Conservation through Research, Awareness and Education

UK Registered Charity Number: 1145387

Volunteer

Every year volunteers from around the world participate in field research projects and activities with the Manta Reef Manta Ray Frenzy & Diver, Hanifaru Bay, Baa Atoll, Maldives © Guy Stevens, Manta Trust (O) WMTrust, primarily to collect scientific data and promote the conservation of manta rays through educational awareness campaigns.

If you want to work with us as a field volunteer you need to be 21 years or older, fit, a strong swimmer and a PADI Advanced Open Water diver (or equivalent BSAC/SSI grade), enthusiastic, computer literate, organised, willing to work long hours and passionate about marine conservation.

We also have opportunities for those who do not want to travel – why not dedicate some of your free time to helping us ID our mantas online? Or if you’ve been fortunate to snorkel or dive with manta rays on your holidays you can even submit and annotate your own manta photos to our online database, upload your images through our online submission form and input your data!

See below for a list of current vacancies and details specific to each opportunity. We advertise all our vacancies via our Facebook and Twitter pages and on this page of the website, so please check back regularly to avoid missing out!

If there is a position you are interested in, please send us your CV/resume (no longer than two pages), along with a covering letter (maximum of two pages) to tell us more about you, why you would like to pursue a volunteer position with us and what skills you can bring to the Manta Trust.

Please send all applications to volunteer@mantatrust.org, using the correct reference specific to the vacancies detailed below, as well as your name. E.g. ‘Volunteer Application, #MMRP2015, Joe Bloggs’

We look forward to reading your applications, and to working with you.

———————————-

Current Volunteer Vacancies

There are currently no vacancies

———————————-

Recent Volunteer Vacancies

Galapagos Manta Project Volunteer position (#Galapagos2016)

APPLICATIONS: Closed

Expected start date: April 2016.
Duration: Initially for a period of 6 months with the possibility of extending the placement for an additional 6 months, upon review.

Introduction:  The Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) is looking for a person with experience in marine sciences and related fieldwork to volunteer at our Research Station in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz. The successful candidate will be an important team member of the Manta Project, which aims to conduct applied research that results in specific management actions towards mantas conservation. This project is a partnership between the CDF and the Manta Trust, a UK registered charity whose mission is to take a multidisciplinary approach to the worldwide conservation of manta rays and their habitat through robust science and research, while raising awareness and providing education to the general public and community stakeholders alike. This project involves active research in the fields of manta ecology; habitat use and movement; citizen science; and socio-economics.

Oceanic Manta Ray & Diver, Black Morph, Roca Partida, Mexico © Guy Stevens, Manta Trust (O) WMKey responsibilities

  1. Conduct manta and mobula ray surveys by means of visual and stereo-video surveys using SCUBA.
  2. Analysis of stereo-video footage to quantify manta abundance.
  3. Conduct interviews with different stakeholder to estimate spatial and temporal patterns of manta and mobula ray diversity, abundance and distribution.
  4. Assist with manta satellite tagging trips and with the acquisition of tissue biopsies for genetic analysis.
  5. Maintain and update project databases and bibliography.
  6. Assist in the design, preparation and delivery of outreach events with the local community, particularly with local schools.
  7. Carry out data analysis and assist with the production of scientific publications, donor reports, and outreach materials.
  8. Maintain project equipment in a working order and assist with the logistics of diving and/or tagging trips.
  9. Support other CDF activities when requested by project coordinator.

Required profile

  • BSc (Hons) in marine biology or related field. Postgraduate certification is an advantage.
  • Minimum 3 months of experience in related marine fieldwork. Experience in the analysis of stereo-video footage and underwater visual censuses is desirable.
  • Extensive and proven dive experience. Minimum certification PADI Rescue diver or equivalent with at least 100 recorded dives.  Dive conditions in Galapagos Islands are very challenging; poor visibility, strong currents and thermoclines are very frequent. The candidate must be used to and feel comfort diving in these testing conditions.
  • Advanced knowledge of Microsoft Office, in particular MSAccess & MSExcel as well as advanced statistical software.
  • Excellent social and interpersonal skills. Previous experience in conducting interviews and surveys desirable.
  • Highly proficient in Spanish and English. Other languages are an advantage.
  • Pro-active, able to integrate in a multi-disciplinary team in an isolated environment and willing to work long days and weekends.

Conditions:  The Manta Project Volunteer reports directly to the area coordinator. The successful candidate will be based at the CDRS on Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. A volunteer assignment with CDF does not imply a continuing relationship with the volunteer beyond the expected duration of the assignment.

The volunteer is expected to work a minimum of 40 hours per week, from 7:30 – 12:00 and 13:30 – 17:00. Due to project activities work, such as fieldtrips, this schedule may change. Vacation and/or additional time away from the Station may be requested in advance by the volunteer but will be subject to the approval of the project coordinator.

The volunteer is responsible for their own travel costs to and from the Galapagos Islands and room and lodging costs during their stay. Accommodation in the CDF campus dorms can be arranged if available. The volunteer must provide their own accident, dive and life insurance coverage for travel to and from Galapagos and for the duration of their assignment in the Islands.

The CDF will negotiate the entry permits to Ecuador, but will require the cooperation of the volunteer in their country of residence for coordination with the appropriate Ecuadorian embassy that grants the required visa. CDF will not process a visa in excess of the expected duration of the assignment.

Applications need to include an application form (and annexes) and must be sent in an electronic form to the following email address: vol@fcdarwinorg.ec Application forms are available on our webpage: www.darwinfoundation.org. For any further question, please contact the CDF volunteer program staff at  vol@fcdarwinorg.ec, quoting the reference (#Galapagos2016) and your name in the email title E.g. ‘Volunteer Application, #Galapagos2015, Your Name’.  Application package needs to include an up to date CV, cover letter, two professional references. These need to include the names and contact details of the referees, names and emails of two people that can provide a personal reference.
Find out more about our Galapagos Manta Project

———————————-

Volunteers for the Maldivian Manta Ray Project Field Season 2016 | Ref: #MMRP2016

APPLICATIONS: Closed

Once again, the Manta Trust is looking for half a dozen volunteers to work with the Maldivian Manta Ray Project from June to November 2016. For 3 months, volunteers will be involved in collecting vital data on the world’s largest-known population of reef manta rays, working and learning from researchers running one of the best-known manta research projects. Working from our research dhoni, volunteers will cruise the atoll, manta spotting and collecting manta sightings which will contribute to to database we have built up over the past 10 years!

Requirements:

  • Minimum 21 years old.Francesco IDing @ Hanifaru, Baa Atoll, Maldives © Niv Froman, Manta Trust 2014 WM
  • Happy to commit to one of two 3 month periods (June – August, or September – November). Applicants that are flexible and able to commit to either period will be preferred.
  • Minimum BSc in Marine Biology, or related field.
  • Advanced Open Water Dive certificate (PADI/SSI/BSAC equivalent). Applicants without these diving qualifications or above will NOT be considered.
  • Excellent swimming/snorkelling skills. A demonstrated ability to comfortably freedive to at least 5m is a huge bonus. You will spend a lot of time snorkelling down beneath manta rays to get photos of their ID spot patterns.
  • Physically fit – it is likely you will spend 3+ hours a day, 6 days a week swimming in the ocean. Mantas love to be uncooperative, and when conditions are rough/there is a current, it can be physically demanding.
  • A strong interest in manta rays, conservation and marine/environmental research.
  • Computer literate and comfortable working long hours at a desk. After a long day at sea, volunteers will be expected to spend 3 hours+ in the afternoon/evenings processing ID photo data in the office with the other researchers.
  • Excellent guest relation and communication skills. Comfortable with public speaking and giving presentations.
  • A friendly, outgoing personality.
  • The ability to live and work as part of a small team in a multi-national, small & remote island environment, in an Islamic country in the tropics.

Inclusions & Exclusions:

  • All food, shared accommodation and internal flight transfers will be covered.
  • The position is voluntary and thus NOT paid – you must bring your own ‘pocket money’.
  • International flight expenses to/from Malé International Airport must be borne by the volunteer.

Manta talk at Huraa School © Matt Bidault-5

Previous Volunteers:

To get more of an idea of what the role will involve, see blogs below from previous MMRP Baa Atoll volunteers in previous seasons:

If you are interested, please send your CV/resume, and a covering letter (maximum two pages for each document) to volunteer@mantatrust.org, quoting the reference above and your name in the email title E.g. ‘Volunteer Application, #MMRP2016, Joe Bloggs’. Please also specify which of the two volunteer periods you are available to join, and if you have a preference. 

We look forward to reading your application!

———————————-

Online Volunteer with IDtheManta | Ref: #IDtheManta

APPLICATION WINDOW: Closed Reef Manta Ray Spot Patterns 1, Unknown Location © Guy Stevens, Manta Trust (O) WM

For those unable to work with us in the field, you can still get involved with our research by dedicating some of your free time to helping us with our ID data. Every year, we collect thousands of ID photos of manta sightings from each of our field projects, along with hundreds of online submissions from tourists/scuba divers around the world. Each of these sightings adds an additional piece of knowledge that improves our understanding of manta rays, and therefore improves our ability to effectively conserve them.

But with thousands of submissions, we need some extra help! Each sighting needs to be edited and processed, before being compared to our regional and global manta ray ID databases to work out whether the manta that was seen is a new or known individual.

We typically assign a volunteer with a folder of photo data that needs to be analysed and completed by a certain date – this date is discussed and agreed upon with the volunteer. The process is not difficult, and Online Volunteers will be trained using some practice/trial sets of data before being let loose on the real thing.

The work is a lot of fun, but is quite repetitive – we ask that you bare this in mind when applying and completing the trial data. Think carefully and be realistic about how much time you are happy to commit, and whether it is something you are happy to keep on doing regularly. During busy periods, Online Volunteers may be asked to donate up to a few hours each week to help us process new and backlogged data. But we’re extremely flexible! It doesn’t matter whether you can only commit a handful of hours every month, or whether you’re keen to dedicate a several hours each week – if you’re passionate about mantas and keen to get involved, we will happily work something out on a case-by-case basis. 🙂

Before applying, please read our page on IDtheManta.

If you are still interested, please send your CV and resume to volunteer@mantatrust.org, quoting the above reference and your name in the email title E.g. ‘Volunteer Application, #IDtheManta, Joe Bloggs’

———————————-

French-Speaking Volunteers for Le Salon de la Plongée (Paris International Dive Show) | Ref: #ParisDiveShow

APPLICATIONS: Closed

DIVE 2014 © Abbie Hine, Manta Trust-5 WMEach year the Manta Trust attends dive shows with the primary aim of raising awareness of manta ray biology, threats and conservation among the scuba diving community and visiting public.

Whilst we typically attend the two major dive shows in the UK (LIDS and DIVE), we will shortly be attending the Paris International Dive Show. We are looking for 1-3 additional volunteers to help out staff from the Manta Team.  Ideally 1 volunteer on the Monday, 2 volunteers Friday, Sat, Sunday (either someone who can be available for the whole period or different people for different days).

The show will be held at Exhibition Park – Porte de Versailles, Hall 5-2 & 5-3, Paris, France. The show runs from Friday 8th January 2015 – Monday 11th January 2015 and will be open to the public from 10:00 – 21:00 on Friday, 10:00 – 19:00 on Saturday and Sunday, and 10:00 – 15:00 on Monday.

More information about the show can be found here.

Requirements:

  • Must be able to speak fluent French, and preferably conversational English.
  • Ideally be based in Paris, or be happy and able to commute to the capital from elsewhere in the country.
  • Volunteers will be expected to arrive at least 30-45 minutes before the opening time, to help prepare the stand and be briefed on the day’s plans, and stay up to 30 minutes after the closing time to pack things away.
  • Volunteers will be expected to pay for and arrange their own transport to/from the show.
  • Knowledgeable about manta rays, the work of the Manta Trust, and wider marine issues.
  • Volunteers will be expected to attend at least one full day of the show, over the four day event.

Snacks and lunch will be provided, as will a t-shirt/polo shirt to wear during the show itself. Volunteers will be briefed both prior to the show and before public opening regarding their role for the day. However, typical tasks include handing out leaflets to passers-by, talking to members of the public about manta ray biology, threats and the work of the Manta Trust, and selling exclusive MT merchandise.

For more info about what to expect, see below for blogs about our attendance at previous shows:

If you are interested, please send your CV and resume to volunteer@mantatrust.org, quoting the above reference and your name in the email title E.g. ‘Volunteer Application, #ParisDiveShow, Joe Bloggs’

Please also include the following info:

  • Show Availability: Which/how many days can you attend? Preference will be given to volunteers that can attend the most days.
  • Dietary Preferences & Medication: any allergies or illnesses that we should be aware of? e.g. nut allergy, diabetic
  • Emergency Contact Info: Next of Kin, mobile number, address.
  • Skype Username & Availability: prospective volunteers will need to attend a brief and informal Skype chat prior to the show. Please tell us when you would be available to chat over Skype.

———————————-

Manta Project in Northern Peru – Volunteer position (#Peru2015)

APPLICATIONS: Closed. Late applications will not be accepted. 

UPDATE (22/09/2015): Successful candidates have been chosen.

A unique volunteer position is now available in Peru starting ASAP. The volunteer will be based in the Tumbes area of northern Peru in conjunction with our partners Planeta Océano and WildAid. You will be working with our field coordinator and nominated fishermen on the ecotourism aspect of the project with the potential of commission for guided boat trips. Activities include promotion of manta ecotourism; boat trips with in-water manta ID data collection and processing; presentations and workshops with fishermen, schools and the local community; collecting mobula and fish samples at fishing ports and forming relationships with communities.

Requirements:

  • Minimum 21 years old
  • Minimum BSc in Marine Biology and/or related field experience
  • Excellent swimming/snorkelling skills. A demonstrated ability to comfortably freedive to an average 5m, beneath manta rays, to get photos of their ID spot patterns
  • Experience guiding guests on snorkel trips
  • Physically fit
  • Willing to work occasional long hours on boats, sometimes in rough/tiring conditions (sun, waves, wind, strong current)
  • Computer literate and comfortable working long hours at a desk. After a morning at sea, volunteers will be expected to spend time in the afternoon/evenings processing ID photos and other data.
  • Excellent guest relation and communication skills. Comfortable with public speaking, organising and giving presentations and boat briefings to guests, schools and fishermen.
  • A strong interest in manta rays, conservation and marine/environmental research
  • A friendly, outgoing personality
  • Can work effectively as part of a team
  • Can relate well with people of varying backgrounds
  • The ability to live and work independently in a small town environment
  • Happy to commit to at least a 3 month period starting ASAP
  • With at least an intermediate knowledge of Spanish and English and willing to improve

Inclusions & Exclusions:

  • International flights, transport, communications, food and accommodation are not included.
  • Boat excursions will be covered
  • The position is voluntary and thus NOT paid but there is potential to earn commission on tourist boat trips

Please send cover letter and CV/resume to volunteer@mantatrust.org quoting the reference (#Peru2015) and your name in the email title E.g. ‘Volunteer Application, #Peru2015, Your Name’

Priority will be given to local (Peruvian) applicants.

———————————-

New Caledonia Manta Project – Volunteer position (#NewCaledonia2015)

APPLICATIONS: Closed. Late applications will not be accepted. 

UPDATE (11/07/2015): Successful candidates have been chosen.

An exclusive volunteer position is now available with the Manta Trust team in New Caledonia, starting ASAP. The volunteer will assist the existing Manta Trust representative with their activities, based in Touhu on the northeastern coast of New Caledonia. Activities include data collection and analysis, e.g. taking photos of individual manta rays while scuba diving, helping to develop an educational program for the local village and community, assisting with the preparation for and attending a festival in Noumea to increase awareness of the project and the need for manta research and conservation in New Caledonia.

Requirements:

  • Advanced Open Water Dive certificate (PADI/SSI/BSAC equivalent) or above, with over 100 logged dives and the ability to dive without supervision. Applicants without these diving qualifications or above will NOT be considered.
  • Must be fluent in French, and preferably conversational English.
  • A strong interest in manta rays, conservation and marine/environmental research.
  • Computer literate and comfortable working at a desk. After day at sea, volunteers will be expected to spend hours in the afternoon/evenings processing ID photo data in the office.
  • A friendly, outgoing personality.
  • The ability to live and work independently on a small & remote environment.
  • Happy to commit to a 2 months period starting ASAP until end of August 2015.

Reef Manta Ray, Manta alfredi, & Diver, Sunlight, North Male Atoll, Maldives © Guy Stevens, Manta Trust 2010Inclusions & Exclusions

  • Accommodation and scuba diving costs are covered by the project.
  • International flight expenses to/from Noumea Airport must be borne by the intern.
  • The position is NOT paid.

Please send cover letter and CV to volunteers@mantatrust.org quoting the reference (#NewCaledonia2015) and your name in the email title E.g. ‘Volunteer Application, #NewCaledonia2015, Your Name’

Project background: 

Our new project in New Caledonia was initiated in 2015 in collaboration with Kuendu Dive Safari:

  • Very little is known about the manta rays in New Caledonia even though they are nationally recognized as a vulnerable species. There has not been any dedicated study on the New Caledonia manta rays to date.
  • The manta site discovered in Touhu in the northeast of New Caledonia is very unique, as manta rays are seen here year round unlike in Noumea where they are spotted for a few months only. It also appears to be a breeding and mating area apart from feeding, cleaning ground for these species. Pregnant females are sighted very often, which indicates that it might be an important habitat for the reproduction of the manta rays.
  • Manta tourism in New Caledonia was estimated to be worth $1.2 million per year, based on diving with manta rays around Noumea. At present the northeast of New Caledonia attracts very little tourists compared to the rest of the country and does not offer many tourism activities so there is also an economic and tourism interest to further develop the manta site in the northern Province of New Caledonia.

Our aim with this project is to conduct non-intrusive research, by observing and recording data and developing a photo ID database of individual manta rays, to engage the community in the research and conservation of these animals, and to conduct an education and awareness programme that supports the protection of these amazing species and their marine environment in New Caledonia.

———————————-

Manta Trust Field Volunteer for Gangehi Island Resort, Maldives  | Ref: #GangehiMaldives

APPLICATIONS: Closed. Short-listed applicants will be contacted.

We are looking for an individual field volunteer to join the Maldivian Manta Ray Project (MMRP) for 3 months, for urgent start in mid/late January 2015.

*UPDATE 04/01/2015: Start date would now likely be closer to early February 2015.

Position Profile:

The volunteer will be based at the Gangehi Island Resort in North Ari Atoll, davids pic1 WMMaldives. He/she will be working with the Gangehi Dive Centre and thus will be expected to help with dive operations. However, the primary focus will be to collect manta ray photo ID data during regular scuba dives, manage a regional manta ID database, and raise awareness of manta ray biology, threats and conservation by engaging guests in marine biology through regular presentations/workshops.

Basic requirements:

  • Minimum BSc in Marine Biology, or related field.
  • Certified PADI Divemaster (in active status)
  • English speaking. Fluency in Italian is a big plus, but not a must.
  • Excellent guest relation and communication skills. Comfortable with public speaking and giving presentations.
  • A friendly, outgoing personality
  • The ability to live and work in a multi-national, small & remote island environment, in an Islamic country in the tropics.
  • Disciplined, self driven and comfortable working on their own. Volunteer will be expected to work to regular deadlines and frequently report to the MMRP Project Leader via email, and with resort/dive centre management on Gangehi.

Inclusions & Exclusions:

  • All food, shared accommodation and internal transfers will be covered.
  • The position is voluntary and thus NOT paid – this includes ‘pocket money’/a stipend.
  • International flight expenses to/from Malé International Airportmust be borne by the volunteer.

 

To get more of an idea of what the role will involve, see blogs below from previous MMRP volunteers in similar positions:

If you are interested, please send your CV/resume, and a covering letter (maximum two pages for each document) to volunteer@mantatrust.org, quoting the reference above and your name in the email title E.g. ‘Volunteer Application, #GangehiMaldives, Joe Bloggs’

———————————-

© 2016 Manta Trust