week, all costs covered by WSORC (except insurance- you will need to organize your own insurance and send documents prior to your arrival). Caribbean reef fish ID ( and coral reef surveying training (Coral Watch). Experience working with a variety of stakeholders and fellow non-profit conservation organizations across the island.

Minimum time commitment for WSORC internship positions is 3 months. Cost of our internship program is $625 USD per month.

Accommodation for the duration of the internship, pick up on arrival to Utila, welcome and departure meals, minimum 2 research dives per week, full training on how to deliver the Volunteer Education Program which includes a series of lectures covering a variety of conservation issues on Utila (coral reef ecology and conservation, Caribbean reef fish ID, whale shark biology, sea turtles, invasive species lionfish), boat workshop (orientation on boats used for whale shark encounter trips and dive excursions, safety procedures & equipment, how to dock up, radio use etc.), and weekly day trips during the course of each volunteer program (kayaking to north side of the island through mangroves, boat trip to Water cay, paddle-boarding excursion, horse-back riding, hike to fresh water caves or Pumpkin hill).

• Flights & Insurance
• Airport Departure Tax (Approximately $37 USD – at time of writing)
• Food & drink
• Electricity (Utila accommodations work with a prepaid electric meter, WITHOUT air conditioning, expect to pay approximately $25 USD per month per person)
• Leisure activities on days off


Contact Information:

If you are looking for a unique opportunity and think you have what it takes to participate in WSORC’s Internship program, please email your CV along with a brief covering letter (no more than one A4 side) describing your motivations for applying and why you think you would be suitable for the position to Lucie at Please be sure to indicate when you are available. For more information visit our website

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