Throughout the year, we look for motivated students to support our organization for a minimum of 3 months. An ideal candidate should be familiar with Bonaire’s marine environment, culterally sensitive and have a background in or affinity with marine biology, environmental sciences or a related topic. A candidate will also need to be fluent in English and have a driving license.
The STCB intern has a variety of important responsibilities, and depending on the season, you may do any or all of the following:
Participate in In-Water surveys (January to March)
STCB staff and trained volunteers conduct snorkel surveys along the west coast of Bonaire and around Klein Bonaire three times a week for a total of 108 surveys of 1km each. The aim of this research is to get a better insight in the foraging population of Bonaire. During our surveys, we count sea turtles as well as other keystone species and fish schools. As an intern, it is pivotal that you are a strong swimmer and comfortable in the water, that you enjoy being out on the boat all day with a fun group of staff and volunteers, and that you know your fish (i.e. you can identify the species that we collect data on). Surveys have been run for 18 years to the same protocols and have provided much valuable research data for STCB.
Nest monitoring (May to December)
STCB staff and trained volunteers regularly patrol Bonaire’s nesting beaches looking for signs of new laid nests, providing protection for existing nests, and checking on the status of the nests that are getting ready to hatch. You will learn how to: read crawls, identify nests, and take conservation efforts to ensure the safety of nests and hatchlings. As an intern, you will be assisting STCB staff on nest patrols, for example on Klein Bonaire, as well as confirming and excavating nests. In addition, you will be communicating with volunteers and people joining our patrols, to provide education. It is important that you enjoy walks on the beach and do not mind being in the sun all day, that you’re not afraid to get your hands dirty and that you are organized and have strong communication skills.
Participate in Netting Surveys (June to December)
Six weeks per year, staff and trained volunteers conduct snorkel surveys in Lac Bay, an important foraging area for green turtles. The aim of this research is to learn more about the health and growth rates of green turtles that forage in the bay. Sea turtles are captured during surveys, with the help of a 200m long net, and weighed, measured and tagged before being released again. Net-capture surveys require strong snorkeling skills and the ability to swim underwater to monitor the capture net and rapidly release the turtles from the net.
Other tasks include:
- Data entry – updating STCB’s nest monitoring and in-water database.
- Aid in STCB’s outreach program – public presentations, workshops for children.
- STCB office – share knowledge with visitors, sell merchandise.
- Fishing Line & Beach clean-ups
You will be working 40 hours a week; 32 hours will be dedicated to assisting our staff, 8 hours can be used for your own research. Please understand that these hours can be flexible: you may collect data for your own research while assisting our staff with field work activities. If your university requires you to conduct your own research, we will ask you for a research proposal. Your research proposal should explain the context of your research, objectives and methods, and a time schedule in about one to two pages.
Interns receive a stipend of USD 400 per month. Interns need to provide their own living expenses (i.e. housing, transportation, food).
If you would like to apply for an internship, please send your resume, a cover letter and your research proposal (if applicable) to Kaj Schut (email@example.com) and Daan Zeegers (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please also have a look at the website of Rijksdienst Caribisch Nederland for information about internships and required paperwork on Bonaire.
I really hope I have saved some turtles, maybe a handful through my work as a volunteer. Less importantly I had the time of my life and will never forget. Dagny on sabbatical
For our outreach program we welcome people that have decided to take a sabbatical for a few months. STCB’s sabbatical program is open to anyone with a focused interest in marketing, public relations, communications, and fundraising for non-profit organisations. You will have the opportunity to learn all aspects of the communications efforts in a non-profit environment by working directly with STCB staff. This position is unpaid, and housing is not provided. Start and end dates are flexible to accommodate your agenda with a minimum of 3 months, and 3 days per week.
- 24 hours per week
- Excellent communication skills
- Well organized
- Self-motivated and possess the ability to work independently or as part of a team
- Have experience with design programs
- Possess a creative mind
- Be in possession of a laptop, preferably a Mac with Design software
- A positive attitude
- Maintain a professional attitude when representing STCB
- Speak fluent English or Dutch, (knowledge of Papiamentu is highly desirable)
- Assist with all aspects of the communications efforts of the organisation
- Administrative functions essential to carrying out daily operations
- Attend various STCB fieldwork activities
- Support STCB’s mission: “To promote conservation of Bonaire’s endangered sea turtles.”
Interested to experience a different kind of sabbatical? Send an email to email@example.com