Conservation through Research, Awareness and Education

UK Registered Charity Number: 1145387

Volunteer

Every year volunteers from around the world participate infield 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.

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Current Volunteer Vacancies

Volunteers for the Maldivian Manta Ray Project Field Season 2015 | Ref: #MMRP2015

APPLICATIONS: Open until 8th February 2015. Short-listed applicants will be contacted after this deadline.

Once again, the Manta Trust is looking for half a dozen volunteers to work with the Maldivian Manta Ray Project from June to November 2015. 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, #MMRP2015, 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!

 

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Recent Volunteer Vacancies

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’

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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 raisingawareness 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.

The show will be held at Exhibition Park – Porte de Versailles, Hall 5-2 & 5-3, Paris, France. The show runs from Friday 9th January 2015 – Monday 12th 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.

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Online Volunteer with IDtheManta | Ref: #IDtheManta

APPLICATION WINDOW: We are improving the way we run the Online Volunteer programme, and hence are NOTReef Manta Ray Spot Patterns 1, Unknown Location © Guy Stevens, Manta Trust (O) WM currently accepting applications. However, the IDtheManta Online Volunteer Programme will be back in early 2015 (last updated 26/01/2015)

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’

© 2015 Manta Trust